Former Free Flight Phase 1 director Charles Keegan has been appointed vice president for operations planning in the FAA’s Air Traffic Management Organization (ATO), succeeding Norman Fujisaki, who is retiring. Keegan will continue as director of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), the interagency organization developing the long-term plan for the next-generation air transport system.
Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA last month chose Lockheed Martin from a field of five bidders to provide the services now offered by the agency’s 58 automated flight service stations in the continental U.S., Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Under a five-year contract that includes five additional option years, the agency expects to save $2.2 billion if it exercises all of the option years.
Guy Minor, aviation safety program manager with the FAA’s Oakland Flight Standards District Office, presented Apex Aviation the 2004 Certificate of Excellence for “actively participating in the FAA Aviation Technician Training Program.” This Diamond Award marks the third consecutive year the FAA has honored Apex.
Beech King Air C90, Windsor Locks, Conn., June 23, 2006–The nonflying pilot’s improper procedure, resulting in his inadvertent retraction of the landing gear while the airplane was on the ground, was the cause of the accident, the NTSB concluded. The FAA King Air, N20, had landed and was doing a touch-and-go at Bradley International Airport when the nonflying pilot asked the pilot flying if he wanted flaps up.
After a decades-long battle, the FAA capitulated to the court of international opinion in late January, announcing that it will propose a new rule to permit Part 121 pilots over age 60 to fly as part of a two-pilot crew when the other crewmember is under age 60.
The FAA amended the regulations for the Inspection Authorization (IA) renewal period. The previous renewal period was one year; the rulemaking changes that to two years, effective March 7. According to the FAA, changing the renewal period reduces administrative costs by 50 percent for both the agency and the mechanic.
In the ongoing saga of air traffic controller staffing, the FAA announced yesterday as part of its 10-year forecast that it is increasing controller hiring to better meet attrition and increasing system demand. The agency’s updated Air Traffic Control Workforce Plan now specifies the need for 15,000 new controllers over the next decade, up from previous plans for 12,500 new controllers over a similar period.
The FAA is releasing a new Web-based program that lets the user fill out, digitally sign and print forms online. The user can also interact with the FAA when necessary and forward forms directly to the aircraft registry to be placed in the official aircraft records.
The FAA has issued a Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) regarding the functional testing of helicopter hydraulic systems before flight. According to FAA accident investigators, some operators are not testing the helicopter hydraulic systems in accordance with the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) or published and approved guidelines.
Aviation Technology Group (ATG) is expecting to receive FAA certification and begin customer deliveries of the Javelin two-seat jet next year. The company recently moved its hangar operations from Colorado’s Centennial Airport to Front Range Airport, where manufacturing and flight operations are located. The company’s headquarters remain at Centennial.