One of the FAA’s less publicized programs to increase airport capacity is the gradual introduction of the precision runway monitor (PRM). Currently commissioned at Minneapolis, St. Louis and Philadelphia, and soon to come online at San Francisco and New York JFK, the PRM allows aircraft to make simultaneous independent approaches to closely spaced dual or triple parallel, or dual converging, runways.
After a year-long effort with the FAA, fractional provider NetJets and avionics maker Honeywell, Gulfstream yesterday secured FAA approval for its PlaneView cockpit system in the G350, G450, G500 and G550 to fly Required Navigation Performance Special Aircraft and Aircrew Authorization Required (RNP SAAAR) approaches.
Is ILS, aviation’s trusted friend for the past half century, now seeing its last days? Probably not. Some observers believe it has many years of life ahead of it, yet newer technologies are slowly entering the scene, in such diverse settings as Norway’s fjords, Heathrow’s jam-packed runways, the icy wastes of Antarctica and at several major U.S. hubs.
ROCKWELL AERO COMMANDER 690A, CORTEZ, COLO., JAN. 3, 2004–While circling to land at the Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ), Aero Commander 690A N700SR–registered to LT Aire and operated by Air West, both of Mesa, Ariz.–was destroyed when it crashed at 12:12 p.m. The sole-occupant commercial pilot was killed. An IFR flight plan had been filed for the Part 91 positioning trip, which was conducted in IMC.
A little known FAA policy statement, dated June 1 of this year, stands to dramatically change the helicopter industry as we know it. Helicopter pilots and manufacturers have long known the unique capabilities of rotorcraft, but have always been obligated to follow regulations and policies set forth and to operate in airspace designed for the much more prevalent fixed-wing aircraft.
According to the final report of the Irish Department of Transport Air Accidents Investigation Unit (AAIU) published earlier this year, a Beech King Air 90 (registration N712DB) rolled and dived during an August 2006 flight in Ireland because the owner/pilot lost control of the aircraft during a missed approach in instrument conditions. The pilot’s inexperience was deemed a factor.
Dassault Falcon 20, Swanton, Ohio April 8, 2003–At approximately 1:50 p.m. EST Falcon N183GA, operated by Grand Aire Express, was destroyed when it struck trees while on an instrument approach to Toledo Express Airport (TOL) in Swanton. Both ATP-rated pilots and a pilot-rated passenger were killed in the crash.
After describing its GPS LAAS precision approach system contract as “imminent” for more than six months, the FAA in early May announced its award to Honeywell.
The FAA is proposing numerous revisions to instrument flight rules and procedures to reflect technological advances intended to “facilitate the transition from ground-based navigation to new reference sources,” principally GPS and enhanced vision systems. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) cuts a 60-page swath through the Federal Register, affecting Parts 1, 71, 91, 95, 97, 121, 125, 129 and 135.
Researchers at Raytheon Co. have proposed a novel technique to increase future runway capacity–in some cases potentially doubling an airport’s throughput–while at the same time avoiding wake turbulence.