The FAA’s updated Advisory Circular AC 120-61B provides information to help air carriers augment–but not alter or amend–existing programs to inform crew members about radiation exposure. The AC explains the differences between the natural sources of radiation in the atmosphere as well as the average annual exposure a human experiences from those sources.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants the FAA to make the controversial North Shore helicopter route over Long Island permanent, albeit with a few changes. The offshore route became mandatory in 2012 but is scheduled to expire under a sunset provision on August 6 unless the FAA renews it.
An international field research campaign led by Airbus and NASA has gathered a wealth of data on icing conditions in convective weather, especially on ice crystals that cause engine icing. The eight-week effort ended in March in Darwin, Australia, and the researchers expect to publish their report early next year. The partners in the project hope to gain a better understanding of icing conditions that will allow them to devise mathematical models for equipment manufacturers to use when designing detection systems.
Following a number of recent helicopter accidents, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) last month issued a notice of proposed rule-making aimed at improving the safety of helicopter external sling load and winching and rappelling operations. Winching and rappelling is generally associated with emergencies and, as a result, carries greater inherent risk than other helicopter operations, says the CASA. Such operations are also time-sensitive and are often conducted under challenging environmental conditions.
On Friday, an Indonesian volcano–Sangeang Api–sent plumes of ash as high as 65,000 feet. The ash quickly began drifting southeastward toward the Northern Territories of Australia. Darwin Airport was shut down and airlines Virgin Australia and JetStar canceled a number of flights that could have brought aircraft within the vicinity of those clouds. Authorities expect the ash to dissipate this week as it moves further east, although the volcano is still erupting.
As of the middle of May, the FAA had yet to determine if it will renew its mandatory VFR helicopter route along the north shore of New York’s Long Island. The controversial North Shore Route was established for voluntary compliance in 2008 as a response to residential noise complaints and political prodding from elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), who pressed then Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA to make it mandatory.
The City of Santa Monica, Calif., has embarked on a two-pronged approach to further its efforts to curtail flight operations at Santa Monica Airport (SMO). The latest effort from the city’s airport commission on April 28 addressed legal issues surrounding a proposed recommendation to limit emissions from aircraft operating at SMO.
Embraer and Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create a joint biofuels research center at a technological park near Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Under the partnership, the companies will be “developing and maturing the knowledge and technologies that make it possible to establish a sustainable biofuels chain for aviation.”
The National Transportation Safety Board on May 22 issued five safety recommendations to the FAA related to the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries, as well as the certification of new technology. The recommendations evolved through the ongoing investigation of a Jan. 7, 2013, lithium-ion battery fire aboard a Boeing 787 parked at Boston Logan Airport.
StandardAero’s 350,000-sq-ft San Antonio facility has been awarded the 2014 Texas Environmental Excellence Award for Water Conservation. The company eliminated constant-overflow rinse tanks and implemented rinse baths analysis before replenishment and installation of new equipment that allows the reuse of industrial treated water through microfiltration, carbon filtration, reverse osmosis and evaporation. The net result enables the recycling and reuse of 84 percent of the water, representing millions of gallons per year.