Eurocontrol and other aviation stakeholders across Europe have agreed on the outline of a plan to address ATC communications safety issues. These include callsign confusion, undetected simultaneous transmissions, radio interference, lack of standard phraseology and prolonged loss of communication. Authorities expect to implement the action plan early next year.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
The FAA has approved handling agent Air Routing International to file and amend business aircraft flight plans directly with the agency’s Host ATC system. The Houston-based company says the approval will increase the efficiency of its flight-planning operations.
Traditionally, the FAA has implemented a Special Traffic Management Program (STMP) for operations at NBAA Convention airports. However, for this year’s convention–to be held November 9 to 11 in Orlando, Fla.–local FAA facilities will manage departure demand without a reservation require- ment at nearby airports. For arrivals, the FAA will use a new type of ground delay program called GAAP, introduced in late 2004.
There is no question that ATC radar is expensive. Indeed, many smaller airports can’t afford to pay a radar-qualified controller, let alone buy the hardware. But help may be at hand. With many years’ experience in the avionics field, particularly in the development of DME equipment, London-based electronics company Kinetic Avionic Products has devised a “virtual radar” that is small, lightweight and inexpensive.
The FAA’s top-level Joint Resources Council (JRC) has called for the estimated cost of a nationwide, GPS-based, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) network, according to unofficial reports at a recent GNSS conference. ICAO has recognized ADS-B as offering major contributions to increased safety and airspace capacity, and such programs are already under way or planned in Europe, Australia and some Asian nations.
With input from NBAA, the FAA has taken steps it hopes will reduce air traffic congestion between the Northeast and Florida. So-called “Snowbird” routes connecting general aviation airports and Florida destinations can become clogged by significant volume between November and March, and crippling ground stops have resulted. Key choke points were identified as the eliot Intersection, white Intersection and wavy Intersection.
“We use the standard slot system like everyone else,” said a NetJets official in response to an AIN inquiry about how the frax operator gets slots under the FAA’s Special Traffic Management Program (STMP). One pilot, when hearing of the response, asked, “What did you expect them to say? ‘We cheat and get all the reservations we want?’”
Honeywell is calling for greater cooperationbetween the U.S. and Europe as the two prepare for the deployment of future air traffic management (ATM) technologies. Warning that capacity in the skies over North America could become stretched to the limit without such cooperation, Honeywell also asked lawmakers in Washington to get serious about ATM funding soon.
Pilots flying with ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) avionics are getting theopportunity to test the traffic and weather datalink service up and down the East Coast. A developmental version of the service is now availablethrough several ground stations positioned from Florida to New Jersey.
The FAA recently concluded a study that compares the productivity and cost-effectiveness of select U.S. terminal ATC facilities in 2002 with those of similar private or quasi-government-operated non-U.S. facilities. On average, U.S.