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2_b_or_not's picture

FAA To Replace ATC Digital Voice Recorder Equipment

The FAA is gearing up to replace the digital voice recording equipment in 450 civilian and 300 U.S. military air traffic control (ATC) facilities before the legacy technology becomes “unsustainable” beyond 2021.

dallas's picture

FAA Responds to NASA Controller Fatigue Study Findings

In response to the Associated Press (AP) outing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) surrounding ongoing risks associated with air traffic controller fatigue, the FAA yesterday released a Q&A, reprinted below, to the press discussing fatigue in controllers. The AP obtained the hidden report, which only became available on the FAA’s website several hours after the AP published its story, that found air traffic controllers’ work schedules often lead to chronic fatigue, making them less alert and endangering the safety of the national air traffic system.

What steps has the FAA taken to relieve the problem of controller fatigue?

In 2012, the FAA implemented a comprehensive Fatigue Risk Management System to manage controller fatigue. This Fatigue Risk Management System includes policy and practice changes, along with fatigue education to raise awareness about the personal responsibilities associated with managing fatigue.

dallas's picture

AP EXCLUSIVE: Air controller study shows chronic fatigue

Air traffic controllers' work schedules often lead to chronic fatigue, making them less alert and endangering the safety of the national air traffic system, according to a study the government kept secret for years.

Federal Aviation Administration officials posted the study online Monday, hours after The Associated Press reported the findings — and noted that agency officials had declined to furnish a copy despite repeated requests over the past three months, including a Freedom of Information Act filing.

The AP was able to obtain a draft of the final report dated Dec. 1, 2011. The report FAA posted online was dated December 2012, although the findings appear to be nearly identical to the draft.

Jean46's picture

Google, NASA work together to design drone air-traffic-control system

Google is partnering with NASA and 13 other companies, including Amazon and Verizon, to create an air-traffic control system for drones, called the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Traffic Management.

Drones are the way of the future, and ? rather than let the air be clogged with unruly, unregulated unmanned robots ? the government is seeking to work with the private sector to create rules of the aerial road. The move comes after a series of incidents involving drones, including crashes at national parks and on the White House grounds. Yet, for some businesses, the regulations can’t come fast enough.

ATCO Workload

Interesting and useful discussion on ATCO workload:


dallas's picture

On-duty air traffic controller found passed out drunk

An on-duty air traffic controller was arrested after being found passed out drunk with his shirt off at his desk at Springdale airport, Arkansas.

He was found on Thursday morning at the Springdale Municipal Airport in Arkansas by a colleague who said he was “passed out in his chair with his shirt off”, according to a police report.

A pilot waiting on the tarmac preparing to take off could not get a response from the tower last Thursday, said airport official Wyman Morgan, who called the police.

The ATCO was swaying on his feet, slurring his speech and struggling to balance, said the report. It also said he was too intoxicated to climb down a steep ladder to leave the tower. He was arrested in connection with public intoxication and held at Springdale jail.

dallas's picture

First phase of European satellite-based air traffic control communication system completed

Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA) have completed Phase 1 of ESA’s Iris Precursor, the new satellite-based air–ground communication system for Air Traffic Management (ATM).

The completion of Phase 1 – which has validated the architecture and system design, plus the safety and security of ESA’s Iris programme - releases €7.6m in funding from ESA and its partners for Phase 2, which will lead development of an enhanced satellite network to overlay existing terrestrial VHF networks to carry ATM communications over European skies.

ESA’s Iris programme is part of the European Union’s Single European Skies ATM Research (SESAR) initiative, which aims to address the annual €4bn cost resulting from deficiencies in the European ATM system.  Inmarsat state that without SESAR flying in Europe will reach its growth limits, consequently leading to delays, higher costs for airlines, and higher CO? emissions.

70% of Air Crashes in Nigeria Caused by Regulatory Inefficiency, Says AON

Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) said about 70 per cent of the air accidents that happened in Nigeria were caused by regulatory inefficiency and negligence by government agencies in the industry.

This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman of AON, Captain Nogie Meggison, while speaking at the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Safer Skies Forum in Lagos, lamenting that airlines lose about $120 million (about N27.6 billion) to bird strike incidents alone annually.

Meggison explained that every year the airlines record 30 incidents of airstrikes which is the entering of birds into the aircraft engines at landing or take off. This he said is average of two and half incidents every month, adding that the cost of a single aisle aircraft engine is about $4 million, which airlines acquire to replace their damaged engines.

Giorgos's picture

Firemen to provide ATC information to pilots in Australia

Air traffic controllers have vowed to fight a move to allow firefighters at regional airports to provide basic air traffic information to ­pilots, although pilots have ­received the idea warmly.

As revealed yesterday, after years of campaigning by aviators including businessman Dick Smith, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority issued a statement to The Weekend Australian saying airports could apply on a case-by-case basis to have ground staff ­obtain training and a legal exemption to provide such services.

The move opens the prospect of Australian airports that do not have air traffic control towers adopting the American practice, where fire and rescue officers, mechanics, baggage handlers and check-in staff using the Unicom radio system give pilots observable information such as what aircraft are circling and on the runway.

2_b_or_not's picture

Belgian flights halted after air traffic power fault

More than 200 flights in and out of Belgium were cancelled or diverted on Wednesday after a power surge disabled the operations of domestic air traffic controller Belgocontrol.

At Brussels Zaventem, the country's main airport, queues formed at the desk of national airline Brussels Airlines as passengers sought to re-book flights.

The suspension prevented flights arriving at or leaving all Belgium's airports, although planes could still cross at higher altitudes, where the upper air space is controlled by European traffic authority Eurocontrol.

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