As part of continued cost cutting by the U.S. federal government, the FAA has announced plans to begin decommissioning some instrument approach procedures (IAP) to save on maintenance costs of ground-based navaids. The agency said the plan also stems from a near doubling of new IAPs in the past decade thanks to advances in satellite-based approach systems.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has delivered new precision departure release capability (PDRC) software to the FAA; it is designed to improve the flow of air traffic from the moment an aircraft leaves the ground until it reaches cruise altitude.
Data released last week by UK air navigation service provider NATS appears to strengthen Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair in its ongoing campaign to refute accusations that its pilots are subject to undue operational pressure. The NATS data showed that while the all-airline average of carriers whose crews were responsible for altitude busts in Europe as a whole was approximately 6.71 per 100,000 movements, Ryanair pilots busted assigned altitudes only 0.94 times per 100,000 movements.
The FAA has reported that a JetBlue Airbus A320 conducted its first flight using ADS-B technology on June 9 between Fort Lauderdale and San Francisco and also became the first U.S. airliner to reach its destination using a predominantly ADS-B-created route. The aircraft flew the route over the Gulf of Mexico as it steered around weather along its regular company-filed flight-plan route. The reroute also shaved 100 nm from the aircraft’s trip, saving fuel.
Philippine carrier Zest Air’s 11 Airbus aircraft returned to normal operations August 21, after the carrier’s flight schedule was suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines on August 16 for numerous safety violations. The reinstatement of the airline’s operating certificate came after an inspection by the country’s Flight Standards Inspectorate Service.
While the Air Line Pilots Association has taken an unequivocal stance against the U.S. Justice Department’s attempt to block the merger of bankrupt American Airlines parent AMR and US Airways, at least one segment of the union–namely the unit representing the pilots of American’s wholly owned regional subsidiary–sees things a bit differently.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) last Thursday gained Russian certification of a long-range version of the Superjet 100 known as the SSJ100-95LR, following 115 hours of testing during 60 flights since February 15. Five percent more thrust generated by the airplane’s Powerjet SaM146 turbofans and strengthened wings increase the airplane’s range to 2,472 nm from 1,590 and maximum takeoff weight to 109,109 pounds from 101,150.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) reinstated low-far carrier Zest Air’s operating certificate last Tuesday following a four-day suspension triggered by a series of alleged safety oversights. Zest Air, whose ownership structure includes a 49-percent stake held by Malaysia’s Air Asia, returned to service four of its 11 Airbus A320-series narrowbodies as of August 22 and hoped to resume a full schedule by the end of the week, following clearance by CAAP inspectors.
“A CHC Helicopter [Eurocopter] Super Puma [AS332] L2 aircraft landed in the water Friday, August 23, about two nautical miles west of Sumburgh, on Shetland Island in the U.K.” CHC Helicopter said in statement issued yesterday.
India’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has issued a request for proposal for nine medium-range maritime reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft for the Indian Navy, plus 38 anti-ship missiles. The Navy has taken delivery of the first of eight Boeing P-8I Poseidon jets, and Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Although the new RFP seems to encourage smaller, lower-cost airframes and weapons, its terms may limit the bids.