Eclipse Aerospace received an amended production certificate (PC) today from the FAA, authorizing the Albuquerque, N.M.-based aircraft manufacturer to do final assembly, test and certification of new-production Eclipse 550s. The original PC granted to Eclipse last year allowed Eclipse to manufacture the EA550 and requisite parts in compliance with FAA-approved type design, but required direct FAA oversight of the flight-test and certification phases.
Civil aviation authorities
As India’s air traffic grows and skies get crowded, the country’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Civil Aviation have finally reached an agreement on a long-standing demand for flexible use of airspace (FUA). The implementation will stand “subject to ensuring adequate safeguards in the system to prevent inadvertent leaks of military information and dissemination of any information on military aviation activities strictly on a ‘need to know’ basis,” noted a government statement. The military currently controls approximately 65 percent of India’s airspace.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) have inked an agreement that each believes represents a significant step in enhancing a mutual dialogue focused on runway safety. The agreement also means the realization of a shared aviation safety intelligence model, a computer database designed to improve accident analysis.
The FAA has begun the process that could lead to rewriting the certification regulations for normal and transport category helicopters certified under Parts 27 and 29. On February 22 the FAA issued a request for public comment, due on or before May 23.
Two preferred routes over the North Atlantic Organized Track System (NAT OTS) now require cockpit datalink capability. The ICAO requirement calls for two datalink capabilities, controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) and ADS-C (Contract). Flight departments planning to equip for datalink communications to meet this requirement will have to obtain a letter of authorization from their local FAA FSDO.
The FAA has begun the process that could lead to rewriting the standards for normal- and transport-category helicopters certified under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs. On Friday, the agency formally issued a request for public comment due on or before May 23. Specifically, the FAA is seeking comments on whether it should revise the maximum weight and passenger-seat capacity for helicopters in both categories and make airworthiness standards “more efficient and adaptable to future technology.”
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conducted a fresh audit of the aviation safety system run by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in what regulators there hope will lead to an upgrade of that nation’s Category 2 safety status to Category 1. Such an upgrade would spearhead the move to allow Philippine airlines to operate to the U.S. and Europe. The FAA downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 over safety concerns in 2009, with Europe blacklisting the carriers in 2010.
DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval for its GDC62 radio altimeter interface unit and the GDC66 fuel quantity adapter unit. These converters, developed specifically for the Piper Meridian, permit the continued use of the existing radio altimeter and fuel quantity computer and are required for the G950 cockpit retrofit STC owned by Cutter Aviation. DAC International’s engineering and certification division achieved the approvals in partnership with Cutter Aviation.
Maintenance provider Air Works India Engineering soft-launched its new aircraft appearance division in Mumbai late last week. The completions facility has already been approved by India’s civil aviation authority and is expected to gain EASA certification next year, according to Air Works.
UTC Aerospace Systems has become the first U.S. company to manufacture aerospace products in India under the terms of a bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) signed in 2011 by the U.S. FAA and India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The agreement gives blanket approval for manufacturing U.S. aerospace products in India (or vice versa).