The first trial of the FAA’s new airspace flow programs (AFP) begins shortly, likely during the next occurrence of severe thunderstorm-related weather in the Northeast U.S. The AFP allows ATC to impose delays on traffic scheduled to fly through areas constrained by severe weather. Delays are designed to affect en route traffic only, not traffic for destination airports unaffected by weather.
Air traffic control
In FY 2005, there were 327 runway incursions, of which 29 were serious Category A and B incidents, according to the FAA’s regional administrator for the Western-Pacific region. Testifying before Congress earlier this week, Bill Withycombe said that in terms of error types, there were 169 pilot deviations, 105 ATC operational deviations and 53 vehicle/pedestrian deviations.
Air Security International reported yesterday that at least three “explosive devices” detonated at approximately 4:30 a.m. local time on March 24 and bomb disposal technicians disarmed two others in Grand Junction, Colo. According to ASI, the devices were found outside the homes of employees of Serco Group, a company that operates the control tower at Grand Junction Walker Field Airport. No injuries were reported in the explosions.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials is asking Congress to “say no” to the FAA’s 2007 budget proposals. According to NASAO, “All of the states and thousands of airports across the nation will suffer if the administration is allowed to slash nearly a billion dollars out of the already authorized $3.7 billion Airport Improvement Program.” The FAA is requesting $2.75 billion for airport improvements.
Commercial pilots and air traffic controllers who have English as a second language, as well as native speakers of English, are needed to participate in a test designed to measure spoken-English ability common in ATC/pilot radio communications internationally.
The FAA says that the Alaska Capstone program of testing a host of advanced avionics (including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast–ADS-B) in small commercial aircraft will become part of the agency’s nationwide ADS-B implementation.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey stonewalled the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) in new contract talks, declaring an impasse on April 5 and unilaterally imposing a new contract on June 5. The actions came after nine months of negotiations with the union that the agency claimed cost taxpayers $2.3 million.
Eighty percent of pilots polled said they would make the switch to electronic charts if the cost was reasonable, the FAA said it was OK to do so and the hardware needed to run the e-charts was reliable and easy to use. Jeppesen published the poll results at a new Web site it launched last month called FlyElectronic.net. The site provides answers to questions about the transition to e-charts, from costs to what the regs say.
NASA disclosed last month that flight crew, ground crew, air traffic controllers and others involved in aviation operations can now securely submit electronic reports to the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). Previously, NASA required users to mail reports to the ASRS offices in California. For more information, visit http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/forms_nf.htm.
FAA Information for Operators 06005 (www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info) released last month alerts operators of aircraft equipped with TCAS and other collision or advisory devices of the potential for traffic advisories or other spurious signals caused by active transponders aboard