Using the successful 2008 industry/government partnership that spawned the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (Cast), the FAA announced plans on November 21 to organize a similar Air Carrier Training Steering Group to evaluate best practices and newly identified areas of air safety risk. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asked industry participants at the meeting to provide him with the top five focus areas to improve airline training.
Air navigation service providers (ANSPs) from 10 Eastern and Central European countries signed a cooperation agreement earlier this month to create a regional entity with a stronger voice in Europe’s air traffic management decision-making process. The association covers airspace managed by three smaller groupings of adjoining countries known as functional airspace blocks (FABs), in this case the Baltic, Danube and Central Europe FABs.
Bombardier plans to issue an update on the flight-test schedule of its new CSeries jet “in a few weeks” as program managers assess whether to maintain the company’s admittedly ambitious entry-into-service target date of one year after first flight, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft marketing vice president Philippe Poutissou told AIN last week during a briefing at the Dubai Airshow.
NBAA announced that its director of legislative affairs, Dick Doubrava, and FAA associate administrator for airports Christa Fornarotto have been appointed to vice president positions with government-relations responsibilities for the association. Doubrava came to NBAA in 2004 from the Carmen Group, a Washington-based government relations firm.
The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) this week will begin an audit of the FAA’s progress at reducing the fatal accident rate of helicopters operating as emergency medical service (HEMS) transports. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the FAA to take specific actions to reduce the HEMS accident rate, including short-term safety initiatives to promote the use of advanced technology, such as night vision equipment.
The FAA is requesting comments on the draft of an advisory circular (AC 120-27F) to provide operators with guidance on developing and receiving approval for a weight-and-balance control program for aircraft operated under Part 91, Part 91 Subpart K and Parts 121, 125 and 135. Comments must be received by December 7.
The Middle East needs to prepare to handle increased air traffic congestion over the next few years, especially in the Gulf region; however, forming a central body to coordinate the necessary changes and harmonization is proving difficult.
The FAA is due to 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.”
Progress has proven slow–tediously slow–for Mitsubishi’s MRJ regional jet program during the two years between the 2011 Dubai Air Show and this one. In fact, program schedules reflect two separate year-and-a-half-long delays to certification since then, placing the company further from its elusive goal today than it thought it stood during the 2011 edition of the Middle East’s premier aerospace event.