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.
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 scene at a recent aviation trade show illustrates perfectly what has become an industry-wide dilemma. An avionics sales representative had just finished giving a seasoned flight department manager a nearly hour-long sneak preview of his employer’s newest retrofit cockpit system.
Analysis of last year’s fatal accident involving a King Air carrying Macedonian president Boris Trajkovski and others reinforces the value of the FAA’s requirements for terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) on certain aircraft.
Latin America adopted reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) on January 20, along with the rest of the Americas, and the transition to date in Brazil has been relatively smooth, according to national officials.
“There were no major problems on January 20,” said Saulo Jose da Silva of Brazil’s Department of Air Traffic Control.
Flight Display Systems continued its push to gain entry into the large-aircraft market with its presence at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in March.
Avidyne used the stage at Sun ’n’ Fun in Lakeland, Fla., last month to launch a suite of datalink services for general aviation. The new FlightCenter services announced at the show are intended to provide flight tracking and two-way text messaging to operators flying with Avidyne avionics.
An operational alert NBAA published last month requires some clarification. The alert said, “Some operators have misinterpreted climb and descent guidance for operations in RVSM airspace and have been incorrectly restricting the aircraft climb/descent rate to 1,000 fpm at all times when in RVSM airspace.”
Nav Canada, the company that runs Canada’s ATC system, reports that because of favorable financial results in its most recent quarter and the preliminary outlook for the balance of the current and following fiscal year, it does not expect to increase customer service charges in the near term, “provided there are no unanticipated adverse developments.” The company’s most recent financial statement is available at
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of five foreign ATC service providers contends that since “commercialization,” they have maintained safety, controlled costs and improved efficiency. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association emphasized that controllers in Cleveland alone handle more operations annually than all of Canada’s controllers handle. It is difficult to compare the U.S.
New European Union minimum liability insurance standards that took effect April 30 are causing some U.S.-based operators to rethink their trips to Europe.