FAA Data Reveals Half of U.S. Aircraft Will Miss ADS-B Deadline
According to information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as of Nov. 1, 2018 just over 46 percent of U.S. aircraft were projected to meet the ADS-B equipment mandate deadline of Jan.1, 2020. Digging deeper and breaking out the numbers revealed that close to 30 percent of turboprops are currently compliant.
As has been communicated throughout this year, part of the problem of getting compliant will be finding a shop that has an opening to install the equipment, as well as having the product available, as shortages are already starting to occur. Both of these issues will no doubt increase the price to get compliant and continue moving upward the closer it gets to the deadline.
Bottom line: Non-equipped aircraft will be grounded until they meet the requirements, and it will cost you more the longer you wait.
New PBN Routes Implemented in Florida and Caribbean
As part of NextGen and the ongoing transformation of air traffic control technology and procedures, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently implemented 55 new performance-based navigation (PBN) routes between the southern East Coast and major international airports in Florida and the Caribbean. The flights are said to be more direct, efficient and safer. The FAA also updated 11 existing PBN routes. The new routes bring the total number of PBN routes over the United States to 316.
As part of the South-Central Florida Metroplex Initiative, the agency is also designing high-altitude PBN routes from the Northeast to join these new routes. When completed, equipped aircraft will be able to “seamlessly fly on satellite-based routes along the East Coast to South Florida and the Caribbean.”
Items of Interest within Five-year FAA Reauthorization Bill
By now it is well known that an FAA Reauthorization Bill was approved for five years which allows long-term funding for the FAA – $96.7 billion through 2023. The bill also addresses certification and regulation, the future of supersonic travel, Part 135 flight issues – duty time, flight-sharing regulations, etc.
Aircraft registry issues were addressed including that the FAA’s Oklahoma City aircraft registry offices are to become fully digitized within three years. The bill also prevents a government shutdown from affecting the registry and directs the FAA to create rules by February 2019 that would extend the duration of general aviation aircraft registrations to seven years from its current period of three years.
Canada TSB Releases Watchlist
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) recently released its fifth annual “Watchlist,” similar to the United States NTSB’s Top Ten list, identifying key issues requiring attention to make Canada’s transportation system safer. Two of the items on the Watchlist were specific to aviation – runway overruns and risk of collisions on runways. Fatigue was also cited as a concern for all transportation modes.
Runway overruns and the risk of collisions from runway incursions are repeats from last year’s watchlist. According to the TSB, an average of nine overrun accidents and incidents happen annually. The board asked operators of airports with runways exceeding 5,906 feet to conduct overrun risk assessments, as well as for Transport Canada to adopt ICAO standards for runway-end safety areas.
From 2013 to 2017, an average of 445 runway incursions each year have been reported, with 21 high-severity events recorded in each of the past two years. The TSB responded by recommending solutions that include: improvements in air traffic control procedures, surveillance and warning systems, runway and taxiway designs, holding position visual aids and flight crew training and procedures. Also recommended was modern technical solutions, such as in-cockpit electronic situational awareness aids, and direct-to-pilot warnings, such as runway status lights.
When addressing fatigue, the TSB commented that it is prevalent in a 24/7 industry where crews can work long and irregular schedules across multiple time zones, and it has been found to be a risk or contributing factor in more than 90 TSB investigations since 1992. To combat this issue, the Watchlist called for “adequate duty-time regulations based on fatigue science, fatigue management plans that are tailored to company operations, and awareness training for employees and managers.”