The expected release in December of a proposed rule governing the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the U.S. national airspace system (NAS) will be a definitive step in the phased introduction of robotic aircraft in civilian airspace.
Next Generation Air Transportation System
Satellite communications provider Iridium may make space available on its next-generation satellites for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receivers, making possible global surveillance of aircraft, with emphasis on oceanic flights in non-radar airspace.
Southwest Airlines’ ambitious fleetwide implementation of required navigation performance (RNP) operations is making slow progress. Since initiating flights in January using the precision approach procedures to save track miles and fuel, the airline’s use of RNP represents just 1 percent of its daily operations, said Capt. David Newton, Southwest senior manager of airspace.
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has been in the hustings recently pumping NextGen and long-term FAA reauthorization. In several instances, he has broached the two topics in the same speeches.
Satellite communications provider Iridium is in discussions with other aerospace companies and air navigation service providers to equip its next generation of 66 low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) payloads, making possible global surveillance of aircraft to include oceanic and polar regions.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is organizing an industry vendors group to identify and advance export opportunities for Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) products made in the U.S. The NextGen Vendors Group (NVG) initiative was announced at the annual meeting of the NextGen Institute in Washington earlier this month.
Flight trials to demonstrate new procedures intended to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of international flights crossing the North Atlantic have begun.
The high-level industry and government committee tasked by the FAA with developing “a common understanding” of NextGen priorities has recommended a set of baseline airborne equipment and next will advise on operational or financial incentives that would help aircraft operators install that equipment.
Air transport industry groups accept the inevitability of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flying in civil airspace. At the largest event of the unmanned systems industry earlier this month, speakers representing airline pilots and FAA air traffic controllers delivered a go-safely message to UAS proponents eager to gain access to the national airspace system to build the industry.
The economic, environmental and efficiency gains promised under the Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) program are “extremely sensitive” to timely implementation of the air traffic control modernization effort across Europe, according to the Sesar Joint Undertaking (SJU).