While the FAA’s current WAAS network offers equipped users with improved GPS performance across the continental U.S. and Alaska, it still does not provide the redundancy and reliability required from an aviation navigation service. So the FAA has now contracted to obtain additional geostationary satellites (GEOs) to rectify this shortcoming.
Regulations and Government » Government
News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
When the idea was initially being explored a number of years ago, FAA planners saw a use for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) only in Alaska, where the technology would allow aircraft operating beyond the reach of radar to develop their own position data using onboard GPS equipment, and then transmit that data to others in the region through either a microwave satellite uplink and downlink or ground-based VHF network.
Europe’s ambitious program to introduce mode-S surveillance datalink technology has once again been rescheduled to account for operational and technical difficulties. On January 13, Eurocontrol announced a “rationalization” of the implementation timetable for mode-S elementary (ELS, known in North America as “upgraded mode-S”) and enhanced (EHS) surveillance for IFR flights in general air traffic (IFR/GAT).
Last year, the Bush Administration unveiled its proposed “next generation air transportation system” and then cut the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) budget request by nearly $400 million.
Two top executives of Tyler Jet L.L.C. pleaded guilty last month in Texas Eastern District Court on one count of money laundering in a scheme that cost banks, businesses and individuals across the country nearly $20 million.
According to the office of the U.S. Attorney, former president and CEO Timothy Beverley, 47, and former CFO Gregory Hopper, 49, were accused of wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
A meeting late last month between the FAA’s top regulatory officials and business aviation interests will likely result in renewed emphasis on new and existing aviation safety programs rather than any sweeping regulatory changes. The meeting came in the aftermath of six fatal turbine business aircraft accidents since late October.
Members of the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS), the labor union that represents more than 2,700 FAA employees who staff the agency’s automated flight service stations (AFSS), are joining with information technology contractor Harris Corp. in a bid to keep their jobs from being outsourced to a private company.
The NTSB, which has long called for the FAA to require cockpit voice recorders on smaller turbine airplanes, is now calling for the installation of so-called “video image recorders.” Such recorders obtain not only audio information like that from CVRs and event data like that from FDRs, but also information about the environment outside the cockpit window.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) last month adopted proposed changes to its rules governing the legal rates and timing of travel payments by political candidates, those traveling with candidates and those traveling on behalf of candidates in connection with federal elections on private aircraft, including those operated under Part 91.
Thousands of seat-belt buckles and attachments installed in airliners and corporate jets are the subject of two separate recommendations. The FAA published a special airworthiness information bulletin alleging that D-ring-type fittings can inadvertently release the seat belts attached to them. The agency recommends that all D-ring seat belt attachment fittings be replaced with an improved design fitting.