The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) wasted no time after the U.S. government’s reopening to highlight the damage it says has been done to the country’s aviation system, reminding users that getting things rolling again may not be as simple as flipping a switch.
Air traffic control
The NBAA has warned flight crews executing the TRTLL STAR into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to be alert for a system glitch that might command an aircraft’s FMS to descend to 4,000 feet at MONKZ when the aircraft should actually remain at 11,000 feet. The 4,000 foot altitude depicted is an MEA at MONKZ, not a crossing altitude.
The Finnish Air Traffic Controllers’ Association announced it will strike at the Finnish Area Control Center in Tampere, beginning October 30. The union said air traffic controllers in Tampere will walk off the job between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. local time. Controllers are protesting a plan to move the Finnish ATC center from Tampere to Vantaa, approximately 100 miles southeast.
Chicago Jet Group has received the first-ever FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for a future air navigation system (FANS) 1/A+ and controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) retrofit. The FANS/CPDLC system is installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 managed by Chicago Jet and also represents the first FANS-over-Iridium retrofit for a business jet. FANS capability will be required for flying the most efficient tracks across the North Atlantic, and this retrofit not only enables that capability but also meets the upcoming Eurocontrol Link 2000+ mandates. These mandates kick in on Feb.
Honeywell’s SmartView Lower Minimums (SVLM) must be able to show precisely where the aircraft is, without the use of additional navigation signals from transmitters on the ground, as well as tell the pilot when a system malfunction makes the lower-minimums approach unsafe. Honeywell uses five monitors to ensure the integrity of the system and the aircraft’s position.
It appears that Europe isn’t big enough for two major ATC conferences.
On October 16, London-based events marketing and communications company UBM announced the signing of a 10-year pact with representatives of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to stage its ATC Global conference in that country starting next year.
Chicago Jet Group has received the first FAA supplemental type certificate for a future air navigation system (Fans) 1/A+ and controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) retrofit. The Fans/CPDLC system is installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 managed by Chicago Jet and also represents the first Fans-over-Iridium retrofit for a business jet.
Fans capability will be required for flying the most efficient tracks across the North Atlantic, and this retrofit also meets the upcoming Eurocontrol Link 2000+ mandates that take effect on Feb. 5, 2015.
Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) director general Jeff Poole has laid out proposals to transform air traffic management (ATM) performance in Africa. Speaking at a Canso conference in Abuja, Nigeria, on October 8, Poole highlighted two broad areas of focus in the region: improving runway safety and creating a world-class ATM system that allows aircraft to fly safely across African state borders seamlessly.
The U.S. government shutdown could have “grave repercussions on the [ATC] system,” Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), told an October 10 rally. “The furlough of thousands of aviation safety professionals is eliminating critical layers of redundancy and safety that keep the system operating safely and efficiently. The shutdown has also interrupted the flow of hiring, training and innovation,” he said.
Every decade or so, sometimes more often, someone or some organization proposes “privatizing” the U.S. air traffic control system. In 1985 it was the Air Transport Association (ATA), now renamed Airlines for America, which released a study calling for a self-supporting federal ATC corporation.