Now that much of the world has applied reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) standards in the upper flight levels, it was only a matter of time before forward-thinking China followed suit.
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.
Very light jets (VLJs) may well represent the tsunami on the horizon for the owner-flown turbine market. But with less than a year to go before the first VLJ is scheduled for delivery, the turbine tide, nevertheless, has been rising steadily for at least the past decade-and-a-half.
The amateur-built market has been a crucible for avionics development for decades. The word “experimental” on the airframe often also applies to the panel. It was, after all, a homebuilder who first tried out a loran receiver from a bass boat in his airplane and adapted it for aerial navigation.
The FAA’s grandiose agenda to streamline operations in congested U.S. airspace is causing headaches for business jet operators with flight management systems (FMS) that do not calculate position to new Rnav standards due out this month.
Judge Edwin Neill of the Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition has denied protests by the union representing flight service station (FSS) employees to prevent Lockheed Martin from proceeding with an FAA contract to consolidate FSS facilities. As a result of this decision, next month the FAA is cleared to start closing 38 of the current 61 FSS facilities and handing over 20 of the remaining 23 to the aerospace giant.
A supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking modifies previously proposed (Nov. 23, 2003) changes to the Minneapolis Class B airspace. This action proposes to add a new Area F to contain large turbine-powered aircraft within Class B airspace during operations on new Runway 17/35 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Runway 17/35, which is 8,000 feet long, is scheduled to become operational on October 27.
The FAA said its notice sent last month to tower controllers to review the taxi into position and hold (TIPH) procedure is not intended to end the practice, as the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) claims. “Basically, we are seeing a small trend of runway incursions resulting from that procedure,” said an FAA spokesperson. “We wanted to raise awareness and see if it is still required.
Altair Avionics (Booth No. 1411) has acquired a fleet customer for its IntelliStart+ aircraft data-monitoring system and a series of European certifications for IntelliStart+ and Altair’s companion data transmission unit (DTU), the company announced.
Bell Helicopter has selected a variety of Honeywell avionics for its light-twin Model 429, highlighted by the new solid-state KSG-7200 air-data attitude heading reference system (ADAHRS). Derived from Honeywell air transport and business jet technology, the system features miniaturized electromechanical sensors (MEMS) rather than legacy spinning gyros and accelerometers.
International Communications Group (ICG) is at Heli-Expo’06 with its newest Iridium-based cabin tele-communication unit (CTU), a single-channel system optimized for helicopter and very light jet use.