The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has made progress in delivering some of the operational improvements that are envisioned by the NextGen ATC modernization effort. But to demonstrate those improvements sooner, the agency has also made “trade-offs” that could limit their overall benefit to airlines in the coming years, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
While most aviation safety sources have identified loss of control (LOC) as the leading cause of accidents in the past few years, controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) “is making a strong comeback,” according to Flight Safety Foundation fellow Jim Burin.
As expected, President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014, released yesterday, includes a proposed aviation user fee–just as previous budgets have since 2007 when the Bush Administration first floated the idea.
Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) plan to introduce a bill Wednesday morning intended to prohibit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from closing 149 federal contract tower facilities under budget sequestration, an industry source confirmed to AIN. A companion measure is also expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In an effort to deliver operational improvements more quickly, the FAA has made “trade-offs” in establishing performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures that could limit their benefits in the near term, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Just days before the stranglehold of U.S. government budget sequestration was set to douse the lights at the first 24 contract control towers this week, the FAA last Friday issued a temporary reprieve to any closures until June 15. The agency said it needs more time to address the mounting legal actions the imminent closings have triggered.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) recently identified 100 safety risks across its aviation, marine and rail areas of responsibility, 36 of which relate to transport-category aviation. The ATSB report covers the period July 2009 through June 2012. Most risks were operationally focused within the aircraft itself, with a much smaller percentage related to ATC.
Air transport risks in 2011and 2012 also outweighed those identified as related to general aviation by three to one. Only five investigations, however, were categorized as complex (serious).
The FAA has certified four new SafeRoute flight-deck applications on a US Airways A330 designed to provide “enhanced operational safety,” as it integrates with the agency’s NextGen system. The airline partnered with ACSS, an L-3 Communications/Thales joint venture, and Eurocontrol to complete the installation.
NetJets has become the first combined 14 CFR 135/91K operator to achieve Level IV of the FAA’s Safety Management System Pilot Program. The March 27 certification provides a four-level system acknowledging development of a formal SMS in accordance with both FAA and international standards. The program is designed to guide operators in developing and implementing an integrated, comprehensive safety management system for their organization and required the U.S.-based operator to conduct thousands of hours of additional safety training for all employees.
This year’s keynote speaker at the 3rd annual Tampa Bay Aviation Association (TBAA) Safety Standdown is US Airways flight attendant Doreen Welsh, one of the cabin crew aboard Flight 1549 when it ditched in the frigid waters of the Hudson River in January 2009. Other presentations at the April 17 event will cover human factors and loss of control, as well as an introduction to the Tampa International Airport aircraft firefighting and rescue team. The event begins at 7:45 a.m.