The FAA is moving ahead with a plan to expand the services offered by Houston Center in the Gulf of Mexico by September 2016. As part of the plan, the FAA will install three more ADS-B radios in Mexico to enhance surveillance over the Gulf with a 60- to 80-nm coverage overlap between Houston Flight Information Region and Merida and Monterrey ACC airspace.
Federal Aviation Administration
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), father of the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights (PBOR), is proposing some amendments and additions to his original law. According to a press release issued by the senator’s office at the end of June, “[T]he first Pilot’s Bill of Rights was a victory for the aviation community and made possible by the support of pilots and industry leaders across the nation.
Thirty-two members of the U.S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus have asked the U.S. DOT to accelerate review of a FAA proposal to reform the third-class medical process. Under the proposal, the FAA would allow holders of private pilot certificates and valid driver’s licenses to fly without a third-class medical certificate.
The association of collegiate training institutions (ACTI)–the group that represents 36 FAA-authorized air traffic-collegiate training initiative (AT-CTI) colleges and universities–criticized the FAA last week for eliminating preferential hiring for AT-CTI graduates. It said the move could potentially undermine safety and threaten the viability of the schools.
Last December, the FAA halted the preferential treatment of AT-CTI graduates and purged a list of more than 3,000 students who had already passed the agency’s hiring tests in place at the time.
Last week’s FAA notice to airmen (Notam) restricting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region, which includes all of Syria, is further evidence the agency is watching airspace over the world’s hotspots more closely since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in June.
The FAA is still struggling with the software required for deployment of the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), according to a report released on August 14 by the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG). Stars computers are being deployed at 11 large terminals to modernize ATC functions.
Key lawmakers are asking the U.S. DOT to expedite a review of the FAA’s proposed rulemaking on third-class medical reform. In two separate letters, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) wrote to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, urging his department to complete its review of the FAA notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) within the next 30 days and open the proposal for public comment.
Europe has delayed the mandate for ADS-B out equipage in its airspace. The earliest ADS-B out requirement in Europe was Jan. 8, 2015, for new aircraft, with retrofit installations due Dec. 7, 2017. The new dates are June 8, 2016, for new aircraft and June 7, 2020, for retrofit.
The FAA has essentially shut down flight-sharing systems that attempted to match pilots with passengers who wished to fly to the same destination. One such company, AirPooler, sought an FAA interpretation to ensure that its business model didn’t violate the regulations.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice To Airmen (Notam) on Tuesday prohibiting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR), which covers all of Syria.
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