FAA news

Speaking before a spirited general aviation audience at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta outlined a future thriving general aviation industry in America and emphasized the importance of government and industry partnerships to bolster general aviation safety and efficiency.

Some day in the not too distant future, your planes will still be sharing airspace with jumbo jets and helicopters but also commercial space rockets, package delivery drones, aerial taxis, and other technologies that havent even been dreamed up yet, said Huerta. One thing is for certain, the decisions we make today are going to shape that future.

Huerta said the FAA is working to become a more efficient and nimble organization and that success comes down to a simple idea: partnership. The agency has shifted its approach to how it certifies aircraft and equipment. Its defining the safety goals and giving industry the freedom to come up with innovative solutions. The industry needs a regulator thats equally invested in that spirit of innovation and the FAA is committed to being that partner. Technology can help breathe new life into an aircraft.

The FAA is streamlining its processes so you can benefit from upgraded equipment, lower costs, and higher levels of safety, Huerta said.

He also pointed out that partnership is a two-way street. If were going to succeed in securing general aviations future, we all have to step up. This is especially true of the January 1, 2020, deadline for pilots to equip with ADS-B. He told the audience the FAA still has a $500 incentive available to help eligible aircraft owners offset the cost of installing ADS-B.

The deadline hasnt and wont change, he stressed.

He also said the FAA has changed how it thinks about medical certification. BasicMed allows general aviation pilots to get an exam with their doctor and take an online medical education course to get qualified, instead of requiring them to see an Aviation Medical Examiner and obtain a third-class medical certificate. Huerta also encouraged pilots with health issues to seek guidance from the agencys Aerospace Medicine office.

Theres this misperception out there that dealing with our medical team is the first step toward losing your license. Nothing could be further from the truth, Huerta said. In fact, we approve the majority of the requests we receive for special issuance medical certificates. Were not adversaries. We want you to be able to keep flying. We just want to work with you to figure out a way to do it safely.

The United States has the largest and most diverse general aviation community in the world, with more than 220,000 aircraft including amateur-built aircraft, rotorcraft, balloons, and highly sophisticated turbojets. The FAA and GA community are working together to put the right technologies, regulations, and education initiatives in place to improve safety.

July 14 - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) met with members of the aviation community earlier this week to share data on new standards the agency developed to improve safety at U.S. airports during inclement weather.

Since the implementation of theTakeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) recommendations on October 1, 2016, a more standardized method of reporting runway conditions has produced significant safety improvements.Airport and aircraft operators now share common criteria when they communicate airport conditions and runway friction.The new reporting method includes standardized terminology and a streamlined reporting format that are used for all airport or aircraft operations across the U.S.

The FAA introduced TALPA last October to reduce the risk of runway overrun accidents and incidents due to runway contamination caused by weather. U.S. airports, air carrier flight crews, dispatchers, general aviation pilots, and air traffic controllers began using the new TALPA standards that month. Earlier this week, the FAA presented an analysis of the first winter season of TALPA use that incorporated field condition Notices to Airman (NOTAMS) published between October 2016 and April 2017. During the meetings, industry provided valuable feedback.

The participants discussed best practices for using the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) to assess and report field conditions via the NOTAM system. RCAM translates runway contaminants into a condition reporting format that can be used to determine estimated braking action so that airport and aircraft operators can make more informed and safer operational decisions. The forum gave the FAA and industry an opportunity to discuss how to improve the TALPA process for future winter seasons.

SINGAPOREThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed a milestone Maintenance Agreement Guidance (MAG) yesterday with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). The agreement allows for mutual surveillance conducted on certified repair stations located abroad for each of the agreement partners.

It provides guidance for the implementation of the previously agreed-upon. In cases where there are sufficient certificated facilities in both partner countries, MIPs may reduce the number of surveillance activities, free up inspector resources for the authorities, and reduce the regulatory burden on industry. There are 58 FAA-approved repair stations located in Singapore.

The MAG furthers the Maintenance Implementation Procedures (MIP) agreement signed by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and CAAS on February 16, 2016. That agreement was the first of its kind in Asia and reduces costs by allowing the reciprocal acceptance of Singapore and the United States surveillance of maintenance work.

The MIP and MAG permits reliance on each others surveillance systems to the greatest extent possible while maintaining safety. Agreements such as the MIP allow for greater efficiency and ultimately save valuable industry and authority resources. The FAA and the CAAS have agreed to conduct surveillance on each others behalf to ensure compliance with the respective regulatory requirements for maintenance and the applicable Special Conditions. Both agreements build on the 2004 U.S-Singapore Bilateral Safety Agreement (BASA) which has benefitted both countries by saving time and reducing costs in aircraft design and manufacturing.

FAA Assistant Administrator for NextGen James Eck and Executive Director for International Affairs Carey Fagan are participating in the World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum this week in Singapore as part of the agencys continued collaboration with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.

As part of the strong U.S.-Singapore bilateral relationship, the FAA and the CAAS also partner under Singapores Air Traffic Management Center of Excellence to expand understanding and build Air Traffic Management capacity in the region.

July 6- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will be accepting applications from candidates for entry-level air traffic controller positions starting tomorrow, from July 7-14, 2017.

The job vacancy announcement for the highly competitive position of Air Traffic Control Specialist (Trainee) will be available on the federal governments official job site, USAJOBS.gov.This announcement is expected to be open for seven days, and the agency is projecting to fill 1,400 positions.If you are interested in applying, log on to USAJOBS and apply prior to the closing date of the vacancy announcement.All applicants must meet minimum qualifications and other eligibility requirements.

Applicants will be separated into two pools of candidates. Pool 1 will include graduates of an institution participating in the Collegiate Training Initiative program who provide an appropriate recommendation, as well as eligible veterans.Individuals who qualify for Pool 1 are not required to take a biographical assessment. Pool 2 includes the general public.

Air Traffic Control Specialists are responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of air traffic through the nation's airspace. Trainees spend their first several months of employment in an intensive training program at the FAA Academy located in Oklahoma City, OK, and continue their training once they are placed at a facility. Developmental controllers receive a wide range of training in controlling and separating live air traffic within designated airspace at and around an air traffic control tower or radar approach control facility, or an air route traffic control center.

Learn more about the air traffic controller profession, as well as an overview of the day-to-day work, on our aviation careers page.

June 30- As people travel, purchase fireworks and fly drones over the Independence Day holiday, the FAA reminds them to know and follow the aviation safety rules.

Here are general guidelines for people flying drones:

  • Dont fly your drone in or near fireworks
  • Dont fly over people
  • Dont fly near airports

To learn more about what you can and cant do with your drone go to faa.gov/uas or download the B4UFLY app for free in the Apple and Google Play store. Also, check out the FAA's July 4th No Drone Zone PSA video.

There are also strict rules prohibiting airline passengers from packing or carrying fireworks on domestic or international flights. Remember these simple rules:

  • Dont pack fireworks in your carry-on bags
  • Dont pack fireworks in your checked luggage
  • Dont send fireworks through the mail or parcel services

Passengers violating the rules can face fines or criminal prosecution. When in DoubtLeave it out!

For more information on the passenger rules for fireworks and other hazardous materials, please go to www.faa.gov/go/packsafe/. Leave the fireworks at homeFireworks Don't Fly (Poster)

As FAA works to ensure that passengers arrive at their destinations safely, it is important that you follow the rules while enjoying your drones as well as celebrating the July 4th holiday.

The first meeting of the UAS Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) on June 21-23 advanced key policies of concern to the FAA, industry and law enforcement.

During this initial meeting, the ARC considered issues such as existing regulations applicable to drone identification and tracking, air traffic management for drones, concerns and authorities of local law enforcement, and potential legal considerations. The group developed some preliminary questions and identification parameters, and reviewed a sample of existing identification technologies.

The groups membership represents a diverse variety of stakeholders, including the unmanned aircraft industry, the aviation community and industry member organizations, manufacturers, researchers, standards groups, and local law enforcement and other officials.

The ARC will continue to meet as necessary to develop solutions that function at federal, state, and local levels. The ARCs next meeting is planned for July 18-19, 2017.

June 23- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) communitys national #FlySafe campaign is designed to educate GA pilots about the best practices to calculate and predict aircraft performance and to operate within established aircraft limitations.

What is Loss of Control (LOC)?
An LOC accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen when the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and quickly develops into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.

Expect the Unexpected
Fatal aviation accidents often result from a pilots inappropriate response to an unexpected event. Some pilots may experience a startle response when faced with an unexpected situation or freeze or panic during an emergency. These events can quickly create a situation that is stressful, challenging, and even life-threatening, especially during flight.

Any unexpected inflight event requires fast, accurate action. Your best insurance is to have a plan. Solid training, regular practice, and your discipline to strive for perfection on every flight will help you survive.

Training and practice can help you diagnose developing problems, such as:

  • Partial or full loss of power on takeoff
  • Landing gear extension or retraction failure
  • Bird strike
  • A cabin door opening on take-off, landing, or mid-flight
  • A control problem
  • A control failure

How would you respond to each of these problems? What would be your plan of action?

You need to carefully visualize, think through, and plan how you would address each of these issues as well as any others that may be relevant to your operation. Talk with your flight instructor, and take time to plan and train for your response. For example, your instructor can help you practice your reaction to a primary or multi-function flight display failure. He or she can also throw other possibilities your way, including electrical failures, landing gear extension failures, and more. If you sign up for the WINGS pilot proficiency program, you can even have those training hours count toward a phase of WINGS!

You can also experience these failures on your flight simulator software on your home computer or personal electronic device. Some of these programs will allow you to set up random failures during a flight. If you dont have access to a simulator, try sitting in your airplane (or your favorite chair) to practice drills andhelp you develop a pre-planned course of action and test your mastery of your abnormal and emergency checklists.

These drills have serious benefits:

  • You will rehearse sudden and subtle failures, and have the opportunity to practice overcoming your natural defenses (this cant be happening to me) and rationalization (I dont think this is as bad as it sounds).
  • Youll get to know your aircrafts systems, including how they work, how they fail, and how those failures can affect other systems or controls.
  • You will brush up on your single pilot crew resource management skills. By having a strong situational awareness of the aircraft and its flight path and the range of resources that are there to help you, including air traffic control, youll be able to reach out for assistance quickly.

Plan, rehearse, repeat. These simple exercises can save your life.

Message from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta:
The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our #Fly Safe campaign. Every month on FAA.gov, we provide pilots with Loss of Control solutions developed by a team of experts some of which are already reducing risk. I hope you will join us in this effort and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I know that we can reduce these accidents by working together as a community.

More about Loss of Control
Contributing factors may include:

  • Poor judgment or aeronautical decision making
  • Failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action
  • Intentional failure to comply with regulations
  • Failure to maintain airspeed
  • Failure to follow procedure
  • Pilot inexperience and proficiency
  • Use of prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol

Did you know?

  • In 2015, 384 people died in 238 general aviation accidents.
  • Loss of Control was the number one cause of these accidents.
  • Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight.It can happen anywhere and at any time.
  • There is one fatal accident involving Loss of Control every four days.

Learn more:
Learn more about maintaining and regaining control in Ch 4 of the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook.

This FAA Fact Sheet will give you tips on overcoming Startle Response.

Learn more about Managing the Unexpected in this FAA Fact Sheet.

FAA TV is now playing! This Surprise, Surprise video has good recovery tips.

This NTSB Safety Alert has lessons learned information that can be critical to your safety.

TheFAASafety.govwebsite has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.

Check out GA Safety Enhancements fact sheets on the mainFAA Safety Briefingwebsite, including Flight Risk Assessment Tools.

TheWINGS Pilot Proficiency Programhelps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

TheGeneral Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC)is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.

June 22- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta is encouraging travelers to Fly Smart this summer.

As we head into summer, Im asking air travelers to keep safety in mind as they pack their bags and during their flights, said FAA Administrator Huerta. Fly Smart and be prepared. Your actions can save your life and those around you.

Flying has become so safe that many travelers take it for granted. Over the course of several decades, government and industry worked together to significantly reduce the risk of accidents and to improve airplane design, maintenance, training, and procedures. But emergencies can still happen.

Travelers can give themselves an extra margin of safety by taking a few minutes to follow these guidelines:

  • In the unlikely event that you need to evacuate, leave your bags and personal items behind. Your luggage is not worth your life. All passengers are expected to evacuate the airplane within 90 seconds. You do not have time to grab your luggage or personal items. Opening an overhead compartment will delay the evacuation and will put the lives of everyone around you at risk.
  • Pack safe and leave hazardous materials at home. Many common items such as lithium batteries, lighters, and aerosols may be dangerous when transported by air. Vibrations, static electricity, and temperature and pressure variations can cause hazardous materials to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode. Check the FAAs Pack Safe website for the rules on carrying these items. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • If you are travelling with e-cigarettes or vaping devices, keep these devices and spare batteries with you in the aircraft cabinthey are prohibited in checked baggage. These devices may not be used or charged onboard aircraft.
  • If you have any other spare batteries, pack them only in your carry-on baggage and use a few measures to keep them from short circuiting: keep the batteries in their original packaging, tape over the electrical connections with any adhesive, non-metallic tape, or place each battery in its own individual plastic bag. You cannot fly with damaged or recalled batteries.
  • Do not pack or carry any type of fireworks. This includes firecrackers, poppers, sparklers, bottle rockets, roman candles, etc. No matter where you are, fireworks are always illegal in airline baggage.
  • Prevent in-flight injuries by following your airlines carry-on bag restrictions.
  • For your safety, follow crew instructions. Its a Federal law.
  • Use your electronic device only when the crew says its safe to do so.
  • Flight attendants perform important safety duties and are trained on how to respond to emergencies. It just takes a few minutes to pay attention to the flight attendant during the safety briefing, read the safety briefing card, and follow the instructions. It could save your life in an emergency.
  • Buckle up. Wear a seatbelt at all times. It could help you avoid serious injury in the event of unexpected inflight turbulence.
  • Protect young children by providing them with a child safety seat or device. Your arms cannot hold onto a child during turbulence or an emergency. An FAA video shows how to install a child safety seat on an airplane.

Fly Smart this summer and learn more at FAA.gov/passengers. Watch this one-minute video of FAA Administrator Huerta discussing traveler safety.

June 21- Whose drone is that? Its a critical question for law enforcement and homeland security when an unmanned aircraft (UAS) appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where its not supposed to fly.

Currently, there are no established requirements or voluntary standards for electrically broadcasting information to identify an unmanned aircraft while its in the air. To help protect the public and the National Airspace System from these rogue drones, the FAA is setting up a new Aviation Rulemaking Committee that will help the agency create standards for remotely identifying and tracking unmanned aircraft during operations. The rulemaking committee will hold its first meeting June 21-23 in Washington, DC.

The groups membership represents a diverse variety of stakeholders, including the unmanned aircraft industry, the aviation community and industry member organizations, manufacturers, researchers, and standards groups. The rulemaking committee will have several major tasks to:

  • Identify, categorize and recommend available and emerging technologies for the remote identification and tracking of UAS.
  • Identify requirements for meeting the security and public safety needs of law enforcement, homeland defense, and national security communities for remote identification and tracking.
  • Evaluate the feasibility and affordability of the available technical solutions, and determine how well they address the needs of law enforcement and air traffic control communities.

Eventually the recommendations it produces could help pave the way for drone flights over people and beyond visual line of sight.

A team comprised of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received approval and approximately $71.5 million in funding from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to proceed with an effort to study the feasibility of making space on the radio spectrum available for auction.

Increasing demand for spectrum space due to technological innovations such as 4G mobile services and the rapid expansion of wireless internet services led to the Spectrum Pipeline Act of 2015. The act provides funds for federal agencies to perform research and development, engineering studies, planning activities and economic analysis that could potentially lead to a spectrum auction by 2024.

Prompted by the act, the FAA, DoD, DHS and NOAA formed a cross-agency team called the Spectrum Efficient National Surveillance Radar (SENSR). The SENSR team is now assessing the feasibility of making a minimum of 30 MHz of the 1300 to 1350 MHz band available for reallocation for non-federal use through updated surveillance technology.

The bandwidth would be vacated for auction by potentially consolidating existing surveillance radar used to track long-range aircraft, short-range aircraft and weather. The SENSR cross-agency team submitted a SENSR Pipeline Plan to a Technical Panel comprised of officials from OMB, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The Technical Panel approved the plan and submitted it to Congress in January for a mandatory 60-day review. OMB provided funding to the SENSR cross-agency team following that review. The team members will use those funds for phase one of the feasibility study, which involves research and development, engineering studies, economic analysis and planning.

The team sought industry feedback on possible surveillance solutions through a Request for Information (RFI) issued in January and industry meetings. The cross-agency team is currently reviewing those responses and expects to conduct one-on-one meetings with vendors this summer. Results of this process will inform the next steps in the feasibility analysis.

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