The Federal Aviation Administration named agency veteran Teri Bristol as the new chief operating officer of its Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which is responsible for managing the U.S. ATC system. Administrator Michael Huerta announced the appointment in an email to employees on March 21.
Despite the news that air traffic surveillance group Aireon now has most of the key elements in place to create a functioning ADS-B system, the FAA has still not committed to the project for updating its oceanic air traffic management operations. And according to libertarian think-tank The Reason Foundation, the U.S. government might not view this important commitment as a priority.
The NTSB has begun trying to learn what caused the pilot of a Eurocopter AS350B2 to lose control of the newsgathering rotorcraft moments after liftoff from a TV station helipad in downtown Seattle on March 18. The pilot and a TV station photographer were killed in the accident.
An update to the FAA’s JO 7110.663 rule means that air traffic controllers who use time-based clearances will soon no longer announce what time standard they are using. Effective April 3, controllers will no longer be required to state whether times are for UTC or coordinated universal time. In this example, “Falcon 372BX, climb to reach one three thousand at two two one five. Time two two one one and one-quarter,” the pilot is expected to be level at 13,000 feet at 22:15 UTC.
The Flight Safety Foundation’s Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS) begins April 16 in San Diego, Calif. Confirmed speakers include Sergei Sikorsky, former vice president of Sikorsky Aircraft; and Chuck Aaron, chief helicopter pilot and director of maintenance with Red Bull.
After 14 months of research into the design, manufacture and assembly processes behind the Boeing 787, the FAA, working closely with Boeing’s technical experts, has concluded the aircraft was soundly designed and meets its intended safety level. The FAA determined that the manufacturer and the agency had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification.
An average of 1.2 aircraft go missing each year, according to an illustrated map released last week by Bloomberg News that pinpoints the last known position of 83 aircraft that have gone missing since 1948. The Douglas DC-3 is the aircraft lost more often than any other in the past 65 years. The fact that the number of aircraft lost in the past 20 years has declined dramatically reflects the continual improvements in aviation safety over the past seven decades.
Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has now awarded prime contracts to all four participating companies to begin Phase 1 development for the agency’s VTOL X-Plane program. Boeing and Karem Aircraft received contracts this week, to join Aurora Flight Sciences and Sikorsky. While all four have submitted proposals for unmanned vehicles, the technology that is to be developed has equal application to manned VTOL aircraft.
The FAA is accepting comments on an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that would require employees of FAA-certified foreign repair stations and certain other maintenance providers who perform safety-sensitive work on U.S. airliners to be subject to a drug-and-alcohol-testing program.
Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) and Sabena Technics have reached an agreement under which the Franco-Dutch group will take control of Barfield, the North American subsidiary of Sabena Technics. The transaction is scheduled to close in the first half, subject to regulatory approval.