Last week, Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) Calvin Scovel III, along with an MIT representative and an FAA vice president, gave separate testimony on NextGen status before the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics.
Next Generation Air Transportation System
Prospects for breaking the logjam that has stalled an FAA reauthorization bill for more than three years grew better with passage in the Senate of the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act on Thursday by a vote of 87-8. Meanwhile, one day earlier in the lower chamber, the House Transportation Committee approved its FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 by a vote of 34 to 25 one day earlier.
Although the FAA and JetBlue signed a $4.2 million “NextGen agreement” whereby the agency will fund installation of ADS-B avionics in up to 35 of the airlineπs Airbus A320s, it doesn’t appear that new legislation moving through Congress will contain funds for NextGen avionics equipage for other stakeholders.
The FAA is forecasting a recovery for general aviation, with business jets and light sport aircraft leading the way. After growing rapidly for most of the past decade, the demand for business jets has slowed over the past few years.
Garmin reports that LightSquared’s proposed nationwide broadband Internet service could seriously interfere with GPS signals. As a result of this and other filed objections, the FCC is withholding LightSquared’s operational approval until a three-month independent expert analysis agrees that this will not occur.
Despite efforts to reduce federal government spending to 2008 levels, general aviation groups told Congress yesterday it is "critical" that the next FAA reauthorization bill provide sufficient funding for FAA programs designed to advance the NextGen air traffic management system.
Software problems with the FAA's new, $2.1 billion en route automation modernization (Eram) computer system, originally scheduled to be operational at all 20 air route traffic control centers (ARTCC) last year, could incur repair costs for the agency of up to $500 million.
The road to ADS-B may well be paved with good intentions, but for operators of smaller aircraft there could be some serious financial potholes ahead.
Contingents from France’s Brit Air and Spain’s Air Nostrum joined Bombardier executives in Mirabel, Quebec, last month to mark the first deliveries of the newly certified CRJ1000. Together accounting for roughly half of the remaining CRJ backlog, Brit Air and Air Nostrum have placed firm orders for 14 and 35 copies of the new 100-seat jet, respectively.
The Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC), whose membership represents a cross section of the aviation industry, last month presented Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood with a list of recommendations aimed at ensuring the strength, competitiveness and safety of U.S. aviation.