Testifying yesterday before the Senate subcommittee on aviation on the status of NextGen ATC implementation, FAA deputy administrator Michael Whitaker told lawmakers that “both the FAA and industry must be held accountable if NextGen is to succeed.”
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive for certain Rockwell Collins TDR-94 and TDR-94D mode-S transponders. The AD was prompted by instances of the transponders not properly responding to mode-S only all-call interrogations when the airplane transitioned from a ground to airborne state.
Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) manufacturer General Atomics says it has successfully tested sense-and-avoid architecture and self-separation functionality that could be the key to keeping piloted aircraft and RPAs apart in the air. The recent test marked the first time the technology has functioned as a true “system of systems” to detect every class of aircraft equipage, and it paves the way for a due regard capability, that ability to avoid aircraft, objects and weather.
One of the air traffic management systems least well known to pilots is multilateration, sometimes called MLat, or multilat, or WAM (for wide-area multilateration).
L-3 Aviation Products announced that it has established a presence in India and that AgustaWestland has selected L-3’s Trilogy electronic standby instrument for new production A119 helicopters.
In February, L-3 (Chalet A306, Static E170) had announced plans to add “technical support for its customers, engineering oversight for programs and expanded business development coverage” at the India Air Show in February. “The local presence advances L-3’s long-term business growth in the emerging Indian aerospace sector, as well as the region,” according to L-3.
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.
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