FAA Dedicates Runway Pavement Testing Facility

August 27th, 2015

FAA Press Release:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today dedicated its new National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

The research center is a unique facility that allows FAA engineers to use a custom-designed vehicle simulator to test asphalt and other pavement materials at very high tire pressures and temperatures. Airport pavement temperatures can reach 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit as far north as New York City. Tire pressure ranges from 220 to 250 pounds per square inch on new generation aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350. The vehicle simulator has an automated heating system that allows engineers to replicate and analyze the damage that heavy commercial jets can cause to the top asphalt layer when runways are hot. The vehicle was designed to simulate the behavior and weight of aircraft tires, and can show how repetitive aircraft operations affect pavement.

FAA engineers will move the Heavy Vehicle Simulator-Airfields (HVS-A) by remote control between four outdoor pavement test strips and two strips inside a new building, to allow for testing in a controlled environment. FAA engineers recently used the HVS-A to test the performance of airfield paint markings. The HVS-A is 130 feet long, 16 feet wide, 14 feet tall and weighs 240,000 pounds.

The new center will enable the FAA to research environmentally-friendly airport pavement materials such as warm-mix and recycled asphalt pavements.  The FAA’s goal is to expand the use of “greener” materials, and pavement materials that can be modified to enhance pavement durability, workability and strength. This will help airport operators save money by lowering the costs of initial construction, maintenance, and repairs, and will provide a longer pavement life.

The FAA has not recommended the use of environmentally-friendly airport pavement materials yet because research on the effects of aircraft tire pressure and heavy gear loads on green airport pavement materials has been limited.

Construction of the test facility began in August 2013 and was completed in May 2015 at a total cost of $3.8 million. The FAA accepted delivery of the $4.2 million HVS-A on November 1, 2013.

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Next Generation of Airbus Airliner A350-1000′s Wings in Production

August 19th, 2015

csm_A350-1000_wing_cover_goes_into_production_-_view_from_below_501117b648

August 18, 2015 Press Release from Airbus:

First A350-1000 wing goes into production

The wings for the first Airbus A350-1000 have begun the process of assembly at Broughton, North Wales.

The A350-1000 wing has the same span of the A350-900 that is already in service, but 90% of the parts have been modified and the trailing edge has been extended to resize the wing for the additional payload and range.

At 32 metres long by six metres wide, the A350 XWB wing is the largest single part made from carbon fibre composite material in use in civil aviation today. They are designed and developed at Airbus’ facility in Filton, near Bristol, where a number of other systems are designed and tested including fuel systems and landing gear.

 The high-performance wings of the A350 XWB make the aircraft faster, more efficient and quieter. The wing design includes several streamlined features. Among these are droop-nose leading edge devices and new adaptive dropped-hinge flaps, which increase the jetliner’s efficiency at low speeds.
 To improve efficiency at higher speeds, the A350 XWB can deflect its wing flaps differentially, optimising the wing profile and providing better load control.

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FAA: Wildfires and Drones Don’t Mix

August 3rd, 2015

If You Fly We Can't

WASHINGTON – Responding to recent incidents in which unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as “drones,” interfered with manned aircraft involved in wildland firefighting operations, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is supporting the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service in their simple message to drone operators: If you fly; we can’t.

“Flying a drone near aerial firefighting aircraft doesn’t just pose a hazard to the pilots,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “When aircraft are grounded because an unmanned aircraft is in the vicinity, lives are put at greater risk.”

Often a temporary flight restriction (TFR) is put in place around wildfires to protect firefighting aircraft.  No one other than the agencies involved in the firefighting effort can fly any manned or unmanned aircraft in such a TFR. Anyone who violates a TFR and endangers the safety of manned aircraft could be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties. Even if there is no TFR, operating a UAS could still pose a hazard to firefighting aircraft and would violate Federal Aviation Regulations.

“The FAA’s top priority is safety.  If you endanger manned aircraft or people on the ground with an unmanned aircraft, you could be liable for a fine ranging from $1,000 to a maximum of $25,000,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Know the rules before you fly.  If you don’t, serious penalties could be coming your way for jeopardizing these important missions.”

Since so many people operate unmanned aircraft with little or no aviation experience, the FAA is promoting voluntary compliance and working to educate UAS operators about how they can operate safely under current regulations and laws. The agency has partnered with industry and the modeling community in a public outreach campaign called “Know Before You Fly.”

The campaign recently reminded UAS users to respect wildfire operations.  The National Interagency Fire Center also posted a video warning for users to, “Be Smart. Be Safe. Stay Away.”

Additionally, the FAA provided guidance to law enforcement agencies because they are often in the best position to deter, detect, immediately investigate, and, as appropriate, pursue enforcement actions to stop unauthorized or unsafe unmanned aircraft operations.

So remember this simple message around wildfires: If you fly, they can’t. Keep your drone on the ground and let firefighters and aircraft do their jobs. And, if you see someone flying a drone near a wildfire, report it immediately to local law enforcement and the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office with as much information as possible. You can find the closest FAA office at:http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/.

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Documentary “Reunited”, Produced by Guidance Aviation, Celebrated at Prescott Film Festival

July 20th, 2015

Reunited-Movie-Poster

“Reunited”, the short documentary of Arizona resident Barney Wasowicz, U.S. Military Veteran, pilot, and POW, will be celebrated at the 2015 Prescott Film Festival as an “Official Selection” on Sunday, July 26th at 1:00pm.

The film, produced by Guidance Aviation in early 2015, portrays the untold true story of a WWII pilot being reunited with one of the nation’s remaining B-26s, the same aircraft he was shot down in over occupied France 71 years ago on his 18th mission.
In his own voice, Wasowicz shares his emotional journey, memories of his crewmen, and 16 agonizing months in a German prison camp while remaining devout in honoring his fellow Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice during one of the most important and costliest wars in U.S. history.
 
Film Teaser: http://youtu.be/8TlNma5e2M4

 
The Prescott Film Festival runs Wed, July 22nd – Sun, July 26th.  This is the film festival’s 6th year. For more info, go to:www.prescottfilmfestival.com 

 

 

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FAA Allows Commercial Operation for the Black Hawk Helicopter

July 8th, 2015

800px-Blackhawk

The Black Hawk Helicopter’s Role in Military

The Black Hawk helicopter was designed by Sikorsky in the early 70’s to replace the army’s UH-1 Huey. It began to be utilized in 1979, and is still a vital component of military operations. It’s effectiveness for transport of troops, search and rescue, Special Operations and other battlefield assignments has made it a very necessary part of our military’s arsenal, and should be a part for the next few years. However, according to the National Defense Magazine, “the helicopter designs used by the various military branches are at least 30-50 years old.” The Apache attack helicopters and the Sikorsky Black Hawks have both been in use for around 40 years. Because of this, the Army has instituted a plan they call “Future Vertical Lift”, which will include up to four new helicopter models over the span of the next 20 years. One of the proposed replacements is what the Army calls a “ultra” helo that will be so large that it can carry off missions that only the fixed-wing C-130 transport plane can handle.

The New FAA Regulation

Now, with the Black Hawk facing a phase-out based on the plans for new models in the future, it seems that the circumstances may have laid the groundwork for the FAA issuing what is called a “groundbreaking new regulation” pertaining to the commercial operations of the Black Hawk. This restricted-category type certification to (Black Hawk) helicopters will allow commercial operations of the Sikorsky UH-60A for firefighting and other special operations such as aerial crane, contruction and film production. Now, more than the 60 UH-60A recently sold by the U.S. Army, can be used for commercial purposes. Firehawk Helicopters first obtained approval for this certification. This is the first certificate of its kind to be given to a privately-held company. Now, Firehawk Helicopters, Brown Helicopter, and Dynamic Aviation either have or have available for purchase 40 plus UH-60/S-70‘s.

Commercial Uses

The Black Hawk can now be used in multiple commercial scenarios, but one is probably not needed more that its firefighting capabilities. Typically, in a firefighting mission, the smaller helicopters are first on the scene; then, the “heavy lifters” such as the Firehawk Black Hawks are sent in to fight the largest, most threatening fires. The big Black Hawks can safely carry huge 900-gallon buckets, and have cruising speeds of 160-200 MPH, which enables it to access the fire quickly. As the demands of the private sector increase in the areas of border patrol, law enforcement and emergency services, and the increasing needs created by natural disasters (such as Hurricane Katrina), more non-military helicopters such as the Black Hawk, can now be made available.

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AOPA, EAA, NBAA, others, Call H.R. 476 a Disservice to Veterans, Asking Congress to Stop H.R. 476

May 20th, 2015

On May 19, 2015, the Aviation industry came together to protect Veterans and collectively oppose H.R. 476.HR 476 Attacks Veteran Benefits Helicopter Association International (HAI), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) sent a powerful message to Congressional leadership opposing H.R. 476 and calling for its removal.

Industry leadership has called the proposed legislation a “..disservice to our nation’s Veterans….discriminating against veterans seeking a flight-training degree from public institutions of higher learning”.

Read the letter HERE. Then, please SIGN & SHARE The Petition HERE.

Request that Congress STOP H.R. 476.

SIGN & SHARE The Petition HERE

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FAA Transitions to ERAM System at Air Traffic Control Centers Across USA

May 14th, 2015

FAA PRESS RELEASE:

En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM)

En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM)

As of March 27, 2015, En Route Automation Modernization, ERAM, has replaced the 40-year-old En Route Host computer and backup system used at 20 FAA Air Route Traffic Control Centers nationwide. The transition to ERAM was one of the most complex, challenging, and ambitious programs deployed by FAA. In effect, this transition represented a live transplant of the “heart” of today’s air traffic control system while maintaining safe and efficient flight operations for the flying public.

ERAM technology is the heart of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and the pulse of the National Airspace System (NAS), helping to advance our transition from a ground-based system of air traffic control to a satellite-based system of air traffic management.

ERAM is vital to the future of air navigation, providing the foundational platform required for FAA to enable NextGen solutions, via modernization programs such as System Wide Information Management, Data Communications, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance- Broadcast.

Going forward ERAM will provide benefits for users and the flying public by increasing air traffic flow and improving automated navigation and conflict detection services, both of which are vital to meeting future demand and preventing gridlock and delays.

ERAM increases capacity and improves efficiency in our skies. En Route controllers are able to track 1,900 aircraft at a time instead of the previous 1,100 flight capability. Additionally, now coverage extends beyond facility boundaries, enabling controllers to handle traffic more efficiently. This extended coverage is possible because ERAM can process data from 64 radars versus the 24 radar processing with the legacy Host system.

For pilots, ERAM increases flexible routing around congestion, weather, and other restrictions. Real-time air traffic management and information-sharing on flight restrictions improves airlines’ ability to plan flights with minimal changes. Reduced vectoring and increased radar coverage leads to smoother, faster, and more cost-efficient flights.

For controllers, ERAM provides a user-friendly interface with customizable displays. Trajectory modeling is more accurate, allowing maximum airspace use, better conflict detection and improved decision making. ERAM substantially increases the number of flights that can be tracked. Two functionally-identical channels with dual redundancy eliminate a single point of failure. ERAM also revolutionizes controller training with a realistic, high-fidelity system that challenges developmental practices with complex approaches, maneuvers, and simulated pilot scenarios that are unavailable using today’s system.

Air traffic controllers and facilities are the backbone of safe NAS operations, transporting the flying public to their destinations efficiently. With ERAM, controllers benefit from increased collaboration and seamless data sharing between Centers.

Source: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/technology/eram/

Point of Contact

Kevin Young
ERAM Program Manager
(202) 267-0467

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The Economic Benefits of Aviation!

April 9th, 2015

Aviation is the Most Important Transportation of our Time     

Orville and Wilbur Wright had absolutely no idea that they had invented the most important means of transportation for our time. More than a hundred years later, we use our skies to transport thousands of people and goods to their destinations every day. Incredibly, commercial air travel is the safest way to travel statistically; it’s safer than driving, going by train, and even walking.  Aviation presented our society with wonderful potential and we seized it and grew. We know that if the world can come to your city through aviation, the economic benefits are enormous.

A Closer Look: Dallas, Texas: One City with Two Airports

Taking a closer look at the economic benefits of aviation, we will focus on Dallas, Texas. A city with two airports: Love Field and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. For years the Wright Amendment of 1979 restricted air travel in North Texas and severely limited the potential of Dallas’s city airport, Love Field, which was thought to be unable to handle increased air traffic. Instead, The Federal Aviation Administration promoted a more removed regional airport, which we know as Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.  The amendment prevented regular commercial aircraft at Love Field from flying anywhere except in Texas and its neighboring states. DFW International grew to be a huge hub for airlines, holding 155 gates and serving 204 destinations around the world. The effects of this airport since its opening in the 70’s have been simply tremendous growth in the North Texas region.

Change is in the Air

On October 13, 2014, the Wright Amendment of 1979 was repealed, and airlines were now able to fly from Love Field to any destination in America! Now we are beginning to see the potential of a large airport operating centrally located in this city. This time we will witness the effects of an airport on a more precise scale and a smaller area—Dallas’s urban area. Love Field is growing. Southwest Airlines is adding more destinations from Love Field and in January they recorded a 47.6 percent increase in passenger travel at the airport. Those are staggering numbers for an increase in circulation, both in terms of financial capital and passengers plainly traveling through the airport.

Huge Economic Benefit for Dallas

So what does this mean for Dallas? It will no doubt mean a huge economic benefit for the city. More jobs at the airport generate more disposable income for the workers and more money circulating in Dallas’s economy. Besides the new jobs created at the airport, its optimal location will bring thousands of new visitors to Dallas for both business and leisure. Now people going to Dallas’s central business district will choose the closer location, as DFW is significantly farther. The visitors flying in will enjoy restaurants and stay in hotels, and the tourism directly benefits the area. But even better, injecting the city’s market with so many exogenous purchases will precipitate the multiplier effect, a key component of Keynesian economics. Initial spending leads to increased consumption spending and endogenous transactions within the city resulting in a multiplied outcome for the overall gross domestic product (GDP) of the area. More transactions are taking place at an increasing rate and the aggregate demand will significantly increase—yielding economic growth that is extremely beneficial for the community.

The Economic Benefits of Aviation Worldwide

Just like this recent change for Dallas’s Love Field is a huge economic infusion, aviation is creating economic growth worldwide. According to Images NASA - routes of air navigation in EuropaBoeing’s current market outlook for 2015: “As aviation continues to become an integral part of life, it is bringing people closer together. As emerging markets continue to grow and new business models expand, airplane manufacturers are seeing greater geographical diversity in their customer base. In 1993, more than 73 percent of all traffic was carried by airlines in Europe or North America. By 2033, that proportion will shrink to 38 percent. Asia Pacific and Middle East airlines are becoming prominent in global aviation. The low-cost business model is becoming a viable option in emerging markets, offering consumers access to a wider range of destinations and the opportunity to choose the speed and convenience of flying over traditional modes of transportation. In addition, modern twin-aisle airplanes enable smaller operators in developing economies to compete on longer routes traditionally dominated by foreign carriers. Rapidly evolving aviation services in these regions are broadening the geographical balance of airplane demand, spurring a worldwide requirement for 36,770 new jet airplanes, valued at $5.2 trillion.” Besides the huge impact this growth has for major companies like Boeing, cities worldwide will feel the economic benefit both directly and indirectly as the world becomes more connected through aviation!

(source:http://www.boeing.com/commercial/market/long-term-market/world-regions/)

 

 

 

 

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HR 476 ATTACKS VETERAN BENEFITS AND AVIATION

March 24th, 2015

House Bill HR 476 Put Forth by the Federal Veterans Administration Cuts GI Bill Benefits For Flight Training

HR 476 Attacks Veteran Benefits

Proposed legislation attacks Veterans’ Benefits and Aviation. Time is running out.

House Bill H.R. 476, deceptively named “GI Bill Education Quality Enhancement Act of 2015” is proposed legislation that will place an unreasonable cap on ALL flight training benefits covered by the Veterans Administration.

Currently, thousands of U.S. Military Veterans are using the GI Bill benefits they’ve earned to pursue careers in aviation as airplane and helicopter pilots.

Sign the Petition.

Proposed VA Limits Place Devastating Cap on Veterans’ Benefits

Proposed legislation in front of Congress would place a devastating cap on Veteran’s yearly benefits, not only asphyxiating flight training for our U.S. Military Veterans, but also having a destructive impact on the future of the aviation industry as a whole.

Bill Would Affect the Entire Aviation Industry

stop hr 476

Aircraft manufacturers and the entire industry will be negatively affected.

In addition to our Veterans losing out, collateral damage will occur to flight schools, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and contractors – an entire industry.

H.R. 476 was proposed in reaction to the rising costs of flight training for Veterans using their VA benefits. However, instead of proposing reasonable flight training limitations within which Veterans can continue to become career pilots, this Bill offers ridiculously low caps on ALL aviation training; eliminating the possibility for any Veteran to achieve this goal. These caps won’t even cover fuel costs! Moreover, the Bill is basically telling our Veterans they can use their GI Bill benefits for any degree program they want, just NOT FLIGHT TRAINING.

Sign the Petition.

Why Is the Bill Targeting Aviation?

This is clearly discriminatory. Why not cap all educational programs for Veterans? How much does it cost to become an engineer, veterinarian, or doctor?

STOP H.R. 476 Effort Launched – READ-SIGN-SHARE

Recently, an online effort was launched to Stop H.R. 476 via the website “Petition 2 Congress”. As of March 23, 2015, the petition to Stop H.R. 476 generated over 3,500 letters to Congress and the White House. If you visit “Stop H.R. 476” petition page, you can read thousands comments from petitioners.

Congressional Mark-Up Session

The Bill goes to “mark-up” on April 16, 2015. That means congressional leaders will be finalizing the Bill to go to vote.  Before that happens, our industry needs to educate the Bill’s sponsors as well our own State Representatives and industry leaders.

HERE ARE FOUR THINGS TO DO NOW:

  1. Read, Sign, and SHARE the Petition.
  2. Contact the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
  3. Contact Helicopter Association International (HAI), Goverment Affairs
  4. Write your State Representative
  5. If you have a website, here is code to add a STOP HR 476 sign-up widget
    to your website:<iframe frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” height=”360px”
    src=”http://www.petition2congress.com/17588/protect-veteran-educational-benefits-stop-hr-476/wt/?src=widget” width=”220px”></iframe>

STOP H.R. 476

Below are just a few of the thousands of petitions:

“This bill is misguided. Flight training allowances should be appropriately managed by the VA and indexed to well-known aviation industry standards, NOT arbitrarily capped at some inadequate level as this bill seeks to do. Stop HR 476!”

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“flying is my dream, I served in the army because I was told that I would be able to use the GI BILL for flight training, please don’t take that away from me. I don’t not want this Bill to be passed.”

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“American Veterans made a commitment to America. America made a commitment to our Veterans. The VA committed funding to current Veterans enrolled in degree granting programs, Professional Pilot. It is patently unfair to these Veterans to pull the rug out from under them in midstream to a program they have every right to expect the VA and Congress to honor it’s obligation to them.”

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“A deals a deal; I held my end of it by putting my life on the line in Afghanistan along with my fellow Marines. It is outrageous that Congress would even think about cutting the benefits that so many Veterans have earned.”
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READ MORE PETITIONS

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SIGN PETITION: House Bill H.R. 476 Discriminates Against Veterans

March 23rd, 2015

1.1-220House Bill H.R. 476 Discriminates Against Veterans

Bill H.R. 476 discriminates against Veterans wishing to use their benefits to become professional pilots.

Don’t be fooled by its name, House Bill H.R. 476 titled: “GI Bill Education Quality Enhancement Act of 2015″ will eliminate the opportunity for Veterans to become professional pilots after serving their Country and earning their Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits.

If passed, H.R. 476 “Prohibits VA from including flight training fees in the in-state tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education (IHEs) that are covered by post-9/11 veterans’ educational assistance.”

Review the Bill here:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/476

Sign the Petition here:

http://www.petition2congress.com/17588/protect-veteran-educational-benefits-stop-hr-476/

This bill places an immediate CAP on the ANNUAL, TOTAL tuition & fees covered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill by including PUBLIC as well as private colleges in the annual CAP!

These effects are immediate and will apply to ALL current and FUTURE Veterans who wish to use their earned benefits to become professional pilots. Moreover, Veterans currently enrolled in Flight Training will lose their funding.

PLEASE HELP – TELL YOUR FRIENDS. SIGN THE PETITION!

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE – TELL THEM TO STOP HR 476!

 

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