Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Tag: <span>aviation safety</span>

$290.6 Million in Infrastructure Grants

U.S. DOT Announces $290.6 Million in Infrastructure Grants to 105 Airports

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the FAA is awarding $ 290.6 million in airport infrastructure grants to 105 airports. The airport grant program funds airport infrastructure projects, runways, taxiways, and airport signage, lighting, and markings. “AIP grants will allow airports to complete critical airport infrastructure projects that will help maintain the safety of the nation’s airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta. The grants will provide many jobs. AIP funding is allocated based on passenger volume. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, then the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding. The FAA is currently providing discretionary funding to 26 airports based on their high-priority project needs.

List of Airports


NTSB Recommends More Sophisticated Flight Tracking Technologies

NTSBIn the wake of recent aviation tragedies, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued new recommendations, on January 22, aimed at enhancing the flight tracking technologies.

In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the NTSB said, “Recent events have highlighted that recovering flight data can be costly and difficult when an accident occurs in a remote area, outside radar coverage.” To prevent such difficulties, the NTSB has recommended installation of tamper-resistant location transmission devices in all aircrafts.

Furthermore, the NTSB called for regulations mandating that the flight data and cockpit voice recorders of all commercial airliners be equipped with low-frequency underwater beacons capable of being easily located.

Cockpit video recorders and longer lasting batteries on the beacons are also among other recommendations submitted for consideration by the FAA.

Global Advisory Group Recommends Tough Rules to Prevent Battery Fires in Airplanes

ICAOAn advisory panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended strict actions for discouraging bulk shipment of lithium batteries through commercial planes.

The recommendations were published by the ICAO on October 1, after a recent meeting of the advisory group was held in Cologne, Germany, in September.

The group has also suggested to re-assess the fire detection systems in terms of their ability of respond quickly and to limit the battery shipments to cargo compartments with excellent fire-suppression capability.

In July 2010, 2 people were killed after a shipment of batteries caught fire and caused a Boeing Co 747 cargo plane, operated by United Parcel Service Inc., to crash in Dubai.

Global Aviation Facing Critical Issues; Conclude Panelists at 20th World Routes Development Forum

Renowned panelists in the first panel discussion at the 20th World Routes Development Forum, which was held in Chicago on September 21, concluded that the global aviation industry is currently facing 5 critical challenges.

As per the results of live polling moderated by BBC World News presenter, Aaron Heslehurst, the delegates regarded infrastructure as the most critical challenge, with aviation profitability, safety/security, taxation and oil price stability being the other 4.

At the start of the session, the issue of safety and security was discussed, particularly in context of the recent incidents of MH17 and MH370. Managing director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), Datuk Badlisham Ghazali appreciated the actions taken by the ICAO and other bodies in order to improve aviation safety, however, he emphasized on the need of enhanced visibility from global aviation bodies regarding the industrial developments aimed at increasing safety. Referring to MH17 tragedy, he said, “The industry needs to move forward in more visible way. Response has not been as visible as what I had hoped for.”

The issue of aircrafts flying over conflict area in eastern Ukraine was also brought up during the discussion. Thomas Windmuller, SVP airports, passenger and cargo services at IATA, asked why some airlines had the vital information not to fly while the others were not aware.

Profitability was another point of discussion in the forum and according to Windmuller, “We are in a period of sustained growth in volume, but not necessarily profitability. The number of airlines that recover their capital cost is very small… The problem is not just airlines, it is aviation. There are very few parts and components that are making big money. These include airports, and air navigation services, who do not make a profit, and do not cover their long-term capital costs.”

The delegate voting regarded Infrastructure challenges as the most serious issue being faced by the aviation industry today. The current investment in aviation infrastructure development projects vary a great deal from country to country. In some countries like China, big investments are being made for infrastructure development while in some other countries this trend is non-existent.

Trey Urbahn, the chief strategy officer of Azul Brazilian Airlines, said that the most pressing issue being faced by Brazilian aviation industry today is taxation. Giving example of Azul Brazilian Airlines, he said that 36% of the company’s profit go on taxes and that the company is working with the government to address this serious issue. He suggested that the taxation garnered should be re-invested for infrastructure development.

Australian Pilot Develops ‘GO Light’ System to Mitigate Spatial Disorientation

CockpitAn Australian pilot, Russell Crane, has invented a Green Orientation Light (GO Light) system, which can help solve the spatial disorientation problem.

“Presently, to verify orientation when there are no visual cues, the pilot has to focus on their small attitude indicator (AI) instrument… However, this verification requires the pilot firstly to recognise that they may be disorientated and actively focus their attention on the AI,” Crane said in a statement.

However, the GO Light system will provide a constant reference point to the horizon in the pilot’s peripheral vision, which will continually keep him informed about the plane’s altitude. According to Crane, this will not only mitigate the issue of unrecognized spatial disorientation, but will also allow pilots to focus more on other instruments while being confident and aware about the plane’s altitude and orientation.

Ron Bartsch, the Chairman of AvLaw International said, “GO Light takes the concept of the AI and turns it into a constant part of the pilot’s subconscious perception. If this concept can be taken forward and commercialised, it could be the most important Australian aviation invention since the black box.”

ICAO Declares Nepal as 45% Non-Compliant

CAANInternational Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has declared Nepal as 7% percent more non-compliant than the global average of 38%.

After an on-site audit during the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme , ICAO has given a non-compliance rating of 45% to Nepal.

The audit report states that this high rating is due to the negligence of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal [CAAN] in strengthening the mechanism of aviation safety oversight.

CAAN’s failure has also put Nepal in the bad books of the UN aviation watch dog.

Smoke and Other Issues in Flight

Just like it happens with cars, obscure plane parts wear out. Take for example an incident that happened in 2008, when a 747 cable burned out after the protective covering was worn off due to friction against a bolt.

Take a look at this final report on this 747 smoke event on Eva Airways Flight BR67 at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Prior to this event, Boeing had sent out a service Letter to inform operators of the potential fire hazard from the arcing of a wire bundle which might result in a fire on Corrosion Inhibiting Compound (CIC) contaminated insulation blankets. They predicted it. It happened.

So as we think about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. There is always the possibility that some small component like the one below failed, and led to something catastrophic. What if the pilots were overcome by smoke in the cabin? I am not saying that this DID happen, I am only saying there are myriad small parts that can lead to catastrophic events. It makes sense to look at any and all Boeing 777 safety advisories, in case they might predict some small event that cascaded into disaster.

Thanks to input from John King.

Jamaica Vows to Adopt International Standards for Aviation Safety and Security

The Jamaican Government plans to spend US$ 22 Million to upgrade its aviation safety and security infrastructure to bring it up to par with the international standards.

In an interview, Director General Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority Leroy Lindsay said that Jamaica is fully complying with the best practices and standards set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

He further said that Jamaica has improved by 10 percent from its ranking which was 30 percent in 2007, in terms of compliance requirements. Jamaican authorities are taking serious steps to comply with the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation. He hoped that Jamaica will top in the Caribbean countries in maintaining high standards of performance in aviation.

He disclosed that Jamaica will replace all outdated technology in two to three years in the air navigation services and they are planning to have Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment to monitor satellite surveillance of aircraft by 2017.

He hoped to have Controller Pilot Data Link Communications in place by 2017. This technology is used for automatic communication between the aircraft and the air traffic control systems.

Lindsay further mentioned that they have already called bids for replacement of outdated radar at 26 sites.

Jamaican authorities are adopting environment-friendly measures for airspace in line with the Priority Based Navigation in the ICAO Global Navigation Plan, including Continuous Descent Approach (CDA), and Continuous Climb Operations (CCO).

In George’s Point of View

This announcement of Jamaica’s update is, in my opinion, a timely gesture, especially considered in terms of the recent events concerning Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the instant recognition code for which across the internet has been #MH370. The tragic and mysterious disappearance of Flight 370 is one many people believe would not have happened if there had been streaming data technology in place that would have relayed the plane’s details even when the transponder was shut off. Jamaica’s move toward “Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast” equipment in 2017 is one that that should be in development universally and internationally. We believe that one day the ICAO will have revised standards of online data streaming, perhaps even by 2017; and that this upgrade of Jamaica, while in compliance with current not future standards, is a step in the right direction.

FAA Proposes $304,000 Civil Penalty Against Great Lakes Aviation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $304,000 civil penalty against Great Lakes Aviation of Cheyenne, Wyo., for allegedly conducting 19 flights with aircraft that were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

Great Lakes operated the aircraft in conditions in which the carrier could reasonably expect frost, snow or ice to adhere to the planes, the FAA alleges. The FAA maintains that Great Lakes flew Beech 1900 aircraft out of Hays, Kan., in January 2011 with deicing fluid that exceeded the maximum temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The Great Lakes deicing manual states that fluid heated to more than 180 degrees could damage the aircraft or the deicer.

FAA Proposes $325,000 Civil Penalty Against Southwest Airlines

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $325,000 civil penalty against Dallas-based Southwest Airlines for allegedly operating an aircraft that had been improperly modified, violating Federal Aviation Regulations.

On Aug. 29, 2011, maintenance personnel improperly installed a switch that enables flight crews to test the windshield heating system on a Boeing 717 that AirTran Airways Inc. was operating. Southwest is in the process of merging with AirTran.

Proper installation of the switch would have allowed personnel to isolate the windshield anti-ice system that was causing a warning that the windshield heater was failing. Instead, the center and left windshield warning systems were reversed. The right windshield warning system continued to operate properly. The aircraft was operated on 1,140 passenger flights before the problem was corrected.

Dana Air Suspended-Unsuspended

March 16, 2013, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority announced Dana Air’s temporary suspension again. Dana Air had been suspended last June after the MD-83 crash. In January flights were restored.

After a March 16 flight in Abuja had safety issues, leading to a recently grounded flight, Dana Air was again (briefly) suspended.

Firebug Flight Attendant Fugitive Flees FBI

Not only did the flight attendant fire to paper towels in the bathroom because he didn’t want to work that flight, he had done the same thing 5 weeks earlier; and then skipped out on his Federal trial in Fargo, N.D.

Luckily none of the 72 passengers and four crew members (including himself) were injured in the fire.

So now there is a warrant for the arrest of Eder Rojas, 19.

Content not attributed to or linked to original, is the property of AirFlightDisaster.com; all rights reserved.

Site Credits