Tomorrow’s public hearing at Washington Dulles Airport on the FAA’s proposal to make the Washington-Baltimore air defense identification zone (ADIZ) permanent is expected to draw comments from the leaders of at least three general aviation groups.
Air traffic control
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) has sent an urgent congressional alert to its members to contact their legislators about resolving continued delays in the FAA’s longstanding commitment to provide National Airspace System-quality communications and weather services in the Gulf of Mexico. According to HAI, more than 35,000 people live and work offshore, supported by nearly 650 helicopters.
Monday is the last day to submit comments on the FAA’s proposal to make permanent the temporary restrictions and the current air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The end of the comment period follows two public meetings last month attended by hundreds of business and general aviation pilots and their trade groups.
The FAA has withdrawn its decade-old proposal to rescind its requirement for Mode-S transponders and adopted a new rule that will end the hundreds of Mode-S installation exemptions currently in effect. Beginning March 1, 2007, Part 121 and 135 operators will no longer be exempted to fly without a Mode-S transponder.
Part 91 operators who have been renewing their FAA letters of authorization (LOAs) permitting operations in RVSM airspace no longer need to do so under a new system in effect since February 6. The FAA automated operations safety system is now issuing all Part 91 LOAs, approvals that stay in effect as long as the information contained in the LOA remains valid. In the past, LOAs had remained valid for two years.
Nearly three months after the union representing air traffic controllers rejected the FAA’s request for federal mediation to help reach a labor agreement, the union has changed its mind, saying it is “unhappy with the pace of the negotiations in the last two weeks.” When the FAA called for federal mediation last November, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) labeled it a “publicity stunt.” At that time, a NATCA spokesman t
While the FAA drastically cut down on the numbers of very light jets estimated to take to take to the air in the next decade, comments and speeches at the agency’s 31st Annual Forecast Conference this week indicate there will be changes in the way the aviation industry is to pay for operating the nation’s aviation system. For general aviation, it could be in the form of new user fees, higher fuel taxes or both.
The two companies that run ATC in Britain and Spain have launched a joint-venture company to develop a new air traffic management system for both countries. The new company, Sacta, will be owned jointly by the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and Spanish counterpart Aena. Sacta ATC areas will be phased in starting with Canary Islands Center in 2007.
The FAA has published two general notices revising procedures for airports conducting taxi into position and hold (TIPH) operations. Both notices, which go into effect March 20, result from continued “operational errors” (read actual or potential runway incursions).
A new FAA program is intended to improve the use of comprehensible English as the international language of aviation and support new English language proficiency standards that are scheduled to go into effect in two years. The agency recently signed a five-year cooperative agreement with Ordinate of Menlo Park, Calif., to create a standard aviation English test.