After calling on European Union (EU) member states last year to align their operating rules more closely with those of the FAA, the U.S.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has formed a joint industry committee to draft recommendations and submit them to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
The marketing alliance announced last year between Universal Avionics and CMC Electronics is beginning to bear fruit with the recent test installation of CMC’s SureSight M-Series infrared camera system in the nose of Universal’s King Air 350.
Gulf Coast Avionics last month became an authorized sales and installation center for the Alliant King Air flight deck offered jointly by Avidyne and S-Tec. Designed for the King Air 200, the cockpit features dual Avidyne EX5000 primary flight displays, EX500 multifunction display with XM WX datalink and electronic approach chart capabilities and the S-Tec Intelliflight digital autopilot.
Smiths Aerospace, the supplier of flight management systems on the Boeing Business Jet, is poised to become a subsidiary of General Electric after the Smiths Group agreed last month to sell its aviation unit for $4.8 billion. The deal faces scrutiny from U.S. and European regulators, but it is widely expected to close within a few months.
Boeing Business Jets and Rockwell Collins last month announced a program to bring enhanced-vision system (EVS) capability to the BBJ by early next year. The infrared camera system, supplied by Max-Viz of Portland, Ore., will be available as an option on new BBJs and offered as a retrofit to current operators. Buyers who opt for EVS must make upgrades to their Collins HGS-4000 head-up guidance system.
Cessna has placed an order with avionics maker Innovative Solutions & Support for an undisclosed number of flat-panel cockpit displays that will be offered as part of an upgrade program for operators of older Citations. At press time Cessna had not disclosed the value of the order or given a price for the retrofits, but it is known that the installations will be performed at the 34 authorized Cessna Service Centers worldwide.
In a shift from its traditional role serving the airlines, Thales is preparing to expand its presence in North America this year with a line of avionics products for business jets. But before the manufacturer fully commits to the endeavor, it is putting extra emphasis on product support, an area that has caused headaches for the manufacturer–and its customers–in the past.
The promise of ADS-B is well known by now: provide quality surveillance at a lower cost than conventional radar and improve situational awareness in the cockpit, thereby reducing the number of accidents or incidents–such as runway incursions–in the air and on the ground.
The FAA is concerned that some noise-canceling headsets might prevent pilots from hearing audible alarms, abnormal engine noise or other mechanical sounds. The agency, in a January 1 Information for Operators (InFO 07001), said noise attenuation of headsets “may vary by make and model” and if these sounds cannot be detected “discontinue the use of noise-canceling headsets.”
Under an FAA cost-cutting proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids, microwave landing systems and nondirectional beacons at some 25 U.S. airports would no longer be monitored by ATC or FSS due to their low annual activity or because they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed. It will therefore be up to pilots to report signal discrepancies to the FAA.