Universal Avionics announced the latest version of its Software Control Number–SCN 31.0–for its UniLink UL-800/801 Communications Management Unit at the 57th annual AEA International Convention and Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn. The UL-800/801 is widely used in upgrades to business jets that fly across the North Atlantic Ocean.
Air traffic control
Large flocks of birds around many Indian airports continue to threaten aircraft that are constantly under threat of strikes particularly during takeoff and landing. Data compiled by Airports Authority of India for Chennai International Airport, for example, shows bird strikes increased from 38 in 2012 to 50 in 2013.
The prolonged search for the Boeing 777-200 operated as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 brought attention to onboard data transmission systems that report an aircraft’s position and other information in real time. Such a system could help track an aircraft that disappears from radar coverage.
The European Parliament, meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg, approved the amended Single European Sky (SES) legislation known as SES 2+ on March 12. The legislation now must be approved by European Union member states.
The FAA published an update last week to the 13-year-old JO 7110.113D order governing procedures for issuing departure clearance using the pre-departure clearance (PDC) system available through the electronic control tower datalink system (TDLS). The change resulted from the agency and user community jointly identifying several inconsistencies in the process, as well as misunderstandings about how the process is understood by those receiving clearances.
Garmin added several new features and optional equipment for G1000-equipped 200- and 300-series King Airs that minimize pilot workload, offer additional NextGen capabilities and provide a number of operational benefits. These new features are now available as a free software update for owners and operators of G1000-equipped King Airs.
NBAA joined a coalition of aviation groups this week in calling for the Senate to pass legislation that would require the FAA to get industry input before implementing mandatory testing of pilots and air traffic controllers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) before receiving a medical certificate. The U.S. House of Representatives passed an identical bill on February 11 by voice vote.
Europe is slowly progressing toward the use of simultaneous non-interfering (SNI) approaches for helicopters at airports. This would improve rotorcraft access to busy airports while reducing the environmental impact, promoters of a dedicated research project believe. Further in-flight demonstrations are planned for next year, eight years after the first series of trials.
On January 27, the FAA announced that it has developed a more streamlined process to help operators with the letter of authorization (LOA) needed for flight in reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) airspace above FL280. A joint industry/FAA task force studied issues with RVSM certification and made recommendations about how to improve the system last May.
The company the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration chose in August 2007 to install the ground infrastructure needed to track aircraft by automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) plans to complete that network in the continental U.S. this month. McLean, Va.-based Exelis, which was called ITT when the FAA awarded it the ADS-B contract, said 658 of the 660 planned ADS-B ground radio stations will enter service this year, including all 601 the company is installing in the lower 48 states.