The FAA wants input before it updates its drug-and-alcohol-testing rules for some airline maintenance personnel who perform safety-sensitive functions outside the U.S. The agency is seeking input to assess the likely economic impact on the companies affected. Responses must be received by May 16.
On Thursday, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta named agency veteran Teri Bristol as the new COO of its Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which manages the U.S. ATC system. Bristol was most recently deputy COO and had served in an acting capacity since former COO David Grizzle left in December.
Air traffic controllers calling in sick on March 30, 2012, left two ATC sectors–Kimberley and Cable–too short of personnel to keep them operational, according to a recent report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Airservices Australia, the air navigation service provider, erected a temporary restricted area (TRA) designed to prevent aircraft from entering because there was no one to provide necessary ATC service. Despite the TRA, two Airbus A330s somehow entered and flew through the unmonitored airspace.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is preparing to reduce its staff by 20 percent in the face of government budget cuts. Safety inspectors, mostly based in Canberra, make up just over half of the 110 personnel who might be let go. The union representing the safety inspectors is fighting the planned cuts.
Last week the NBAA’s safety committee published its annual list of top business aviation safety priorities designed to promote safety-focused discussion and advocacy within the business aviation community. The list this year includes the need to establish a positive safety culture, single-pilot safety, crewmember fitness for duty, airport safety, airmanship skills, distraction management, public policy, managing the talent pipeline and technology management.
The European Parliament adopted a new accident/incident-reporting rule on March 4. The legislation is intended to accelerate the flow of relevant accident/incident information, thereby speeding the analysis and adoption of new procedures to reduce accidents.
Internal evaluation programs and safety training account for a majority of the deficiencies highlighted in the 2013 audit report from Argus International based on its involvement with customers’ implementation of safety management systems (SMS) and their day-to-day operations. All aspects of the flight operation are reviewed during each audit, including the organization’s safety management system. The report is a summary of audit results and how they compare with the Argus Platinum and IS-BAO standards.
An administrative law judge with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dismissed the $10,000 fine the FAA levied against Raphael Pirker for flying a small unmanned aircraft, casting doubt on the agency’s ability to regulate their commercial use.
Business aviation operators are lacking in safety management system (SMS) internal evaluation programs and safety training, according to the 2013 SMS Audit Result report released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. The report highlights recurring deficiencies found in SMS implementation and execution, it said.
“A view into the industry-wide aperture helps aviation operators focus their efforts on common deficiency areas cited by auditors,” Argus noted. “Operators can then use this information to improve their own SMS implementation and execution efforts.”
“Implementing recommended safety improvements that address helicopter operations can mitigate risk for thousands of pilots and passengers each year,” said NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman, referring to the recently released NTSB Safety Alert SA-031. “At this week’s Heli-Expo, we are working with HAI to increase awareness and identify voluntary action taken by key stakeholders to improve the safety of helicopter operations.”