A nonprofit search-and-rescue organization has asked a federal court to review an FAA order that it stop using a model aircraft to assist in its search efforts. Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search & Recovery, based in Dickinson, Texas, filed a petition for review of the order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on April 21.
The FAA said yesterday that it will delay by one year the April 22, 2014, compliance deadline to implement pilot training and qualification, airspace and other operational provisions in the new helicopter safety rule.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) and NBAA released the 2014 version of their duty/rest guidelines for business aviation at last week’s FSF Business Aviation Safety Seminar (BASS) in San Diego. The new guidelines update the original 1997 document and were drawn up “principally to consider scientific advances [in sleep research] in the intervening 17 years and to identify how those advances should influence today’s recommended practices for duty and rest scheduling.”
The FAA announced on Tuesday that the ADS-B network in the U.S. has been completed, with all 634 ground stations now online. “This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides air traffic controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced the completion of the ground-radio infrastructure for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), the surveillance piece of its NextGen ATC modernization effort. Of 230 ATC facilities nationwide, 100 already track aircraft by ADS-B, the agency said in an April 14 announcement.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has described the results of its 2013 annual safety report as “very positive for global aviation safety outcomes.” The report, released on April 10, showed the 2013 global accident rate to have declined to 2.8 per million departures last year versus 3.2 per million in 2012. The number of fatal accidents among scheduled air carriers, however, remained steady at nine last year. Fatalities plummeted 55 percent from 2012, to 173 from 388. Compared with a 2010 baseline, fatalities are down 74 percent.
The total combined number of fixed-wing aircraft accidents, incidents and fatalities declined for the U.S.-registered and non-U.S.-registered turbine business aircraft fleet in the first three months of this year versus the same period last year, according to data compiled by AIN. Some individual segments were inconsistent with the overall results, however. Specifically, accidents involving U.S.-registered business jets and propjets resulted in 15 fatalities in the first quarter compared with 22 in the same period last year.
The FAA announced on April 9 that the aviation safety rating of the Philippines has been upgraded to category one from category two after the agency completed an international safety assessment last month. The Philippines’ safety rating was set to category two in 2008 for unspecified safety deficiencies.
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.
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.