Last month, FAA COO Russell Chew told a standing-room-only audience at the annual conference of the U.S. Air Traffic Control Association that a widening gap between the falling income and rising expenses of the agency’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) could reach a cumulative $8.2 billion over the next five years and he said the FAA must take positive actions to close this gap.
Air traffic control
Last year, the Bush Administration unveiled its proposed “next generation air transportation system” and then cut the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) budget request by nearly $400 million.
In the January 6 incident in which a Gulfstream III landed on a taxiway between the two parallel runways at Denver Centennial Airport, notam 01-17 advised that the parallel runway the jet was switched to land on just 1.5 miles out (Runway 17R) was mostly covered with snow. The taxiway, the same length as Runway 17R, had mostly pavement showing.
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen will be a keynote speaker at the third annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) in São Paulo, Brazil. Along with Anderson Markiewicz, chairman of the Brazilian business aviation association ABAG, Bolen will address the opening general session on the morning of March 31.
Members of the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS), the labor union that represents more than 2,700 FAA employees who staff the agency’s automated flight service stations (AFSS), are joining with information technology contractor Harris Corp. in a bid to keep their jobs from being outsourced to a private company.
The FAA’s budgetary woes are but one symptom of the U.S. fiscal freight train that has been speeding down the track with ever greater wobbles since 9/11.
Wire strikes–long the bane of low-altitude rotorcraft and agplane operations–could be reduced if a system now undergoing testing on both sides of the Atlantic is able to supplement or even replace marker balls and continuously flashing strobes. It could also aid other low-flying aircraft in avoiding any obstacles in the flight path.
Interested parties will have more time to comment on the FAA’s proposal to require all air-tour operators to be certified under air carrier regulations. Since the proposal was published last October, the FAA has received more than 1,160 comments, many of them asking for an extended comment period and a public forum.
Honeywell has obtained FAA certification of an avionics package that enables Citation 500s to meet the requirements for operating in RVSM airspace, including domestic RVSM scheduled to be implemented next January. Honeywell’s STC covers Citation 500s with serial numbers between 001 and 0274.
West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo., is working with the FAA to amend its Learjet 35/36 RVSM STC to include models with the FC-530 autopilot, FC-200 autopilot and Mark IV wings, FC-200 autopilot and non-Softflite Century III wings or FC-531 autopilot and Century III Softflite wings. The amended STC will allow about 70 to 80 additional 30-series Learjets to meet RVSM equipment requirements.