The Raytheon standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) began continuous operations in early May at the Dallas-Fort Worth terminal radar approach control (Tracon) facility, the first of 11 large Tracons in the U.S. to manage air traffic continuously using the new ATC automation system.
Area Control Center
Controller operational errors are on the rise, according to a February 27 audit report from the DOT’s Office of the Inspector General (IG), prompted by requests from the Senate subcommittee on aviation operations, safety and security and, separately, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. According to FAA data, controller operational errors at the Southern California (SoCal) Tracon, jumped from 33 in FY09 to 189 in FY10, an increase of 473 percent.
Garmin has obtained FAA TSO approval for new VHF com and navcom radios that offer 8.33-kHz frequency spacing, more transmitter power and built-in frequency databases. Shipments of the new GTR (com) and GNC (navcom) series radios began last month, replacing the SL 30 and 40 models, which will eventually cease production. European TSO approval is expected in the first quarter.
The director of Lockheed Martin’s En-route Automation Modernization (Eram) program has said the system’s deployment across the U.S.is on schedule and on budget since the FAA recalculated, or “re-baselined,” its cost and schedule in June last year.
Digital data messaging between pilots and air traffic controllers is scheduled to begin replacing voice-based communications in U.S. airspace in the next three years.
“Pressing challenges remain” in the FAA’s progression to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), says the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general. In testimony October 5 before the House aviation subcommittee, DOT IG Calvin L. Scovel III cited the FAA’s Metroplex initiative.
Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) Calvin Scovel III told Congress that technical problems continue to plague the en route automation modernization (Eram) project. This nationwide upper-airspace flight data and management system is necessary for full National Airspace System introduction of ADS-B, DataComm and system-wide information management (Swim).
Software problems with the FAA's new, $2.1 billion en route automation modernization (Eram) computer system, originally scheduled to be operational at all 20 air route traffic control centers (ARTCC) last year, could incur repair costs for the agency of up to $500 million.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is criticizing the Commerce Department’s proposal to close the National Weather Service center weather service units (CWSU) at each of the 20 air route traffic control centers in the continental U.S.
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