The FAA recorded 1,150 runway incursions in the 12-month period ending September 30 last year across the U.S., and 18 of them were classified as “A” and “B,” the most serious of the four incursion categories. Some 772 of those incursions were pilot-induced.
Air traffic control
The FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization program could be stalled by substantially reduced funding. In June, the House appropriations committee released transportation funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2014 that would reduce the FAA’s capital funding account, which supports NextGen programs, to its lowest level since 2000.
At a House aviation subcommittee hearing yesterday, it was revealed that the $2.1 billion allocated for the FAA’s facilities and equipment account is 22 percent below the agency’s request and less than Congress provided in the current fiscal year.
Chicago Rockford International Airport (KRFD)–65 miles west of Chicago O’Hare International Airport–has released guidelines for aircraft arriving for practice instrument approaches at the nine satellite airports controlled by Rockford approach control. Rockford officials remind pilots that approach control provides practice-approach separation and sequencing only when workload permits it, and then only as far as the final approach fix.
Pilots flying into Aspen’s Pitkin County Airport (ASE) should be aware of FAA Notice NOTC4835, which addresses two safety issues at the field. The notice attempts to mitigate ongoing safety incidents at the Colorado airport involving aircraft, vehicles and pedestrians on runways and non-movement area. Outside the skiing season, the movement/non-movement area boundaryline was repositioned closer to Taxiway A4.
The FAA has published details outlining new procedures for air traffic controllers conducting simultaneous approaches to offset parallel runways (SOIA) at airports separated laterally by less than 3,000 feet, such as San Francisco International (SFO).
A request for tender (RFT) issued by Airservices Australia last month for the “oneSky Australia” program presents a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to field a joint civil and military air traffic management system by 2020, according to the government-owned air navigation services provider.
US Airways recently became the first airline to receive FAA certification approval of the SafeRoute suite of NextGen avionics applications in the Airbus A330. The airline claims SafeRoute will “enhance operational safety and efficiency during various phases of flight.”
Bombardier’s new Challenger 350 will feature an upgraded flight deck, the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 Advanced system, which will also be available as a retrofit on Challenger 300s. New capabilities include synthetic vision, Fans 1/A, ADS-B out, CPDLC, RNP basic and authorization required and LPV guidance. The Rockwell Collins MultiScan threat-detection system radar will also be available for both the Challenger 300 and 350. MultiScan reduces pilot workload by automatically identifying weather and turbulence.
Industry stakeholders should take a “careful approach” in recommending funding and other structural reforms to the U.S. aviation system, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees at a NextGen symposium on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Air Line Pilots Association International sponsored the event.
The Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) released an update last month on the FAA’s progress with the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), the program to modernize terminal ATC equipment. The IG report identified a number of problem areas slowing Stars implementation caused by early, as yet unresolved, hardware and software delays that have put the entire program in jeopardy.