In a last-ditch effort to stop the FAA’s furloughing of air traffic controllers to meet government-wide budget reductions, the House and Senate passed legislation late last week to transfer money from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to pay controllers’ salaries and prevent the closure of some privately operated control towers. Congress quickly moved to relieve the FAA of its need to furlough controllers after just five days of prolonged flight delays at major airports last week.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
On Sunday the FAA began air controller furloughs that the agency said are required to comply with budgets cuts mandated under sequestration. The move has resulted in not only cascading air traffic delays but also scorn and lawsuits from aviation industry groups.
Flying to the Bahamas from the U.S. should not be daunting, if you ask Dennis Dames, assistant superintendent of police for the Royal Bahamas Police Force and officer-in-charge of air support service for the force. Dames was on hand to answer attendee questions at the Bahamas Booth in the Federal Pavilion, located in the Florida Air Museum at Sun ’n Fun 2013.
Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) plan to introduce a bill Wednesday morning intended to prohibit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from closing 149 federal contract tower facilities under budget sequestration, an industry source confirmed to AIN. A companion measure is also expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
A change in FAA policy that allows the use of GPS approaches at alternate airports should be welcome news for pilots. “Operators are now permitted to file a flight plan for a GPS approach at either the destination or an alternate, but not both,” according to NBAA. The new policy took effect on April 4. Previously pilots could fly GPS approaches only at the destination airport.
Remember the spate of sleeping controllers and the angst it all caused at 800 Independence Avenue and 1200 New Jersey Avenue?
Satcom Direct held its 9th annual conference in early February, bringing together not only its own customers but also a variety of hardware manufacturers and other companies that benefit from and provide services via satcom. The conference grows every year and is evidence that the steady pace of satellite communications development has led to a greater variety of airborne telecom services–and even some reductions in pricing–for aircraft operators.
Controller operational errors are on the rise, according to a February 27 audit report from the DOT’s Office of the Inspector General (IG), prompted by requests from the Senate subcommittee on aviation operations, safety and security and, separately, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. According to FAA data, controller operational errors at the Southern California (SoCal) Tracon, jumped from 33 in FY09 to 189 in FY10, an increase of 473 percent.
Operators at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Conn., are stepping up efforts to keep their ATC tower open after withdrawal of federal funding. Kyle Slover, COO of local FBO Volo Aviation, told AIN that discussions about options for keeping the tower open on a privately funded basis were already under way before the FAA’s March 22 announcement that 149 towers are to close at U.S. airports beginning April 7.