The two federal government labor unions that represent air traffic controllers and employees of the National Weather Service (NWS) have asked the FAA to reconsider a plan to eliminate on-site meteorologist positions at each of the ATC en route centers. The FAA plans to contract with a commercial weather company to provide forecasts from one remote centralized location.
Federal Aviation Administration
The User Request Evaluation Tool (URET), a conflict-detection tool that automatically detects and advises air traffic controllers of predicted conflicts between aircraft or between aircraft and special activity in airspace within the National Airspace System, is now operating at all 20 FAA en route centers.
The FAA’s office of aviation safety has been recognized as the first federal agency to achieve certification to the International Organization for Standardization ISO 9001:2000 quality management standard of a single corporate management system that covers multiple services.
On October 30, Dr. Jan Galla opened an aviation medical examination office at the Jet Aviation facilities on Teterboro Airport. Galla, a cardiac surgeon for the past 20 years, decided to become an aviation medical examiner (AME) full-time after five years of offering airman medical exams in his spare time. Galla’s practice is solely for aviation medical exams, primarily for professional flight crews.
Repair station operators have a new option when considering ways to meet the new FAA training requirements. Avstar Media of Addison, Texas, has released a computer-based training program to assist FAA-certified repair stations with the initial and recurrent training requirements set forth in the latest revision of 14 CFR Part 145.
The FAA aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) on the age-60 retirement issue had not completed its work at press time, but the new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) amendment to raise the mandatory retirement age to 65 in multi-pilot crews when one crewmember is less than 60 took effect on November 23.
Balancing available technology with the inevitable shifts in what governments will spend to achieve incremental gains, it’s tough to say what the air traffic management (ATM) environment of tomorrow will look like. Weren’t we all supposed to be living in a Free Flight utopia by now?
At the AOPA Convention in Palm Springs, Calif., last month, the specter of user fees cast its long shadow over operators and potential operators of the new small jets. At the opening general session a lineup of aviation heavyweights voiced their views on user fees. Tom Poberezny, president of EAA, summed it up best when he said, “They [the airlines] want to control more and pay less.”
While speakers at the Air Traffic Control Association’s annual convention in Washington in October discussed a wide range of ATC technologies, both current and future, several presentations touched on a common underlying theme: where will the money come from?
While the NTSB ruled that the chartered Challenger 600 that overran a runway at Teterboro Airport (TEB) on Feb. 2, 2005, was loaded improperly, the accident also shone a spotlight on the murky issue of operational control of such flights.