The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration would have to slash its operations budget and could not support current levels of passenger and air cargo activity if the process of automatic federal spending cuts known as “sequestration” takes effect in January as scheduled. In turn, reduced passenger and cargo activity would lead to job losses and other economic fallout, according to a study released by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).
Next Generation Air Transportation System
The concept isn’t new. In fact, one could call it a logical extension of development work that originated with Saab in Sweden in the mid-2000s, which showed the economic potential of datalinking various sensors at an unmanned airport to controllers at a distant air traffic monitoring and control center. Such a center could handle a number of small airports that had relatively few arrivals and departures but that still needed personnel to maintain a monitoring watch.
The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General said in a July 19 memo, “While FAA is taking steps to improve the management of NextGen, such as establishing a new program management office, overall progress with implementation has not met expectations.”
Acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood broke ground on July 9 for the NextGen ATC tower to be built at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Calif.
Filing an ICAO flight plan will become a bit more complicated this fall, if you file them by hand. Gone will be the old days of telling a flight service station that your aircraft is a slant “A” or a slant “R.”
Bombardier Aerospace closed its Farnborough International Airshow order book last Thursday by announcing a firm order for six Q400 NextGen turboprops by Chorus Aviation of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the parent company of Jazz Aviation. The transaction, valued at $189 million, involved the conversion of six of 15 options taken by Jazz Aviation in 2010. The aircraft will be operated under the Air Canada Express banner.
Strong positions on new programs have resulted in GE Aviation Systems finding itself busy across five continents. For instance, in its U.S. home, the systems and components group is ramping up for increased rates of production for its extensive contributions to Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner.
Thales (Chalet S1) is here exhibiting its future cockpit concept: Odicis (one display for a cockpit interactive solution) with additional functions. Engineers have endeavored to make ground and air segments work together seamlessly in next-generation air traffic management (ATM) systems such as the Single European Sky and U.S. NextGen. The philosophy of Odicis is to have more information displayed and still make the crew’s job easier.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta joined federal and local officials to break ground yesterday for a new, NextGen-equipped air traffic control tower at San Francisco International Airport. The new tower, which is being erected south of the existing facility, will be 221 feet high with a 650-sq-ft controller work area. The project will include a three-story, 44,000-sq-ft base building. It is expected to open in 2015.
The U.S. contract tower program is designed to provide ATC service at some 250 airports for considerably less cost than at locations where the FAA runs the facilities. But sometimes even a traditional contract tower can cost too much. Melbourne, Fla.-based Quadrex thinks it might have a solution in the wings. Quadrex president, Dr.