The European Commission proposed new guidelines last week designed to harmonize rules and regulations that dictate the operation of unmanned aerial systems, which the EC designates as remotely piloted aircraft systems. Potential European operators are eager to put unmanned vehicles into service as soon as possible. The proposed new European guidelines will look at safety, security, privacy, data protection and insurance liability issues.
The FAA future flight technologies branch approved Air Crew Academy’s automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) online training module last week. Previously, individual operators were required to submit the academy’s ADS-B training module to their local FSDO case-by-case to obtain a letter of authorization (LOA). The ADS-B module covers operating procedures, flight planning, MEL procedures, human-factors considerations, ADS-B phraseology, normal and abnormal system operation, aircraft IDs, data source errors and incident reporting.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is preparing to reduce its staff by 20 percent in the face of government budget cuts. Safety inspectors, mostly based in Canberra, make up just over half of the 110 personnel who might be let go. The union representing the safety inspectors is fighting the planned cuts.
Lawmakers finally received a response to questions about U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) searches of general aviation aircraft on domestic flights, but they remain unsatisfied. The response came from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the umbrella federal agency that includes CBP. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) received a letter and a table reporting more details about some of the incidents, but Roberts and Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) were not fully satisfied and sent a letter on February 12 requesting a briefing and more written responses from the DHS.
As the search for the presumed wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 entered its fourth day Tuesday, questions mounted about why security or immigration officials did not intercept the two Iranians who boarded with stolen Austrian and Italian passports.
The FAA wants to fine Whirlybird Helicopters $55,125 for allegedly violating DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations. The agency said Whirlybird failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests on eight employees before hiring them to perform safety-sensitive functions on the company’s helicopters. The agency also alleges three of these employees were not in Whirlybird’s random testing pool as required by DOT regulations. The company has 30 days to appeal the penalty.
Switzerland-based global aviation services provider Execujet will be moving from a 3,200-sq-ft temporary FBO structure at Bali International Airport, to a permanent facility next month. The new 34,229-sq-ft facility, currently undergoing completion, will offer 10 times more space than the temporary location next door. A 700,000-sq-ft ramp built next to the new terminal is designed to handle all business aircraft up to single-aisle jetliners.
The Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan plans to launch a domestic airline, Air Kazakhstan, in early 2015 with a fleet of 10 new Bombardier Q400 twin turboprops.
The Pentagon proposes retiring the U-2 Dragon Lady and A-10 Warthog in the Fiscal Year 2015 defense budget it will present to the Congress next week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said. Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, previewed the budget for reporters on February 24.
- Page 1