Regional fractional aircraft provider Executive AirShare received temporary FAA authorization to use the Apple iPad Mini as a Class 1 electronic flight bag (EFB) in its fleet of Learjet 45XRs, Phenom 100s and 300s and King Airs. This authorization is the first step needed to gain full authority for paperless cockpits, which is expected in the first quarter of next year. With the provisional approval, Executive AirShare pilots can perform basic and advanced functions previously performed using paper documents, but flight crews must still carry printed charts as a backup.
Avionics and ATC
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit; and news, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
The FAA is moving ahead with a plan to expand the services offered by Houston Center in the Gulf of Mexico by September 2016. As part of the plan, the FAA will install three more ADS-B radios in Mexico to enhance surveillance over the Gulf with a 60- to 80-nm coverage overlap between Houston Flight Information Region and Merida and Monterrey ACC airspace.
The delayed ADS-B OUT equipage mandate in Europe has been voted for by the European Union’s Single Sky Committee, but it has not yet been adopted by the European Commission, according to a spokesman for the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport Unit E2–Single Sky & Modernization of Air Traffic Control. The adoption and publication in the official journal of the amendment to regulation No.
Jet Aviation St. Louis received an STC to install the Satcom Direct Router (SDR) in the Bombardier Global Express, XRS, 5000 and 6000. The SDR allows users to manage all cabin communications systems with simultaneous use of Inmarsat Swift 64, SwiftBroadband, Ku-Band and Ka-Band satellite connections with intelligent traffic control, according to Satcom Direct. It is compatible with most Wi-Fi access points and supports up to four wireless networks.
As more aircraft equip with ADS-B OUT–which broadcasts position, velocity, altitude and other information in unencrypted formats on easily received frequencies–business aircraft operators are concerned about whether they can continue blocking their aircraft from display on flight-tracking websites. While the FAA offers a way for operators to request blocking of particular aircraft from FAA radar data feeds, there currently is no physical means to block reception of mode-S transponder or ADS-B signals by a simple receiver.
Europe has delayed the mandate for ADS-B out equipage in its airspace. The earliest ADS-B out requirement in Europe was Jan. 8, 2015, for new aircraft, with retrofit installations due Dec. 7, 2017. The new dates are June 8, 2016, for new aircraft and June 7, 2020, for retrofit.
As Congress prepares to work on Fiscal Year 2015 transportation funding and FAA reauthorization legislation, aviation stakeholders are expressing “renewed concerns” about the preservation of 252 federal contract towers, NBAA said. Fifty-five senators recently signed a letter asking FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to consider “all perspectives” in the effort to streamline tower operations as the FAA continues to deal with budget pressures.
With maintenance and upgrades scheduled for the tower at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, aircraft operators should be aware of temporary reductions in nighttime services extending through Sunday. Work in the tower includes replacing the elevator, upgrading the electrical system and removing asbestos, all of which requires relocating air traffic controllers to a different site. Between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. this week there will be no radar, flight data input/output (FDIO) or automatic terminal information service (ATIS) available at the New York City-area airport.
Starting September 1, owners and operators of Brazil-based aircraft equipped with suitable Garmin avionics will be able to get streamlined access to Iridium satellite communications services using Garmin Connext. The new service is available under an arrangement announced by Satcom Direct here at the LABACE show this week.
At last week’s Black Hat USA 2014 conference, Ruben Santamarta, the principal security consultant at IOActive Security Services, raised the issue of whether satellite communications systems have security vulnerabilities that might allow hackers to gain access to aircraft systems. Santamarta and IOActive published a white paper that discusses security vulnerabilities in air, sea and land satcom systems. “Today we are disclosing details to help people verify those findings,” Santamarta explained.
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