We owe the FAA a debt of gratitude for the most excellent job the agency has done to provide data to aid our flying. It is amazing that for a relatively small cost pilots have access to a wealth of navigation information. Much of it—VFR charting especially—is gorgeous, pretty enough to hang on a wall or use as wrapping paper after the expiration date.
Air traffic control
The Federal Aviation Administration named agency veteran Teri Bristol as the new chief operating officer of its Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which is responsible for managing the U.S. ATC system. Administrator Michael Huerta announced the appointment in an email to employees on March 21.
Despite the news that air traffic surveillance group Aireon now has most of the key elements in place to create a functioning ADS-B system, the FAA has still not committed to the project for updating its oceanic air traffic management operations. And according to libertarian think-tank The Reason Foundation, the U.S. government might not view this important commitment as a priority.
An update to the FAA’s JO 7110.663 rule means that air traffic controllers who use time-based clearances will soon no longer announce what time standard they are using. Effective April 3, controllers will no longer be required to state whether times are for UTC or coordinated universal time. In this example, “Falcon 372BX, climb to reach one three thousand at two two one five. Time two two one one and one-quarter,” the pilot is expected to be level at 13,000 feet at 22:15 UTC.
The Jan. 1, 2020, mandate for installation of ADS-B Out equipment in U.S.-registered aircraft was a hot topic last week at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Nashville, Tenn. FAA officials noted that of the estimated 157,000 aircraft that need the upgrade, fewer than 3,500 had undergone the work as of March 11.
Today Aircell unveiled the ST 4300, a global in-flight communications system for business aircraft that is expected to be eligible for Fans certification. The ST 4300 combines voice, narrowband data and cockpit datalink services into a single unit. Available with one, two or three Iridium voice/narrowband data channels, as well as a dedicated Iridium data channel, the system allows business aircraft operators to configure cabin and flight-deck communications to suit their specific needs and budgets.
Air traffic controllers calling in sick on March 30, 2012, left two ATC sectors–Kimberley and Cable–too short of personnel to keep them operational, according to a recent report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Airservices Australia, the air navigation service provider, erected a temporary restricted area (TRA) designed to prevent aircraft from entering because there was no one to provide necessary ATC service. Despite the TRA, two Airbus A330s somehow entered and flew through the unmonitored airspace.
The FAA future flight technologies branch approved Air Crew Academy’s automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) online training module last week. Previously, individual operators were required to submit the academy’s ADS-B training module to their local FSDO case-by-case to obtain a letter of authorization (LOA). The ADS-B module covers operating procedures, flight planning, MEL procedures, human-factors considerations, ADS-B phraseology, normal and abnormal system operation, aircraft IDs, data source errors and incident reporting.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is providing ATC services in airspace over Northern Ireland for the first time as part of a trial to transfer responsibility from UK air traffic control service NATS. The UK-Ireland Functional Airspace Block (FAB) has launched the trial to test informational gathering efficiencies that could be gained through the Sesar concept of “dynamic sectorization,” the tactical switching of air traffic services between providers.
FreeFlight Systems announced today that it has received FAA STC approval for an ADS-B OUT solution for the Sikorsky S-76A/B/C models. FreeFlight worked with Peregrine Avionics and DAC International to develop the STC. The ADS-B OUT solution is a 10090ES system, with high-integrity Waas GPS position source and an ADS-B rule-compliant Mode S transponder.