A change in FAA policy that allows the use of GPS approaches at alternate airports should be welcome news for pilots. “Operators are now permitted to file a flight plan for a GPS approach at either the destination or an alternate, but not both,” according to NBAA. The new policy took effect on April 4. Previously pilots could fly GPS approaches only at the destination airport.
Just before Sun ’n Fun Garmin (Booth No. D-034) unveiled a major update to its Garmin Pilot iPad app, dynamic maps drawn from a vector-based mapping database. The new dynamic maps allow for many improvements to Garmin Pilot, chief of which is labels always remaining upright in the new track-up mode as the airplane turns and the maps adjusts to the new direction.
Bermuda’s ATC radar is expected to be out of service for an unspecified “extended period of time,” according to a notice to airmen (Notam) released March 20. This means pilots heading for the Atlantic island had better brush up on their non-radar ATC procedures.
Preliminary Report: Turboprop Breaks Up over Texas
At NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers conference yesterday in San Antonio, an educational session dealt with international operations in South America, presented by Jodi Tanner-Perkins from Jeppesen International Trip Planning, Grant Russell from Bombardier and Ana Paula Martin from Lider Aviation Brazil.
Online information provider Weather Services International (WSI) has enhanced the functionality of its popular Pilotbrief Optima platform with the addition of global optimized flight planning. At NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers annual conference in San Antonio this week, the Massachusetts-based company demonstrated the system’s new capabilities.
The National Business Aviation Association announced its new FileSmart system last week as a way to help operators develop flight plans that should increase ATC system efficiencies. FileSmart is a web-based educational product created to teach operators how to improve the timeliness and accuracy of their flight plans by adding more information about their intent where relevant.
New flight plan requirements developed for ICAO compatibility with digital air traffic management systems around the world take effect tomorrow at 8 p.m. EST. “The amendments to flight plan content go to the very core of flight-plan processing,” according to Eurocontrol. The basic flight plan form and the field composition within the flight-plan message remain unchanged, but the content of some fields will change. A new Eurocontrol interface manual explains the changes from a user’s perspective.
Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) is introducing a new, integrated multifunction standby unit (IMSU) for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft that measures, processes and displays altitude, airspeed, slip/skid and navigation data in a single display. The unit features a high-resolution LCD with LED backlighting that automatically adjusts for cockpit lighting.
It’s a simple concept: if you can flight plan a higher altitude to use during an overwater emergency, then you might not need as much extra fuel to reach an alternate airport. Most airlines and business jet operators flight plan for an emergency altitude of 10,000 feet, because supplemental oxygen isn’t needed at that altitude, when flying from the equal-time point to an alternate airport.