If you build it, they will come. The UK National Aeronautical Centre (Hall 1 Stand C9) has answered the first part of that challenge by making available the facilities to fly large unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) beyond a pilot’s visual line of sight, in an environment that also accommodates manned aviation. The center now awaits a response from what is expected to be a boom market for commercial UAS.
Civil aviation authority
Integrating remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) into civilian airspace in Europe is not going to be easy. Official programs are many, work is extensive, detailed and ongoing, but anyone expecting an early resolution is going to be disappointed. This was the picture gleaned from a series of presentations at last month’s RPAS Today: Opportunities and Challenges conference, run by the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.
The FAA used International Civil Aviation Organization standards during a recent inspection to determine that Serbia’s aviation safety rating should be upgraded to Category 1 from Category 2. Serbia’s safety rating had been at Category 2 since 2006, indicating the country either lacked laws or regulations to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority was deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.
The civil aviation authority of the Cayman Islands (a branch of the British CAA) and Cayman Islands Helicopters have won their appeal against a previous justice decision that forced the sightseeing flight operator to suspend operations from a helipad conveniently located near a cruise-ship terminal in George Town. As of April 8, the CAA still had to validate the certificate again, almost one year after it had been suspended.
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards will predominate in the UAE’s efforts to develop a workable framework for the oversight of business aviation, which it hopes will serve as a model for the rest of the region, a UAE aviation safety official said last month at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference in Riyadh.
One set of rules currently governs all types of aviation in the UAE, but business aviation sometimes presents a special case and must comply with rules that are not necessarily applicable to it.
France’s civil aviation authority, the DGAC, has approved the idea of training medical personnel as helicopter emergency medical service (Hems) “technical crewmembers,” beginning October 8. This change should meet the EASA IR-OPS requirement, which France opted out of for two years. Most helicopter EMS flights in the country today are conducted by a single pilot.
Ghana’s Civil Aviation Authority has grounded all McDonnell Douglas DC-8s registered in the African country. The CAA apparently issued the grounding on December 31 last year but published the notice on its website only last week. The CAA gave no reason for the grounding notice. The only two DC-8 operators in Ghana are on the European Union’s list of banned airlines.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched an industry-wide project to identify smaller airports within Britain that could benefit from the development of new instrument approach procedures. All industry sectors from airport managers to air traffic controllers to pilots and commercial operators are encouraged to offer suggestions on potential airport recipients.
UK air navigation services provider NATS has started a 14-week “consultation” process through January 21 to gather comments from airlines and other interested groups on proposed airspace changes surrounding Gatwick and London City airports. The consultation marks the first step in a wider program of proposed changes under the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy, an ATC modernization plan for the UK and Ireland.
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has denounced an October 15 press report that claimed 58 percent of aircraft in South Africa do not have airworthiness certificates. The authority said the story was both inaccurate and irresponsible, insisting that its main point was based on a statement made by a member of the South African parliament that was taken out of context.
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