The FAA says that the Alaska Capstone program of testing a host of advanced avionics (including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast–ADS-B) in small commercial aircraft will become part of the agency’s nationwide ADS-B implementation.
Air traffic control
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey stonewalled the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) in new contract talks, declaring an impasse on April 5 and unilaterally imposing a new contract on June 5. The actions came after nine months of negotiations with the union that the agency claimed cost taxpayers $2.3 million.
Eighty percent of pilots polled said they would make the switch to electronic charts if the cost was reasonable, the FAA said it was OK to do so and the hardware needed to run the e-charts was reliable and easy to use. Jeppesen published the poll results at a new Web site it launched last month called FlyElectronic.net. The site provides answers to questions about the transition to e-charts, from costs to what the regs say.
NASA disclosed last month that flight crew, ground crew, air traffic controllers and others involved in aviation operations can now securely submit electronic reports to the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). Previously, NASA required users to mail reports to the ASRS offices in California. For more information, visit http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/forms_nf.htm.
FAA Information for Operators 06005 (www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info) released last month alerts operators of aircraft equipped with TCAS and other collision or advisory devices of the potential for traffic advisories or other spurious signals caused by active transponders aboard
Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino, the pilot and copilot of the ExcelAire Legacy 600 involved in a midair with a Boeing 737 operated by Brazil’s Gol on September 29, returned to New York on December 9. Brazilian authorities confiscated their passports after the accident. The two pilots were allowed to leave Brazil only after their attorney in Brazil successfully filed for habeas corpus.
Europe’s skies have become safer since two landmark accidents, according to a new independent survey commissioned by air traffic management agency Eurocontrol. A December 4 report stated that the 42 European states surveyed have all “considerably strengthened” their air traffic management frameworks over the past four years.
Air traffic controllers at Canada’s Ottawa International Airport can now “see” traffic on the airport surface in the southwest area of the airport using a computer vision-based airport surface detection (ASD) system installed by Searidge Technologies. The Searidge system detects aircraft, vehicles, people and other objects using a network of digital-imaging sensors coupled to computer-vision technology.
In the late 1970s, Continental Airlines president Frank Lorenzo used a court of law to confront his pilots with an existing, although seldom used, negotiating technique, abrogating their contract when he was unable to secure an agreement through traditional collective bargaining. He quickly replaced his then striking workers with a non-union workforce willing to accept his management style and pay scale.
Europe’s controlled airspace is to be expanded to absorb air transport growth, leaving the general aviation community with the prospect of paying air traffic management fees and having to adjust to a more complex operating environment.