The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released its initial investigation into the Sept. 28, 2012, ATC error that occurred 25 miles south-southwest of Williamtown, New South Wales. At 0801 EST an Airservices air traffic controller at the Brisbane ATC complex in Queensland assumed responsibility for airspace sectors extending from 45 nm north of Sydney to near Coffs Harbor in New South Wales, a distance of about 300 nm.
The FAA has released details of a new ADS-B-based oceanic airspace trial that started October 26 with the goal of reducing longitudinal separation between participating aircraft in the Oakland air route traffic control center’s oceanic control area. The in-trail procedure (ITP), which applies to climbing and descending aircraft, is designed to prove that more aircraft will be able to fly at their requested altitudes using the ADS-B reduced separation standards. A number of conditions must exist during the trial period in order for controllers to apply reduced separation standards.
The FAA released details of a new ADS-B-based oceanic airspace trial that began October 26 to reduce longitudinal separation between participating aircraft in Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center’s oceanic control area. The current trial applies to aircraft climbing and descending and is designed to prove that more aircraft will be able to fly at their requested altitudes using the ADS-B-enabled reduced separation standards.
The FAA will implement new wake turbulence standards on at 1100Z on November 1 starting at Memphis International Airport. Other U.S. airports are expected to see the new standards applied during 2013-2014 under the joint FAA/Eurocontrol RECAT program (revising wake turbulence categories to gain capacity).
Both Gander and Shanwick oceanic control areas (OCAs) are conducting a trial of reduced longitudinal separation standards–five minutes between eligible aircraft–in North Atlantic airspace. The separation minimum for turbojets maintaining constant Mach on the same longitudinal track in the North Atlantic minimum navigation performance specifications (MNPS) airspace is 10 minutes.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the media August 2 that the three US Airways-branded regional jets involved in a series of ATC losses of separation near Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) on July 31 were never in danger of actually colliding.
Pilots flying in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) monitoring airspace will soon find themselves becoming familiar with another new compliance standard, as well as a new acronym, AGHME. This stands for Aircraft Geometric Height Measurement Element, and Nov.
The recently announced Aireon joint venture to provide aircraft position reports from Iridium satellites equipped with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receivers will help close gaps in the already extensive ADS-B coverage provided by Nav Canada, an Aireon partner.
Reduced longitudinal separation minimum [RLongSM], an ATC pilot program in the North Atlantic, produced no safety events during a nine-month evaluation period last year. “Normal longitudinal separation is ten minutes,” explained Dave Stohr, president of Air Training International. “The trial was running with five minutes between appropriately equipped and approved aircraft.”
FAA Order JO 7110.65 is the manual–some call it the “ATC bible”–that air traffic controllers turn to for guidance about ATC procedures and phraseology. Last week, the Agency updated a few procedures to reflect a change in thinking about speeds and aircraft separation.