The FAA wants input before it updates its drug-and-alcohol-testing rules for some airline maintenance personnel who perform safety-sensitive functions outside the U.S. The agency is seeking input to assess the likely economic impact on the companies affected. Responses must be received by May 16.
We owe the FAA a debt of gratitude for the most excellent job the agency has done to provide data to aid our flying. It is amazing that for a relatively small cost pilots have access to a wealth of navigation information. Much of it—VFR charting especially—is gorgeous, pretty enough to hang on a wall or use as wrapping paper after the expiration date.
As India enters the final phase of elections carried out in phases over five weeks starting April 7, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued strict safety guidelines for general aviation aircraft operators conducting flights for candidates. It warned that non-compliance could lead to suspension of licenses and air operator permits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While the FAA acknowledged that “economic uncertainties” still affect the business jet market, the rate of decline slowed last year and the agency expects a recovery in the near term. In its annual 20-year aerospace forecast, released last Thursday, the FAA is calling for “robust growth” in the long term, driven by higher corporate profits and the growth of worldwide GDP, although at rates slightly lower than those predicted last year.