Archive for October, 2016

FAA to Boost Pilot Professional Development

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed to enhance the professional development of U.S. air carrier pilots to make certain that they adhere to standard procedures and prevent behavior which could lead to pilot errors. The rule would require leadership and command training, and mentoring training for pilots-in-command. It would also require each air carrier to establish a committee to develop, administer, and oversee formal pilot mentoring programs.

“Pilots have an enormous responsibility for the safety of their passengers and crew,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We have some of the best pilots in the world and should take full advantage of our pilot’s wealth of experience to raise professional standards and cockpit discipline.”

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would provide newly hired pilots with an opportunity to observe and become familiar with flight operations procedures before serving as part of a flightcrew. The FAA would require air carriers to revise the curriculum for pilots seeking to upgrade to pilot-in-command. Air carriers would also provide leadership and command, and mentoring training for all pilots-in-command. Air carriers would establish Pilot Professional Development Committees to develop, administer, and oversee formal pilot mentoring programs. A committee would consist of at least one manager and one pilot and would meet on a regular basis.

Following the Colgan Air Flight 3407 accident, air carriers and unions responded to the FAA’s Call to Action and pledged support for professional standards and ethics committees, a code of ethics, and safety risk management meetings. Today’s proposal responds to the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, which directed the FAA to issue a regulation to address professional development, leadership, and mentoring of air carrier pilots. It also responds to National Transportation Safety Board recommendations on pilot professionalism, leadership, and adherence to the sterile cockpit rule. The sterile cockpit rule prohibits pilots from engaging in any activity during a critical phase of flight which could distract or interfere with his or her duties.

The proposed rule incorporates the work of the Flight Crewmember Mentoring, Leadership, and Professional Development Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), the Flightcrew Member Training Hours Requirement Review ARC, and the Air Carrier Safety and Pilot Training ARC. All three ARCs were comprised of labor, industry, and FAA experts who provided recommendations to the FAA. The FAA also analyzed recent changes to pilot certification and qualifications to serve as an air carrier pilot-in-command.



The Purpose of the FAA

Thursday, October 6th, 2016


In aviation the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) plays a large role in what one might learn when getting an education in aviation. So what exactly is the FAA, how did they come into being, and why are they even in force?

The Role of the FAA

The FAA was originally founded with The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 which established the agency under the name FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) as they are still known today. In 1967 the FAA became a part of the Department of Transportation.

The FAA has many roles in the safety of civil aviation including:

  • Regulating civil aviation to promote safety
  • Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology
  • Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft
  • Researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics
  • Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation
  • Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation

What the FAA DoeslogoFAA

As previously mentioned, the FAA plays many roles in the field of avionics, flight safety, and development of new techniques and laws. To touch on a few details of some of what they cover, let’s look at some of the responsibilities, the FAA handles.

Airspace and Air Traffic Management: This is the management of safe, efficient use of navigable airspace to keep all those in flight safe. They operate airport towers, air route traffic control centers, and flight service stations. The FAA is the force behind the rules that are in place and developing of new air traffic rules when needed. They also assign use of airspace and control air traffic. It’s a lot for this administration to handle but they do so efficiently and effectively keeping travelers safe.

Air Navigation Facilities: The FAA is responsible for the visual and electronic aids that assist in air navigation. They maintain, operate, and assure the quality of these facilities. The FAA is also responsible for sustaining other systems that support air navigation and air traffic control. Some examples include voice and data communication equipment, radar facilities, computer systems, and visual display equipment at flight service stations.

Civil Aviation Abroad: Promotion of aviation safety and encourage civil aviation abroad is important. The FAA works with foreign authorities, exchanging aeronautical information, and certify foreign repair shops, airmen, and mechanics. They also negotiate mutual airworthiness agreements with other countries and take part in international conferences all in an effort to maintain travel safety for this countries travelers and aviation employees.

Commercial Space Transportation: That’s right, you read correctly. Commercial…Space…transportation. The FAA regulates and encourages the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. They license commercial space launch facilities and private launches of space payloads on disposable launch vehicles.

Research, Engineering, and Development: The FAA is continuously looking for ways to improve the safety and systems of air navigation and air traffic control. They help develop better aircraft, engines, equipment, aviation systems, and procedures. They also do research on aeromedical practices. All of this is done in effort to make air travel safe for all involved.

Safety Regulation: The FAA issues and enforces regulations and minimum standards on aircraft manufacturing, operation, and maintenance. They also certify airmen and airports servicing air carriers.

The FAA plays many roles in the safety of those who fly, both as traveler or as employee of airlines. They manage the development of systems, equipment, and laws that govern the many areas of aviation. Always looking to develop better ways to create safe travel and air traffic management, the FAA will continue to work for everyone. Knowing that your role in aviation is important is a helpful tool to guiding the way to getting an education in aviation.

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