After a journey to the Far East that took them to Singapore, China and Japan, FAA brass returned home carrying amended bilateral aviation safety agreements with Singapore and China and news that the Japanese are planning to convert the current Nagoya Airport into a general aviation facility when the new Central Japan International Airport opens next year.
East Coast schedulers and dispatchers should be aware that the FAA is anticipating record volumes of air traffic between Florida and the Northeast as spring approaches and is urging use of the offshore “snowbird routes.”
Once again general aviation is put in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. This time it comes from the Transportation Security Administration, where there is a great desire to solve the perceived problem of foreign and domestic repair station security.
If asked today for their views about automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), many pilots might respond that it was developed to meet the unique needs of single-engine commercial operators in remote areas such as Alaska, where only minimal ATC services were available. Alternatively, it was aimed at helping freighter pilots best position themselves in inbound traffic streams during “rush hour” operations around freight hubs.
Although the FAA warned business jet operators that there was no way it could extend a January 1 deadline for installation of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs), the agency apparently did not make an effort to enforce the rule after hundreds failed to comply on time.
Emergency procedures training is offered by several business aviation OEMs and all of the major simulator training companies as part of their wide array of training products. But two smaller, independent companies–Stark Survival Training and Facts/AirCare–specialize in emergency procedures training, and their programs stand out among all of the offerings.
A workshop to provide guidance on what to do in the event of a serious aircraft accident or incident is scheduled in Atlanta on April 20 and 21. The program will be presented by NBAA and The VanAllen Group, an Atlanta-based business aviation consulting firm.
Air East filed an appeal with the NTSB over the emergency revocation of its Part 135 certificate on March 8, grounding the Farmingdale, N.Y. charter operator. The action followed a 34-day FAA investigation of the company prompted by a fatal crash last August 4 of one of its Learjets in Groton, Conn.
April 16 is the comment deadline for two FAA proposals. The agency wants to amend digital flight data recorder (DFDR) regulations of Parts 121 and 135 to prohibit “filtering” of signals. During several accident investigations, the NTSB found that some DFDRs were filtering signals before they were recorded.
Within 6 Months
March 30, 2007: Mode-S Elementary (ELS) and Enhanced (EHS) Surveillance
Mode-S elementary (ELS) and enhanced (EHS) surveillance, including eight data downlinks, is scheduled for mandatory phasing in in European airspace by March 30, 2007, starting first in France, Germany and the UK (www.eurocontrol.int/mode_s/).