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2_b_or_not's picture

Zimbabwe: Aviation Workers Say Working Conditions Deplorable, Urge CAAZ to Upgrade Infrastructure

THE Air Traffic Controllers Association of Zimbabwe (ATCAZ) has called upon the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) to immediately speed up the upgrading of its infrastructure and equipment as the current ones are in a sorry state.

President of ATCAZ Evans Makuku said that "The communication equipment which is an absolute requirement is in shambles and in fact, obsolete." He said communication gear which included handsets, headsets or headphones were not readily available and have to be shared.

"We have staff shortages and this issue has not been addressed for too long resulting in the staff being overworked," he added.

dallas's picture

Report: FAA had poor contingency and security plans at air traffic control center set on fire

The Federal Aviation Administration had insufficient contingency plans and security protocols in place at a Chicago air traffic control facility that was set on fire last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation's inspector general said in a report released Wednesday that recommends the FAA make improvements at all of its facilities.

The fire the Aurora Federal Aviation Administration facility forced Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports to close and disrupted air traffic nationwide as FAA scrambled to restore operations.

The inspector general's report said the FAA's plans "did not contain procedures for transferring air traffic and airspace responsibilities from Chicago Center to other facilities." The report goes on to say that the FAA had to revert to an "outdated 2008 plan."

NASA Developed Technology Aims to Save Commercial Airlines Fuel, Time

Two passenger airlines soon will test NASA-developed software designed to help air carriers save time and reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

During the next three years, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines will use the Traffic Aware Planner (TAP) application, to make "traffic aware strategic aircrew requests" (TASAR).

"TAP connects directly to the aircraft avionics information hub on the aircraft," said David Wing, TASAR project lead at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. "It reads the current position and altitude of the aircraft, its flight route, and other real-time information that defines the plane's current situation and active flight plan. Then it automatically looks for a variety of route and/or altitude changes that could save fuel or flight time and displays those solutions directly to the flight crew."

loulou's picture

World's first remote-control air traffic control tower is up and running

Passengers landing at remote Ornskoldsvik Airport in northern Sweden might catch a glimpse of the control tower — likely unaware there is nobody inside.

The dozen commercial planes landing there each day are instead watched by cameras, guided in by controllers viewing the video at another airport 90 miles away.

Ornskoldsvik is the first airport in the world to use such technology. Others in Europe are testing the idea, as is one airport in the United States. While the majority of the world's airports will, for some time, still have controllers on site, experts say unmanned towers are coming. They'll likely first go into use at small and medium airports, but eventually even the world's largest airports could see an array of cameras mounted on a pole replacing their concrete control towers.

The companies building these remote systems say their technology is cheaper and better than traditional towers.

Giorgos's picture

Snowplow driver, air traffic controllers responsible for Falcon crash in Vnukovo

A snowplow that entered the runway and the erroneous actions of air traffic controllers are responsible for the crash of a Falcon jet of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie at Moscow Vnukovo airport, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax on Aug. 28.

"Detectives have established that a direct cause of the Falcon crash was a collision between the jet, which was taking off, and a snowplow that breached the rules and entered the runway in the absence of control over the driver's operations by a senior shift engineer, Markin said.

"Air traffic controllers had a chance to prevent the plane-snowplow collision but did not do anything," Markin said.

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:


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