FAA news

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael P. Huerta, speaking at an Asia-Pacific civil aviation conference in Mongolia today, said that the FAA and its Asia-Pacific counterparts must continue to work together to promote oversight operations and certification systems that will ensure the safety of passengers around the world as demand increases.

The FAA projects that within 20 years, the total number of passengers traveling between the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. alone will increase by 120 percent.

By sharing data and best practices with each other, weve proven that safety has no borders, said Huerta. It is imperative that we work together to meet this increased demand and deliver the level of safety and service consumers and businesses on both sides of the Pacific expect.

Aviation leaders gathered at the Asia-Pacific Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference to discuss the future of civil aviation in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. has collaborated with the region since establishing a civil aviation office in Tokyo in 1947.

In cooperation with forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), FAA is working to improve air traffic efficiency in the region. For example, through engagement with ASEAN, FAA is working to emphasize the operational value of cross-border data information sharing between Asian states.

With APEC, the FAA is standardizing and implementing innovative traffic flow management technologies and best practices to allow for separation reductions and smoother traffic flow. The FAA also is supporting regional initiatives to implement more Performance-Based Navigation procedures, which shorten flight routes, save time, and reduce emissions.

Leaders of both regions committed to improving the efficiency of each nations aviation systems in a time when new technologies continue to reshape traditional aircraft and air traffic operations.

August 7The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to change the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) authorization process by eliminating the need for U.S.-registered operators to apply for RVSM authorization when their aircraft meet altitude-keeping requirements and are equipped with qualified Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out systems.

The FAA has been a major force in the implementation of RVSM since it was first introduced in 1997. RVSM reduced the vertical separation between aircraft above 29,000 feet from a minimum of 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet. This saves fuel and increases airspace capacity. RVSM airspace has now been implemented worldwide.

Currently, operators must prove their aircraft design satisfies RVSM performance requirements and that they have policies and procedures for the safe conduct of RVSM operations, before the FAA approves their RVSM authorization. Until recently, they also had to have a separate program to maintain RVSM systems and equipment. The FAA granted authorizations to operate in RVSM airspace only after finding that the pertinent requirements were met.

The proposed changes for RVSM authorizations would allow the FAA to leverage the technology in ADS-B Out systems to monitor altitude-keeping performance on RVSM-capable aircraft whenever they fly in U.S. ADS-B airspace. Properly equipped aircraft could conduct RVSM operations immediately, lowering costs and eliminating the delays associated with application processing. ADS-B becomes mandatory for aircraft operating in most U.S. airspace on January 1, 2020.

The current RVSM approval process would still be available for operators whose airplanes do not routinely operate in airspace where the FAA has sufficient ADS-B data to determine RVSM performance, or when a foreign country requires a specific approval.

Heads Up!
After a busy flight, you might think the challenging bits are all behind you as youre taxiing across your airports surface, but that is no time to let your guard down. In fact, pilots need to be extra vigilant when it comes to runway safety.

What is runway safety? Its your active participation in making sure the beginning and the conclusion of your flight are safe. It means everyone sharing that airport surface, including pilots and airport vehicle drivers, stays vigilant, follows directions, and remains alert. Ground operations require your full attention until you park your aircraft.

Runway safety continues to be one of the FAAs highest priorities. Pilot deviations are of particular concern due to their potential for a collision. The greatest loss of life in a single airplane accident was the result of a runway collision in which 585 passengers and crew lost their lives when two 747 aircraft collided on the island of Tenerife.

By remaining alert on the airport surface, you can help avoid collision risks like runway incursions, where an unauthorized aircraft, vehicle, or person is on a runway and is adversely affecting runway safety. Actions that could lead to a runway incursion include taxiing or taking off without clearance, deviating from an assigned taxi route, or failing to hold short of an assigned clearance limit.

How big a problem is this? The FAA has devoted many resources, including a dedicated Runway Safety office, to raising awareness among pilots and providing continuing education on the topic. Theres a lot of information available to you, and it is a good idea to review these resources on a regular basis.

  • You can begin by knowing your airports layout, including hot spots, which are locations on an airport movement area where there is a history of runway incursion. These hot spots need your undivided attention.
  • You also need to know how to quickly read and understand signs and markings that you see on the runway and airport movement areas. One of the most critical markings on the airport surface is the runway holding position marking (four yellow stripes two solid, two dashed). You will need proper clearance from air traffic control to cross this line when approaching a runway from a taxiway.

To ensure pilots see these markings, the FAA developed an enhanced taxiway centerline that helps alert pilots that they are approaching a runway. The enhanced centerline consists of a series of staggered dashed lines on either side of the yellow taxiway centerline, 150 feet from the runway holding position markings. These markings are required at Part 139 airports, but theyre becoming more common at many smaller GA airports, too.

  • Elevated runway guard lights or wig-wag lights, are also used at many airports to help pilots identify a runway holding position. These lights may be elevated at either side of a taxiway or used as a series of in-pavement lights across the holding position marking.

The FAA is also working to further standardize airport signage. Brightly-colored signs are now being used to alert pilots to airport construction projects.

New lighting advancements, including brighter lights and runway status lights (RWSLs), are being used at more airports. RWSLs use surveillance data to illuminate and warn pilots it is unsafe to enter, cross, or take-off on a runway.

Electronic message boards, apps for your phone or tablet, and ADS-B technologies are also being developed to ensure that ALL phases of your flight remain safe.

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.

Learn more:

The FAAs Runway Safety webpage has lots of diagrams, hot spots and videos for you to review.

The FAA Airport Safety Information Video Series helps you visualize the challenge of runway safety operations, and each video provides helpful tips for staying safe.

This FAA Fact Sheet will help you avoid Pilot Deviations.

The following FAA Safety Briefing articles cover runway 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.

August 4The FAA is holding two workshops near Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday and Wednesday to explain proposed improvements to air traffic procedures in the area. The new air traffic procedures are part of the FAAs airspace transformation to satellite-based navigation.

The new procedures will enable pilots to fly more direct routes, reducing fuel and emissions and saving time.

FAA officials will be available at the workshops to show the proposed improvements on maps of the area and take comments from the public. The workshops will be held at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, August 8, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Hasting Middle School
1850 Hastings Lane
Upper Arlington, OH 43220

Wednesday, August 9, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
South Elementary Cafeteria
Licking Heights South Elementary
6623 Summit Road
Pataskala, OH 43062

Supplemental Materials

For up-to-date information, please review the project website.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is bringing new benefits to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport through a technology called Data Comm. Data Comm revolutionizes communications between air traffic controllers and pilots by replacing some traditional voice communications with digital information exchanges.

Voice communication is labor intensive, time consuming and can lead to miscommunications known as talk back, read back errors. Data Comm, by contrast, enables streamlined, two-way data exchanges between controllers and flight crews for clearances, instructions, advisories, flight crew requests and reports.

By exchanging digital messages, air traffic controllers, pilots and airline operations centers can communicate more clearly and efficiently.Better communication improves controller and pilot productivity, improves safety, can reduce flight delays and can help aircraft fly more direct routes, which saves time and fuel while reducing aviations impact on the environment. Several U.S. carriers are benefiting from Data Comm capabilities at Seattle, including Alaska Airlines, FedEx, UPS, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.

The FAA began testing Data Comm capabilities and benefits in 2014 at Newark and Memphis with UPS, FedEx and United Airlines, as well as select international operators. The FAA started deploying Data Comm in air traffic control towers in the fall of 2015. The technology will be installed in air traffic control facilities that manage high altitude traffic beginning in 2019.

DataCommis nowoperationalat the 55 air traffic control towerslisted below. Its rollout is under budget and more than two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule.That budget savings will enable the FAA to deploy DataCommat even more airports.

Albuquerque
Atlanta
Austin
Baltimore-Washington
Boston
Burbank
Charlotte
Chicago OHare
Chicago Midway

Cleveland
Dallas-Ft. Worth
Dallas Love
Denver
Detroit
Fort Lauderdale
Houston Bush
Houston Hobby
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Louisville
Memphis
Miami
Minneapolis-St. Paul
Milwaukee
Nashville
Newark
New Orleans
New York John F. Kennedy
New York LaGuardia
Oakland
Ontario
Orlando
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Pittsburgh
Portland
Raleigh-Durham
Sacramento
San Juan
St. Louis
Salt Lake City
San Antonio
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose
Santa Ana
Seattle
Tampa
Teterboro
Washington Dulles
Washington Reagan
Westchester County
Windsor Locks (Bradley)

For more information, visithttp://www.faa.gov/nextgenor follow #FlyNextGen on Social Media.

Today's Air Traffic Report:

Thunderstorms likely will delay flights in Boston (BOS), Chicago (MDW, ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DAL, DFW), Denver (DEN), Houston (HOU, IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), the New York area (EWR, JFK, LGA), Philadelphia (PHL), and Tampa (TPA). Storms also may slow traffic over the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Delays are expected in Seattle (SEA) due to winds bringing smoke from Canadian forest fires.

Pilots: Check out the new Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool from the Aviation Weather Center.

For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit fly.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.

The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impactsto normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays, ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.

Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay information.

August 1Today, the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) Office of Civil Rights kicked off its eighth annual training conference on airport compliance requirements for airport authorities, consultants, small businesses and state and local governments. The conference is being held at the Holiday Inn Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The FAA holds the annual training conference as a vehicle to provide technical assistance to airports and industry. The training conference also allows participants to communicate and collaborate with each other to generate greater compliance with federal requirements.

The FAAs Office of Civil Rights manages the Airport Nondiscrimination Compliance Program. This office works to ensure that airport authorities receiving federal funds comply with certain requirements called grant assurances or risk losing federal funding.

Over the course of the three-day conference, participants will receive updates to guidance, laws and regulations addressing disability, accessibility, race, color, national origin, environmental justice, and minority and women-owned businesses. The FAAs goal is to hold an interactive conference that allows participants to ask questions, share their experiences complying with federal requirements, and make suggestions that will ensure the best policies and practices are in place.

Other conference participants and workshop presenters include FAA industry stakeholdersAirport Minority Advisory Council, American Association of Airport Executives, Open Doors Organization, Paralyzed Veterans of American, and Airports Council International-North America.

For additional information on airport civil rights programs, please visit our website.

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.

Pilots and Medications

Stuffy nose? Fever? Combine these symptoms with over-the-counter meds, and you could have a recipe for disaster in the pilots seat.

Just like any other decision that you must make when you fly, you should know all the facts before you take any over-the-counter medications:

  • First, what is your underlying condition? Will it allow for safe flying?
    -If not, you should not fly until the condition improves.
  • Next, do you know how the medication you are planning to take will affect you, and how your body will react?
    -You should NEVER fly after taking any medication that you have not taken before.
  • Be sure to consider adverse reactions listed on the label. Key words include lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or visual disturbance.
    -DO NOT FLY if these side effects are listed or if the label contains any warning signs about operating motor vehicles or machinery while taking the medication.
    -Some people mistakenly think an over-the-counter medication is weak or non-threatening. Thats simply not true, especially for diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
  • Side effects can occur at any time, even if youve taken the same medication in the past without experiencing any side effects.
    -That is why you should NEVER fly after taking a medication with the side effects listed above.

Heads Up

If you must take over-the-counter medications, please follow these tips before you decide to fly:

  • Read and follow label directions.
  • If the label warns of significant side effects, wait until at least five maximum dosing intervals have passed before you fly. For example, if the directions say take the medication every 4-6 hours, wait at least 30 hours before you fly. Other medications may have longer or shorter intervals which is why its important to talk to your Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).
  • Never fly after taking a new medication for the first time until at least five maximal dosing intervals have passed, and no side effects are noted.
  • Do not fly if the underlying condition that you are treating would make you unsafe in the cockpit.
  • As with alcohol, medications could impair your ability to fly, even though you feel fine.
  • If you have a question about a medication, please ask your AME.
  • When in doubt, dont fly!

Prescription Medication

When your doctor prescribes a medication, ask about possible side effects and the safety of using the medication while flying. Many doctors do not think about the special needs of pilots when they prescribe medication, so its important for you to ask questions.

When your pharmacy fills the prescription, let the pharmacist know you are a pilot. Pharmacists are experts in the side effects of medication and can often provide important advice. Youll also want to ask about the potential for drug interactions with any over-the-counter medications you are taking now or plan to take in the future.

Quick Tips

  • Read, understand, and follow the information and instructions that are given with the medication.
  • Discuss any questions with your doctor, pharmacist, or AME.
  • When in doubt, stay safe and dont fly!

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 outside its normal flight envelope and quickly develops into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise the startle factorfor the pilot.

Message from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta:
The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control 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 Medications and Flying with this FAA Brochure.

This FAA Fact Sheet will give you more tips on the safe use of medications while flying.

Need more convincing? This FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute report details how drugs and alcohol play a role in aviation fatality accidents.

You can find more research from the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine here.

The AME Guide provides a list of medications that can impact your fitness for flight here. This list tells AMEs when they should not issue, or not allow an airman to fly. Its a good resource for airmen to help decide what precautions they should take before returning to flight.

Be sure to also check out the article, From FDA to FAA How FAA Evaluates Drugs for Aeromedical Use in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of FAA Safety Briefing.

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 NASA 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.

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.

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