The FAA is extending through Oct. 31, 2008, a flight-reduction program at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, including slot reservations for general aviation operations. Through several six-month extensions, the program has been in effect continuously since November 2004. The FAA said that the flight limits imposed since 2004 “have been effective” in easing congestion.
Air traffic control
NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) recently marked its 30th anniversary. Established in 1975 under a memorandum of understanding with the FAA, the program has received more than 474,000 reports from flight crews, air traffic controllers, mechanics and others. According to ASRS officials, no reporter’s identity has been breached and no reporter has been prosecuted solely on the basis of the information reported.
Although very light jets (VLJ) will be operating at the same altitudes (including RVSM airspace) as and mingling with airliners and larger business jets, there is no requirement that the small jets be equipped with TCAS or TAWS because they do not meet the minimum seat configuration as spelled out in Parts 91 and 135.
Nearly two months after the worst aviation accident in Brazil’s history, the midair between a Boeing 737-800 operated by Brazilian airline Gol and a Legacy operated by Long Island, N.Y.-based ExcelAire, a series of questions still remains about the cause of the accident. Furthermore, as we go to press, the two U.S. pilots of the Legacy are still being detained in Brazil.
The Asia/Pacific region is pioneering the large-scale deployment of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), a technology that promises to replace the traditional secondary surveillance radars (SSR) which are commonly used to track en-route air traffic and supplement the information provided by primary radars in terminal areas.
China has been emerging lately as a truly global player in commerce and tourism, but as the Beijing Olympic Games approach in 2008, followed by the Shanghai World Expo two years later, the country must solve major infrastructural, cultural and equipment issues.
Dramatic reductions in approach minimums at terrain-challenged airports are among the more spectacular results of applying RNP-Rnav. But more widespread benefits are promised when procedures based on the capabilities of modern aircraft supersede those that tie the airplanes to expensive ground navigational aids.
The vision of a future air navigation system developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at the beginning of the 1990s has taken a long time to materialize. But the gradual execution of some of the main elements suggests the future may finally be at hand.
Looking to the future of air traffic management, that is, beyond 2010, SESAR (single European sky ATM research) hopefully will pave the way for how the ATM network copes with the doubling of traffic by 2020. Building on previous programs, SESAR will involve all the stakeholders and attempt to provide a global, coherent approach, whereby everyone will agree to changes and accept them.
The future of air traffic management in Europe continues to be one of the greatest challenges facing the aviation community. Some of the complex issues concerned have been discussed for years and others are now coming to a head in the wake of the Single European Sky (SES) initiative and its associated SESAR ATM research program.