Honeywell Aerospace continues to develop improvements and add-ons to its SmartView synthetic-vision system (SVS), including a 3-D taxi system and the capability to use lower Category II landing minimums on Category I ILS and GPS-based LPV approaches. Both new features, while not yet products, offer the promise of increasing pilot situational awareness and flight safety during different phases of flight.
The U.S. Congress passed legislation to end the 16-day government shutdown late last night, but getting agencies such as the FAA fully back up to speed is likely to take several days or possibly even weeks. “While the agreement reached does reopen the government, it may be some time before services at the FAA and other agencies are fully restored to pre-shutdown effectiveness,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said.
Aviation insurance underwriter USAIG is adding up to 15 percent in new discounts for business aircraft operators that incorporate certain safety programs. Through Performance Vector Plus, USAIG customers can earn “good experience returns” when they meet any of three safety standards during a policy year while also avoiding loss claims. Each standard met earns a 5-percent return, for a potential total return of 15 percent.
Chicago Jet Group has received the first FAA supplemental type certificate for a future air navigation system (Fans) 1/A+ and controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) retrofit. The Fans/CPDLC system is installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 managed by Chicago Jet and also represents the first Fans-over-Iridium retrofit for a business jet.
Fans capability will be required for flying the most efficient tracks across the North Atlantic, and this retrofit also meets the upcoming Eurocontrol Link 2000+ mandates that take effect on Feb. 5, 2015.
The FAA has upgraded Ukraine’s safety rating from Category 2 to Category 1 following an international aviation safety assessment of the country’s civil aviation authority in July. A Category 1 rating means Ukraine now complies with the highest level of ICAO safety standards and its air carriers can add flights and service to the U.S.. With the Category 2 rating, Ukrainian airlines were allowed to maintain existing service to the U.S. but could not establish new services.
In fact, no Ukrainian carrier currently provides service to the U.S.
The FAA this month will issue a rule requiring a new approach to stall training for airline pilots that runs counter to previous guidance. According to Dr Jeff Schroeder, the agency’s chief scientific and technical officer, the new approach will, “take a lot of work to undo previous training because some pilots are ‘spring-loaded’ to the previous technique.”
The European Parliament’s approval of controversial new harmonized flight and duty time limitation (FTL) for pilots last Wednesday came only a week after its own Transport and Tourism (Tran) committee voted against its adoption. The development concludes more than five years of work led by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
While the U.S. government is on a Congress-created enforced shutdown, the aviation industry might be tempted to wonder what the FAA actually accomplishes. What we are learning is that a lot of what the FAA does is process paperwork. And when the paperwork stops flowing, we can be forced to stop flying.
While the two “voluntary” groundings over the past year at Clearwater, Fla.-based Avantair eventually led to its recent downfall, the fractional provider had a long history of maintenance-related issues, according to FAA files obtained this week by AIN under a Freedom of Information Act request. In fact, one such action from June 4, 2008, involves a $500,000 civil penalty, according to the FAA documents. This particular action remains pending.
Every decade or so, sometimes more often, someone or some organization proposes “privatizing” the U.S. air traffic control system. In 1985 it was the Air Transport Association (ATA), now renamed Airlines for America, which released a study calling for a self-supporting federal ATC corporation.