HungaroControl, the air navigation service provider of Hungary, said it has started a €6.8 million ($9 million) program to implement data communications between controllers and pilots. The company plans to introduce controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) next February as required by Single European Sky regulation.
Air traffic control
The delayed ADS-B OUT equipage mandate in Europe has been voted for by the European Union’s Single Sky Committee, but it has not yet been adopted by the European Commission, according to a spokesman for the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport Unit E2–Single Sky & Modernization of Air Traffic Control. The adoption and publication in the official journal of the amendment to regulation No.
Last week’s FAA notice to airmen (Notam) restricting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region, which includes all of Syria, is further evidence the agency is watching airspace over the world’s hotspots more closely since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in June.
The FAA is still struggling with the software required for deployment of the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), according to a report released on August 14 by the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG). Stars computers are being deployed at 11 large terminals to modernize ATC functions.
Air navigation service provider Airways New Zealand said August 15 that horizontal air traffic separation standards in Mongolian airspace will be reduced to 20 nm from the current 60 nm beginning in September. The move comes two years after the Mongolian civil aviation authority introduced radar ATC separation to the region. An Airways New Zealand spokesman said the goal is eventually to reduce separation to the ICAO standard of 5 nm.
As more aircraft equip with ADS-B OUT–which broadcasts position, velocity, altitude and other information in unencrypted formats on easily received frequencies–business aircraft operators are concerned about whether they can continue blocking their aircraft from display on flight-tracking websites. While the FAA offers a way for operators to request blocking of particular aircraft from FAA radar data feeds, there currently is no physical means to block reception of mode-S transponder or ADS-B signals by a simple receiver.
In its relatively new role as Europe’s ATC “network manager,” Eurocontrol achieved its time target for en route flight delays in 2013. But more so than in the previous year, air traffic controller job actions prevented better performance, the agency said.
Europe has delayed the mandate for ADS-B out equipage in its airspace. The earliest ADS-B out requirement in Europe was Jan. 8, 2015, for new aircraft, with retrofit installations due Dec. 7, 2017. The new dates are June 8, 2016, for new aircraft and June 7, 2020, for retrofit.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice To Airmen (Notam) on Tuesday prohibiting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR), which covers all of Syria.
Business aircraft operators are frustrated that the FAA takes so long–months in many cases–to sign off Letters of Authorization (LOA), principally for RVSM operations. One operator has been waiting five months for an LOA after a Falcon changed ownership in April; this jet is flown and maintained by the same crew, and it was already N registered and RVSM approved before the sale. The operator recently nearly declared an emergency because he wasn’t allowed to climb above 29,000 feet and was facing a line of thunderstorms.
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