Think working at New York Tracon is a tough job? Try heading down to the Gulf of Mexico, where controllers handle between 5,000 and 9,000 helicopter flights a day, all without the aid of surveillance radar.
Operators using the newly-activated automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) air traffic control and information system in the Gulf of Mexico will likely see flight leg times cut an average of 15 to 25 minutes and individual IFR routes shortened by at least 30 miles, compared to using the old grid ATC system in the Gulf, according to the FAA and individual operators.
Operators using the newly activated automatic dependence surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) ATC and information system in the Gulf of Mexico will likely see flight leg times cut by an average of 15 to 25 minutes and individual IFR routes shortened by at least 30 miles, compared with using the old grid ATC system in the Gulf, according to the FAA and individual operators.
Now that reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) operations have been running smoothly in the U.S. since Jan. 5, 2005, business jet operators are angry about the FAA’s rigid stance on the approval process and FAA inspectors’ inability to process approvals quickly.
The greatest strength of the International Operators Conference (IOC) since its inception has been that it combines a review of the basics of international operations–avoiding gross navigational errors (GNEs), Customs and Immigration notification issues and ATC rules–with a relentless push to update flight department managers and crews about ever-evolving topics such as the moving target of new RNP technologies used to navigate oceanic airspac
Citing last summer’s midair collision between a DHL International Airways Boeing 757 and a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 over southern Germany, the NTSB has recommended that the FAA modify its ATC data-processing backup systems to provide conflict alerts to the greatest extent possible.
In spite of the near panic the subject of DRVSM creates in some flight departments, it may come as a surprise that the FAA lists only three things an operator must have to gain access to the future stratum of special-use airspace: an airplane; the telephone number of your local service center; and money.
First there were none, now suddenly there are four companies here that announced their intention to develop a reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) STC package for the Learjet 20 series. All four companies propose to achieve the approval using the airplane’s original JET autopilot, and all four estimate the price to be under $150,000.
With the Dec. 31, 2004, deadline fast approaching for all aircraft flying between FL 290 and FL 410 to comply with domestic reduced vertical separation minimum (DRVSM) standards, aircraft and avionics OEMs have been feverishly working toward RVSM certification of air-data units and data packages as owners begin upgrading their fleets.
Duncan Aviation of Lincoln, Neb., reports it is developing a number of products and services including more emphasis on its ambitious reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) compliance project.