By 2009, Nav Canada plans to install ADS-B ground stations around Hudson Bay, which straddles high-latitude flight paths between Asia, North America and Europe but has no radar coverage. Currently, aircraft overflying the area must observe “procedural” separations that keep them approximately 80 miles apart, compared with five miles under radar monitoring.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
Lockheed Martin is expected soon to make a surprise announcement about its bid for the FAA's forthcoming ADS-B contract, said to be valued at around $2 billion over its lifetime. The surprise will be Lockheed's recruitment of Sensis and Rannoch as team members; both are leading ADS-B ground station manufacturers that previously have been strong competitors.
Transport Canada has proposed a regulatory amendment requiring installation of TCAS-I and TCAS-II, in line with current FAA rules. “Immediate” installation would be mandated on turbine aircraft built after the rule goes into effect, while operators of affected turbine aircraft built on or before the effective date of the rule would have two years to install systems.
Responding to recommendations from Canada's Transportation Safety Board after at least two low-visibility landing accidents, Transport Canada will increase the minimum visibility required before beginning an approach from the current 1,200 feet (370 meters) to 1,600 feet (500 meters), effective December 1.
Air Routing International (ARI) of Houston has introduced a new service for U.S. clients called the Domestic Flight Watch (DFW) program, designed to minimize ATC delays and reroutings by optimizing coordination between the FAA and NBAA’s General Aviation Desk at the FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Virginia.
The “invasion,”–as critics call it, of thousands of very light jets over the next several years has prompted NBAA to fire a shot across the bow of the Air Transport Association (ATA) for its long-held contention that the emergence of VLJs will overburden the air transportation system in the U.S.
Responding to customer input, Verizon Airfone said it will continue providing MagnaStar phone users with air-to-ground communications “through at least Dec. 31, 2007.” This action reverses a Verizon decision this summer to exit the air-to-ground phone business on December 4, an action that would have left some 4,100 Teledyne Control MagnaStar users without service.
Operators will see en route ATC charges for most of Europe reduced by an average of 7 percent starting this month. There will be some variance in unit charge rates for different operations–which are calculated based on distance flown and aircraft weight–but average charges are set to decrease in just about all of the 32 Eurocontrol member states.
Hoping to stave off a shortage in air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA will hire 12,500 controllers over the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified more quickly. More than 11,000 controllers are expected to leave the agency between now and 2014.
Iridium has entered into preliminary discussions with satellite manufacturers about potential replacements for its network of low-earth-orbit communications satellites. The company is in the early stages of developing a satellite replacement strategy, according to a spokesman, who said the company plans to start serious design work around 2009.