While the Chicago ARTCC remains “ATC Zero” due to the equipment damage from a fire on September 26, the FAA is now planning to begin the transition to regular operations on Sunday night at 10 p.m. (CDT), according to NBAA Air Traffic Services.
Area Control Center
The FAA plans to restore its Chicago air route traffic control center (Artcc) to normal operation by October 13 following a fire that damaged the facility’s communications equipment and led to the disruption and cancellation of thousands of flights. The agency has also tasked its Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and unions to review contingency plans for major facilities in the wake of the September 26 fire, which was allegedly set by a disgruntled contract worker.
With PilotEdge live ATC feed, online sim training gets real
by Matt Thurber
The Raytheon standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) began continuous operations in early May at the Dallas-Fort Worth terminal radar approach control (Tracon) facility, the first of 11 large Tracons in the U.S. to manage air traffic continuously using the new ATC automation system.
Controller operational errors are on the rise, according to a February 27 audit report from the DOT’s Office of the Inspector General (IG), prompted by requests from the Senate subcommittee on aviation operations, safety and security and, separately, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. According to FAA data, controller operational errors at the Southern California (SoCal) Tracon, jumped from 33 in FY09 to 189 in FY10, an increase of 473 percent.
Garmin has obtained FAA TSO approval for new VHF com and navcom radios that offer 8.33-kHz frequency spacing, more transmitter power and built-in frequency databases. Shipments of the new GTR (com) and GNC (navcom) series radios began last month, replacing the SL 30 and 40 models, which will eventually cease production. European TSO approval is expected in the first quarter.
The director of Lockheed Martin’s En-route Automation Modernization (Eram) program has said the system’s deployment across the U.S.is on schedule and on budget since the FAA recalculated, or “re-baselined,” its cost and schedule in June last year.
Digital data messaging between pilots and air traffic controllers is scheduled to begin replacing voice-based communications in U.S. airspace in the next three years.
“Pressing challenges remain” in the FAA’s progression to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), says the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general. In testimony October 5 before the House aviation subcommittee, DOT IG Calvin L. Scovel III cited the FAA’s Metroplex initiative.
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