The FAA kept its oft-repeated promise to designate six unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test sites by the end of last year. On December 30, the agency announced that it had selected universities and other public entities in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia to operate test sites at their own expense, fulfilling a requirement of Congress in the 2012 FAA reauthorization act.
The FAA continues to fall behind with the implementation of its Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general. The IG has been conducting ongoing assessment of the FAA’s progress with NextGen under the provisions in Title II of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
The SoCal Aviation Association (SCAA) has developed what might be the first business aviation-focused system in the U.S. to allow users to read and interact with operational safety data from other members of the same organization. Called Share (Safety Hazard Awareness Reporting & Empowerment), the program uses an open-format interface created by Baldwin Aviation and does not require an operating safety management system (SMS).
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program rating of India from a Category 1 to a Category 2 based on a recent reassessment of the country’s civil aviation authority. Under Category 2, India’s airlines can continue to fly existing service to the U.S., but they cannot establish any new service until the FAA reinstates the country’s Category 1 status.
The FAA notified Ethiopian aviation officials last week that their country had passed the agency’s five-day-long safety audit, allowing that African nation to retain its Category 1 safety status. The FAA allows foreign-carrier flights to the U.S. only from countries that pass audits measured against ICAO standards. Ethiopian Airlines currently flies to Washington, D.C., and plans to inaugurate service to two other, as yet unnamed, U.S. cities.
AeronomX is sponsoring a series of twice-monthly conference calls as a forum for business aviation safety officers to share notes and ideas about their safety management systems (SMS). The calls begin at 11:30 a.m. EST on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month with a current SMS topic followed by a short discussion. The remainder of the call is open to any topic raised by anyone on the phone.
At NBAA’s Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference in New Orleans this week, the National Air Transportation Association recognized JetCenter Los Angeles at Jack Northrop Field/Hawthorne Municipal Airport as the second FBO to successfully complete the requirement for its Safety 1st Ground Audit Standard.
The chairman of a U.S. Senate subcommittee overseeing FAA contracts asked the Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) to look into the agency’s handling of an $859 million contract to support air traffic controller training required to help prepare 11,700 new controllers by 2021. The recently released report said the subcommittee was not convinced the FAA could or would meet the stated goals of its Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution (ATCOTS) program.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has released a final report into the October 2012 spiral dive and crash of a Socata TBM700N shortly after reaching FL260 on departure from the Ottawa-area Carp Airport. “Given the high level of destruction and the fact that recorded data was limited to air traffic control recordings, it was not possible to conclude with any certainty why the aircraft entered the rapid descending turn,” said the January 10 report.
FAA spokesman Les Dorr, in a Poynter story about a journalist’s use of a radio-controlled aircraft to film airborne video, once again publicly stated the FAA’s claim that commercial use of radio-controlled aircraft is prohibited. The Spokane, Wash.,-based Spokesman-Review ran the journalist’s video of a polar-bear swim event on its website.