The FAA this week released its final rule on ADS-B equipage in the mid-term, mandating ADS-B Out capability by 2020 for every aircraft using airspace where a transponder is currently required. Predictably, GA groups feel that they will be made to shoulder a large financial burden that ultimately will benefit airlines and air travelers rather than private pilots, although some concessions to general aviation were made in the final rule.
Some good resources to understand the consequences and subtleties of this rulemaking:
- Article in Air Transport World here
- Full text of rule here (via Federal Register)
- ATA press release here
- Analysis of costs/benefits to GA from AVweb here
- AOPA press release here
US Airways CEO Doug Parker says his airline has no interest in equipping its fleet with NextGen technologies on its own dime. Parker was asked a question about ATC equipage at the carrier’s media day, and Air Transport World reported his answer as follows:
“There is not a capacity issue in the United States right now as it relates to air traffic control, so putting in place NextGen ATC, while it makes all the sense in the world, isn’t going to save the airlines dramatic amounts. . .So our position is so long as we have to pay for [flight deck equipment], we prefer not to have it.”
US Airways also questioned FAA’s capacity growth estimates, saying that it sees growth in the range of 1-2% per year over the next 10 years.
FAA’s 20-year forecast for aviation demand is out. Some highlights:
- Total passengers on U.S. airlines domestically and internationally are forecast to increase from 704 million in 2009 to 1.21 billion by 2030, a cumulative rise of 75%.
- Domestic passenger enplanements will increase by 0.5 percent in 2010 and then grow an average of 2.5 percent per year during the remaining forecast period.
- U.S. airlines will reach one billion passengers a year by 2023.
- Total air cargo Registered Ton Miles (freight/express and mail) increase from 30.8 billion in 2009 to 86.6 billion in 2030 – up an average of 5.0 percent a year, for a cumulative rise of 281%.
- Total operations at airports are forecast to decrease 2.7 percent to 51.5 million in 2010, and then grow at an average annual rate of 1.5 percent reaching 69.6 million in 2030.
- At the nation’s 35 busiest airports, operations are expected to increase 60 percent from 2010 to 2030.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2010
CONTACT: David Gillies, Rep. Costello’s office
COSTELLO WELCOMES DR. KARLIN TONNER AS HEAD OF JPDO
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL), Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that Dr. Karlin Tonner has been appointed Director of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO). JPDO is responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
“I welcome Dr. Tonner to this critical position and look forward to working with her. JPDO’s mission is as important as any currently before the aviation community, and I remain concerned that it is not structured in a way that gives the Director the level of authority and access needed to be effective. I will continue to evaluate this issue as we move ahead. Ensuring the necessary inter-agency cooperation that NextGen requires is a very complicated managerial task and we need to get it right. Secretary LaHood and Administrator Babbitt understand this, and I believe Dr. Tonner’s extensive experience at NASA will be very helpful.”
Last week, we reported AA’s plans to test fuel-saving measures using satellite navigation on a B767 flight from CDG to MIA. According to the Dallas Morning News, that test was canceled due to mechanical problems with the plane.
On his “Airline Biz” blog, DMN reporter Eric Torbinson implies he has heard from the airline that the test will be attempted at a later date, but no source is explicitly cited.
From the Associated Press:
Utah’s two U.S. senators are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to hold off testing a new computer system at a Salt Lake City air traffic control center that guides planes across portions of eight states.
Republican Sens. Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch wrote FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt on June 11, asking him to delay a test of the new system at the Salt Lake Air Route Traffic Control Center. [..] “Safety concerns demand that ERAM (the computer system) not be implemented until it meets and exceeds the standards of reliability and stability of the system it replaces,” the senators wrote.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the agency has a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with the union representing air traffic controllers to discuss the test. She said agency officials still have confidence the test can take place as planned.
The test is scheduled from midnight to 4 a.m. on June 18, said Doug Pincock, an air traffic controller [and NATCA rep — ed.] in Salt Lake City. During that period the main computer system that the control center has used for nearly two decades will be switched off and the new system, known as En route Automation Modernization, will be switched on, Pincock said.
Further information: NATCA’s press release; FAA ERAM fact sheet; Text of letter to Randy Babbitt from Sens. Bennett and Hatch.