King Schools introduced an online course that the San Diego company said meets FAR Part 61.31 requirements for pilots to receive high-altitude training for flying above 25,000 feet. The approximately two-hour course costs $249 and includes a training certificate for the FAA and a cockpit reference code with oxygen requirements and tips on radar use at high altitude.
Air traffic control
Effective September 1, operators are required to use a new set of flight plan aircraft equipment suffixes to indicate advanced navigation capabilities. Pilots must use J, K, L or a newly defined Q to specify advanced Rnav and RVSM capabilities. They should continue to use a W to indicate RVSM capability only. The revised list also contains significant changes to the definitions of E and F.
The FAA is more than two years behind schedule for commissioning equipment designed to improve runway surveillance to reduce incursions. Congress wants to know why and what can be done about it and asked the DOT Inspector General to launch an audit into the matter. While the FAA has procured 36 out of 38 Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model X (ASDE-X) systems, it has commissioned only three for operational use.
A supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking modifies previously proposed (Nov. 23, 2003) changes to the Minneapolis Class B airspace. This action proposes to add a new Area F to contain large turbine-powered aircraft within Class B airspace during operations on new Runway 17/35 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Runway 17/35, which is 8,000 feet long, is scheduled to become operational on October 27.
Pilots will have several more months to comply with the new second-in-command (SIC) type rating rule. Published on August 4, the rule had an effective date of September 6, after which pilots serving as second-in-command would have to have an SIC type rating when flying to international destinations. However, at press time the FAA was preparing a notice that would establish a compliance deadline of March 6 next year.
The FAA said its notice sent last month to tower controllers to review the taxi into position and hold (TIPH) procedure is not intended to end the practice, as the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) claims. “Basically, we are seeing a small trend of runway incursions resulting from that procedure,” said an FAA spokesperson. “We wanted to raise awareness and see if it is still required.
Federal legislation (H.R. 3465) has been introduced that would levy a fine of between $10,000 and $100,000 and impose a certificate suspension of at least two years against a pilot who violates the D.C. flight-restricted zone. A maximum of $5,000 would be assessed against a pilot who enters the D.C. air defense identification zone without a clearance.
While many in general aviation were seeking to modify or eliminate the much-loathed Washington air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the FAA executed a 180-degree course change early last month and issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to make the ADIZ permanent.
There are more than 35,000 people living and working offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, supported by nearly 650 helicopters flying as many as 9,000 flights each day. HAI worries about limited radio contact with air traffic controllers below 5,000 feet in areas where the minimum en route altitude is 1,500 feet. Also of concern is a lack of access to current weather data, which prevents IFR operations to several major Gulf oil platforms.
Air medical service operator CareFlite, based in Grand Prairie, Texas, received final approval for its network of 17 IFR approach procedures to hospitals within a 150-mile radius of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in December. Hickok & Associates, of Orange Beach, Ala., which developed the approaches for CareFlite, announced the approval here at Heli-Expo.