FAA Air Traffic Organization COO David Grizzle plans to step down from his position in December, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca). “Throughout [his] tenure at the ATO, we worked together to strengthen the Natca-FAA collaborative relationship. That has resulted in many successes, from modernization to labor relations, which have helped continue to make our National Airspace System the world’s safest and most efficient,” said Natca president Paul Rinaldi. “We thank David for his contributions.”
Federal Aviation Administration
Updates to FAA joint order 7210.3X, the agency’s operational guide to ATC facility management, take effect August 22.
The comment period for additional ideas for the FAA’s upcoming redo of its airman certification standards closes August 23. A notice published last month included a first draft of the authorized instructor certificate documents, a second draft of the private pilot certificate and the instrument rating documents, as well as a set of frequently asked questions.
Rockwell Collins’s next-generation TTR-2100 traffic alert and collision avoidance system (Tcas II) for transport aircraft has achieved FAA certification. The new system, which provides NextGen traffic surveillance in a lighter and more capable unit, is available for Boeing aircraft as a forward-fit and retrofit solution. Airbus and other aircraft types will follow soon. Both the TTR-2100 and the soon-to-be certified TTR-4100 for helicopters and business and regional aircraft meet the emerging requirements of NextGen airspace.
L-3 Platform Integration has earned a four-year extension of its FAA organization designation authorization (ODA) and passed a biennial audit of its ODA-related process. It has also won FAA approval for modification of the composite-fuselage Boeing 787.
The FAA-granted ODA allows a center to issue certificates of airworthiness and supplemental type certificates as designees on behalf of the agency.
Budget sequestration may have some obvious negative consequences, such as precluding the Pentagon from displaying U.S. warplanes at the Paris Air Show for the first time in more than two decades. But it has the potential to yield some positive changes as well. On the domestic side of the ledger, for example, the head of the FAA’s office of flight standards foresees draconian funding cuts as an opportunity to make changes in the way his agency does business.
The FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization program faces long-term technical risks and still uncertain acceptance by airspace users. But after a decade in development, NextGen could be stalled by a nearer-term threat: substantially reduced funding from Congress. In June, the House appropriations committee released transportation funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2014 that would reduce the FAA’s capital funding account, which supports NextGen programs, to its lowest level since 2000.
The FAA claims the NextGen Air Transportation System initiative is progressing, according to its recently issued NextGen Implementation Plan report, which projects a reduction in delays of 41 percent by the end of the mid-term implementation period in 2020.
Several decades ago there was an advertisement with three elderly ladies in a fast-food joint. They look at a burger and ask, “Where’s the beef?” One panelist at a NextGen symposium hosted by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) International and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) in late June suggested that selling NextGen to the end users may present a similar perception problem. “Where is the hype?” he asked. “I just don’t see the hype.”
The FAA is proposing a $2.75 million civil penalty against Boeing for allegedly failing to maintain its commercial airplane quality control system in accordance with approved FAA procedures. In September 2008, Boeing discovered it had been installing nonconforming fasteners on 777s. The following month, the FAA sent Boeing a letter of investigation that requested a response within 20 working days.