The FAA will upgrade the cockpits in its fleet of 18 King Air 300 flight-inspection airplanes with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics systems rather than replace the aircraft, the agency said. Rockwell Collins installed the retrofit displays and associated hardware in the first airplane last month. FAA technicians will perform the upgrades in the remainder over the next three years as part of a broader aircraft life-extension program.
Next Generation Air Transportation System
The Reason Foundation has assembled a group of nine “leading aviation experts”–including former DOT Secretary Jim Burnley, former FAA Administrator Langhorne Bond and former NBAA president Jonathan Howe–that is calling for “significant changes” to the U.S. ATC system.
Congress has begun hashing out the final act in the most recent FAA funding battle. Bills in the House and the Senate are scheduled for votes and the differing measures could proceed to a joint House-Senate conference committee for final resolution later this fall. Some Capitol Hill observers expect that a conference agreement could be reached before the end of this month.
Visitors who arrived at this year’s NBAA Convention on a commercial flight into Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport might have noticed a much longer glide on the approach and less noise in the cabin.
Per-seat, on-demand carrier DayJet on September 5 received its Part 135 air charter certificate to operate its fleet of 12 Eclipse 500 very light jets. The company began a gradual rollout of its service two weeks later from “DayPorts” in the Florida cities of Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee. DayJet currently has 190 employees, approximately 30 of whom are pilots, according to CFO John Staten.
Blue skies over the Atlantic may look a little greener over the next few years as the U.S. and European Union member states work together to reduce aviation’s environmental impact.
During a press conference this afternoon, soon-to-be-acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell and Vincent Capezzuto, the agency’s surveillance and broadcast services program manager, announced that ITT has been awarded the $1.8 billion contract (including options) to develop automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B).
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will become president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) when her term as head of the agency ends September 13. AIA is an Arlington, Va.-based trade association representing the nation’s manufacturers of civil and military aerospace products.
With Congress out of town for its “summer district work period,” there was little action on the FAA’s reauthorization bill, and the nagging question of how to fund the agency for the next four years hung over the legislature as the September 30 deadline loomed.
Lawmakers departed early last month for a 25-day hiatus, but the rhetoric between the nation’s airlines and general aviation over user fees continued apace.
The head of the 14,000-member air traffic controllers union said last month that the FAA is trumpeting the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) to mask poor morale and severe staffing shortages among its controller workforce.