Part 91 operators who have been renewing their FAA letters of authorization (LOAs) permitting operations in RVSM airspace no longer need to do so under a new system in effect since February 6. The FAA automated operations safety system is now issuing all Part 91 LOAs, approvals that stay in effect as long as the information contained in the LOA remains valid. In the past, LOAs had remained valid for two years.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
Through an agreement with cargo airline ABX Air of Wilmington, Ohio, avionics maker Innovative Solutions & Support announced an upgrade program for replacement of Boeing 767 cockpit screens with flat-panel liquid-crystal displays.
Cessna Aircraft (Stand E705) has continued with recently introduced nomenclature for its newly upgraded models by turning the Citation Encore into the Encore+. Previous Citation models that received the plus treatment are the CJ1+ and CJ2+ light jets.
Avcon Industries, a subsidiary of Butler National, has received FAA group approval for its next-generation RVSM solution in Learjet 35/36s equipped with the FC-200 autopilot. According to the company, the Avcon RVSM solution now covers the Learjet 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 35 and 36 and allows interface with the most advanced glass-cockpit display systems.
Last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported a record 24.8-percent increase in traffic in the Middle East and a 50-percent growth in revenue passenger miles (rpm) since 2000.
Although very light jets (VLJ) will be operating at the same altitudes (including RVSM airspace) as and mingling with airliners and larger business jets, there is no requirement that the small jets be equipped with TCAS or TAWS because they do not meet the minimum seat configuration as spelled out in Parts 91 and 135.
Following a management buyout of its avionics division last year, Swiss manufacturer Revue Thommen decided to seek business in new markets more aggressively than in the past. With that in mind, the company opened a facility in Addison, Texas, near Dallas, in January.
On Saturday, Eclipse Aviation received FAA type certification for the Eclipse 500, nine months later than originally planned when the company announced in early 2003 that it would have to modify the design due to switching from the Williams EJ22 turbofan to the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F.
Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation, was flanked by some 200 company employees this afternoon at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., to announce provisional FAA certification for the Eclipse 500. “We have proved all the naysayers wrong,” he said. This marks the first agency approval for a very light jet, though the current certification is with “significantly reduced avionics functionality,” according to Raburn.
Cessna is halfway through the 150-hour function and reliability (F&R) flight-testing on the Citation Mustang very light jet, the last step before gaining Part 23 type certification, expected in the fourth quarter and possibly beating the Eclipse 500 VLJ to full, unrestricted certification. The TC will include approval for single-pilot operation, operations in RVSM airspace and an airframe designed for an unlimited lifetime.