Raytheon Aircraft announced that its Little Rock, Ark. completions facility has been awarded FAA designated alteration station (DAS) status.
Federal Aviation Administration
Although the FAA needs to hire 11,800 new controllers through Fiscal Year 2015 to replace retirees and other vacancies, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association noted the agency’s latest FAA Administrator’s Fact Book reports that the overall total number of controllers dropped from 14,227 at the end of FY2005 to 14,206 in FY2006.
Delivery of the first Eclipse 500 very light jet happened on either Dec. 31, 2006, or Jan. 4, 2007, depending on how you count. Eclipse Aviation received its first certificate of airworthiness from the FAA on the last day of 2006 and announced that it had delivered its first airplane by the end of the year to co-owners David Crowe and fractional share/management firm Jet-Alliance. But it held a formal delivery ceremony on January 4.
Last year the FAA said it would delay until this January its plan to limit “priority service” for aircraft registration in connection with international flights to allow only one request per aircraft (by N-number) in any three-month period due to agency staffing limitations, but now it has decided to back off.
While the FAA did rescind Notice N8000.336 regarding addition of airplanes to Part 135 certificates, late last year it reissued the policy in a new notice, with only one change. Like N8000.336, Notice N8000.343 requires FAA principal inspectors to obtain concurrence from FAA headquarters before allowing an operator to add a new turbine-powered airplane to its OpSpecs.
The final report of the FAA/industry rulemaking age-60 committee is now posted on the agency’s Web site. The committee was unable to reach consensus on whether to increase the mandatory retirement age of 60 for airline pilots. The report can be viewed and downloaded at www.faa.gov/media/Final_Age_60_ARC_Report_11_29_2006.pdf.
In part because of a high-profile charter crash at Teterboro Airport (TEB) early in 2005 and several other accidents involving responsibility for operational control, the FAA late last year released its long-awaited Operations Specification (OpSpec) A008 and related guidance regarding operational control in Part 135 charter operations.
Under an FAA cost-cutting proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids, microwave landing systems and nondirectional beacons at some 25 U.S. airports would no longer be monitored by ATC or FSS due to their low annual activity or because they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed. It will therefore be up to pilots to report signal discrepancies to the FAA.
The FAA updated guidance (FAA Notice NJO 7110.456) to controllers for taxi into position and hold (TIPH) procedures, effective February 5. While most of the changes will be unnoticeable to pilots, two of note are: ATC can withhold the landing clearance when another aircraft is holding on the runway; and expect more traffic advisories for TIPH operations on intersecting runways.
The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the FAA signed a bilateral agreement under which they will evaluate simulators for each other. In practice this means that it should be less expensive and troublesome for simulator manufacturers to get their equipment approved for use on either side of the Atlantic. For instance, the CAA will now accept training devices that are certified by the FAA and being used in the U.S.