On January 27, the FAA announced that it has developed a more streamlined process to help operators with the letter of authorization (LOA) needed for flight in reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) airspace above FL280. A joint industry/FAA task force studied issues with RVSM certification and made recommendations about how to improve the system last May.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
Vancouver, Canada-based TrainingPort.net has released an online training course on RVSM for business aviation maintenance personnel. Annual per-person subscriptions to the service provide a collection of 20 to 25 topics depending upon the needs of the company. The typical subscription provides a lesson every week to 10 days throughout the year. The company currently offers 60 topics, ranging from airborne icing to health and safety.
The job of an FAA inspector must be incredibly boring. I imagine them sitting at their desks all day facing down gigantic piles of paper: letters of authorization, certification compliance packages, applications for operating certificates, enforcement actions, ad infinitum. And when the poor beleaguered inspector gets one pile stamped, signed and delivered, an FAA factotum appears with a new stack and thumps it onto whatever clear space remains in the office. Every day, looking up blearily from the stacks, our overworked inspector looks fondly out the window and wonders whether she can take a few minutes away from the office to visit the airport and see if her charges are playing nice or need some friendly nudging.
NBAA welcomed changes announced and enacted yesterday by the FAA to streamline the process for aircraft operators seeking a letter of authorization (LOA) for operations in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace above FL280. According to NBAA senior manager of safety and flight operations Mark Larsen, the FAA’s final policy is in line with recommendations made by a task force to improve the LOA inspection process, while maintaining operational safety in the National Airspace System.
RBR Maintenance has been in operation at Dallas Love Field since 1991, when founder Joe Burch leased space at the airport and offered maintenance on Gulfstreams and Hawkers. In the last 20-odd years the business has grown significantly from the original one-man shop and added aircraft to its capabilities.
Burch started out as a car mechanic and in the late 1970s took up flying as a hobby, got his pilot certificate and bought an airplane. Over the next several years he worked up to a multi-engine airline transport pilot certificate and started adding turbine ratings.
Because air traffic controllers are increasingly making traffic separation decisions based upon an aircraft’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS) capability–or lack thereof–the FAA has begun updating aircraft equipment suffixes for traffic operating in U.S. domestic airspace. For instance, a GNSS-equipped aircraft may now fly a random route without the need for ATC radar monitoring, where previously radar was always required.
West Star Aviation of East Alton, Ill. is expecting to obtain an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) in the first quarter of 2014 for its RVSM solution for the Cessna Conquest II. The solution includes a dual-side Garmin G600 avionics display system and S-Tec 2100 digital autopilot.
Maximum Manuals of Carlsbad, Calif., has unveiled an automated online system that allows operators to create, purchase and receive minimum equipment list (MEL) and RVSM manuals in as few as two hours. Maximum Manuals has been developing the Smart Manual Process for the past two years and the system has been undergoing testing with operators that have submitted newly created manuals to FAA FSDOs for review. These manuals received positive feedback from FAA inspectors, according to the company.
Signature Flight Support celebrated the launch of its sixth Signature TechnicAir at Washington Dulles International Airport early this month, at the same time announcing the facility’s certification as an Embraer authorized service center. TechnicAir Dulles will perform maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the full line of Embraer business jets.
Maximum Manuals, a provider of automated aviation manuals, has named Liz Ryan manager of North American sales and marketing. Until recently, the company has focused exclusively on the production of minimum equipment lists (MELs). Now it has expanded its product offerings to include automated RVSM manuals, as well as customized applications for approval and use of the Apple iPad as a Class 1 electronic flight bag.
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