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.
Federal Aviation Administration
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.
With the failure of Congress to take any action in the contract dispute between the FAA and the air traffic controllers union, the agency arbitrarily put its last contract proposal into effect as yesterday’s deadline expired. The FAA declared an impasse on April 5 after nine months of negotiations with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association that the agency claimed cost taxpayers $2.3 million.
ADS-B-equipped aircraft will be back on ATC radar screens in Alaska after an absence of several weeks. On March 24, following “misapplication” of separation standards by the Anchorage ARTCC, FAA officials in Washington ordered ADS-B aircraft returns removed from ATC displays.
As the user-fee battle rages, rhetoric from Air Transport Association member airlines is reaching vast audiences. Lost in the debate, however, is a reference made by ATA v-p of operations and safety Basil Barimo late last year, in which he coined the term “commercial airspace” and attempted to connect the user-fee issue with safety in relation to less experienced pilots flying very light jets in so-called commercial airspace.
A recent NTSB decision has sparked action by AOPA on behalf of Part 91 operators. The Safety Board, ruling on a recent enforcement action against a mechanic (Administrator v. Law), seemed to say that aircraft manufacturers could make service bulletins (SBs) mandatory, essentially giving them the same force of law as an AD. “That is not the FAA’s interpretation of the regulations,” said AOPA.