The two federal government labor unions that represent air traffic controllers and employees of the National Weather Service (NWS) have asked the FAA to reconsider a plan to eliminate on-site meteorologist positions at each of the ATC en route centers. The FAA plans to contract with a commercial weather company to provide forecasts from one remote centralized location.
Air traffic control
The User Request Evaluation Tool (URET), a conflict-detection tool that automatically detects and advises air traffic controllers of predicted conflicts between aircraft or between aircraft and special activity in airspace within the National Airspace System, is now operating at all 20 FAA en route centers.
Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), an L-3 Communications & Thales company, is at Dubai 2005 (Stand E609) featuring its new SafeRoute software which provides flight and ground separation functions residing on a common computing platform.
ExxonMobil’s Avitat FBO network has adopted Megadata’s Passur FBO software suite to help track and serve Avitat customers. The Passur Avitat Networking software suite was developed exclusively for the Avitat network. Avitat FBOs will be able to use the Passur system to track customer aircraft, view data on aircraft flying into their airports and look up information about the owners of tracked aircraft.
In the June 2005 issue of AIN I wrote about a fully loaded British Airways 747 that was taking off from Los Angeles bound for London when one of its engines emitted a large fireball just after liftoff. I commented on the wisdom (or lack of wisdom) of proceeding on a 16-hour flight with one engine out and uncertainty about the extent of damage to the engine or the airframe.
HAI affiliate the Eastern Region Helicopter Council worked with the FAA to update the New York City VFR helicopter route chart. The main body of the chart was expanded to include three additional airports, and a new Long Island inset was added.
The FAA aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) on the age-60 retirement issue had not completed its work at press time, but the new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) amendment to raise the mandatory retirement age to 65 in multi-pilot crews when one crewmember is less than 60 took effect on November 23.
Last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported a record 24.8-percent increase in traffic in the Middle East and a 50-percent growth in revenue passenger miles (rpm) since 2000.
Balancing available technology with the inevitable shifts in what governments will spend to achieve incremental gains, it’s tough to say what the air traffic management (ATM) environment of tomorrow will look like. Weren’t we all supposed to be living in a Free Flight utopia by now?
Aiming to improve turbulence detection