In an article in the October issue (“ADS-B Coming Soon to Asian Airspace”), AIN provided details about the upcoming ADS-B out mandates in Australia, some Asian countries, Europe and the U.S. An alert reader pointed out that there is a wrinkle that operators should be aware of: some of the mandates in Asia require equipment that meets DO-260 or -260A standards, which are less stringent than the DO-260B standards required in the U.S. and Europe.
As government mandates for equipage with ADS-B out avionics begin this month (generally above 29,000 feet in some countries’ airspace), FlightSafety International has launched an ADS-B online training program. The FAA-approved 45-minute course costs $165 per person and is available at FlightSafety’s eLearning website. Subjects covered include operating principles and procedures, flight planning, MEL issues, phraseology, emergency codes, incident reporting and more.
The FAA is reminding aircraft operators through a special airworthiness information bulletin– NOTC5068, issued November 22–about a few idiosyncrasies to keep in mind when updating aircraft navigational databases. “The cyclical updates may exclude certain navigation data, including approach procedures, which makes this information unavailable for selection on the aircraft flight management system or navigation equipment,” warned the bulletin.
Worldwide avionics sales in the third quarter totaled more than $1.72 billion, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association’s latest quarterly avionics market report. In the first nine months, the industry recorded more than $5.1 billion in total worldwide avionics sales. Last year, nearly $6.3 billion in avionics were sold. The amounts include all aircraft electronic products (both certified and noncertified), hardware, batteries and chargeable product upgrades from the 20 participating avionics manufacturers.
Honeywell Aerospace has signed an avionics dealership agreement with Saudi Arabia-based Arabian Aircraft Services (Arabasco). The agreement is intended to boost installation capability and reduce servicing time for Honeywell avionics-equipped business and general aviation operators across the Middle East. Arabasco is also a Honeywell-approved service center for avionics in Saudi Arabia and can provide retrofits, modifications and upgrades, maintenance and services to operators of Honeywell-equipped aircraft.
The FAA is requesting comments on the draft of an advisory circular (AC 120-27F) to provide operators with guidance on developing and receiving approval for a weight-and-balance control program for aircraft operated under Part 91, Part 91 Subpart K and Parts 121, 125 and 135. Comments must be received by December 7.
Delta Air Lines plans to begin distributing Microsoft Surface 2 tablet computers to its Boeing 757 and 767 pilots beginning in January. Pilots will use the computing device as an electronic flight bag (EFB) to store electronic charts and documents, reducing weight and improving workflow on the flight deck, the airline said. Delta joins other U.S. carriers that have incorporated tablet computers in their flight decks. Delta is the first major airline to select Microsoft’s Surface 2; other carriers, including United, Alaska and American, have selected the Apple iPad.
Rockwell Collins (Stand 2659) announced at the Dubai Airshow several contracts with Middle Eastern airlines and business aircraft operators for avionics, in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and flight support services. Other agreements, with air forces and aircraft manufacturers, have been disclosed, too.
The adoption of Honeywell’s SmartPath precision landing system by Middle East airports is expected to gain momentum over the next few years, in response to the “phenomenal growth” of aviation in the area, according to SmartPath senior product manager Pat Reines–although the company is still waiting its first order from the region.
Pilots will be able to use their tablet devices as fully functional Class II electronic flight bags (EFBs) thanks to the new Tablet Interface Module (TIM) being introduced by UTC Aerospace Systems. The low-cost solution has been developed by the group’s Sensors & Integrated Solutions division.