Europe has delayed the mandate for ADS-B out equipage in its airspace. The earliest ADS-B out requirement in Europe was Jan. 8, 2015, for new aircraft, with retrofit installations due Dec. 7, 2017. The new dates are June 8, 2016, for new aircraft and June 7, 2020, for retrofit.
Air traffic control
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice To Airmen (Notam) on Tuesday prohibiting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR), which covers all of Syria.
Business aircraft operators are frustrated that the FAA takes so long–months in many cases–to sign off Letters of Authorization (LOA), principally for RVSM operations. One operator has been waiting five months for an LOA after a Falcon changed ownership in April; this jet is flown and maintained by the same crew, and it was already N registered and RVSM approved before the sale. The operator recently nearly declared an emergency because he wasn’t allowed to climb above 29,000 feet and was facing a line of thunderstorms.
With maintenance and upgrades scheduled for the tower at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, aircraft operators should be aware of temporary reductions in nighttime services extending through Sunday. Work in the tower includes replacing the elevator, upgrading the electrical system and removing asbestos, all of which requires relocating air traffic controllers to a different site. Between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. this week there will be no radar, flight data input/output (FDIO) or automatic terminal information service (ATIS) available at the New York City-area airport.
Nav Canada’s commercial division entered into an agreement to provide tower automation products at six ATC towers in Italy operated by air navigation service provider ENAV. Nav Canada did not disclose the value of the contract with Italian company Techno Sky, which performs engineering and maintenance support of the ENAV facilities.
The FAA’s Airports Office and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) have jointly created a new safety system called Airport Voluntary Reporting System (AVRS) to allow the agency’s employees to report safety hazards more easily without fear of retaliation. The FAA and Natca signed a memorandum of understanding for the 18-month pilot program covering 338 of the 550 Airports Office employees.
The U.S. Air Force said Friday it had initiated an investigation at Grand Forks AFB into allegations of cheating on proficiency exams by a number of air traffic controllers attached to the 319th Operations Support Squadron. One airman was caught with images of test material the Air Force alleges were shared with other controllers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) last month issued recommendations related to the FAA plan to integrate two runway safety systems with airport surface detection equipment (ASDE-X). The two systems are the runway status lights (RWSL) system, which gives pilots a visible warning when runways are occupied; and the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system that generates simultaneous alerts to controllers and pilots of potential runway incursions and ground collisions.
The FAA mandate to equip with ADS-B OUT avionics is coming in fewer than 5.5 years, and many owners and operators are still waiting to upgrade their aircraft, either because they’re hoping prices will drop and technology will improve or they aren’t sure they’ll be keeping their aircraft beyond the deadline.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice to Airmen (Notam) on Friday prohibiting U.S. carriers from operating in the airspace above Iraq because of fighting there between Iraqi security forces and militants associated with the Islamic State. The sweeping prohibition came after the Obama administration began humanitarian air drops to relieve refugees in northern Iraq and warned of air strikes against the advancing militants.