The FAA has issued an emergency AD on Bombardier CRJ700s that limits center-tank fuel quantity to 1,500 pounds at takeoff and flight paths to within 30 minutes of an alternate airport. The directive (2003-02-51) cites instances of cracked fuel feed lines and damaged transfer couplings due to vibration and fuel-line misalignment in the center tank. The problem could cause the center tank to overfill and leak, the FAA said.
As of November 25, Indonesia implemented reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) between FL 350 and FL 390. After an initial three-month evaluation trial and favorable safety assessment, flight levels possibly will be expanded to include FL 310 to FL 390.
The FAA, in collaboration with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, recently updated and reprinted its popular guidelines on icing.
European Union (EU) transport ministers have approved the Single Sky plan for harmonizing European air traffic management (ATM), clearing the way to meet an implementation deadline of Dec. 31, 2004.
Former General Aviation Manufacturers Association president Ed Stimpson, now U.S. ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), warned that a “fundamental philosophical difference” between the U.S. and Europe over how to reduce aviation emissions will present a major challenge to U.S. representatives in the coming months.
Aviation represents less than 3 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, but its contributions were a major focus at last month’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change following the EU’s proposal to include aviation in a new international agreement.
The International Air Carrier Association (IACA) last month called on European Union member states to include an open carbon trading system for aviation within the existing Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) market. At the association’s annual general meeting in Brussels, IACA members asserted that the current design–drafted by the European Parliament–would damage the aviation sector beyond repair.
Helicopter traffic around the Statfjord and Gullfaks offshore oil fields in Norway was seriously disturbed on December 11 by the incursion of the Russian carrier/cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, along with two Udaloy-class cruisers. About 14 helicopters carrying oil workers had to scrub their flights because of Sukhoi Su-33 activity in the air. Sikorsky S-92 pilots with Norsk Helikopter and CHC could see the fighters operating below them.
One of the primary roles of the newly formed National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Environmental Committee will be to “police” the growing number of carbon offset vendors and create a list of legitimate vendors for NATA members, according to association president James Coyne.