Starting with a session next Tuesday in Van Nuys, Calif., the FAA has scheduled seven more briefings on its proposed guidance policy on air carrier operational control, wet leasing of charter aircraft, charter broker relationships and the use of “fictitious” business names, known as DBAs (doing business as).
Federal Aviation Administration
An increase in the number and severity of runway incursions at three major airports has promoted an audit by the DOT inspector general (IG). During the period fiscal year 2005 through April, Boston Logan had 18 incidents (one severe), Chicago O’Hare had 12 incidents (three severe) and Philadelphia had 13 incidents (one involving a collision).
The FAA has been working for years to revise Part 121 and 135 flight time, duty and rest rules, but it’s still not close to issuing new proposals or final rules. Meanwhile, confusion persists over interpretation of certain aspects of the rules that pertain to Part 135 on-demand operations. Recently, the agency received several requests for an interpretation of FAR 135.263(d) and 135.267(b), (d) and (e).
The International Council of AOPA (IAOPA) submitted a petition to the International Civil Aviation Organization to modify language proficiency requirements scheduled to go into effect in two years. All ICAO member states must “adopt, and controllers and aircrews must conform to and achieve, new English language proficiency standards” by March 2008.
The FAA postponed until January 1 next year a decision to limit “priority service” for aircraft registration in connection with conducting international flights to allow only one request per aircraft (by N-number) in any three-month period. The original implementation date was June 1.
With the latest deadline in the contract dispute between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) fast approaching, it seems increasingly unlikely that Congress will step into the fray. Both sides walked away from the bargaining table on April 5, with the FAA declaring an impasse. The agency submitted its final proposal along with Natca’s objections to Congress, which has 60 days to review the proposals.
To encourage more industry participation, the FAA is proposing that information provided to the agency from the voluntary disclosure reporting program (VDRP) be protected from public access in accordance with the provisions of FAR Part 193. Under these provisions, the FAA is required to prevent the information from being made available to the public, including under the Freedom of Information Act.
In a first for a Part 25 aircraft, the FAA has approved the Vision 1 synthetic-vision system from Universal Avionics for use in the Challenger 601-3A. Paired with Universal’s EFI-890R retrofit cockpit, Vision 1 creates a virtual view of the world ahead of the airplane on the primary flight displays by culling data from worldwide terrain and obstacle databases.
Raytheon Aircraft yesterday reached the FAA’s five-year time limit for certification of the Hawker 4000 (née Horizon) under Part 25 amendments that existed at the time of type certification application. In anticipation of not receiving type certification before the deadline, Raytheon applied for an extension on May 11, and today the FAA granted an extension of seven months, to December 31.
The comment period was extended to July 1 for the FAA’s draft environmental impact statement on proposed plans to redesign the airspace in the Northeast, which is intended to improve safety, reduce delays and handle growing air traffic.