One hundred International Civil Aviation Organization member states and nine international organizations agreed on April 7 to adopt new protocols to the 1963 Tokyo Convention related to offenses committed aboard aircraft. ICAO said the agreement was reached after four years of work focused on the increased frequency of incidents involving disruptive and unruly passengers on scheduled commercial flights.
Crownair Aviation at Montgomery Field in San Diego, Calif., has selected Baldwin Aviation Safety & Compliance of Hilton Head, S.C., to develop its IS-BAO-based safety management systems. The FBO/MRO employs 35 people and, according to the company, it has made it a strategic goal to further develop its positive safety culture. “We look forward to working with Baldwin Aviation to achieve this goal,” said David Ryan, the company’s president and CEO.
Top FAA regulators justified the new omnibus helicopter safety rule at February’s Heli-Expo convention. John Duncan, director of FAA flight standards, and Kim Smith, manager of the rotorcraft directorate, said the new rule is necessary in light of a recent surge in helicopter accidents, and they are confident that it will contribute to a significant reduction in the accident rate.
The FAA has released its long-awaited omnibus helicopter rule governing emergency medical services (EMS), Part 135 and Part 91 procedures, operations, training and testing and required equipment. The agency estimates that the new rule is expected to cost operators $311 million to implement over the next decade. It closely mirrors the FAA’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) released in 2010.
On February 20, the FAA issued a far-reaching final rule that will require helicopter operators, including air ambulance services, to abide by stricter flight rules and procedures that better prepare both pilots and helicopters for safer operations. Within 60 days, all operators will be required to use enhanced procedures for flying in challenging weather, at night, and when landing in remote locations.
The FAA has pushed out, from 4 p.m. until approximately 5 p.m., the start of an eight-nautical-mile-wide TFR centered over MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Super Bowl Sunday. From that time until an hour after the end of the game, no general aviation flights will be allowed to enter the TFR ring below 18,000 feet. From noon until 5 p.m., a one-nautical-mile-wide TFR with a minimum altitude of 3,000 feet will be imposed around the stadium.
An FAA enforcement case against the operator of a commercial drone or unmanned aircraft system (UAS) may lead to a determination of whether the FAA has regulatory jurisdiction over model radio-control aircraft and whether the agency can prohibit the commercial operation of such aircraft. This is believed to be the first FAA enforcement action against the operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft.
Incorrect data in aviation records is serious in the extreme. Aviation depends on data entry to record everything from student pilot training to air carrier compliance with airworthiness directives to scores of information on every aspect of defeating gravity safely. For that reason, air safety relies in large part on records, the accuracy of which is critical.
The FAA is reminding aircraft operators through a special airworthiness information bulletin– NOTC5068, issued November 22–about a few idiosyncrasies to keep in mind when updating aircraft navigational databases. “The cyclical updates may exclude certain navigation data, including approach procedures, which makes this information unavailable for selection on the aircraft flight management system or navigation equipment,” warned the bulletin.
The FAA talks a lot about the importance of safety management systems. It has several web pages dedicated to SMS. Newsletters dedicated to SMS. And employees certainly talk it up at internal and external meetings. But talk is cheap, as we all know.
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