The FAA plans to restore its Chicago air route traffic control center (Artcc) to normal operation by October 13 following a fire that damaged the facility’s communications equipment and led to the disruption and cancellation of thousands of flights. The agency has also tasked its Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and unions to review contingency plans for major facilities in the wake of the September 26 fire, which was allegedly set by a disgruntled contract worker.
Terminal Control Center
The newest phase of the FAA’s NextGen airspace redesign, tagged the “North Texas Metroplex” project, took effect September 18 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with the addition of a number of new arrival and departure procedures. The new procedures replace the older standard terminal arrival routes (Stars) and standard instrument departures (SIDs) at Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) and Dallas Love Field (DAL) airports.
The FAA is still struggling with the software required for deployment of the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), according to a report released on August 14 by the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG). Stars computers are being deployed at 11 large terminals to modernize ATC functions.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will rebuild one of its terminal radar approach control (Tracon) facilities on New York’s Long Island, serving the world’s busiest airspace. But the modernized Tracon is not for now the Integrated Control Facility (ICF) the agency plans under a nationwide ATC facilities consolidation effort.
Pilots and New York Tracon sector air traffic controllers recently began using the new GPS-X RWY 6 instrument approach to Teterboro (TEB) when that airport’s RWY 6 ILS is out of service. The approach was created to provide better traffic separation between TEB arrivals and traffic landing RWY 29 at nearby Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
Twenty air traffic controllers, all members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), were honored for their skill, dedication and professionalism at the association’s March 26 Archie League Medal of Safety awards ceremony. The annual event spotlights controllers who saved at least one life during an emergency.
The U.S. air traffic management (ATM) system outperforms Europe’s more fragmented system on both cost and operations, according to two reports issued by the Eurocontrol Performance Review Commission (PRC).
The FAA has begun initial deployment of a new time-based flow management (TBFM) system that the agency says will optimize the flow of aircraft into busy airspace. TBFM, which was recently installed in all 20 en route air traffic control centers, supersedes the three-year-old traffic management advisor “as a time-based scheduling tool that meters aircraft through all phases of flight to deliver the correct number of aircraft to airspace sectors and down to the runway at the exact pace at which the aircraft can be accommodated.”
Chicago Rockford International Airport (KRFD)–65 miles west of Chicago O’Hare International Airport–has released guidelines for aircraft arriving for practice instrument approaches at the nine satellite airports controlled by Rockford approach control. Rockford officials remind pilots that approach control provides practice-approach separation and sequencing only when workload permits it, and then only as far as the final approach fix.
Prime contractor Raytheon and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration have finished installing the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) at the first of 11 large terminal radar approach control (Tracon) facilities in the U.S. Air traffic controllers at the Dallas/Fort Worth Tracon started “continuous operation” with Stars ahead of schedule in early May, Raytheon announced at the Paris Air Show last month.
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