A shortage of controllers at Chicago Center and an uptick in air traffic in that sector are a prescription for disaster that the FAA has so far ignored at the expense of public safety, claim officials for the air traffic controllers union.
Terminal Control Center
Consolidation of five terminal radar approach control facilities into the new Potomac Tracon, located in Vint Hill, Va., is now complete. The facility incorporates Tracons previously located at Washington Dulles International, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Baltimore-Washington International and Richmond International airports, as well as Andrews Air Force Base.
Citing last summer’s midair collision between a DHL International Airways Boeing 757 and a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 over southern Germany, the NTSB has recommended that the FAA modify its ATC data-processing backup systems to provide conflict alerts to the greatest extent possible.
Although the FAA has finally commissioned its first standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), the agency has drastically reduced the number of systems it plans to install at the nation’s airports. And that has caused some people to question the FAA’s commitment to ATC modernization.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Oak Glen, Calif., March 28, 2006–The NTSB said the Caravan stall-spin crash that killed the two pilots was caused by the pilot’s continued flight into IMC and his subsequent failure to maintain adequate airspeed.
The issue of controller staffing is intensifying the long-running debate between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca). During a House aviation subcommittee hearing last month, Hank Krakowski, COO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, and Natca president Pat Forrey debated the FAA’s current plan for controller hiring. Transportation Department inspector general Calvin Scovel III and Dr.
The Transportation Department’s plan to manage congestion at New York’s three area airports drew criticism from industry witnesses and members of Congress last week, and the head of the airline lobby once again used the forum to label business aviation a “significant contributor” to delays in the Northeast corridor.
In response to a report by the Transportation Department’s inspector general (IG) that revealed intentional misclassification of operational errors at the Dallas/Fort Worth Tracon, the FAA removed both the manager and assistant manager at the facility in late April and announced the agency will speed up deployment of the Traffic Analysis Review Program (TARP) at DFW.
Even though the FAA’s new standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) has begun a nationwide “road show” in a 28-ft-long van, the Transportation Department’s inspector general has warned Congress that deploying Stars within the current estimated cost and schedule “remains at risk.”
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last month for a new control tower for Ohio’s Port Columbus International Airport, home of Executive Jet’s operational headquarters and customer service center. The FAA said the tower is the first of its type in the nation. Unique features include a 16-sided cab that provides a viewing area interrupted by only three structural columns, allowing a 120-deg span of clear vision between the columns.