After low-cost carriers, business aviation now ranks number two in Eurocontrol’s latest traffic statistics. “Not long ago, business aviation was not even on the radar screen of the agency and other decision makers,” European Business Aviation Association chief executive Eric Mandemaker told attendees at the general and business aviation annual forum held at the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation in Brussels recently.
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.
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.
At press time, bidders for the FAA’s Cat I local-area augmentation system (LAAS) ground station contract were awaiting a statement from the agency as to whether the program would proceed with a contract award, valued at around $800 million. After several delays during the summer, FAA officials advised the two bidders–one team being Raytheon and the French navaid company Thales (which earlier had acquired U.S.
Inmarsat, the main satellite communications provider to civil aviation, maritime and land-mobile users, has been placed on the sales block after the company once again canceled plans to float a public stock offering. At press time, three suitors–Apollo Advisers, Apax Partners and Permira–were understood to be on the verge of submitting final bids to purchase the UK-based company, estimated to be worth about $1.6 billion.
Technology Partnership Canada (TPC), a government-run supplier of high-tech research grants to Canadian companies, has awarded Thales Avionics Canada $9.9 million to develop fly-by-wire flight controls, enhanced vision systems (EVS) and required navigation performance (RNP)-based cockpit equipment for business jets and regional airliners.
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.
After discovering last September that both companies were planning to launch their own RVSM certification programs for the Learjet 20 series, Avcon and Bizjet International decided that “rather than fight each other for the same market, we preferred to come to an agreement and cut the research and development costs in half.” According to Larry Franke, president of Avcon, each company will bear half the cost of development and certification, w
Avmats of Chesterfield, Mo., has received RVSM STC group approval for Sabreliner 65s. The package, which includes installation of new Collins ADC-87A air-data computers, costs $139,000 installed and includes all hardware. Sabreliner received FAA group RVSM certification for the Sabreliner 65 in June last year and offers both Collins analog and digital RVSM packages for the Sabre 65 for $128,200 and $166,500, respectively, through this month.
Transport Canada has approved the Piaggio Avanti to operate in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace in Canada. FAA approval for operating in U.S. domestic RVSM airspace is expected shortly, according to Piaggio America of Greenville, S.C. The airplane previously won JAA RVSM approval.
Beginning this month, 22 additional European countries require all aircraft entering their airspace above FL 245 to be equipped with 8.33-kHz VHF radios. In addition, current exemptions to the requirement already in effect in seven other European countries will not be extended and no new exemptions will be approved.