UPS is making a series of safety enhancements in the aftermath of the September 9 NTSB hearing into the crash of UPS Flight 1354 at Birmingham, Ala., in August last year.
The task force set up in early August by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to assess risks to aircraft operating in conflict zones has defined a work program with two immediate objectives.
The FAA granted the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority category-one safety status last week after conducting inspections to ICAO standards of the country’s aviation infrastructure and regulatory framework. The new status will allow Ethiopian carriers direct access to the U.S. from Africa.
The FAA has received more than 2,000 comments about its proposed policy regarding the non-aeronautical use of airport hangars. In response to the flood of comments and extension requests from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and others, the FAA extended until October 6 the comment period for the proposal, which states that hangars are to be used only for storage or maintenance of aircraft.
The U.S. helicopter safety team (USHST) last week said the current accident rate of 3.94 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, measured over the first seven months of this year, represents a 51-percent decline compared with the 2001-2005 baseline determined by the International Helicopter Safety Team, the group’s parent organization. These numbers represent a 22-percent reduction compared with the 5.06 rate posted for 2009 alone and a 12-percent reduction from the 4.46 rate posted for 2012.
Controller-pilot datalink communication (CPDLC) services will be launched in Hungarian airspace beginning next February to improve air safety, as well as to increase airspace efficiency. CPDLC capabilities for ATC become mandatory from February next year as a part of the Single European Sky program for harmonizing air traffic management.
The FAA extended until October 6 the comment period for its proposal to clarify the agency’s policy that hangars are to be used only for storage or maintenance of aircraft. Compliance inspections have found that some hangars are “routinely used” to store vehicles and large household items. “In some cases, this storage interferes with, or entirely displaces, aeronautical use of the hangar,” the FAA said.
The FAA selected four unleaded aviation fuels yesterday for the first phase of testing at the agency’s William J. Hughes Technical Center. The goal is for government and industry to work together to have a new unleaded fuel ready for general aviation use by 2018. Shell and Total, with one fuel each, and Swift Fuels, with two fuels, will now work with the FAA on phase-one testing, which will begin this fall and conclude later next year.
Mountain Air Cargo is the subject of a proposed FAA penalty of $132,425 for allegedly incorrectly repairing one of the company’s ATR 42s. The agency accused the Maiden, N.C.-based operator of failing to accurately follow the FAA-approved aircraft maintenance manual when it repaired a rear cargo door and then operated that same aircraft on 115 flights between Aug. 7 and Oct. 29, 2012. Mountain Air Cargo is scheduled to meet with the FAA later this month to discuss the issue.
When the FAA implemented more rigorous minimum standards (the “1,500-hour ATP” rule) for airline first officers last year, many in the industry expressed concern about a shortage of pilots meeting the requirement. Under the new regulation first officers must hold an ATP certificate, which requires 1,500 hours total time. Previously, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires just 250 hours of flight time.
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