NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) recently marked its 30th anniversary. Established in 1975 under a memorandum of understanding with the FAA, the program has received more than 474,000 reports from flight crews, air traffic controllers, mechanics and others. According to ASRS officials, no reporter’s identity has been breached and no reporter has been prosecuted solely on the basis of the information reported.
Federal Aviation Administration
Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), the ranking minority member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is no fan of aviation user fees. General aviation interests should be heartened because he is expected to become chairman of the committee that is responsible for FAA funding when the 110th Congress convenes early next month.
China has been emerging lately as a truly global player in commerce and tourism, but as the Beijing Olympic Games approach in 2008, followed by the Shanghai World Expo two years later, the country must solve major infrastructural, cultural and equipment issues.
For operators of older bizliners with a maximum payload of 7,500 pounds or more, spring will bring more than warm temperatures and budding trees. Continuing its aging aircraft program, the FAA is preparing two rulemaking actions it expects to issue this spring.
On May 1, the FAA will implement a new air traffic management initiative called the Airspace Flow Program. To explain the AFP, the FAA recently released Advisory Circular 90-102. The AFP is used when severe weather constrains traffic in the Northeast, and affected pilots will receive an expect departure clearance time (EDCT) before takeoff, which helps ATC meter traffic through areas with severe weather.
Special requirements for transport-category airplanes used as business/VIP jets are being developed by the FAA.
Over the last several months, the FAA has redesigned its Web site so that it’s easier to use, better organized, carries more information and introduces several new features.
The FAA’s funding stream being tied to the price of an airline ticket is not sufficient or reliable enough to fund the agency and “a new funding mechanism” is required, according to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. In a speech at a recent meeting in San Diego of the American Association of Airport Executives, Blakey said, “The FAA needs a consistent, reliable funding stream.
As a result of its investigation into the Montrose accident, the NTSB recommended that the FAA “develop visual and tactile training aids” that show small amounts of contamination on upper wing surfaces, then require all commercial operators to incorporate the aids into their training programs.
While pilots agree that ADS-B is the next big thing for the National Airspace System, with FAA Administrator Marion Blakey describing it as the “FAA’s moon shot,” its implementation process has puzzled many. When Blakey last week launched the program with $80 million in FY 2007 funds, agency bureaucrats were still seeking go-ahead approval from the FAA’s top-level Joint Resources Council.