Britain’s skies are filled not so much with aircraft noise as with the sound of grinding axes, as regional airports vie for audibility during the latest UK government reconsideration of aviation strategy. Forever perceiving themselves as poor relations to major London-area facilities, some of Britain’s local airports (especially in central and southwestern regions) have taken to denigrating competitors, all the while proclaiming their respective “connectivity” to airline networks.
When President Obama signed bipartisan legislation Tuesday that suspended furloughs for air traffic controllers, he also threw a lifeline to 149 contract towers that were slated to be closed.
The general aviation industry in the U.S. lost a key battle last night when the Santa Monica city council voted to impose higher landing fees, not just on transient aircraft but on all aircraft that use the airport. Starting August 1, even a Cessna 172 based at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) flown by a local student or rental pilot will be assessed $10.96 for each landing.
The current state of the global FBO sector is fairly easy to summarize: growth uncertainty, tight margins and blocked opportunities present challenges. Outside the Americas, Europe remains at best flat in terms of traffic volumes, while markets such as Asia and Africa continue to see strong growth. The Middle East is somewhere in the middle.
Some of the very communities on which the regional airline industry built its legacy face “devastating cuts to air service” if the various stakeholders don’t act quickly, officials from the Regional Airline Association warn. The reasons vary, and each presents its own set of challenges.
From May 2, the FAA will start publishing new instrument approach plates that include an enlarged segment of airspace to protect aircraft during circling approaches. The new airspace also offers pilots additional obstacle clearance while considering their MSL altitude above the MDA, which affects true airspeed.
The boundaries of protected airspace for circling approaches are defined by arcs drawn from the threshold of each runway at an airport. The larger the aircraft, the larger the arc.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved both an RNP approach to an ILS and an RNP AR (authorization required) approach for Zhangjiajie Airport (ZDGY) in southeastern China to help increase its capacity. Surrounded by rugged mountainous terrain, the airport sits in the middle of what the country’s Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) calls “complex airspace that limits operations at peak hours for both inbound and outbound traffic.”
Aviation industry groups in the U.S. and Europe oppose a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that would spare passengers the inconvenience of waiting at a customs checkpoint upon arrival in the U.S. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also questions the plan and has requested more information from the DHS.
The U.S. Congress moved to relieve the Federal Aviation Administration of its need to furlough air traffic controllers last week after five days of prolonged flight delays at major airports blamed on controller staffing reductions.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday announced a series of “traffic management initiatives” at airports and other facilities around the country as a result of employee furloughs due to the government’s automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. The agency warned travelers to expect a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather.