Boeing has installed the following eight new technologies in its 737-900 Technology Demonstrator:
Global Positioning System
The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) program to define and implement a new air traffic management system for the Single European Sky (SES) presents an opportunity for all stakeholders to work together to develop a common concept of operations (ConOps, in Eurocontrol jargon).
In light of last year’s DOT study of the vulnerability of GPS to unintentional interference and intentional jamming, Boeing and Rockwell Collins suggest that loran-C could be a viable backup for GPS. These suggestions will be presented formally at a NASA conference this month.
DOT Secretary Norman Mineta announced last month an action plan aimed at mitigating the vulnerability of GPS to inadvertent interference and deliberate jamming, both of which were disclosed in a September 10 report by the DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass.
Europe approved funding late last month to launch full development of the Galileo satellite navigation system, which will provide the EU with an alternative to GPS. Go-ahead for Galileo addresses Europe’s concerns that GPS is vulnerable to the wartime whim of its operator, the U.S. Department of Defense. Establishing the system is expected to cost $3 billion and employ 100,000 people.
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.
Every spring the federal government departments must submit to Congress their proposed spending estimates for inclusion in the President’s budget for the next fiscal year. The estimates go first to separate appropriations committees in the House and Senate for review and the inclusion of any changes the legislators believe are necessary before being combined into the final budget.
The business and commuter aircraft products business of Trimble Navigation has been purchased by newly established FreeFlight Systems, a sister company of Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing of Georgetown, Texas. Business aviation veteran Steve Williams is president of FreeFlight Systems, which will be based in Waco, Texas.
The October announcement by Raytheon that it had won a Department of Defense contract–potentially worth $25 million–to develop next-generation anti-jamming systems for GPS underlines security specialists’ concern that GPS is now “an attractive target” for terrorists.
While the FAA moves forward with its operational evolution plan (OEP) to increase National Airspace System capacity by the end of this decade, a major consideration will be how many aircraft are equipped to take advantage of the resulting improvements in efficiency.