Taking the pulse of the offshore oil industry is like grabbing a handful of the viscous mud drillers use for lubrication in the drilling process. What seems like a hard-and-fast situation one minute can dribble through one’s fingers the next. Agility is the secret to success.
Aviation International News » April 2002
The Air Pegasus of D.C.-South Capitol Street Heliport in downtown Washington is fighting to avoid a death by proximity–proximity to Capitol Hill, that is.
When it opened for business in 1998, its location one mile south of the Capitol complex was considered an advantage–one embraced by corporations, government officials, the military, ENG crews and several law-enforcement agencies.
Eurocopter held the grand opening for its new simulator training center, Helisim, in Marignane, France, in late February. By next year the facility will house two FAA/ JAA level-D simulators with four interchangeable cockpits.
The FAA’s Operational Evolution Plan (OEP) is moving to regain the momentum lost following September 11. Introduced last June, the OEP was aimed at transforming today’s air traffic system into a more efficient, expanded-capacity operating environment by the progressive introduction of advanced ATC and aircraft systems over the next 10 years.
DOT Secretary Norman Mineta announced last month an action plan aimed at mitigating the vulnerability of GPS to inadvertent interference and deliberate jamming, both of which were disclosed in a September 10 report by the DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass.
Pilots can now receive free up-to-date weather information in the cockpit following FAA approval for VHF datalink Mode 2 (VDL-2) avionics and datalink flight information services (FISDL). Crews can receive text messages, including routine and special weather reports, TAFs and Pireps using VDL-2 at no cost. Graphics such as Nexrad maps will also be available through subscriptions.
Icarus Instruments, the company that gave aviation its first sub-$10,000 satcom system, has unveiled the Sky Connect satphone, a 2.4-gHz cordless handset for use in business aircraft cabins and cockpits. According to Steve Silverman, Icarus president, Sky Connect was developed to provide a low-cost satcom option to the cabin-class market.
Satellite communications company Teledesic announced it has signed an agreement with Italian satellite maker Alenia Spazio SpA to build satellites for the company’s broadband Internet service. Formed by telecommunications maven Craig McCaw and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Teledesic will consist of 30 medium-orbit satellites and be designed to allow spectrum sharing with future Internet satellite systems.
Canada’s CMC Electronics is the beneficiary of a $17 million “repayable investment” by Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC), a government-sponsored fund developed to spur economic growth in high-technology markets in Canada. With the grant, CMC will launch a $56 million research and development effort aimed at developing advanced vision systems, next-generation aviation communications systems and specialized GPS receivers.
Jeppesen announced it has been selected to provide worldwide weather information and forecasts for use by subscribers of the Merlin airborne weather system in development by Dulles, Va.-based Satellink Technologies. Scheduled for availability this spring, Merlin will provide real-time weather to aircraft in flight, including high-resolution color weather charts and Notams supplied by Jeppesen.