Operators using the newly activated automatic dependence surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) ATC and information system in the Gulf of Mexico will likely see flight leg times cut by an average of 15 to 25 minutes and individual IFR routes shortened by at least 30 miles, compared with using the old grid ATC system in the Gulf, according to the FAA and individual operators.
Terminal Control Center
When a veteran EMS helicopter pilot, probably thinking he was running out of options, decided to dive under a cloud deck to look for the ground, he crashed his Maryland State Police (MSP) Eurocopter Dauphin into terrain about 3.2 miles north of Andrews Air Force Base (ADW), killing all on board except for one of the two teenage traffic accident victims being transported to a nearby hospital.
The FAA will begin testing digital Notam distribution in January at Southern California Tracon and ATC towers in Amarillo, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Denver; and Tallahassee, Fla. “Digital Notams should reduce human error; allow more timely and accurate distribution of information; standardize content, policy and procedures; and balance diverse customer needs,” said the FAA.
The FAA has commissioned the first implementation of a new generation of precision runway monitor (PRM) equipment at Detroit/Wayne Airport (DTW), to permit simultaneous close parallel approaches to adjacent runways having less than 4,300 feet between their centerlines. At DTW these are Runways 21L and 22R, separated by 3,000 feet, the current lower limit.
New York’s airspace could be changing. The Hudson River VFR corridor came under fresh and vociferous political attack in the wake of the August 8 fatal midair between a Piper PA-32R piston single and a Liberty Helicopters Eurocopter AS 350BA. The accident killed nine.
Since Hank Krakowski became COO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization in October 2007, he has focused his attention on making the ATC system more efficient.
For the upcoming thunderstorm season, the FAA is changing the severe weather avoidance plan (Swap) to cut down on gate holds and takeoff delays associated with route closures. During future Swap events, New York Tracon will staff a phone position to handle alternate routing requests from flight-planning service providers.
Federal and local officials broke ground early last month for a new Air Traffic Control System Command Center colocated with the FAA’s Potomac Tracon southwest of Dulles International Airport (IAD).
BEECH King Air 200, Strasburg, Colo., Jan. 27, 2001–The NTSB determined the probable cause to be the pilot’s spatial disorientation resulting from his failure to maintain positive manual control of the airplane with the available flight instrumentation. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the loss of aircraft electrical power during IMC.
Although Congress is on its annual summer vacation, the battle over privatization of ATC continued at press time. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) said in a telephone press conference on August 13 that they will fight a proposal in the pending FAA reauthorization bill that would allow privatization of 69 general aviation control towers now staffed by FAA controllers.