Analysis and simulation of operations by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is not always an easy task because of the need to consider the broad C4-ISTAR picture, often in a joint scenario. However, being able to verify mission requirements and to validate concepts of operation before buying new systems is certainly of value to military clients.
L-3 Communications (Hall 4 Stand 18, Chalet A16-18) is showing a new, handheld version of the Rover device that has rapidly become essential kit for allied ground troops directing airstrikes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The company has already delivered some 4,000 of the previous, laptop-size Rover 3 and 4 versions, which display video feeds from various airborne platforms.
Following the end of the comment period for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena (Calif.) Airport Authority’s plan to impose a nighttime curfew on Bob Hope Airport, the authority plans soon to submit a formal application for the curfew to go forward. If Burbank’s proposal to impose a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew is enacted, this would be the nation’s first imposition of curfew restrictions on Stage 3 jets.
Two General Atomics Sky Warrior UAVs have been operating in Iraq since late April, well ahead of the drone’s formal system design and development (SDD) schedule. The Sky Warrior, a new version of the Predator-A, won the U.S. Army’s extended-range/multipurpose (ER/MP) competition. The substantial changes include a Thielert heavy-fuel engine, an autoland system and an improved, more mobile ground station.
Raytheon has sold a Predator Operations Center to the U.S. Air National Guard, which will use it to direct Predator UAV missions. The company is also marketing its Universal Control System (UCS) for the control of UAVs such as the Predator.
UCS is designed to be more user-friendly than the original ground stations supplied by General Atomics, and Raytheon hopes to make a sale soon.
NBAA has completed an online Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) submission service to allow Part 135 operators to comply with new requirements to electronically transmit passenger and crew manifests to U.S. Customs before arriving in the U.S.
While promising to be “balanced and reasonable,” FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told those attending the recent AOPA Expo that the nation and her agency are caught between two imperatives–national security and preventing terrorists from using aviation for mass murder.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last month extended the compliance date for the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP), which will require new security measures for operators of aircraft with an mtow of 12,500 lb or more, and later announced it would also delay the Private Charter Standard Security Program (PCSSP).
Some operators are concerned about possible coordination problems that might arise between the FAA and Transportation Security Administration once the TSA moves from being part of the DOT, as is the FAA, to the new Homeland Security Department (HSD).
Declaring that “this meeting is not designed to ask for a bailout of the American airline industry,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue said last month at the chamber’s second annual national aviation summit that “we’re simply asking government not to require the airline industry to absorb more than its fair share of the costs associated with the war on terrorism and defense of our homeland.”