Effective January 5, when filing an FAA flight plan (with the exception of filing through DUATS and flight service stations), RVSM-compliant operators are expected to file “/Q” (RVSM with a FMS or GPS) or “/W” (RVSM without FMS and GPS), as appropriate, for flight in RVSM airspace (between FL290 and FL410 inclusive).
Federal Aviation Administration
Hoping to stave off a shortage in air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA will hire 12,500 controllers over the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified more quickly. More than 11,000 controllers are expected to leave the agency between now and 2014.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is recommending that the FAA change its regulations to make it illegal for aircraft to take off with so-called “polished frost.” The AAIB also urged all aviation authorities that follow the FAA’s current practice to delete references to polished frost within their regulations and expunge the term from approved operations manuals.
In a report released early last month, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said policy decisions by the Bush Administration, not inadequate revenues, are causing the declining balance in the Aviation Trust Fund.
The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) is asking the entire aviation community to call their Congressional representatives and ask for their support of House Resolution 586 (108th Congress).
Garrett Aviation/Piedmont Hawthorne/ Associated Air Center announced its Garrett Aviation-Springfield, Ill. repair station has been awarded the FAA Diamond Award for outstanding aviation maintenance training.
By just about anyone’s reckoning the FAA audit process known as the Air Transport Oversight System (ATOS) has turned into a horribly labor-intensive and time-consuming job. Now, as the agency’s flight standards office loses about 250 employees a year to budget cuts, the onus has fallen squarely on the nation’s regional airlines to pay the bill.
The FAA has issued a final rule establishing a class of “quiet technology” aircraft to fly commercial tours over Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP). The rule requires no action by commercial air-tour operators; it simply identifies specific aircraft that qualify for the GCNP quiet-aircraft-technology designation.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has moved ahead on a program to demonstrate a corporate aviation application for flight-operations quality assurance (FOQA). Having led the initiative to prove the benefits of FOQA to commercial carriers, and working now with NBAA, the FSF will institute a similar project at the top end of the general aviation spectrum starting at the beginning of next month.
NTSB recommendations issued last month call on the FAA to step up its oversight of Part 135 operators to ensure that improper record-keeping practices are identified and corrected “before accidents occur.” Additionally, the FAA should establish “specific criteria” regarding the number of accidents or incidents that would trigger increased FAA oversight of a particular operator.