This has got to stop. We all know that FAA inspectors at the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) level are overworked and that FAA regulations, policies, procedures and programs impose impossible requirements on agency personnel. But when a drop-dead simple piece of paperwork that needs an approval signature hits the desk and gets delayed for some obscure confounded reason, causing the grounding of a multimillion-dollar jet, well, this simply has got to stop.
Air traffic control
NBAA released a new publication, “NBAA Aircraft Transactions Guide,” to assist those considering buying or selling a business airplane. Developed by the NBAA Tax Committee, the guide provides background on the most relevant FAA and DOT regulations, federal and state tax issues and aircraft ownership structures. It also maps the various steps of the aircraft transaction process, from the letter of intent to the closing.
The first satellite-based precision approach system in the southern hemisphere enabled by Honeywell’s SmartPath entered service last week at Australia’s Sydney Airport. The technology, which is also known as a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) in the U.S., offers precision guidance to within three feet of the runway centerline.
Brunswick, Maine-based Tempus Jets is offering a Fans 1/A and ADS-B out solution for the Bombardier Global Express. The package is priced at $455,000, depending on the existing configuration of the jet, and includes engineering, installation, certification, equipment and return to service. The upgrade uses ICG’s ICS-220A Iridium satcom if the existing satcom doesn’t meet interface and Fans and ADS-B requirements.
In the four months since the March 8 disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, the consensus on what happened appears to have boiled down to one basic view, simply stated by International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Tony Taylor at the association’s annual meeting in Doha, Qatar, on June 2. “The loss of MH370 continues to be on everybody’s mind. I have no idea what happened to that aircraft,” he said. “I don’t think anyone else has, either.”
Rockwell Collins and Kobev International have introduced a new Fans 1/A and CPDLC training program that is available for in-aircraft training at a customer’s location or at Rockwell Collins’s facility in Annapolis, Md., or at Kobev International in Sugar Grove, Ill. The training “emulates a pilot’s real-world communications with ATC,” according to Rockwell Collins, and allows pilots to “have an interactive experience with real-time feedback.” The emulation program was developed by Rockwell Collins’s Arinc Direct.
A June 11 Congressional House hearing on the FAA’s “2020 NextGen Mandate: Benefits and Challenges for General Aviation” reviewed the agency’s requirement that all U.S. civil aircraft carry ADS-B out units by Jan. 1, 2020, along with the vexing–to the FAA, at least–issue that aircraft owners are not rushing out to install them.
French air traffic controllers called off their work stoppages three days early on June 25 just as Belgian controllers launched a series of two-hour strikes that ran through June 26. The Association of European Airlines said in a statement, “The reason for this social unrest is linked to the self-interest of the unions, which refuse to accept much needed efficiency improvements to their working practices.” Nearly 400 flights in Europe were affected by the strikes on Wednesday alone.
Testifying yesterday before the Senate subcommittee on aviation on the status of NextGen ATC implementation, FAA deputy administrator Michael Whitaker told lawmakers that “both the FAA and industry must be held accountable if NextGen is to succeed.”
The FAA has extended the expiration date of the final rule requiring civil helicopter pilots to use the New York North Shore Helicopter Route when flying VFR along the north shore of Long Island. The current rule was scheduled to expire on August 6 this year but the FAA extended it for two more years to preserve the current operating environment while it determines whether use of the route should be permanently mandatory.
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