SAFO, FAA Bill Update and Runway Closures

SAFO, FAA Bill Update  and Runway Closures

SAFO, FAA Bill Update and Runway Closures

SAFO Issued on Work Conducted by AeroBearings Includes PT6 Engines

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) advising of improper maintenance provided by AeroBearings of Arlington, Texas, by conducting work without the necessary approved data. The company therefore could not determine whether the bearings met the OEM’s design specifications.

AeroBearings’ previously held a certificate which covered aeronautical anti-friction bearings used in turbine engines, auxiliary power units (APU), rotorcraft drive systems and accessory applications. The company’s capability list ( 2) includes Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines.

Recommended action per the SAFO is to “inspect aircraft records, engine records, APU records, accessory records, FAA Form 8130-3 airworthiness approval tags, and aircraft part inventories for any bearings approved for return to service by AeroBearings LLC … Any bearing found to be overhauled, repaired, or inspected by AeroBearings LLC that is not installed should be quarantined until the suspect bearing undergoes a recertification inspection to determine airworthiness prior to installation.”

For bearings currently installed, the SAFO recommends that “owners/operators have the suspect bearings inspected at the next piece parts exposure and … also closely monitor the suspect bearings’ health using the OEM’s recommendations or other approved maintenance program methods.”

General questions or comments regarding this SAFO should be directed to the Aircraft Maintenance Division’s Repair Station Branch at (202) 267-1675.

FAA Reauthorization Bill Update

With Congress back in session the week of Aug. 13, a letter signed by 33 general aviation (GA) organizations was sent to Senate leaders requesting they “move expeditiously to consider legislation for a long-term reauthoriza­tion of the Federal Aviation Admini­­stra­tion (FAA).”

The House already passed its version of a long-term bill (April 27) lasting five years, which is why the GA organizations want the Senate to approve a bill soon so there is time for the House and Senate to reach a final agreement by Sept. 30, when the current bill expires. The letter stated, “The FAA and the traveling public have been subjected to short-term extensions of the FAA’s authority since 2015, and these stopgap measures have negatively impacted the FAA’s activities.” … “The FAA is foundational to the incredible safety record of aviation in the United States, making critical airport and air traffic investments in communities across this country and enabling innovation and the integration of new technology into the aviation system. The FAA’s success and that of the aviation system will be significantly enhanced by progress and passage of a long-term FAA reauthorization bill.”

As of press time, there had been no updates published on the status of the bill in the Senate.

Runway Closures/Temporary Changes at High Traffic Airports

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), a runway construction project has closed Runway 16L/34R, with a reopening planned for Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (This date could change due to unforeseen changes in the schedule.)

The operational plan during the closure is to utilize Runway 16R/34L for arrivals only, with Runway 16C/34C to be used as the primary departure runway. The arrival rates will be adjusted at the airport to accommodate the operational needs of the scheduled demand by raising the arrival rate during peak arrival times and lowering the rate during peak departure times.

The rates will be more favorable on a south configuration in VFR conditions, and least favorable when IFR on a north flow. Delays can be expected during IFR conditions with airborne delays of up to 15-30 minutes. Ground delay programs for arrivals can also be expected during days with IFR weather conditions with delays exceeding 60 minutes during peak arrival times.

Due to the availability of only a single departure runway, departure delays of up to 30 minutes should be anticipated during the peak departure periods.

Also, Georgia’s Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK) is undergoing EMAS (Engineered Material Arresting System) installation for Runway 21L. The task has been broken down in phases and will result in shortened runway lengths for Runway 21L/3R.

The entire project is scheduled to last through December 2018. Aircraft operators should check airport NOTAMs before operation to confirm runway distances available during the work, as schedules could change due to weather.

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