A Lufthansa Boeing 737 recently became the first aircraft to use mode-S capability to transmit its radar identification (flight ID), without the use of a secondary surveillance radar (SSR) code. The 737 flight crew was able to automatically correlate the aircraft’s electronic flight plan data by entering a 24-bit code into the aircraft computer.
Next month, after several years of seemingly circular internal arguments, Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) finally expects to issue draft proposals for the new JAR OPS 2 operating requirements governing corporate operators of European-registered aircraft.
Next month’s scheduled adoption of the final fractional operation rules–Part 91 Subpart K–will likely reignite the controversy between the FAA, JAA and some European countries on what constitutes a private versus commercial aircraft operation. The JAA has no equivalent rule and doesn’t have plans to promulgate any, according to British aviation lawyer Ian Clark.
At the end of March, Airservices Australia (the country’s privatized ATC provider) announced that it had contracted with Thales of France to provide ADS-B ground stations at 28 sites, which would combine with the current coastal ATC radars to provide total surveillance coverage across the nation above 30,000 feet. Installations are forecast to be complete by the end of next year.
Although foreign operators are unhappy over the complications they face in obtaining clearances to fly non-U.S.-registered into the U.S., in general the post-9/11 security rules are not insurmountable.
A new European aircraft registry designed specifically for corporate jets–which promises a high level of service and competitive rates–has a range of M-prefixed registration options to offer as well.
Operators who own a share of a fractional aircraft are to be given the same Cape Town Treaty protection as sole owners have had since March 2006. They are to be included in the International Registry of Mobile Assets (IRMA), which provides a single universal point of reference and record, and was set up under the treaty (which comprises the Cape Town Convention and the related Protocol on Aircraft Assets).
Starting May 1, the Isle of Man–a British Crown Dependency located in the Irish Sea between the UK and Ireland–will have its own aircraft registry, open only to corporate and private aircraft. The UK government recently notified ICAO that it is allowing the Isle of Man to use the previously idle “M” tail number registration that was allocated to the UK in 1919.
The days might soon be over for the basing of non-UK-registered general aviation aircraft in the UK. The country’s Department for Transportation (DFT) is considering a plan to prohibit non-commercial foreign-registered aircraft from being permanently based in Britain. A comment period on the plan is expected shortly.
Effective September 1, operators will be required to use a new set of flight plan aircraft equipment suffixes to indicate advanced navigation capabilities. According to an FAA notice published last week, either J, K, L or a newly defined Q is to be used to specify advanced RNAV and RVSM capabilities. Pilots should continue to use a W to indicate RVSM capability only.