The FAA’s Airports Office and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) have jointly created a new safety system called Airport Voluntary Reporting System (AVRS) to allow the agency’s employees to report safety hazards more easily without fear of retaliation. The FAA and Natca signed a memorandum of understanding for the 18-month pilot program covering 338 of the 550 Airports Office employees.
Federal Aviation Administration
The U.S. Air Force said Friday it had initiated an investigation at Grand Forks AFB into allegations of cheating on proficiency exams by a number of air traffic controllers attached to the 319th Operations Support Squadron. One airman was caught with images of test material the Air Force alleges were shared with other controllers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) last month issued recommendations related to the FAA plan to integrate two runway safety systems with airport surface detection equipment (ASDE-X). The two systems are the runway status lights (RWSL) system, which gives pilots a visible warning when runways are occupied; and the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system that generates simultaneous alerts to controllers and pilots of potential runway incursions and ground collisions.
The FAA on August 8 banned all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, as well as anyone flying with an FAA-issued pilot certificate, from operating within Iraqi airspace at any altitude in response to ground fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants. The ban remains in force until further notice.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice to Airmen (Notam) on Friday prohibiting U.S. carriers from operating in the airspace above Iraq because of fighting there between Iraqi security forces and militants associated with the Islamic State. The sweeping prohibition came after the Obama administration began humanitarian air drops to relieve refugees in northern Iraq and warned of air strikes against the advancing militants.
Airlines should not expect to see unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flying regularly in U.S. airspace “anytime soon,” a senior official with the Federal Aviation Administration told pilots August 7. The assurance came amid continuing reports of unauthorized UAS flights near airliners.
The FAA plans to formally reexamine the certification standards for helicopters under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs, the agency announced. Currently, Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have nine or fewer passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29 rules.
The FAA is proposing a $110,000 civil penalty against Air Evac EMS of West Plains, Mo., for operating a Bell BHT 206 not in compliance with FARs. The FAA alleges a company mechanic installed a chin bubble window on the aircraft without following the manufacturer’s instructions and then failed to document the installation in the aircraft’s maintenance logbook. As a result of the improper installation, the aircraft was not compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations.
The Federal Aviation Administration executive who leads the agency’s NextGen ATC modernization effort said the FAA will sign off in October on an industry-generated plan for achieving results in the next three years.
The AirPooler general aviation ride-sharing system has advised pilot-members not to list any flights, pending a discussion with the FAA to clarify AirPooler’s regulatory standing.