The FAA recently established the WATRS Plus Web page to discuss issues related to the West Atlantic Route System (WATRS) Plus Airspace. On June 5 next year, the FAA plans to introduce a redesigned route structure and a reduced lateral separation standard in WATRS Plus Airspace.
Nav Canada announced last week it plans this year and next to install ADS-B ground stations around Hudson Bay, which straddles high-latitude airline flight paths linking Asia, North America and Europe, but which has no radar coverage. Currently, aircraft overflying the area must observe “procedural” separations that keep them about 80 miles apart, compared with five miles under radar monitoring.
In an alarming disclosure, the FAA last month released figures showing that only about two-thirds of all U.S.-registered business jets have received approval to fly in RVSM airspace despite the planned nationwide implementation of the new operating rules less than two months from now.
If all goes well with a new $250,000-per-year research program the FAA is launching next month, pilots flying specially equipped rotorcraft will be able to take advantage of lower IFR approach minimums and new flight corridors to Manhattan heliports within the next few years.
Sensis is building on its experience of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) in the FAA-sponsored Capstone trials in Alaska and the increasing use of its multilateration technology with the development of a 1,090-MHz receiver that is under consideration for deployment on the U.S. East Coast and preparations to deploy a multilateration system at Juneau, Alaska.
By most accounts, the start of reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) standards in North America a little over a month ago was a relatively smooth transition, even for business aircraft operators who had opted not to gain approval before the January 20 implementation date.
In the runup to the planned January 20 implementation of reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) in the U.S., Canada, South America and Mexico, the FAA has released new guidance documents to assist operators seeking to comply with the requirements of the new operating rules.
Avcon Industries has a source of financing available for its reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) solution for the Learjet 20 series as well as for other Avcon modifications. It is provided by Commercial Capital Co. for 24-, 36-, 48-, or 60-month terms. More than 80 airplanes have been upgraded using the Avcon STC RVSM Group Solution. Orders for upgrading another 40 airplanes are booked or pending.
Whether pilots notice any difference remains open to debate, but anyone cruising in the upper flight levels over North America should at least be aware that they are passing much closer to other airplanes now that the mandate for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) is in force.
Why, when the safety record of professionally flown turbine twins is so impressive, did four business aircraft experience fatal accidents during a five-week period late last year? Three were fan-powered–a Learjet 35A, a Gulfstream III and a Challenger 601–and one was a King Air 200. There was a highly qualified two-person crew at the controls of each aircraft. Three of the four airplanes were operating in accordance with Part 91.