German air navigation service provider DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung), which has criticized air traffic management (ATM) performance targets sought by the European Commission, announced 2013 results showing improved management of Germany’s airspace, which has Europe’s highest traffic volume.
Air traffic control
The European Commission plans to set “tough new standards” to regulate the operation of UAVs, known as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in Europe, before they are more widely introduced into unrestricted airspace in 2016. The standards will cover safety, security, privacy, data protection, insurance and liability, the commission said.
Advanced Aircrew Academy received FAA FAASTeam approval of its Part 43 FAR Review online training module for FAA inspection authorization (IA) renewal credit. Advanced Aircrew Academy is already an FAA-approved training provider for the Wings pilot proficiency program. The company offers online maintenance modules for alcohol/drug misuse prevention, fatigue management, hazardous materials (dangerous goods), human factors, minimum equipment list (MEL) use, OSHA topics, RVSM, safety management systems and security.
Rockwell Collins announced an upgrade path for Fans 1/A capability in Dassault Falcon 50EXs, 2000s and 2000EXs with Collins avionics and flight management system. The enhancements, which will be available from Rockwell Collins next year, include automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C) and controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC).
The ATC phrases “climb via” and “descend via” were officially added to the pilot/controller glossary on April 3, indicating the FAA now expects pilots to understand and comply with the new abbreviated IFR clearances. Pilots can expect to hear these instructions when operating on standard instrument departures (SIDs) and standard terminal arrival routes (Stars) when ATC changes a procedure’s altitude restriction for some reason.
Dr. David Byers, developer of the Synthetic Air Traffic Advisory System (Satas), which uses off-the-shelf technology to create a virtual control tower, demonstrated the system at last week’s Sun ’n’ Fun show in Lakeland, Fla. Satas combines a SharpEye radar unit, developed by DeTect of Panama City, Fla., for marine applications, with the airfield radar system from SRI of Rockledge, Fla., which makes ground security radars. Together, the systems identify and track aircraft flying in the area, all without the need for any transponders on board the aircraft.
The FAA on March 28 published a revised version of AC No: 20-138D that clarifies and adds new guidance material to the airworthiness approval process for a variety of GPS systems, including augmented GPS, and Rnav equipment for RNP operations and baro-Vnav equipment.
The FAA issued a special ATC procedure Notam last week for the upcoming Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga. The Notam becomes effective April 7 and requires slot reservations for any of the Augusta-area airports: Bush Field, Daniel Field, Aiken Municipal and Thomson-McDuffie County.
At the 57th annual Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) convention, held in Nashville, Tenn., from March 12 to 15, the AEA announced that 2013 worldwide general aviation avionics sales exceeded $2.4 billion, 6.9 percent higher than the comparable 2012 number. Of the $2.4 billion in sales generated last year, 54 percent were for forward-fit (new aircraft) and 46 percent for retrofit (aftermarket). “There are many signs for our market recovery,” said Paul Derks, AEA president.
Authorities reopened the upper airspace over the republic of Kosovo to civilian overflights on April 3, 15 years after it closed because of the ethnic war in the former Yugoslavian territory. The action will lead to shorter flight routes in the region and represents “a significant step toward aviation normalization in the Western Balkans,” Eurocontrol announced.