The FAA announced on Tuesday that the ADS-B network in the U.S. has been completed, with all 634 ground stations now online. “This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides air traffic controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”
Air traffic control
Last year Avion Pacific celebrated its 20th anniversary at the ABACE show in Shanghai, and since then the company has performed even better than company founder Wu Zhengdong expected. “Last year was the best ever for us,” he said.
Avion Pacific, headquartered in Shenzhen, sold seven Sikorsky S-92 and nine S-76D helicopters and half a dozen Beechcraft King Airs last year. Deliveries of the helicopters will take place this year.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced the completion of the ground-radio infrastructure for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), the surveillance piece of its NextGen ATC modernization effort. Of 230 ATC facilities nationwide, 100 already track aircraft by ADS-B, the agency said in an April 14 announcement.
German air navigation service provider DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung), which has criticized air traffic management (ATM) performance targets sought by the European Commission, announced 2013 results showing improved management of Germany’s airspace, which has Europe’s highest traffic volume.
The European Commission plans to set “tough new standards” to regulate the operation of UAVs, known as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in Europe, before they are more widely introduced into unrestricted airspace in 2016. The standards will cover safety, security, privacy, data protection, insurance and liability, the commission said.
Advanced Aircrew Academy received FAA FAASTeam approval of its Part 43 FAR Review online training module for FAA inspection authorization (IA) renewal credit. Advanced Aircrew Academy is already an FAA-approved training provider for the Wings pilot proficiency program. The company offers online maintenance modules for alcohol/drug misuse prevention, fatigue management, hazardous materials (dangerous goods), human factors, minimum equipment list (MEL) use, OSHA topics, RVSM, safety management systems and security.
Rockwell Collins announced an upgrade path for Fans 1/A capability in Dassault Falcon 50EXs, 2000s and 2000EXs with Collins avionics and flight management system. The enhancements, which will be available from Rockwell Collins next year, include automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C) and controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC).
The ATC phrases “climb via” and “descend via” were officially added to the pilot/controller glossary on April 3, indicating the FAA now expects pilots to understand and comply with the new abbreviated IFR clearances. Pilots can expect to hear these instructions when operating on standard instrument departures (SIDs) and standard terminal arrival routes (Stars) when ATC changes a procedure’s altitude restriction for some reason.
Dr. David Byers, developer of the Synthetic Air Traffic Advisory System (Satas), which uses off-the-shelf technology to create a virtual control tower, demonstrated the system at last week’s Sun ’n’ Fun show in Lakeland, Fla. Satas combines a SharpEye radar unit, developed by DeTect of Panama City, Fla., for marine applications, with the airfield radar system from SRI of Rockledge, Fla., which makes ground security radars. Together, the systems identify and track aircraft flying in the area, all without the need for any transponders on board the aircraft.
The FAA on March 28 published a revised version of AC No: 20-138D that clarifies and adds new guidance material to the airworthiness approval process for a variety of GPS systems, including augmented GPS, and Rnav equipment for RNP operations and baro-Vnav equipment.