This has got to stop. We all know that FAA inspectors at the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) level are overworked and that FAA regulations, policies, procedures and programs impose impossible requirements on agency personnel. But when a drop-dead simple piece of paperwork that needs an approval signature hits the desk and gets delayed for some obscure confounded reason, causing the grounding of a multimillion-dollar jet, well, this simply has got to stop.
U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes were involved in fewer total accidents in the first half of this year, but corporate jets recorded more fatalities over the first half of this year than in the same period last year. According to preliminary data tabulated by AIN, there were 21 total accidents involving business turboprops and jets in the first six months, compared with 27 in the same period last year.
There were 67,311 business aviation flights in Europe last month, and while this was a “seasonal leap” of 9 percent over May, it was still down 0.9 percent from a year ago, according to data released today by business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance. “June’s decline completed a negative second quarter and means year-to-date flight activity [in Europe] is 0.4 percent lower than in 2013,” it noted.
The Air Charter Association of North America (Acana) and Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) have teamed to raise standards for the air charter industry, to include Part 135 and 121 operators and air charter brokers. The two associations are collaborating on the development and implementation of best practices “that will lead the air charter industry,” said Acana chairman and co-founder Scott Bickford.
The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) tide is still rising in the commercial aerospace sector, according to Michael Richter, managing director and head of aerospace and defense with investment bank Lazard.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last week denied a 2013 petition to re-examine the causes of the July 1996 accident in which TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean soon after takeoff from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport. A group called The TWA 800 Project filed the petition, claiming that a “detonation or high-velocity explosion” (possibly a missile) brought down the Boeing 747.
The first satellite-based precision approach system in the southern hemisphere enabled by Honeywell’s SmartPath entered service last week at Australia’s Sydney Airport. The technology, which is also known as a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) in the U.S., offers precision guidance to within three feet of the runway centerline.
The FAA last month released Safety Info for Operators document 14009 to explain a new data-gathering system on implementation of safety enhancements to Part 121 air carriers. The informational notice says all data gathered is only for the evaluation of industry-wide safety-related issues and is not intended to reflect regulatory compliance.
The FAA published the document as part of its support for the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (Cast), of which the agency is a participant along with air carriers, manufacturers and aviation labor organizations.
As of June 26 this year, there were 3,423 wide-area augmentation system (Waas) localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach procedures serving 1,686 U.S. airports. There are also 552 localizer performance (LP) approach procedures in the U.S. serving 402 airports. A complete list of all LPVs and LP approaches is published on the FAA website.
The European Commission is conducting a user survey of an aviation safety initiative focused on possibly revising EC regulation 216/2008 related to common civil aviation rules and the role of the European Aviation Safety Agency. This online survey asks for informed opinions and suggestions to help identify strengths and weaknesses in the current EU aviation safety system, as well as possibilities for improving safety, competitiveness, environmental protection and the quality of air services.