On November 23 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will adopt an amendment to increase the age limit for airline pilots to 65, provided another crewmember pilot is under age 60. The FAA established on September 27 an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the new ICAO standard.
Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA issued a new Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO 06014) that seeks to clarify the conditions under which pilots can take off with frost adhering to airframes. At the same time, the SAFO might complicate the pre-takeoff decision-making process because it reminds pilots that takeoff with frost adhering to lifting surfaces and flight controls is legal.
The $388 billion omnibus spending bill Congress passed late last year cut the FAA’s budget for Fiscal Year 2005 to $13.6 billion, $219 million less than in FY 2004. But lawmakers added $9.5 million more than the Bush Administration requested to train more air traffic controllers.
Effective January 5, when filing an FAA flight plan (with the exception of filing through DUATS and flight service stations), RVSM-compliant operators are expected to file “/Q” (RVSM with a FMS or GPS) or “/W” (RVSM without FMS and GPS), as appropriate, for flight in RVSM airspace (between FL290 and FL410 inclusive).
Hoping to stave off a shortage in air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA will hire 12,500 controllers over the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified more quickly. More than 11,000 controllers are expected to leave the agency between now and 2014.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is recommending that the FAA change its regulations to make it illegal for aircraft to take off with so-called “polished frost.” The AAIB also urged all aviation authorities that follow the FAA’s current practice to delete references to polished frost within their regulations and expunge the term from approved operations manuals.
In a report released early last month, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said policy decisions by the Bush Administration, not inadequate revenues, are causing the declining balance in the Aviation Trust Fund.
The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) is asking the entire aviation community to call their Congressional representatives and ask for their support of House Resolution 586 (108th Congress).
Garrett Aviation/Piedmont Hawthorne/ Associated Air Center announced its Garrett Aviation-Springfield, Ill. repair station has been awarded the FAA Diamond Award for outstanding aviation maintenance training.
By just about anyone’s reckoning the FAA audit process known as the Air Transport Oversight System (ATOS) has turned into a horribly labor-intensive and time-consuming job. Now, as the agency’s flight standards office loses about 250 employees a year to budget cuts, the onus has fallen squarely on the nation’s regional airlines to pay the bill.