The FAA’s requirement that business aircraft operators obtain letters of authorization (LOAs) for flight in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace is causing not only enormous wastes of fuel but safety problems as well, according to feedback from AIN readers. Other operations require LOAs such as PRnav, BRnav, RNP, MNPS, ADS-B and maintenance authorizations such as the MEL, but extended delays by the FAA in approving RVSM LOAs are presenting serious safety and environmental issues, according to operators and NBAA.
Air navigation service provider Airways New Zealand said August 15 that horizontal air traffic separation standards in Mongolian airspace will be reduced to 20 nm from the current 60 nm beginning in September. The move comes two years after the Mongolian civil aviation authority introduced radar ATC separation to the region. An Airways New Zealand spokesman said the goal is eventually to reduce separation to the ICAO standard of 5 nm.
The FAA has reminded operators that continued operations within reduced vertical separation minimum airspace require aircraft maintenance in accordance with RVSM maintenance guidelines. The agency is concerned that many operators bring aircraft in for maintenance and fail to adequately document compliance with RVSM standards.
FAA Order 7110.659A, effective June 1, will recategorize the guidelines air traffic controllers use to provide proper wake turbulence separation. The new standards are expected to increase airport capacity while reducing both arrival and departure delays.
Cerritos. Mention the town’s name to any pilot who has flown around Southern California for more than a few years and you get a nod of instant recognition. On Aug. 31, 1986, an Aeromexico DC-9 inbound to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) collided with a Piper Archer taking off from Zamperini Field in nearby Torrance. The wreckage fell onto Cerritos in southeast Los Angeles County, killing all 67 aboard both aircraft and 15 people on the ground.
On January 27, the FAA announced that it has developed a more streamlined process to help operators with the letter of authorization (LOA) needed for flight in reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) airspace above FL280. A joint industry/FAA task force studied issues with RVSM certification and made recommendations about how to improve the system last May.
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.
NBAA welcomed changes announced and enacted yesterday by the FAA to streamline the process for aircraft operators seeking a letter of authorization (LOA) for operations in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace above FL280. According to NBAA senior manager of safety and flight operations Mark Larsen, the FAA’s final policy is in line with recommendations made by a task force to improve the LOA inspection process, while maintaining operational safety in the National Airspace System.
Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) manufacturer General Atomics says it has successfully tested sense-and-avoid architecture and self-separation functionality that could be the key to keeping piloted aircraft and RPAs apart in the air. The recent test marked the first time the technology has functioned as a true “system of systems” to detect every class of aircraft equipage, and it paves the way for a due regard capability, that ability to avoid aircraft, objects and weather.
Lockheed Martin (Stand 1975) is installing its WindTracer windshear and turbulence-detection system at Dubai International Airport (DXB), where it will be used to detect aircraft wake vortices, thus allowing for increased runway utilization. Two WindTracers have been installed this year and a third one is to follow in the first quarter of next year, Michael Margulis, WindTracer program director, told AIN. WindTracer is a long-range, 3-D-scanning pulsed doppler lidar-based system.
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