Tag Archives: US

US Airways to equip its A330s with ADS-B

from Aviation Week:

US Airways plans to use its long-haul Airbus A330 fleet in a new FAA trial that is expected to bring the benefits of satellite-based navigation links to congested Northeast airspace and transatlantic routes.

The US Airways project – which also includes manufacturer Aviation Communications and Surveillance Systems (ACSS) – is the most ambitious step yet in a wider FAA initiative to fund avionics upgrades in selected airline fleets. These early deployments are geared toward demonstrating the effectiveness of systems vital to the FAA’s NextGen modernization effort, and providing operational data needed by the agency.

In the latest trial, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) will be used in up to 20 Airbus A330s, initially at the US Airways hub at Philadelphia International Airport and then at Charlotte (N.C.) Douglas International. [..]

US Airways will retrofit the nine A330-300s it has in its fleet for ADS-B, and the A330-200s it has on order will be equipped as they arrive. This work is scheduled to begin in May, and US Airways expects to have 20 aircraft participating in the program by 2010. The A330s are considered ideal because they are predominantly used on transatlantic flights and depart from the same airport at around the same time.

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UPDATE: Crew rest lawsuit

BusinessWeek magazine published a non-subscription article about the lawsuit brought by a group of airlines against the FAA last month.

The airlines say that the Federal Aviation Administration bypassed usual rule-making procedures and denied them the right to comment before it notified American Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. of the new rules in late October.

The petition was filed Dec. 24 in the federal appellate court in Washington by American, Continental, UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, US Airways, JetBlue and two smaller carriers.

In their filing, the airlines said the new requirements would saddle them with “substantial burdens and costs.” They charged FAA did not show how the rules would improve safety.

It’s interesting that JetBlue joined the suit, given that it doesn’t currently serve destinations outside the Americas. US Airways is adding flights to Tel Aviv in 2009 and has said it wants to serve Asian destinations from Philadelphia in the future.

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Honeywell, ACSS receive funding to demonstrate ADS-B’s value

The FAA says it wants to speed up the deployment of avionics that can take advantage of ADS-B technology, and is funding a small demonstration project meant to prove the value of having that data in the cockpit. (FAA Press release) The $9 million effort will be conducted by Honeywell and ACSS, and calls for two planes to be outfitted with a full suite of NextGen gadgetry. Other partners on the project: US Airways (which will work with ACSS), plus Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways (which will provide pilots).

A sidenote: ACSS is a joint venture of aerospace IT heavyweights L3 Communications and Thales Group.

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FAA adds 3 new carriers to cockpit safety trial

The FAA has announced it will partner with three additional airlines for its upcoming cockpit safety initative, which focuses on Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and Aural Alerting technology. (FAA fact sheet). The newly added carriers are Atlas Air, CommutAir and Shuttle America, and the three will receive a combined total of $1.7 million in return for access to operational data. Last month, the FAA said it had reached agreements with US Airways, Southwest, SkyWest and Piedmont Airlines to take part in the same trial.

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