The Federal Aviation Administration named agency veteran Teri Bristol as the new chief operating officer of its Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which is responsible for managing the U.S. ATC system. Administrator Michael Huerta announced the appointment in an email to employees on March 21.
Federal Aviation Administration
Despite the news that air traffic surveillance group Aireon now has most of the key elements in place to create a functioning ADS-B system, the FAA has still not committed to the project for updating its oceanic air traffic management operations. And according to libertarian think-tank The Reason Foundation, the U.S. government might not view this important commitment as a priority.
An update to the FAA’s JO 7110.663 rule means that air traffic controllers who use time-based clearances will soon no longer announce what time standard they are using. Effective April 3, controllers will no longer be required to state whether times are for UTC or coordinated universal time. In this example, “Falcon 372BX, climb to reach one three thousand at two two one five. Time two two one one and one-quarter,” the pilot is expected to be level at 13,000 feet at 22:15 UTC.
After 14 months of research into the design, manufacture and assembly processes behind the Boeing 787, the FAA, working closely with Boeing’s technical experts, has concluded the aircraft was soundly designed and meets its intended safety level. The FAA determined that the manufacturer and the agency had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification.
JetTech has teamed with Ultra Electronics Flightline Systems to develop a replacement digital engine display specifically for 500-series Cessna Citations. Pending FAA approval of its supplemental type certificate, Jettech will begin offering kits through its approved FAA certified repair stations.
While the FAA acknowledged that “economic uncertainties” still affect the business jet market, the rate of decline slowed last year and the agency expects a recovery in the near term. In its annual 20-year aerospace forecast, released last Thursday, the FAA is calling for “robust growth” in the long term, driven by higher corporate profits and the growth of worldwide GDP, although at rates slightly lower than those predicted last year.
The Jan. 1, 2020, mandate for installation of ADS-B Out equipment in U.S.-registered aircraft was a hot topic last week at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Nashville, Tenn. FAA officials noted that of the estimated 157,000 aircraft that need the upgrade, fewer than 3,500 had undergone the work as of March 11.
The FAA future flight technologies branch approved Air Crew Academy’s automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) online training module last week. Previously, individual operators were required to submit the academy’s ADS-B training module to their local FSDO case-by-case to obtain a letter of authorization (LOA). The ADS-B module covers operating procedures, flight planning, MEL procedures, human-factors considerations, ADS-B phraseology, normal and abnormal system operation, aircraft IDs, data source errors and incident reporting.
An FAA evaluation team will travel to Nigeria on March 31 to conduct an international air safety assessment (IASA) to determine if that country will maintain its category-one safety certification. The recertification is an important part of Nigeria’s aviation strategy because it allows direct access to U.S. airspace by carriers from that country. The enhanced safety rating also directly affects the insurance premiums Nigerian airlines pay, considered to be one of the greatest operating costs for those carriers.
The FAA wants to fine Whirlybird Helicopters $55,125 for allegedly violating DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations. The agency said Whirlybird failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests on eight employees before hiring them to perform safety-sensitive functions on the company’s helicopters. The agency also alleges three of these employees were not in Whirlybird’s random testing pool as required by DOT regulations. The company has 30 days to appeal the penalty.