Last week Airbus issued the latest installment of its future vision for aviation in 2050 and beyond, describing new ways of operating across all phases of flight. The company’s “Smarter Skies” vision centers on a “sustainable” aviation system that saves time, conserves fuel and reduces emissions. For the first time, the vision looks beyond smarter aircraft design to the efficiencies potentially derived from airspace optimization, or making the best use of the environment in which an aircraft operates, Airbus said.
Next Generation Air Transportation System
The ADS-B system that is the cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization plan is at risk of serious security breaches, according to Brad Haines (aka RenderMan), a hacker and network security consultant who is worried about ADS-B vulnerabilities.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration would have to slash its operations budget and could not support current levels of passenger and air cargo activity if the process of automatic federal spending cuts known as “sequestration” takes effect in January as scheduled. In turn, reduced passenger and cargo activity would lead to job losses and other economic fallout, according to a study released by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).
The concept isn’t new. In fact, one could call it a logical extension of development work that originated with Saab in Sweden in the mid-2000s, which showed the economic potential of datalinking various sensors at an unmanned airport to controllers at a distant air traffic monitoring and control center. Such a center could handle a number of small airports that had relatively few arrivals and departures but that still needed personnel to maintain a monitoring watch.
The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General said in a July 19 memo, “While FAA is taking steps to improve the management of NextGen, such as establishing a new program management office, overall progress with implementation has not met expectations.”
Acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood broke ground on July 9 for the NextGen ATC tower to be built at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Calif.
Filing an ICAO flight plan will become a bit more complicated this fall, if you file them by hand. Gone will be the old days of telling a flight service station that your aircraft is a slant “A” or a slant “R.”
Bombardier Aerospace closed its Farnborough International Airshow order book last Thursday by announcing a firm order for six Q400 NextGen turboprops by Chorus Aviation of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the parent company of Jazz Aviation. The transaction, valued at $189 million, involved the conversion of six of 15 options taken by Jazz Aviation in 2010. The aircraft will be operated under the Air Canada Express banner.
Strong positions on new programs have resulted in GE Aviation Systems finding itself busy across five continents. For instance, in its U.S. home, the systems and components group is ramping up for increased rates of production for its extensive contributions to Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner.