The FAA launched the second and third major acquisitions of the NextGen ATC modernization effort, naming Harris both to replace existing point-to-point voice switches with a networked system and to build a nationwide air/ground data communications (data comm) network.
Pilatus Business Aircraft will offer a Garmin G600 New Perspective glass panel avionics retrofit for its legacy (pre-NG) PC-12 turboprop singles through its authorized and satellite service centers. Garmin is expected to receive supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for the installation late this year. All marketing and sales for the STC is being conducted through the Pilatus sales and service center network. Several centers already have begun accepting customer orders for the system.
The benefits of employing a safety management system (SMS) in business aircraft operations should no longer be up for question, according to Pete Agur, managing director and founder of The VanAllen Group. Now, he said, “it’s a question of how people want to apply it, whether it’s a single aircraft or a large fleet.”
Early next year, the Flight Safety Foundation (Booth No. 3532) expects to publish operational guidelines for its members on the conduct of stabilized approaches, according to COO Kevin Hiatt. The guidelines arise from analysis of trends gathered from corporate flight-operational quality assurance (C-FOQA) data.
Arinc Direct is stepping up the development of its iPad flight-planning application in support of business aircraft operators eager to eliminate paper in the cockpit. One recent enhancement that has eased approval for the app as an alternative to more costly electronic flight bags has been allowing synchronization of data between two or more iPads in the cockpit using a Bluetooth connection. Coming soon is a feature that will allow pilots to rework flight plans in the cockpit on their iPads, for instance by making last-minute changes to weight-and-balance calculations.
In a development particularly relevant to oceanic operations, an FAA-sponsored aviation rulemaking committee expects to issue guidance material providing for the use of satellite-based voice communications for long-range contact with ATC by year-end.
Harris has won a three-way contest to provide the FAA’s next generation ATC data communications network between pilots and controllers, beating competing bids by ITT Exelis and Lockheed Martin.
Garmin has updated the software for GTN touchscreen avionics, and new capabilities include the ability to display weather radar, new ADS-B features, worldwide connectivity with the GRS 56 Iridium datalink system, cross fill between the GTN and GNS 430W/530W, geo-referenced FliteCharts and support for Telligence voice command and 3-D audio. The new software is available free for owners of GTN systems starting in the fourth quarter, although dealers may charge for installation.
Arinc Direct recently released Version 2.3 of its iPad flight-planning app, a major upgrade designed to help users eliminate paper from their cockpits and including a new note-taking annotation feature on flight plans.
Arinc Direct has released Version 2.3 of its iPad flight-planning app, a major upgrade designed to help users eliminate paper from their cockpits and including a new note-taking annotation feature on flight plans. With the annotation feature, users can add notes on flight plans by clicking on the action arrow at the bottom of the screen, then click anywhere on the flight plan and add text. The notes can be emailed along with the flight plan. Two pilots using the app on their own iPads can see each other’s notes via Bluetooth communication between the iPads.