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.
Air traffic control
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.
Appareo Systems, a small technology company from Fargo, N.D., announced yesterday it has partnered with Gulf Coast giant Air Logistics, a Bristow Group company, to produce an interesing flight monitoring tool called Aircraft Logging and Event Recording for Training and Safety (Alerts).
Cessna 551 Citation II, Ainsworth, Neb., Jan. 1, 2005–Citation N35403 crashed while attempting to land at Ainsworth Municipal Airport in IMC. The instrument-rated private pilot and five passengers were not seriously injured but the Citation was substantially damaged.
Former Free Flight Phase 1 director Charles Keegan has been appointed vice president for operations planning in the FAA’s Air Traffic Management Organization (ATO), succeeding Norman Fujisaki, who is retiring. Keegan will continue as director of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), the interagency organization developing the long-term plan for the next-generation air transport system.
The FAA last month chose Lockheed Martin from a field of five bidders to provide the services now offered by the agency’s 58 automated flight service stations in the continental U.S., Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Under a five-year contract that includes five additional option years, the agency expects to save $2.2 billion if it exercises all of the option years.
New taxi into position and hold (TIPH) guidance for pilots became effective February 5. It includes new ATC procedures and phraseology to improve runway safety.
Because of “undesirable” events involving TIPH, the FAA convened a safety risk management panel consisting of representatives from the agency’s Air Traffic Service and Flight Standards Service, as well as certain specialists, including experts in aviation human factors.
In a letter to the Department of Transportation last month, AOPA renewed its support of loran as a possible low-cost, ideal backup to the future GPS-based ATC system. The letter went to the Coast Guard because it is responsible for operation and maintenance of loran.
In the ongoing saga of air traffic controller staffing, the FAA announced yesterday as part of its 10-year forecast that it is increasing controller hiring to better meet attrition and increasing system demand. The agency’s updated Air Traffic Control Workforce Plan now specifies the need for 15,000 new controllers over the next decade, up from previous plans for 12,500 new controllers over a similar period.
The FAA is releasing a new Web-based program that lets the user fill out, digitally sign and print forms online. The user can also interact with the FAA when necessary and forward forms directly to the aircraft registry to be placed in the official aircraft records.