The comment window has been reopened until March 11 on the FAA’s proposal to revise the technical and operational requirements for simulators and flight-training devices, as well as consolidate them under one new rule. The proposal was published in September 2002 and the original comment period closed February 24 last year.
Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA is reviewing an FAR Part 150 noise-compatibility proposal for Little Rock National Airport, Ark., and expects to approve or disapprove the plan no later than July 21. The agency has already approved noise-exposure maps required under Part 150. A public comment period ends March 23. For more information, contact the FAA’s Tim Tandy at (817) 222-5635.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit in late January asking a federal court to order the Federal Service Impasses Panel to resolve a bargaining issue between NATCA and the FAA that affects employees at 11 facilities. NATCA also named the Federal Labor Relations Authority in its suit.
Recent guidance from the FAA advises pilots that beginning next January 20, when RVSM is scheduled to be implemented in the U.S., ATC will start using the flight-plan equipment block information to issue or deny clearance into RVSM airspace. For both FAA and ICAO flight plans, the letter “W” will signify that an operator has RVSM authorization. Questions about all aspects of RVSM can be directed to the FAA at (202) 863-2175.
Nearly three months after being directed by Congress to develop a plan for giving pilots and mechanics a “third party” review process if they lose their FAA certificates for alleged security reasons, the Transportation Security Administration has yet to propose such a plan. To date, there have been no FAA certificates pulled under the regulation, according to AOPA.
At about the same time Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta was announcing plans for a “next-generation air transportation system” to the Washington Aero Club in late January, word was filtering out of the White House that the Bush Administration wanted to cut the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) budget for fiscal year 2005 by almost half a billion dollars.
After more than 15 years and $200 million in development effort, the FAA in late January canceled further expenditures on the GPS Category I local-area augmentation system (LAAS), dropped its proposed 2006 initial introduction and reclassified the project as merely research and development.
“The greatest flaw in the current system is the corporate jet versus the airline,” said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey.
The FAA made a hard sell yesterday to offshore oil operators that will soon have the opportunity to receive unprecedented traffic and weather information in the cockpit via ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) technology–if they equip their helicopters with special equipment that can receive and display
Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, described the recently released FAA funding proposal as “one of the greatest threats business aviation has ever faced.” According to Matthew Zuccaro, president of HAI, it is an even bigger threat to the helicopter industry.