Garmin once again placed at the top of AIN’s latest Avionics Product Support Survey, scoring an 8.3 rating (out of a possible 10) this year from AIN readers–the same as last year. L-3 Avionics and Universal Avionics tied for second place, both with 7.8 ratings. L-3 moved up two spots in the 2014 survey ranking, with a half-point jump from last year’s fourth-place rating of 7.3. Universal Avionics also placed second last year.
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.
Satcom service provider Gogo rebranded its Aircell business aviation division as Gogo Business Aviation, the company announced today. The move follows a rebranding of its air-to-ground high-speed airborne data service for the business aviation market from Aircell High Speed Internet to Gogo Biz in August 2010. “As Gogo continues to expand its leadership position, its business and commercial aviation divisions now share a single, global brand,” the company said.
Ruag Aviation signed a dealership agreement with Jetcraft to market the HUD Vision Access for the Challenger 604 and 605. Under the agreement, Ruag will sell and install the enhanced flight vision system (EFVS), which includes a head-up display and infrared sensor. By enabling operations in low visibility, the system enables aircraft to taxi, take off and land “under all conditions,” Ruag said, improving safety. The HUD Vision Access also allows pilots to descend below decision height at “most airports” thanks to FAA landing credits for an approved EFVS.
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.
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.