In less than two months from now, the Aircraft Tracking Task Force (AATF), set up in May under the auspices of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is due present an interim report widely regarded by the industry as a key first step to avoid a repeat of a situation that continues to baffle and gravely concern the industry, namely: how on earth could a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 completely vanish on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Air traffic control
The FAA is “well on track to having all the ADS-B foundational technology completed well before the 2020 mandate for industry to equip with ADS-B out,” associate administrator Michael Whitaker told the U.S. Senate commerce committee’s aviation subcommittee on NextGen air traffic management. “Both the FAA and industry must be held accountable if NextGen is to succeed,” he added, emphasizing that “the 2020 deadline is not going to change.”
The number of training programs preparing flight crews for the new multi-crew pilot license (MPL) continues to multiply. Before year-end, there will likely be 30 or more active MPL programs around the world with well over 3,000 cadets in the pipeline.
The MPL is intended as a competency-based training license focused on preparing new pilots to become airline first officers. Guidance for the MPL was published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2006.
U.S. government and industry testers plan to begin data-gathering flights later this year using a system that will address perhaps the biggest technological hurdle to widespread use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)–the ability of a remotely piloted vehicle to “detect and avoid” (DAA) other aircraft. At the same time, a special committee convened by standards organization RTCA is working toward delivering DAA equipment standards by July 2016.
This has got to stop. We all know that FAA inspectors at the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) level are overworked and that FAA regulations, policies, procedures and programs impose impossible requirements on agency personnel. But when a drop-dead simple piece of paperwork that needs an approval signature hits the desk and gets delayed for some obscure confounded reason, causing the grounding of a multimillion-dollar jet, well, this simply has got to stop.
NBAA released a new publication, “NBAA Aircraft Transactions Guide,” to assist those considering buying or selling a business airplane. Developed by the NBAA Tax Committee, the guide provides background on the most relevant FAA and DOT regulations, federal and state tax issues and aircraft ownership structures. It also maps the various steps of the aircraft transaction process, from the letter of intent to the closing.
The first satellite-based precision approach system in the southern hemisphere enabled by Honeywell’s SmartPath entered service last week at Australia’s Sydney Airport. The technology, which is also known as a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) in the U.S., offers precision guidance to within three feet of the runway centerline.
Brunswick, Maine-based Tempus Jets is offering a Fans 1/A and ADS-B out solution for the Bombardier Global Express. The package is priced at $455,000, depending on the existing configuration of the jet, and includes engineering, installation, certification, equipment and return to service. The upgrade uses ICG’s ICS-220A Iridium satcom if the existing satcom doesn’t meet interface and Fans and ADS-B requirements.
In the four months since the March 8 disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, the consensus on what happened appears to have boiled down to one basic view, simply stated by International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Tony Taylor at the association’s annual meeting in Doha, Qatar, on June 2. “The loss of MH370 continues to be on everybody’s mind. I have no idea what happened to that aircraft,” he said. “I don’t think anyone else has, either.”
Rockwell Collins and Kobev International have introduced a new Fans 1/A and CPDLC training program that is available for in-aircraft training at a customer’s location or at Rockwell Collins’s facility in Annapolis, Md., or at Kobev International in Sugar Grove, Ill. The training “emulates a pilot’s real-world communications with ATC,” according to Rockwell Collins, and allows pilots to “have an interactive experience with real-time feedback.” The emulation program was developed by Rockwell Collins’s Arinc Direct.