The FAA’s plans to update certification rules to reflect the improved capabilities and performance of modern helicopters appears to be moving ahead with few hurdles, according to officials with knowledge of the changes proposed last August.
Federal Aviation Administration
Stephen Hickok of Hickok & Associates, Orange Beach, Ala., announced on Thursday that the FAA performed a successful flight inspection on February 23 of the company’s design for the first helicopter simultaneous noninterfering (SNI) instrument approach in a complex airspace system.
The GPS approach is out, and the Rnav approach is in. That’s because many pilots tend to think of GPS as a land-based navaid like a VOR, NDB or as a part of an ILS, and experts believe that thinking is misleading. More precisely, it’s the FMS in the airplane that allows the actual instrument approach to be flown.
To borrow the term “caveat emptor” (Latin for “let the buyer beware”) and mangle it only a bit, flight crews of aircraft that require two pilots should be aware that in some countries both of those pilots need to be type rated in that particular airplane.
The FAA in January issued a proposal to replace the current designee program for organizations with a new one that expands the functions that designees can perform, permits non-FAA-certified individuals and companies to become designees and rolls existing organizational designee categories into one, “organization designation authorization” (ODA).
The Bush Administration alarmed a number of people early last month when it proposed cutting the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) funding by nearly $400 million in its budget request for fiscal year 2005.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), which has been closed to general aviation traffic since 9/11, will be the subject of a hearing by the House aviation subcommittee, probably sometime later this month.
The comment window has been reopened until March 11 on the FAA’s proposal to revise the technical and operational requirements for simulators and flight-training devices, as well as consolidate them under one new rule. The proposal was published in September 2002 and the original comment period closed February 24 last year.
The FAA is reviewing an FAR Part 150 noise-compatibility proposal for Little Rock National Airport, Ark., and expects to approve or disapprove the plan no later than July 21. The agency has already approved noise-exposure maps required under Part 150. A public comment period ends March 23. For more information, contact the FAA’s Tim Tandy at (817) 222-5635.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit in late January asking a federal court to order the Federal Service Impasses Panel to resolve a bargaining issue between NATCA and the FAA that affects employees at 11 facilities. NATCA also named the Federal Labor Relations Authority in its suit.