The FAA recently established the WATRS Plus Web page to discuss issues related to the West Atlantic Route System (WATRS) Plus Airspace. On June 5 next year, the FAA plans to introduce a redesigned route structure and a reduced lateral separation standard in WATRS Plus Airspace.
Air traffic control
A TBM 700 crashed one mile west of New Bedford Regional Airport in New Bedford, Mass., on February 2, killing all three people aboard. The aircraft carried two pilots–the owner, a low-time private pilot with an instrument rating, and a commercial pilot employed by the owner. IMC prevailed, with a reported ceiling of 200 feet overcast. One of the pilots reported a missed approach on the ILS to Runway 5.
General aviation’s concerns found a firm basis last month when the FAA presented a reauthorization proposal that includes a more than 300-percent hike in the fuel tax and myriad fees for obtaining a pilot’s license, registering an airplane or receiving a medical.
More details about Canada’s proposed ADS-B network have been disclosed. As reported last week, Sensis of Syracuse, N.Y., won a Nav Canada contract covering up to 200 ADS-B stations for selective deployment across the country. Six dual installations are planned around Hudson Bay, currently non-radar airspace.
Industry observers expect protests from Lockheed Martin and ITT claiming that Raytheon enjoys an unfair advantage in the FAA’s reported $1.5 billion nationwide ADS-B program, following the agency’s announcement that all three qualified as bidders.
Eurocontrol will introduce a new process for assigning the secondary surveillance radar (SSR) codes used by ATC for radar services. Increasing airline traffic to new European destinations is resulting in shortages of assigned codes, prompting Eurocontrol to introduce the Centralised SSR Code Assignment and Management System (CCAMS) for all civilian flights. A four-year phase-in period is scheduled to begin late next year.
The FAA assumed that its chosen ADS-B program bidders–Lockheed Martin, ITT and Raytheon–would submit competitive offers on the expected system configuration. This service would be provided to GA through the FAA-developed 978 MHz UAT system, and to other users through the internationally standardized 1090 MHz frequency.
Nav Canada announced last week it plans this year and next to install ADS-B ground stations around Hudson Bay, which straddles high-latitude airline flight paths linking Asia, North America and Europe, but which has no radar coverage. Currently, aircraft overflying the area must observe “procedural” separations that keep them about 80 miles apart, compared with five miles under radar monitoring.
The NTSB will hold a one-day forum on March 27 focusing on runway incursions and accidents and potential solutions. “Eliminating runway incursions and collisions is a top priority of the Safety Board and has been on our Most Wanted List since 1990,” said NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker, who will preside over the forum.
Unlike previous HAI Conventions, the fly-in of display aircraft for Heli-Expo’05 was anything but routine as pilots of incoming helos had to contend with not only restricted airspace but also blustery northeast Santa Ana winds that combined to complicate arrivals last Wednesday and Thursday.