European controllers have scrapped plans for a strike on October 10 to protest draft amendments to Single European Sky (SES) regulations that would expedite the restructuring of the continent’s ATC network.
Air traffic control
While the FAA mandate to install ADS-B out equipment for aircraft flying in U.S. airspace by Jan. 1, 2020 is more than six years away, aircraft operating in some countries’ airspace must be compliant starting this December. Avionics manufacturers are ready with equipment to meet the mandates and avionics shops and aircraft manufacturers are working on supplemental type certificates (STCs) to smooth the path for upgrades in many business jet types.
During day two of the U.S. government shutdown, 15,000 FAA employees were still off the job on furlough and the business aviation community appears to have found the early impact of the closure to be greater than anticipated with disruption to several important FAA functions that were not impacted by previous Federal government shutdowns.
It is becoming more and more likely that in coming histories of aviation, the key major milestones will include the introduction of jet aircraft, the widespread adoption of satellite positioning and the arrival of required navigation performance (RNP). Jets and satnav are now irreplaceable elements that we take for granted.
As the City of Chicago finishes work before the official October 17 opening of the new Runway 10C/28C at O’Hare International Airport (ORD), control tower manager Robert Flynn released operational data of use to flight crews. Runway 10C/28C will be a Design Group VI surface 10,801 feet long by 200 feet wide. Its accelerate-stop distance available (ASDA) will be 10,540 feet, as will its landing distance available (LDA). Aircraft instructed to land on Runway 10C and hold short (LAHSO) of taxiway “GG” will find 9,610 feet of runway remaining.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to investigate a September 20 incident 10 miles west of Adelaide in which two Airbus A330s flew too close to one another. One aircraft was eastbound at FL390 while the other westbound at FL380. The separation loss occurred shortly after the westbound flight was cleared to climb to FL400, generating a Tcas alert in the eastbound aircraft. The controller on duty quickly cancelled the climb clearance but not before the alert was generated.
Prominent aviation industry figures fear that a list of priorities developed to keep the NextGen ATC modernization effort on track during a time of funding pressure and ongoing “sequestration” budget cuts in the U.S. could undermine the ambitious, two-decade effort.
Pilots and air traffic controllers within the European Union (EU) are applauding the European Parliament transport committee’s September 17 agreement to refine procedures necessary to establish a practical framework to collect and analyze aviation incident data and guarantee private information is not misused.
Chicago Jet Group received the first-ever Fans retrofit STC approval from the FAA on September 5, the company and partner Universal Avionics announced yesterday. The Fans 1/A+/controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) system, which was installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 that Chicago Jet group manages for a customer, uses an International Communications Group NxtLink ICS-220A Iridium satcom.
Stop-gap legislation enacted in late May enabled the FAA to abandon its budget-trimming plan–prompted by sequestration cuts imposed by Congress–to close the 149 contract air traffic control towers starting on June 15. However, the agency left open the possibility that the towers could be closed when the new fiscal year starts on October 1, which is now just two weeks away.