While Congress has acted on several recommendations from the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry, the group is still concerned about the lack of coordination and communication between executive branch departments having jurisdiction over the air-transportation system.
Air traffic control
Avcon Industries has a source of financing available for its reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) solution for the Learjet 20 series as well as for other Avcon modifications. It is provided by Commercial Capital Co. for 24-, 36-, 48-, or 60-month terms. More than 80 airplanes have been upgraded using the Avcon STC RVSM Group Solution. Orders for upgrading another 40 airplanes are booked or pending.
Following an acrimonious battle between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association over the recently passed FAA reauthorization bill and a provision to privatize some control towers, the agency and the union signed a two-year contract extension last month that expands pay for performance to air traffic controllers and provides potential savings of several million dollars.
Pilots flying into Colorado’s ski-country airports are already aware of the controversial special traffic-management program (STMP) for filing for slots into the crowded airspace. Every year, particularly during the holiday seasons, pilots’ frustration levels rise as the number of available arrival slots dwindles, especially during bad weather.
Corporate aircraft operators wanting to fly to Athens, Greece, for the summer Olympic Games have once again been urged to file slot requests sooner rather than later. The games will run from August 13 to 29, but slot restrictions will be imposed throughout Greece from July 15 until September 30.
While most of NASA is reaching for the stars, the segment of the agency that conducts aeronautics research here on earth has taken a budget cut for the second consecutive year following President Bush’s initiative to expand the exploration of space.
Some three-and-a-half years ago, Safe Flight Instrument of White Plains, N.Y., received supplemental type certification for its Powerline Detection System (PDS) on the company’s own Aerospatiale SA341G Gazelle. Since then the Safe Flight system has been certified and installed on Eurocopter AS 350s, EC 135s and AS 365s and Mil Mi-17s flying in Australia, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and the U.S.
Chelton Flight Systems this month expects to issue a software revision to operators flying with the company’s FlightLogic synthetic-vision EFIS to fix a known anomaly that the FAA has said could provide misleading guidance under certain circumstances.
Chelton Flight Systems has gained certification for the AIU-1 analog interface unit, an important milestone that adds seven more TSOs to the company’s FlightLogic EFIS. By adding the AIU-1, the EFIS is now certified to display dual RMI/VOR, localizer and glideslope, as well as marker beacon, ADF, radar altimeter and conventional flight director.
Hoping to stave off a shortage of air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA intends to hire 12,500 new controllers during the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified professional controllers more quickly.