The Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) effort, the “technological pillar” of the future Single European Sky (SES) vision, has a new lease on life. In April, the European Parliament voted to extend the mission of the entity managing the research and development program, known as the Sesar Joint Undertaking (SJU), by eight years until 2024. The SJU expects the European Union Council of Ministers will approve the extension this summer.
Air traffic control
Significant numbers of business aircraft operators have made little or no progress in complying with key avionics mandates, according to new research commissioned by Honeywell Aerospace with data gathered from AIN readers. The survey identified the mandates for ADS-B out, 9FANS/PM-CPDLC datalink capability and FANS-1/A (North Atlantic region) as the most pressing concerns.
TrueNorth Avionics is on track to receive the first FAA technical standard order (TSO) certification for its new FANS 1/A-capable Simphone data link unit (DLU), which enables FANS-over-Iridium communication over oceanic routes. The new DLU has already achieved RTCA DO-178B level-D software certification, and the TSO is expected shortly.
Air BP announced several service initiatives to support business aviation operators heading to Brazil for the World Cup tournament that begins next month. At all 16 airports where it operates in the host country, Air BP will institute a “fast-track” fuel service, which will guarantee the arrival of a refueler within 20 minutes of an aircraft’s landing, given three hours’ advance notification, or alternatively, will allow operators to book predetermined fueling time according to their schedules.
The U.S. Navy has not determined how to fit a “due regard” radar on its unmanned MQ-4C Triton, which will likely start initial operations in 2017 without the subsystem intended to help protect it from midair collisions. But the Triton will enter service with more capability than any other unmanned aircraft to “detect and avoid” other aircraft, the Navy’s program manager asserts.
Air transport industry groups and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have agreed a framework for developing a binding mandate for aircraft tracking. At a two-day meeting that concluded on May 13 at ICAO’s Montreal headquarters, participants agreed to encourage voluntary expansion of flight monitoring by airlines ahead of an initial set of proposed new requirements being submitted to the United Aviation body by the end of September.
Calgary, Canada-based Flyht Aerospace Solutions has developed the Dragon, a low-cost Iridium-based portable satcom system that draws on the company’s expertise in airborne telecom. Selling for less than $10,000, Dragon allows pilots and passengers to communicate using voice or data, without the need for an expensive certification and installation approval program.
Unconfirmed reports have surfaced that claim a military U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operating far above civilian airways might have been responsible for an April 30 computer failure at the FAA’s Los Angeles Center. Both the center’s primary and backup radar computer systems failed at the same time, causing nationwide air-traffic backups into and out of Southern California. Some believe the U-2’s ultra-high altitude might have confused the ATC computers.
Cerritos. Mention the town’s name to any pilot who has flown around Southern California for more than a few years and you get a nod of instant recognition. On Aug. 31, 1986, an Aeromexico DC-9 inbound to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) collided with a Piper Archer taking off from Zamperini Field in nearby Torrance. The wreckage fell onto Cerritos in southeast Los Angeles County, killing all 67 aboard both aircraft and 15 people on the ground.
The FAA issued a Special FAR on Friday that prohibits “certain flight operations” in a portion of the Simferopol Flight Information Region (FIR) by all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, and–with narrow exceptions–those with a U.S. airman certificate and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft.