U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the government is open to ideas on privatizing the nation’s ATC system, as long as aviation industry “stakeholders” agree on making that transformation. Foxx remarked on privatization after delivering the keynote speech at an Aero Club of Washington luncheon on February 25, his first major address to an aviation audience.
Helicopter Association International launched a major new safety initiative, Land and Live, this afternoon at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif.
The continuing investigation into the crash of an Airbus Helicopters EC135T2i in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 29 last year has yet to explain why pumps that would have transferred fuel from the aircraft’s main tanks to its supply tanks were not activated. An interim report by the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that both of the aircraft’s fuel transfer pumps were found in the “off” position after the fatal crash.
Two flight attendants were injured on February 17 in separate onboard incidents. A Russian Ural Airlines attendant fell from an open cabin door during ground servicing in Dubai after a service vehicle struck the aircraft. Reports said the truck struck with enough force to move the aircraft 10 feet on the ground. In another incident, three United Airlines attendants were injured after their Boeing 737 encountered severe turbulence on approach to Billings, Mont. One attendant was critically injured, while the other two were treated and released from a local hospital.
Fresh pressure is being placed on the FAA to revise and finalize its 2010 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would mandate the installation of helicopter terrain avoidance and warning systems (HTAWS) and radar altimeters on all U.S. emergency medical service (EMS) helicopters. The NPRM drew a firestorm of criticism from affected stakeholders for favoring high-cost solutions over less expensive, and some argued, more effective safety technology such as night-vision goggles (NVGs).
British ATC provider NATS announced last week that a new system that uses time intervals rather than distance to separate arriving and departing aircraft should be in full operation at London Heathrow Airport next spring. The dynamic time-based separations (TBS) system is expected to reduce aircraft delays while increasing an airport’s landing acceptance rate by accounting for wind-speed changes that current distance-based separation ignores.
The investigation into the EC135 fatal crash on November 29 in Glasgow, Scotland, is struggling to find any specific cause or telltale evidence. The investigators have determined that both of the helicopter’s engines flamed out, according to a special bulletin the Air Accidents Investigation Branch published on Friday. They now still have to understand why this happened with a functional fuel system and 25 gallons of fuel in the tanks.
Almost a month after announcing the latest schedule delay of the CSeries airliner, Bombardier still won’t identify the precise reasons for the slippage. Although the company continues to point to a lack of “overall systems maturity” for the latest change in service entry target from September of this year to the second half of next year, it hasn’t identified from which system or systems the problems might stem.
Rockwell Collins is introducing its new MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar at this year’s Singapore Airshow. The avionics group claims the radar provides air transport aircraft with “unprecedented” atmospheric threat-assessment capabilities.
The Air Line Pilots Association International, FBI and FAA have jointly launched a campaign across 12 U.S. cities to raise public awareness about the consequences of illegal laser attacks on aircraft cockpits. Reports of aircraft laser illuminations in the U.S. have increased sharply over the past few years (partially fueled by an FAA website set up to report such incidents), from 2,836 in 2010 to 3,960 in 2013.