Virtually all cargo-dedicated airplanes will be required to have traffic alert and collision avoidance systems type II (TCAS II) installed by December 31 next year under rulemaking published last month. Under a previous rule, the TCAS requirement was based on passenger seating capacity and therefore excluded cargo-only airplanes.
Aviation’s first two-in-one traffic and terrain awareness and warning system gained TSO authorization early last month, clearing the way for the first installations of the device, probably in May. Approval of T2CAS, a $170,000 (list price) safety system that combines TCAS 2000 with a class-A TAWS in a single box, represents the first certification of a product from Phoenix-based ACSS, a joint company owned by L-3 Communications and Thales.
In the fall, CAE SimuFlite is scheduled to have its first Citation X simulator ready for initial and recurrent pilot and mechanic training. The FAA level-D simulator, installed at SimuFlite’s Dallas facility, is equipped with a Honeywell SPZ-7600 digital autoflight control system, Universal UNS-1D flight management system with GPS, Enhanced GPWS, TCAS II and moving-map display.
Comments are due by January 23 on a proposal to increase the size of the Minneapolis Class B airspace, namely expanding its upper limit to 10,000 feet msl. Traffic growth, recent TCAS alerts and the advent of a new runway are the main factors behind the proposal. In the first half of last year there were 17 TCAS events reported in the airspace to be included in the proposed changes.
Safety information about TCAS equipment and its use is now available in the form of a new FAA Safety Bulletin (www.faa.gov/and/and500/500/docs/TCAS_SAFETY_BUL
The FAA might revive TCAS III. The system, which would add lateral resolution advisories (RA) to the current TCAS II’s vertical commands, was proposed many years ago but dropped after technical investigations showed that it would have been extremely difficult to develop and implement.
AIN has learned that FAA officials are considering the introduction of TCAS-III to meet collision-avoidance needs when large unmanned aircraft start to operate in civil airspace.
Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint L-3 Communications and Thales company, has announced that Cessna has selected the TCAS 2000 traffic alert and collision avoidance system as standard for the Citation X, XLS and Sovereign. Launched in 1997 by Honeywell, TCAS 2000 was the industry’s first TCAS II system. In 1999 when AlliedSignal and Honeywell merged, ACSS was formed to buy the product.
Transport Canada has proposed a regulatory amendment requiring installation of TCAS-I and TCAS-II, in line with current FAA rules. “Immediate” installation would be mandated on turbine aircraft built after the rule goes into effect, while operators of affected turbine aircraft built on or before the effective date of the rule would have two years to install systems.
The optional interfaces let pilots overlay nav waypoint data with precipitation, lightning and traffic information. The SN3500 accepts sensor input from a variety of TCAS I and TAS products and displays standard TCAS symbology on its high-resolution color display, according to Sandel. A Stormscope interface is a standard feature of the $9,950 unit, with the weather and traffic upgrade options starting at $1,500.
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