The Houston Metroplex project took a step forward toward full NextGen usage on May 29 with the implementation of a number of new performance-based navigation procedures (PBN). The local controlling body, Houston Center, eventually plans to bring 60 new procedures online for George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston Hobby and a number of satellite airports in the area.
Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA announced on June 2 that seven aerial photo and video production companies are seeking regulatory exemptions that would allow the film and television industry to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the first time. If the requests, which are supported by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), are granted, there could be useful economic benefits as the agency begins to address the demand for commercial UAS operations and how to balance them with safety concerns.
The FAA has launched an Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program for the general aviation community, bringing to the sector a system many operators–from Parts 121 and 135 to GA pilots–are already using. The agency announced the one-year demonstration project on March 28.
NetJets’ repair stations achieved a new safety milestone yesterday, entering Level III of the FAA’s safety management system (SMS) program. As such, NetJets is the first repair station in the U.S. to achieve this safety level.
A curious conundrum is causing confusion for international business jet operators flying to countries where ADS-B out equipment and capability is mandatory. While there is no requirement in the U.S. and Europe for operators to have a letter of authorization (LOA) for using ADS-B out equipment, some Asia-Pacific countries are requiring that operators carry an LOA with their aircraft’s paperwork when operating in airspace where ADS-B out is required. The problem is that asking FAA inspectors to add yet another LOA package to their overburdened workflows further delays issuance.
A diverse panel of four aviation stakeholders kicked off the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual aviation summit this spring in Washington, D.C., with a lively discussion of NextGen that seemed to indicate that all sides are moving closer to consensus on how the system should be built and funded.
The U.S. District Court for Philadelphia has sentenced Joel Stout, of Elizabethtown, Pa., to 60 months probation and 60 hours of community service. Stout, an A&P mechanic and former employee of Flying Tigers, previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to his participation in a complex fraud involving unauthorized aircraft inspections.
By now, all corporate and most general aviation aircraft owners are aware that by Jan. 1, 2020, their aircraft must carry an approved installation of an ADS-B out transmitter and an appropriate Waas receiver. And also by now, owners will probably have read accounts, or have been advised by their avionics suppliers and installers, that even with five-and-a-half years to go, booking installation dates to meet the deadline is getting tight.
Raphael Pirker cast a long shadow over the Unmanned Systems 2014 conference. Pirker’s challenge of an FAA fine for allegedly flying his Ritewing Zephyr recklessly at the University of Virginia came up repeatedly during the annual conference the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) stages, this year in Orlando.
As of the middle of May, the FAA had yet to determine if it will renew its mandatory VFR helicopter route along the north shore of New York’s Long Island. The controversial North Shore Route was established for voluntary compliance in 2008 as a response to residential noise complaints and political prodding from elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), who pressed then Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA to make it mandatory.