In the ongoing effort to morph the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) into a “NowGen,” equipage by users keeps cropping up as one of the main stumbling blocks to implementing many NextGen benefits in the next three to five years.
Avionics and ATC
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit; and news, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
As the use of night-vision goggles (NVG) becomes more prevalent, especially in EMS helicopter operations, the issue of cockpit instrument viewability is assuming greater importance. That’s why Shadin Avionics and Aero Dynamix (Booth No. 1634) have teamed to make Shadin’s fuel flow management indicators NVG-compatible.
Precise Flight of Bend, Ore., has received a supplemental type certificate for an L-3 Communications Iris infrared enhanced-vision system (EVS) and its own high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting kit colocated in the nose of Bell 206 and 407 helicopters.
SkyTrac Systems of Kelowna, British Columbia, is at Heli-Expo Booth No. 1850 to offer details on its latest satellite communication transceiver featuring automatic global, real-time flight following with audio interface and text messaging.
As of February 1, search-and-rescue satellites will stop monitoring 121.5 MHz, one of the frequencies used by emergency locator transmitters. Although there is no FAA mandate requiring a switch to 406-MHz ELTs, operators should be aware that the international Cospas-Sarsat satellite system will cease to process 121.5-MHz signals on that date.
Without the ability to understand and accurately forecast weather, NextGen technology won’t amount to much. For that reason, industry participants including Baron Services, NCAR and the FAA are not only working to integrate weather into the NextGen technology, but they are also working to improve forecasting techniques.
One of the first steps in developing the technology to automate the National Airspace System (NAS) is to coordinate and manage the data that is necessary for the technology to work properly. The system-wide information management (Swim) platform will allow all of the NextGen systems to “speak” to one another, as well as to other systems within other government agencies and industry partners, according to the FAA.
The focus of the NextGen Air Transportation System has largely been on the development of satellite-based navigation systems, trajectory-based operations and the various technologies that will form the underlying structure of the nation’s future ATC system. But NextGen’s success is not dependent upon new procedures and inventions.
OnAir has signed its first executive contract and will provide its Mobile OnAir package for installation in an Airbus A319 owned by a Middle East customer. Using GPRS and GMS networks, the service will provide full voice and data connectivity, allowing in-flight use of BlackBerry-type devices and personal cellphones.
Air France and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on September 8 inaugurated a new terminal designed to consolidate traffic operated by the flag carrier’s three regional subsidiaries and increase handling capacity of flights involving five European countries that do not require passport controls with France.