A recent update to the FAA’s aeronautical information manual (AIM) specifically wants to refocus how pilots use their transponders on the ground. For years, most pilots became used to ensuring transponders were turned off until takeoff or as part of the after-landing checks. The AIM now says, “Civil and military transponders should be turned ‘on’ to the normal altitude-reporting position prior to moving on the surface to ensure the aircraft is visible to ATC [ground] surveillance systems.”
Aveillant, a spin-off company from France-based technology engineering specialist Altran, is developing a new radar designed to distinguish between aircraft and the rotating blades of wind turbines, eliminating the potential confusion wind farms could cause in ATC and allowing wind farms to be built closer to airports.
The FAA has received reports from Eurocontrol, Airservices Australia and Nav Canada that the mode-S transponders of some U.S.-registered aircraft transmit a FLT ID that does not correlate to the aircraft identification indicated on the flight plan. This could lead to aircraft being misidentified.
Estero, Fla.-based Flightdocs, a provider of aircraft maintenance tracking software and services, released on Monday what it says is the first aircraft maintenance tracking iPad application. The Flightdocs Mobile Information Center app is available free at the iTunes store, though a Flightdocs maintenance tracking subscription is required.
NBAA’s GA Desk is warning aircraft operators flying on the U.S. East Coast this week to review TFR notams carefully. A moving 10-nm TFR is following President Obama along a bus tour through the East Coast until later tomorrow.
Avidyne announced a new mode-S transponder that will make upgrading to ADS-B out capability much simpler. The new AXP340 mode-S transponder is a slide-in replacement for the popular Bendix/King KT76A and KT78A Mode A/C transponders. Retailing for $5,995, including connector kit and mounting tray but not antenna, the AXP340 will be available early next year, in plenty of time to meet the 2020 ADS-B out mandate.
This month will mark a turning point from the “pioneer” phase to the mandate phase of Europe’s implementation of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) for aircraft tracking and separation.
President Obama’s 180-day moratorium on deepwater oil drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico is beginning to pinch helicopter operators there. The President imposed the moratorium following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20.
A lawsuit recently filed involving a charter operator versus the Massachusetts airport at which it is based could set a precedent regarding what constitutes an ATC clearance.