Universal Avionics has begun deliveries of its UniLink UL-800/UL-801 communications management unit, which provides airborne datalink capability that meets upcoming mandates in European and North Atlantic airspace. The UL800/801 received FAA TSO approval in April, and Universal’s Tucson, Ariz., manufacturing facility is already producing the units to meet market demand.
North Atlantic Tracks
For U.S. Part 91 business jet operators that fly to Europe, the upcoming Future Air Navigation System (Fans) mandate means not only new operational procedures but also yet another letter of authorization (LOA) requirement from the FAA. Fans and controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) are essentially functions that will be baked into the flight management system (FMS), yet each operator’s implementation of procedures, training and a maintenance program for Fans/CPDLC will need a formal stamp of approval from a local FAA office.
Just because there’s no FAA regulation requiring Part 91 operators to complete an official international training program before they blast off to other parts of the planet doesn’t mean skipping such a program is a good idea, even if it is legal.
The FAA has issued Technical Standard Order (TSO) C-195a covering ADS-B Aircraft Surveillance Applications. The TSO means that new ADS-B surveillance applications, both systems and equipment, must meet minimum operational performance standards outlined in RTCA DO-317a, issued December 13 last year.
Flight trials to demonstrate new procedures intended to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of international flights crossing the North Atlantic have begun.
This month will mark a turning point from the “pioneer” phase to the mandate phase of Europe’s implementation of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) for aircraft tracking and separation.
Despite all the fits and starts, NextGen in the U.S. will eventually affect business aircraft operators, although perhaps not on the schedule that the FAA currently espouses. It is not too soon to start considering the impact of NextGen on business aviation and how it will drive equipment requirements.
Nav Canada and UK NATS have implemented a new navigation standard that reduces longitudinal separations by half for properly equipped aircraft in North Atlantic airspace managed by the Canadian and UK air navigation service providers.
Flying a business air plane outside the U.S. isn’t all work. It’s also an adventure that offers U.S. pilots a chance to see how the other half–or actually the other 90 percent of the world–lives. Let’s be serious: Americans are spoiled by our own version of the aviation industry, such as when it comes to working the ATC system. A last-minute trip appears in Atlanta and we file a quick flight plan from our iPhones.
British air traffic management provider NATS has urged the country’s Civil Aviation Authority to give fast-track approval to a change in the standard instrument departures (SIDs) at London City Airport. The change, which could be adopted this summer, will formalize a wider initial turn after takeoff before aircraft rejoin the existing tracks.