Federal Aviation Administration
At ICAO’s General Assembly of world aviation nations in 2010, individual member states were requested to commit to national performance based navigation (PBN) implementation plans covering their en route and terminal airspace, plus approach procedures with vertical guidance (LPV/APV) for all their instrument runway ends–as primary or back-up for precision approaches–by 2016, with 70 percent completion targeted by 2014.
The aviation industry is urging quick confirmation of Michael Huerta as FAA Administrator by the full U.S. Senate. Earlier this week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) rescinded a hold on the nomination of Huerta that he placed last summer. DeMint contended that Republicans shouldn’t appoint anyone as FAA Administrator until the Presidential election was decided. Huerta has served as acting FAA Administrator since Randy Babbitt resigned last December.
Last week the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) submitted its comments on the FAA’s rewrite of the federal regulation governing repair stations, urging the FAA to issue a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking that incorporates the substantive comments made by the association and other interested parties that will help the agency more ably meet industry needs and maintain the highest standards of safety
FAA officials met with representatives from NBAA, NATA, Part 135 charter operators and Part 142 training providers last week in an attempt to resolve the issue that is forcing charter operators to stop pilot training and checking at Part 142 schools.
The FAA has extended for a second year an operational evaluation of pilot initiated climbs and descents using in-trail procedures (ITP) in Pacific Ocean airspace. The trial involves 12 United Airlines Boeing 747-400s flying between the U.S. West Coast and Australia and New Zealand. Having extended the evaluation to Aug. 15, 2013, the agency said that it is also holding “exploratory conversations” with ANA and Japan Airlines to include some of their aircraft in the process.
The General Accountability Office’s final report on the effectiveness of the FAA’s Federal Contract Tower (FCT) program said that while the program delivers ATC services at a lower cost than FAA-operated facilities, the entire program requires improved oversight.
The FAA has upgraded Israel’s air safety rating to Category 1 from the Category 2 status it held since December 2008. The November 1 upgrade, based on an October 2012 FAA review of Israel’s civil aviation authority, means Israeli air carriers will be allowed to add new service to and from the U.S., and also to code-share with U.S. airlines. The Category 2 rating allowed Israeli air carriers only to maintain existing services in place in 2008.
A number of recent helicopter accident reviews have identified improper maintenance as a contributing factor, according to FAA’s Alert Notice NOTC4455 issued November 21. Mistakes include items seemingly as simple as improper torque settings, failure to install cotter safety pins and reuse of damaged self-locking nuts. The FAA said the reasons for these problems appear to focus on human factors and failure to follow written procedures.
AIN received nearly two dozen comments to an AINSafety story reporting that some pilots who had been tested by FAA designated pilot examiner (DPE), Edward Lane, would need to be re-examined to determine their competency. At the time, the reasons for the agency’s concern about this DPE were not made entirely clear.