The FAA issued a special ATC procedure Notam last week for the upcoming Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga. The Notam becomes effective April 7 and requires slot reservations for any of the Augusta-area airports: Bush Field, Daniel Field, Aiken Municipal and Thomson-McDuffie County.
Air traffic control
At the 57th annual Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) convention, held in Nashville, Tenn., from March 12 to 15, the AEA announced that 2013 worldwide general aviation avionics sales exceeded $2.4 billion, 6.9 percent higher than the comparable 2012 number. Of the $2.4 billion in sales generated last year, 54 percent were for forward-fit (new aircraft) and 46 percent for retrofit (aftermarket). “There are many signs for our market recovery,” said Paul Derks, AEA president.
Authorities reopened the upper airspace over the republic of Kosovo to civilian overflights on April 3, 15 years after it closed because of the ethnic war in the former Yugoslavian territory. The action will lead to shorter flight routes in the region and represents “a significant step toward aviation normalization in the Western Balkans,” Eurocontrol announced.
Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) state-owned air navigation service provider signed a contract with Comsoft, of Karlsruhe, Germany, to modernize the island nation’s air traffic management (ATM) and surveillance systems to the latest international standard. The parties announced the contract in Port Moresby, PNG’s capital, on March 28.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said an additional go-around might have prevented a January 23 wet-runway excursion involving a chartered Fairchild SA-226 turboprop at Archerfield in Queensland.
Twenty air traffic controllers, all members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), were honored for their skill, dedication and professionalism at the association’s March 26 Archie League Medal of Safety awards ceremony. The annual event spotlights controllers who saved at least one life during an emergency.
We owe the FAA a debt of gratitude for the most excellent job the agency has done to provide data to aid our flying. It is amazing that for a relatively small cost pilots have access to a wealth of navigation information. Much of it—VFR charting especially—is gorgeous, pretty enough to hang on a wall or use as wrapping paper after the expiration date.
The Federal Aviation Administration named agency veteran Teri Bristol as the new chief operating officer of its Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which is responsible for managing the U.S. ATC system. Administrator Michael Huerta announced the appointment in an email to employees on March 21.
Despite the news that air traffic surveillance group Aireon now has most of the key elements in place to create a functioning ADS-B system, the FAA has still not committed to the project for updating its oceanic air traffic management operations. And according to libertarian think-tank The Reason Foundation, the U.S. government might not view this important commitment as a priority.
An update to the FAA’s JO 7110.663 rule means that air traffic controllers who use time-based clearances will soon no longer announce what time standard they are using. Effective April 3, controllers will no longer be required to state whether times are for UTC or coordinated universal time. In this example, “Falcon 372BX, climb to reach one three thousand at two two one five. Time two two one one and one-quarter,” the pilot is expected to be level at 13,000 feet at 22:15 UTC.