Ten days after the Chicago air route traffic control center (ZAU) was shut down by a saboteur’s fire that badly damaged the facility’s infrastructure, business aviation operations seem to have recovered fairly well. According to the air traffic services team of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), bizav operations at Chicago-area satellite airports were moving well last week.
Air traffic control
The Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (Aireon Alert) network, a free service expected to be rolled out in 2017, will allow rescue agencies to request the location and last flight track of any 1090 MHz ADS-B-equipped aircraft anywhere in the world, including remote or oceanic regions not covered by ATC surveillance.
While greater safety in flight is always the trump card when it comes to weather radar performance, the core benefits of more modern systems can be measured in dollars and cents. Knowing early and with confidence precisely where heavy weather isn’t can save money by making dispatch and flight planning a lot more efficient and improving en route decision making for crews. That’s where Honeywell’s IntuVue 3-D weather system makes new and important inroads.
Saab, the public-private Virginia SATSLab and Leesburg (Va.) Executive Airport are partnering to demonstrate and evaluate Saab’s remote tower technologies for use at non-tower airports. The trial will take place at the currently non-tower Leesburg field next summer, with the Virginia Department of Aviation acting as an advisory partner.
The Federal Aviation Administration is processing more than 50 requests from applicants seeking to operate small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by exemption under a provision of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. The number of applicants exceeds what the FAA reported one week ago when it announced the first authorizations.
The issue of FAA delays in approving letters of authorization (LOAs) for operations such as RVSM continues to fester. At this month’s NBAA Convention, the FAA’s Roger Sultan will join attorney David Norton of Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton to help pilots and aircraft operators understand the LOA process, learn how recent changes might accelerate LOA approvals and give feedback about their experiences obtaining LOAs.
The FAA is conducting a 30-day review of contingency plans and security protocols for its major facilities, after a “criminal action by a contractor knocked out communications equipment” at the FAA air route traffic control center (ARTCC) in Aurora, Ill. on Friday, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced yesterday at an Air Traffic Control Association conference in Maryland.
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.
A fire, thought to have been started by an arsonist, early in the morning on September 26 immediately closed the Chicago En Route ATC Center (ZAU) in Aurora, Ill., shutting down air traffic at Chicago O’Hare and Midway International airports, as well as at a half dozen business aviation airports in the area. A Chicago flight services briefer told AIN on September 27 that ZAU will remain closed until September 30.
The Professional Airways Safety Specialists union described the damage to the center’s equipment as “substantial.”
Teterboro (N.J.) Airport will be closed to fixed-wing traffic this coming Saturday morning, October 4, from 6 a.m. to noon local time to allow crews to repaint the runways. Helicopter operations will be permitted. The Teterboro Users Group urges operators to check Notams for specific times.