The FAA is taking what the Transportation Department inspector general (IG) calls a “long overdue step” with regard to its standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), trying to decide how best to salvage a program begun in 1996 and still not fully deployed.
Air traffic control
The FAA has scheduled several “fact finding” informal meetings to solicit information from operators and others concerning proposed revisions to Los Angeles Class B airspace. Meetings will be held at various locations in the Los Angeles area on January 20, 22, 27 and 29. For more information, contact the FAA’s Debra Trindle at (310) 725-6611.
The FAA has finally released its study of Part 135 air-taxi operators, mandated by Congress more than four years ago in the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21). Because it took the agency four years to publish the report–in part because of 9/11–the charter industry is questioning the value of the data.
Steve Brown took over as NBAA senior vice president of operations three months ago, but he is an old hand on the Washington scene. Before accepting the NBAA post, he served as a senior vice president of AOPA, president of the National Aeronautic Association, and most recently as FAA associate administrator for air traffic services and then vice president of operations planning in the FAA’s new Air Traffic Organization (ATO).
As reported last month in AIN, under FAA requirements civil jets must be equipped with ELTs starting this month. U.S. operators have been advised to consider installing 406-MHz units because satellite monitoring of 121.5-MHz units is scheduled to end in 2009.
A Super Bowl Special Traffic Management Program (STMP) for the Houston area will be in effect January 28 through February 3, requiring all non-airline operators to obtain arrival and departure reservations for seven airports within the greater Houston area. Reservations can be obtained up to 72 hours before arrival and departure times.
Comments are due by January 23 on a proposal to increase the size of the Minneapolis Class B airspace, namely expanding its upper limit to 10,000 feet msl. Traffic growth, recent TCAS alerts and the advent of a new runway are the main factors behind the proposal. In the first half of last year there were 17 TCAS events reported in the airspace to be included in the proposed changes.
At precisely 0901 UTC on January 20, new operating rules for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) are planned to take effect in the U.S., southern Canada, South America and Mexico. Depending on your particular situation, you may be anticipating or dreading the event.
After calling on European Union (EU) member states last year to align their operating rules more closely with those of the FAA, the U.S.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has formed a joint industry committee to draft recommendations and submit them to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Raytheon Aircraft teamed with AeroMech to develop an RVSM solution for most of the Beechcraft King Air fleet and has STCs for the King Air 200, 300 and 350 equipped with APS-65 or APS-80 autopilots and ADC-80 air-data computers.