Industry leaders attending the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) conference in Washington last month made it clear that one of their major concerns is that additional sequestration cuts are likely to further slow the deployment of the FAA’s $40 billion NextGen air traffic management system.
Air traffic control
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched an industry-wide project to identify smaller airports within Britain that could benefit from the development of new instrument approach procedures. All industry sectors from airport managers to air traffic controllers to pilots and commercial operators are encouraged to offer suggestions on potential airport recipients.
Delivery of the $40 billion NextGen ATC modernization will likely remain highly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of politics unless those charged with implementing the system work to protect its funding streams, senior industry leaders told the recent Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) conference and exposition.
One of the air traffic management systems least well known to pilots is multilateration, sometimes called MLat, or multilat, or WAM (for wide-area multilateration).
The European helicopter industry must educate operators about the benefits of Sesar, the European Union’s next-generation air traffic management (ATM) systems and procedures, if it is to derive any benefits from the system, according to several speakers at a conference on “The future of the rotorcraft sector” at Helitech.
Among the operational topics for the technical committee at the triennial ICAO Assembly were significant safety issues. One paper from the Russian delegation provided a description of extensive studies of wake vortices, and the development of a wake vortex safety system that would use outputs from ADS-B, Swim and two Aviation System Block Upgrades 1 elements, with pilot alerts transmitted over the anticipated datalinks in that period–that is, by 2018.
When representatives from every world nation and every civil aviation organization gather at the triennial ICAO Assembly, topics on the agenda include current progress and issues as well as future challenges and potential solutions.
Online charter marketplace firm Avinode paints a positive picture for business aviation in the U.S. next year in its 2014 Business Aviation Market Forecast, released last week at the 2013 NBAA Convention. According to Avinode’s second annual outlook, business jet flights are expected to increase 0.7 percent in the U.S., while Europe is projected to see a 0.9-percent decline in activity.
Because air traffic controllers are increasingly making traffic separation decisions based upon an aircraft’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS) capability–or lack thereof–the FAA has begun updating aircraft equipment suffixes for traffic operating in U.S. domestic airspace. For instance, a GNSS-equipped aircraft may now fly a random route without the need for ATC radar monitoring, where previously radar was always required.
UK air navigation services provider NATS has started a 14-week “consultation” process through January 21 to gather comments from airlines and other interested groups on proposed airspace changes surrounding Gatwick and London City airports. The consultation marks the first step in a wider program of proposed changes under the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy, an ATC modernization plan for the UK and Ireland.