At the FAA’s Joint Planning and Development Office Day on Capitol Hill recently, Administrator Marion Blakey introduced two NextGen future ATC documents. First was the agency’s 41-page 2008-2012 Flight Plan, which announced projects such as the statewide Alaska ADS-B project.
Next Generation Air Transportation System
The FAA has issued guidance on altitude and speed constraints in Rnav procedures. In the document, InFO 07011, the agency said that adherence to speed and altitude is especially important when flying Rnav procedures. The agency emphasizes that the phrases “resume normal speed,” “maintain” and “speed your discretion” do not cancel published speed restrictions, but rather those most recently issued by ATC.
Chairman of the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduced the Federal Aviation Research and Development Reauthorization Act of 2007 with co-sponsor Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) last month. The bill, which has already passed Rep. Udall’s subcommittee, reauthorizes some existing projects, introduces some new ones and aims to strengthen the oft-handcuffed Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO).
There was good news for Alaskan pilots last month, when FAA Administrator Marion Blakey introduced the agency’s draft 2008-2012 Flight Plan, along with the NextGen Concept of Operations, to Congress.
Since everyone agrees that rapidly increasing traffic volumes over the next 20 years will demand the FAA’s NextGen solution–or something very similar–it came as a surprise to hear a recognized authority ask whether there actually will be such a system. This is the almost unthinkable question that Neil Planzer, Boeing Phantom Works v-p for strategy and advanced air traffic management, posed at an Atlantic City, N.J.
The House of Representatives issued its long-anticipated version of the FAA reauthorization bill last night, and user fees are not included. In lieu of user fees, however, the bill allows the FAA to raise fuel taxes a few cents per gallon and to charge a variety of miscellaneous fees, such as $130 to register an aircraft, $50 for an airman certificate and $45 for a medical certificate.
As the FAA’s major programs such as NextGen make their way through initial planning and implementation, at least a few members of Congress feel that the agency needs some assistance with R&D. Chairman of the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduced the Federal Aviation Research and Development Reauthorization Act of 2007 with cosponsor Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) last week.
As a sign of possible things to come for business aviation, the European Commission and the FAA announced on Monday a joint initiative to reduce aircraft emissions and combat climate change.
United Parcel Service will save millions of dollars a year by introducing technology that is designed to provide improved aircraft spacing for arriving aircraft.
Bombardier Aerospace is showing its CRJ900 NextGen regional-jet here in 76-seat guise and the uniform of Northwest Airlines subsidiary Mesaba Airlines less than two weeks after a sister machine was unveiled in Washington, D.C. For regionals like Mesaba, the NextGen CRJ “will have substantially lower seat-mile costs than [competing] Embraer regional jets,” according to commercial-operations vice president Rod Williams.