A cost-benefit case for ADS-B equipage of general aviation aircraft cannot be made, concluded an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) in a report published last week. Analysis of public comments relating to the FAA’s September 2007 ADS-B NPRM showed 101 positive and 1,271 “non-positive” responses. Sources tell AIN that most commenters regarded the plan as offering little or no benefit compared with its compliance costs.
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
The FAA has reached agreements with four U.S. airlines to fund in-cockpit runway safety systems, in this case electronic flight bags (EFBs), in exchange for the operational data those systems would generate. Under the plan, the FAA will provide $600,000 each to SkyWest Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, US Airways and Southwest Airlines to invest in the new technology in airplanes they’ll fly into and out of 21 testbed airports.
Everybody in aviation has heard about NextGen, the buzzterm that stands for the ponderous Next Generation Air Transportation System. But what is it, exactly? Ask 10 people and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. And don’t ask the popular media or tv or a politician: all they’ll tell you is that it’s “satellite-based” and coming soon.
When the FAA called in March for public comment on its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on ADS-B equipage, it was with the understanding that there was wide user community acceptance of the system as the vital stepping stone to modernizing the National Airspace System. Everyone appeared to agree that ADS-B would be an essential element in the agency’s NextGen project.
Speaking at this year’s EAA AirVenture, acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell defended the track record of various agency-industry cooperative safety and inspection programs against Congressional criticism and promised to crack down on those who abuse rules governing amateur-built aircraft.
It’s a David-and-Goliath story, but lately it has been getting tougher to tell just who’s the Goliath.
On September 13, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will have completed the first year of her five-year tenure in the position. Is she meeting expectations? Has anything changed? Can any mortal possibly alter the course of what some have called one of the more dysfunctional agencies in the federal government?
Garmin late last month announced a deal to buy UPS Aviation Technologies, a subsidiary of United Parcel Service, for $38 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close this quarter, after which UPS Aviation Technologies will change its name to Garmin AT.
Taking a more proactive stance than was common in the past, HAI has in recent months been energetically lobbying on Capitol Hill in favor of the development of a low-level air traffic infrastructure over the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an idea that’s been proposed, tried in various forms and discarded, back-burnered and pigeon-holed over the years.
One of the least welcome rites of passage for copilots is the routine chore of updating the company’s flight operations documents, with Jeppesen manuals probably at the top (or the bottom, if you prefer) of the list. And the post-9/11 flood of TFRs hasn’t made the task any easier.