The FAA released guidance yesterday to the 149 airports whose contract towers are scheduled to close as a result of budget cuts that outlines the shutdown schedule and addresses what will happen to the tower structures and equipment.
Avionics and ATC » ATC
News, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
The European Commission is taking to task the vast majority of its 27 nation states for their lack of progress in forging the Single European Sky through a program to unify regional airspace.
Inefficiencies caused by Europe’s fragmented airspace generate extra costs of close to €5 billion each year, adding 42 kilometers (27 miles) to the distance of an average flight, and forcing aircraft to burn more fuel, generate more emissions, pay more in user charges and incur delays. The U.S. controls the same amount of airspace, with more traffic, at almost half the cost.
As India’s air traffic grows and skies get crowded, the country’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Civil Aviation have finally reached an agreement on a long-standing demand for flexible use of airspace (FUA). The implementation will stand “subject to ensuring adequate safeguards in the system to prevent inadvertent leaks of military information and dissemination of any information on military aviation activities strictly on a ‘need to know’ basis,” noted a government statement. The military currently controls approximately 65 percent of India’s airspace.
While NTSB investigators at South Bend (Ind.) Airport are probing the cause of the crash of a Hawker Beechcraft Premier during an approach on Sunday, they are also trying to determine whether there are any links between this accident and two other Premier crashes within a three-week period. Nine people have died in the three recent accidents involving Premiers.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has explained why the emergency lubrication system sent a “failure” warning–while working nominally–to the crews of the two Eurocopter EC225s that ditched in the North Sea last year.
Two helicopters, understood to be a Eurocopter EC155 and a Eurocopter Super Puma, crashed after a midair during windy snowfall today near the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. One pilot was killed and four people were severely injured, according to local news reports. The two helicopters, along with a third that was not involved in the accident, were participating in a crowd-control training exercise. Accident investigators were on scene at press time.
European Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas admitted to excessively slow progress on the Single European Sky (SES) last week and characterized Russia’s continued charges for Siberian overflights as unacceptable. He has threatening European Union member states with legal action over their failure to carry out their respective SES responsibilities. Separately, he is planning a March 21 meeting in Moscow to pressure Russian authorities to address what he views as “unfair” overflight fees.
The Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) effort, Europe’s equivalent of NextGen in the U.S., is making progress as a research and development program “but it is not yet a successful modernization program,” according to the man directing its development phase.
Since LightSquared’s bankruptcy last fall, a common perception was that the company had thrown in the towel and the GPS industry could cease looking over its shoulder, breathe a sigh of relief and get back to the navigation business. But that was not to be. In fact, what we have seen is more an extended time-out than a cessation of hostilities, as the combatants consolidated their positions. But neither has offered a cease-fire or surrender.
Across-the-board federal budget cuts scheduled to begin on March 1 will limit the flight-handling capability of the U.S. National Airspace System and could lead to permanent airport and ATC facility closures, warned the head of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca).