On September 13, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will have completed the first year of her five-year tenure in the position. Is she meeting expectations? Has anything changed? Can any mortal possibly alter the course of what some have called one of the more dysfunctional agencies in the federal government?
The FAA has released a road map for performance-based navigation that will enable pilots to use Rnav and RNP procedures in all phases of flight in the National Airspace System by 2020, leaving only a minimal network of ground-based navaids in place. In the near term (2003 to 2006), the first set of public Rnav and RNP guidelines will be implemented as the FAA continues to work on more widespread operations.
Through its JetPlan flight planning service, Jeppesen for the last couple of years has been offering RAIM (receiver autonomous integrity monitoring) prediction reports to customers who use its JetPlan flight planning service. The Colorado firm is reminding pilots who use GPS Rnav for primary navigation about a new U.S. requirement for such reporting that went into effect on March 31.
Effective February 20, the /F suffix for aircraft equipped with single FMSs has been revised to account for advanced Rnav equipment.
The FAA is proposing numerous revisions to instrument flight rules and procedures to reflect technological advances intended to “facilitate the transition from ground-based navigation to new reference sources,” principally GPS and enhanced vision systems. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) cuts a 60-page swath through the Federal Register, affecting Parts 1, 71, 91, 95, 97, 121, 125, 129 and 135.
The FAA intends to implement major airspace changes in the Southwest U.S. on October 4. The Las Vegas four cornerpost plan integrates changes in standard routings in airspace controlled by the Albuquerque and Los Angeles Centers. The plan also includes changes to the Phoenix and Las Vegas Tracon airspace that serves Phoenix Sky Harbor International and Las Vegas McCarran International Airports.
Starting in November, countries in Europe will start requiring operators to be approved for Precision Rnav (PRnav) if they intend to use their Rnav equipment in terminal areas that have Rnav procedures.
Sixteen RNAV standard instrument departure (SID) procedures go into effect October 12 for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The FAA is expanding RNAV SIDs from use in Las Vegas, where they were first introduced in 2002, to the rest
of the National Airspace System, starting with DFW. For more information, visit www.avn.faa.gov/acifp.asp.
The FAA has issued guidance on altitude and speed constraints in Rnav procedures. In the document, InFO 07011, the agency said that adherence to speed and altitude is especially important when flying Rnav procedures. The agency emphasizes that the phrases “resume normal speed,” “maintain” and “speed your discretion” do not cancel published speed restrictions, but rather those most recently issued by ATC.
If you think the next-generation air transportation system (NextGen) is still far down the flyway, consider this. Starting in September, the FAA, in conjunction with Eurocontrol, will begin teaching courses in performance-based navigation (PBN) in all International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regions.