A request for tender (RFT) issued by Airservices Australia last month for the “oneSky Australia” program presents a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to field a joint civil and military air traffic management system by 2020, according to the government-owned air navigation services provider.
Air traffic control
US Airways recently became the first airline to receive FAA certification approval of the SafeRoute suite of NextGen avionics applications in the Airbus A330. The airline claims SafeRoute will “enhance operational safety and efficiency during various phases of flight.”
Bombardier’s new Challenger 350 will feature an upgraded flight deck, the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 Advanced system, which will also be available as a retrofit on Challenger 300s. New capabilities include synthetic vision, Fans 1/A, ADS-B out, CPDLC, RNP basic and authorization required and LPV guidance. The Rockwell Collins MultiScan threat-detection system radar will also be available for both the Challenger 300 and 350. MultiScan reduces pilot workload by automatically identifying weather and turbulence.
Industry stakeholders should take a “careful approach” in recommending funding and other structural reforms to the U.S. aviation system, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees at a NextGen symposium on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Air Line Pilots Association International sponsored the event.
The Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) released an update last month on the FAA’s progress with the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), the program to modernize terminal ATC equipment. The IG report identified a number of problem areas slowing Stars implementation caused by early, as yet unresolved, hardware and software delays that have put the entire program in jeopardy.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), working with the Changi Airport Group, has introduced a number of new procedures on June 19 to ensure safe operations at Singapore’s Changi International Airport (WSSS). The efforts are specific to operations during low-visibility conditions resulting from recent severe haze caused by fires set to clear land in Sumatra. An extra one or two miles of separation will be added between arrivals, and the airport will keep runway lights on during daytime operations.
Prime contractor Raytheon and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration have finished installing the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) at the first of 11 large terminal radar approach control (Tracon) facilities in the U.S. Air traffic controllers at the Dallas/Fort Worth Tracon started “continuous operation” with Stars ahead of schedule in early May, Raytheon announced at the Paris Air Show last month.
With President Obama’s FAA budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2014 awaiting action by Congress, 11 aviation organizations signed a joint letter to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations committees calling for continued funding for contract air traffic control towers.
Select executives inside the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration are pushing hard to impose user and special fees on general aviation as part of a strategy to bridge the gap between the agency’s expenditures and revenues from its traditional fees and taxes. This includes charging $1- to $2 million for air traffic control and other services at airshows. However, it appears the FAA could reap billions of dollars in cost savings simply by implementing better management and business practices.
The FAA’s NextGen Air Transportation System initiative is progressing, according to the agency’s recently issued NextGen implementation plan report. While the report focuses on improvements to airspace and navigation capabilities, the implementation plan, and especially appendix A, provides a detailed summary of technologies already implemented or planned as part of NextGen, a useful guide for those wanting to learn about ADS-B and other systems.