President Bush has appointed Douglas Lavin as FAA assistant administrator of the newly created Office of International Aviation, and Sharon Pinkerton as assistant administrator of the Office of Aviation Policy, Planning and Environment.
Next Generation Air Transportation System
Honeywell late last week received FAA designation as a consultant for Required Navigation Performance Special Aircraft and Aircrew Authorization Required (RNP SAAAR) operational approvals. The move closely follows approval early this month for PlaneView-equipped Gulfstreams to fly RNP SAAAR procedures, which allow more precise approaches and departures, increasing operational efficiency and reducing operating costs, noise and emissions.
Air traffic controllers at the FAA’s 20 contiguous en route centers are now able to see more accurate, timely weather information on the same display that shows aircraft position data, which the agency claims will reduce the potential for weather-related accidents and lessen the effect of weather on airspace efficiency.
Meanwhile, the General Accounting Office (GAO) added its voice to that of DOT inspector general Kenneth Mead, who has repeatedly warned that the FAA cannot sustain continued salary increases for controllers. Average pay for controllers rose from $72,000 in 1998 to $106,000 last year.
As professionals engaged in business aviation, each of us probably has questions about what lies ahead for our community. Will there be sufficient airspace and runway capacity to accommodate an increasing number of operations without a subsequent increase in delays? Will the ATC infrastructure be improved, and if so, whose voices will dominate the debate for designing a new system?
In January, the Helicopter Association International (HAI) urged its members to press their Congressional representatives to support improved communications and weather services over the Gulf of Mexico.
The U.S. has the finest aviation system in the world. As we enter the 21st century, a major challenge for the FAA will be to maintain its global preeminence in civil aviation in an era of increasing traffic volume and major technological advancements. To meet this challenge the FAA is modernizing the National Airspace System (NAS) and associated regulations. Central to this effort is the development of the NAS architecture.
A little known FAA policy statement, dated June 1 of this year, stands to dramatically change the helicopter industry as we know it. Helicopter pilots and manufacturers have long known the unique capabilities of rotorcraft, but have always been obligated to follow regulations and policies set forth and to operate in airspace designed for the much more prevalent fixed-wing aircraft.
Lockheed Martin delivered the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) equipment to the FAA on budget and ahead of schedule last month, meeting a major milestone in the agency’s Flight Plan for modernizing the National Airspace System (NAS).
While the FAA in early October released its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) covering future mandatory carriage of ADS-B avionics, serious questions have already been raised about it. Generally, it was expected that the NPRM would cover the whole spectrum of ADS-B applications and would provide clear guidance to corporate operators anxious to benefit from the system’s full capabilities.