DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval for its GDC62 radio altimeter interface unit and the GDC66 fuel quantity adapter unit. These converters, developed specifically for the Piper Meridian, permit the continued use of the existing radio altimeter and fuel quantity computer and are required for the G950 cockpit retrofit STC owned by Cutter Aviation. DAC International’s engineering and certification division achieved the approvals in partnership with Cutter Aviation.
Federal Aviation Administration
The reintroduced Los Angeles Residential Helicopter Noise Relief Act has little chance of being enacted, according to government information website GovTrack.us. S.208 seeks to force the FAA to impose regulations governing helicopter operations in the Los Angeles area. GovTrack.us estimates that the bill has a 4-percent chance of getting out of committee and a 1-percent chance of being enacted.
The Transportation Trades Dept. of the AFL-CIO union group says the clock is ticking toward a March 1 federal “sequestration” deadline the organization says will imperil the U.S. National Airspace System, with $483 million in cuts to the FAA’s operations budget. Sequestration will entail mandatory furloughs among agency employees, including air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors and systems specialists.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general will begin a congressionally mandated audit of the FAA’s air traffic management modernization effort next month. “While the FAA has committed to improve the management of NextGen and its other major modernization programs, key programs continue to experience schedule delays and cost overruns that could compromise the expected benefits from NextGen initiatives,” said DOT assistant inspector general Jeffrey Guzzetti in a February 14 letter.
The FAA issued a much-anticipated screening information request (SIR) that seeks proposals from public entities including state and local governments and universities to operate six test ranges for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
The FAA has approved the Shanghai Hawker Pacific FBO as a foreign repair station, allowing it to support U.S.-registered aircraft in China. The company applied for the approval just a few days before the FAA stopped taking applications on Aug. 3, 2008, due to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s failure to introduce security rules for such facilities.
The Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) and the U.S.-based Air Traffic Control Association (Atca), opened the inaugural World ATM Congress in the Spanish capital Madrid on Tuesday.
Frontier Airlines became the first Airbus operator in the U.S. approved to fly public-use precision approaches into airports surrounded by challenging terrain, Airbus subsidiary Quovadis said last week. Frontier should see operational benefits with its Airbus A320s, including a reduction in diversions caused by bad weather, as well as lower fuel burn and lower emissions.
The FAA is falling behind in work to bolster air transport safety as required by the 2010 Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act, according to the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG). Last week, in a letter to the FAA, the IG stated, “Effectively implementing the act’s requirements is key to improving safety in airline travel by raising standards in pilot training and performance, as well as advancing voluntary programs that yield critical safety information.”
The FAA’s Great Lakes region published a winter operations bulletin last week as a review of important winter airport operations. This stated that issuing a Notam to close a runway when snowplowing operations begin is an important priority.