The chairman of a U.S. Senate subcommittee overseeing FAA contracts asked the Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) to look into the agency’s handling of an $859 million contract to support air traffic controller training required to help prepare 11,700 new controllers by 2021. The recently released report said the subcommittee was not convinced the FAA could or would meet the stated goals of its Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution (ATCOTS) program.
Federal Aviation Administration
A “status quo bias” slows the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in its effort to modernize the nation’s ATC system, according to a new report.
As the 25th annual NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference kicks off in New Orleans on Tuesday, organizers anticipate setting a new record for exhibitors at approximately 500. This would eclipse the 425 airports, FBOs, fuel suppliers and other companies that displayed their services at last year’s event, which was held in San Antonio.
FAA spokesman Les Dorr, in a Poynter story about a journalist’s use of a radio-controlled aircraft to film airborne video, once again publicly stated the FAA’s claim that commercial use of radio-controlled aircraft is prohibited. The Spokane, Wash.,-based Spokesman-Review ran the journalist’s video of a polar-bear swim event on its website.
Aviation Training Academy (ATA) announced FAA approval for IA renewal credits: hazardous materials awareness training online, general aviation fire safety online and human factors. The human factors course is not currently available online but will be later this year. According to ATA, all courses meet the latest industry training standards for aviation support personnel, and Aviation Training Academy certification is provided at the successful completion of each course.
An FAA enforcement case against the operator of a commercial drone or unmanned aircraft system (UAS) may lead to a determination of whether the FAA has regulatory jurisdiction over model radio-control aircraft and whether the agency can prohibit the commercial operation of such aircraft. This is believed to be the first FAA enforcement action against the operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft.
Operators flying Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000 jets can now take advantage of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) capabilities such as required navigation performance authorization required (RNP AR) 0.3. Rockwell Collins also added to Pro Line Fusion its vertical situation display so pilots can see a profile view of their aircraft relative to obstacles and terrain; FMS automated speed selection and takeoff and landing calculations; and an interactive feature that allows users to create their own electronic checklists.
The FAA has proposed levying a $304,000 civil penalty against Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation for allegedly conducting 19 flights following improper application of de-icing fluid. The FAA maintains that Great Lakes flew Beech 1900Ds out of Hays, Kan., in January 2011 with de-icing fluid that exceeded the maximum temperature of 180 degrees F. The Great Lakes de-icing manual states that fluid heated to more than 180 degrees could damage the aircraft or the de-icer.
Great Lakes had 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s December 2 enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
Humans’ attempts to interact with cockpit automation have provided fodder for pilot anecdotes for years, and the recently released Operational Use of Flight Path Management Systems offers a precise roadmap for where the industry needs to focus. The 34-member research team responsible for compiling the report comprises members of the Performance-based Aviation Rulemaking Committee’s (PARC) flight-deck automation working group, which evolved not long after the 1995 American Airlines accident in Cali, Colombia.
House Transportation Committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) set the table for the next round of FAA reauthorization and federal aviation programs when he told the International Aviation Club of Washington, D.C., last month that “we have to begin laying the groundwork now.” The current FAA reauthorization became law in 2012 and expires in September 2015.