The Bush Administration alarmed a number of people early last month when it proposed cutting the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) funding by nearly $400 million in its budget request for fiscal year 2005.
Air traffic control
CESSNA 414, GREENEVILLE, TENN., DEC. 11, 2003–At 10:50 a.m. EST Cessna N1592T, registered to Young Forever and operated by Saunders Advisory Group, crashed during a circling approach to Runway 23 at Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport (GCY). The commercial pilot and three passengers were killed, and a pilot-rated passenger received serious injuries.
RAYTHEON BEECH KING AIR B200, MORLAN, GA., DEC. 4, 2003–At 7:40 p.m. EST King Air N85BK crashed while on a localizer approach to Runway 32 at the Newnan Cowet County Airport (CCO) near Morlan. Both the ATP-rated pilot and commercial-rated pilot were killed, and the aircraft was destroyed by the impact and ensuing fire.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit in late January asking a federal court to order the Federal Service Impasses Panel to resolve a bargaining issue between NATCA and the FAA that affects employees at 11 facilities. NATCA also named the Federal Labor Relations Authority in its suit.
Recent guidance from the FAA advises pilots that beginning next January 20, when RVSM is scheduled to be implemented in the U.S., ATC will start using the flight-plan equipment block information to issue or deny clearance into RVSM airspace. For both FAA and ICAO flight plans, the letter “W” will signify that an operator has RVSM authorization. Questions about all aspects of RVSM can be directed to the FAA at (202) 863-2175.
At about the same time Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta was announcing plans for a “next-generation air transportation system” to the Washington Aero Club in late January, word was filtering out of the White House that the Bush Administration wanted to cut the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) budget for fiscal year 2005 by almost half a billion dollars.
Compliance with the ICAO requirement for aircraft on virtually all extended international operations to be equipped with an automatic 406-MHz ELT leads off a
full dozen equipment compliance requirements over the next year. Those who follow our monthly “Compliance Countdown” column will notice this month a sea of items highlighted in red. This means compliance with the requirements for these items comes due in the next 12 months.
The FAA made a hard sell yesterday to offshore oil operators that will soon have the opportunity to receive unprecedented traffic and weather information in the cockpit via ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) technology–if they equip their helicopters with special equipment that can receive and display
Launched in 1999 by European Commission vice president Loyola de Palacio, the move to create a single European sky (SES) for air traffic management and control appears to have gathered the institutional momentum needed to turn the concept into a reality.
The Inspector General of the DOT says that as long as Congress continues to mandate funding the FAA out of general tax funds, aviation taxes can fully pay for ATC modernization efforts. AOPA believes this position is “verification from the federal government” of its financial analysis of the FAA’s current funding structure.