Pipe: Aviation

Momentum builds for airport sector’s global carbon reduction programme as major airports join up

Fri, 2015-03-27 10:36
Fri 27 Mar 2015 - Since it went global last November, a total of 122 airports across the world have now been certified under the industry's Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, with 20 airports having reached carbon neutral status. The programme was launched by ACI Europe, the trade body for European airports, in 2009 as part of a commitment to reduce the sector's carbon emissions, and has now become adopted by all ACI regions. This month, Dubai Airports entered both its airports, Dubai International and Al Maktoum International, into the programme and join fellow UAE airport Abu Dhabi International, which is among the 24 certified airports in the Asia-Pacific region. ACA is independently administered and has the backing of ICAO, the European Union and the United Nations Environment Panel (UNEP).

European Commission launches two consultations on non-ETS sectors in the 2030 climate and energy framework

Wed, 2015-03-25 10:36
The European Commission is launching two parallel consultations on the development of 2030 climate and energy policies in the sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System:

Amazon Robot Contest May Accelerate Warehouse Automation

Wed, 2015-03-25 00:00

Robots will use the latest computer-vision and machine-learning algorithms to try to perform the work done by humans in vast fulfillment centers.

Packets of Oreos, boxes of crayons, and squeaky dog toys will test the limits of robot vision and manipulation in a competition this May. Amazon is organizing the event to spur the development of more nimble-fingered product-packing machines.


Hainan Airlines partners with Sinopec and Boeing on first biofuel-powered Chinese domestic commercial flight

Mon, 2015-03-23 11:23
Mon 23 Mar 2015 - Hainan Airlines has become the first China-based carrier to carry out a commercial flight using sustainable aviation biofuel. Both engines of the scheduled flight on Saturday (Mar 21) between Shanghai and Beijing of a CFM56-7B-powered Boeing 737-800 aircraft carried a fuel blend made up of around 50 per cent of biofuel sourced from waste cooking oil that came from Chinese restaurants and mixed with conventional jet fuel. The biofuel was supplied by China's biggest oil refiner Sinopec, which last year was awarded a licence by the CAAC permitting the use of its jet biofuels in commercial flight operations. The Hainan flight coincided with another flight on the same day of an Airbus A330-300 by Cathay Pacific subsidiary Dragonair between Shanghai and Hong Kong that also used a blended fuel made up of waste cooking oil.

Technology and Persuasion

Mon, 2015-03-23 00:00

Persuasive technologies surround us, and they’re growing smarter. How do these technologies work? And why?

GSN Games, which designs mobile games like poker and bingo, collects billions of signals every day from the phones and tablets its players are using—revealing everything from the time of day they play to the types of game they prefer to how they deal with failure. If two people were to download a game onto the same type of phone simultaneously, in as little as five minutes their games would begin to diverge—each one automatically tailored to its user’s style of play.


Boeing starts ecoDemonstrator 757 flight testing of fuel-reducing technologies to improve aerodynamic efficiency

Fri, 2015-03-20 13:14
Fri 20 Mar 2015 - Boeing's ecoDemonstrator programme has moved into a new phase with flight testing of a 757 aircraft nearing the end of its operational life that focuses on improvements to aerodynamic efficiency. Over the next few months, Boeing will be collaborating with NASA and airline group TUI to evaluate new technologies that improve fuel and environmental performance. On the left wing of the 757, which has been supplied by TUI to Boeing for the programme, a Krueger shield has been installed that can protect the leading edge from insects and so reduce the adverse effect of the residues on natural laminar flow. Under a contract with NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project, bug-phobic coatings have been added to the leading edge of the right wing to enable more drag-reducing laminar flow over the remainder of the wing.

IN-2015/020: Application for ICAO Location Indicators, 3-Letter Designators, Telephony Designators

Thu, 2015-03-19 11:10
The UK Policy for the Assignment and Use of ICAO Location Indicators, 3-Letter Designators and Telephony Designators is promulgated in AIC Y 001/2014. This AIC also contains the current procedures for new applications, changes to existing assignments and cancellations. ICAO has recently introduced an on-line process for all new applications which results in changes to the UK procedures. The purpose of this Information Notice is to bring these changes to the attention of affected stakeholders.

Bombardier inks $1.5bn Malaysia deal

Tue, 2015-03-17 07:00
Canadian aircraft maker to sell 20 jets to Fly Mojo, a new carrier in the region

Bombardier inks $1.5bn Malaysia deal

Tue, 2015-03-17 07:00
Canadian aircraft maker to sell 20 jets to Fly Mojo, a new carrier in the region

Testimony - Before the House Appropriations CommitteeSubcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, concerning FY 2016 Budget

Tue, 2015-03-17 01:00

Good morning, Chairman Diaz-Balart, Ranking Member Price and members of the subcommittee. And thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Administrations fiscal year 2016 budget request for the Federal Aviation Administration.

This request of $15.83 billion will support the FAAs mission to run the safest and most efficient aerospace system in the world while transforming our airspace through NextGen. Our budget reflects a set of principles that the Administration has developed for the FAAs reauthorization. These principles promote safety, modernization and the alignment of our resources to better match our users needs, while maintaining Americas standing as a global leader in aviation.

In the 2016 Operations budget request we are asking for $9.92 billion to operate our nations aviation system on a day-to-day basis. This will strengthen our safety and security programs through hiring additional safety inspectors, engineers and others to address the increased demand for certification of aircraft, operators and pilots. It also addresses our increased focus on integrating new users such as unmanned aircraft and commercial space vehicles. Furthermore, we want to enhance our security for personnel and facilities, which we reviewed extensively after an act of sabotage and resulting fire at the Air Route Traffic Control Center near Chicago last fall. Finally, we are actively working to protect the FAA from cyber attacks.

Our Facilities and Equipment request of $2.85 billion will help us continue to bring the benefits of NextGen to users now, while at the same time addressing the backlog of needed repairs and maintenance of our infrastructure. Id like to take this opportunity to thank the Committee for its continued support of the En Route Automation Modernization program, which we plan to complete at the end of this month. This new automation system will accommodate the technologies of NextGen, and is one of the largest automation changeovers in the history of the FAA. We introduced a great deal of discipline and structure to this ongoing program, and now its just a matter of turning off the old system at the last two centers to complete the nationwide transition to ERAM. The new program creates a more powerful air traffic system that can handle the challenges of the coming decades.

We are also upgrading the automation system in our terminal airspace, where we control traffic approaching airports. The Terminal Automation Modernization and Replacement program is well underway at our largest TRACONS. The Committees strong support of these foundational NextGen programs will prepare us for continued growth and provide the infrastructure for a healthy economy.

Our 2016 request of $166 million for Research, Engineering & Development allows us to boost funding for research into sustainable jet fuels, as well as research for integrating commercial space transportation and unmanned aircraft into our airspace system. The Committee has significantly bolstered unmanned aircraft research this year with strong financial support.

Finally, in the Airports budget, we are requesting $2.9 billion to ensure the continued safety, capacity, and efficiency of our nations airport network. As in years past, the Administration is proposing to eliminate passenger and cargo entitlement funding for large hub airports. In exchange, the budget requests an increase in the Passenger Facility Charge from $4.50 to $8.00, which will provide large hub airports with greater flexibility to generate their own revenue for projects. At the same time it would allow us to restructure the airport grant program to better respond to the needs of smaller airports.

The FAA continues to face many challenges. Americas leadership in aviation is facing competition on a global level with the growth of foreign markets. Domestically, we have had to navigate a constrained and challenging fiscal environment in recent years. In this budget request, we are asking for the flexibility to transfer funds across accounts to be able to prioritize resources, to leverage new technology, and respond nimbly to evolving challenges. The FAA needs to realign todays airspace system with current demands. We need the flexibility to make investment choices that further the health of our airspace system so everyone can benefit.

Civil aviation contributes $1.5 trillion to our economy and generates nearly 12 million American jobs. The FAAs fiscal year 2016 budget request will enable us to continue to protect and expand this vital economic engine and to create the right environment for further innovation and global leadership.

Thank you, and that concludes my opening remarks. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


Cathay steps up sustainable development ambitions with first-ever Chinese commercial international biofuel flight

Mon, 2015-03-16 15:41
Mon 16 Mar 2015 - Hong Kong-based airline Dragonair, which is part of the Cathay Pacific Group, will later this week become the first to operate a commercial international flight from Mainland China using a biofuel blend. A Rolls-Royce powered Airbus A330-300 flight on Saturday from Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport to Hong Kong will use a 50/50 blend of fossil-based jet fuel and a certified bio-based jet fuel refined from used cooking oil as feedstock. As well as reducing emissions by around 25 tonnes, Dragonair says the purpose of the flight is to demonstrate the Group's commitment to using sustainable aviation biofuels as a part of achieving its corporate target of carbon-neutral growth from 2020. Cathay Pacific recently took a stake in US biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy, a decision which, said Biofuel Manager Jeff Ovens, was based as much on being a viable business case as on environmental grounds.

NASA purchases Gevo’s renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel as part of performance testing programme

Thu, 2015-03-12 13:26
Thu 12 Mar 2015 - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has purchased Gevo's renewable alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) fuel for aviation use at its NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. NASA has been testing alternative aviation fuels at its Armstrong Flight Research Center in California to measure the atmospheric effects of their emissions at altitude and last year signed agreements with NRC of Canada and DLR of Germany as part of its Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS) programme. In January, Gevo announced the first supersonic test flight by the US Navy using a 50/50 blend of its fuel, which is currently undergoing scrutiny by fuel and aviation experts in efforts to have it certified for commercial aviation use.

New Airservices air traffic flow system reduces delays, fuel and emissions at four Australian airports

Thu, 2015-03-12 12:26
Thu 12 Mar 2015 – A system introduced by Airservices Australia to reduce airborne delays for aircraft arriving at Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane airports is delivering annual fuel savings worth A$18.2 million ($14m) and reductions of 54,100 tonnes in aviation CO2 emissions. The system, known as Metron Harmony, has resulted in an annual saving of 8,700 hours in airborne delay time, or an average of 1.1 minute per flight arriving at the four gateway airports, according to a commissioned study by PwC Australia. With a 60 per cent increase in Australia's air traffic expected by 2020, the report projects these savings to increase to 14,300 hours, or 1.3 minutes per flight, A$37.3 million ($29m) in annual fuel savings and CO2 reductions of 102,300 tonnes by 2022.

The Electric Mood-Control Acid Test

Thu, 2015-03-12 10:55

A startup called Thync will sell electrodes that you put on your head to improve your mood. The results may vary to a surprising degree.

I’m working on a story that’s almost due. It’s going well. I’m almost finished. But then everything falls apart. I get an angry e-mail from a researcher who’s upset about another article. My stomach knots up. My heart pounds. I reply with a defensive e-mail and afterward can’t stop mentally rehashing my response. Taking deep breaths and a short walk don’t help. I can’t focus on finishing my story, and as the deadline approaches, that makes me more uptight and it gets even harder to write.


Founder criticises aviation industry for lack of support as Solar Impulse takes off on round-the-world journey

Tue, 2015-03-10 13:20
Tue 10 Mar 2015 - The solar-powered Solar Impulse aircraft took off yesterday from Abu Dhabi on the first stage of its maiden round-the-world flight. Weighing the equivalent of a small car but with the wingspan of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, the aircraft flew to Muscat in Oman before crossing the Arabian Sea to Ahmedabad in India today on a five-month journey. During its 12 scheduled stops, the Solar Impulse team and its partners will organise events for governments, schools and universities to demonstrate the importance of clean technologies. Harnessing the sun's energy to power anything heavier than a light aircraft is unlikely for the foreseeable future and so the Solar Impulse experiment has no immediate benefits for commercial aviation, although attempts are being made by scientists to extract liquid fuels suitable for aviation use from technologies powered by the sun.

Speech - Never a Better Time to Ignite the Light

Fri, 2015-03-06 00:00
Executive Director, Regions and Center Operations Ravi Chaudhary
Southwest Region

Dr. Chabrian, thank you so much for having me here today. To our distinguished speakers here at WAI, thank you for inspiring us with your wisdom and experiences. Its a pleasure to be with you and join you in WAI festivities this week. To my outstanding FAA Regional Administrator from New England and Chairman of the Board at WAI, Amy Corbett, thank you for having me here in the now snowy Southwest Region. You know, Georgia is where I learned to fly, but I like to think that Texas is where I learned to fly upside down, in Del Rio Texas. In flying all over this beautiful state, I learned two things: One, that good flight planning always went hand-in-hand with where you can find the best steak. And two, your biggest collision threat on takeoff, is most often a tumbleweed, or some form of cattle.

But most importantly, to the distinguished women and men of the WAI membership body and broader aviation community, it is indeed an honor to be with you today as we celebrate an aviation tradition and no better way, in my humble opinion, to kick-off womens history month. Thank you so much for having me and making me feel right at home from the get go. Of course, how can I feel anything but at home among my fellow engineers, pilots, controllers, maintenance personnel and the literally hundreds of careers representing the aviation community, people known for taking some of the worlds most complex aviation problemsand quite simply, making it happen for our nation.

I consider myself proud to say that I come from the same hearty stockpeople with a brash, earthy way about them, but with hearts always turned skyward. You know who you are. Where are my Southern Illinois folks? Georgia? Embry Riddle? As an Aerospace Engineer and pilot in the Boeing C-17, Ive had tremendous opportunities working alongside each of you on space launch programs, certifying GPS systems onboard Air Force aircraft, and integrating future NextGen capabilities into what my fellow Air Force pilots sometimes affectionately call our Geriatric military aircraft inventory. In fact, youll know that the Air Force KC-135, the commercial variant of the Boeing 707, is still operational in the Air Force, and now piloted by grandsons and granddaughters of the original cadre, over 50 years ago. Weve had to update them a bit to meet FAA requirements, but it hasnt been easy. Imagine somebody coming up to you and saying, can you please connect my IPAD to your 1982 Tandy (for our young folks here, thats a computer) and then download all the apps to antiquated operating systems. Youd look at them like theyd flipped their wig.

Yet, thats the type and level of complexity that the thousands of professionals addressing our nations aviation challenges face every day. You make taking aviation into the future look easy, to the point that we often take this vital aspect of our global infrastructure for granted. So, suffice it to say, its just great to be here at WAI, and part of a team world-renown for its commitment to aviation.

Reflecting on some of the more formative days in my career and what lies ahead for America, Ive also come to the conclusion that developing advanced air transportation systems, investing in vital infrastructure, and generating global progress requires more than just technology. It requires the type of human ingenuity and intellectual horsepower that is located in this room. And Ill take my cues from our former Transportation Secretary, the Honorable Norm Mineta, a man who has dedicated his life to blazing a trail for Air Transportation. He noted just last spring, that the infrastructure of infrastructures, are our people.

But before I talk out our people, I want to share a little bit about what the FAA is doing build the future of global aviation. The FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, has outlined four strategic initiatives at the FAA designed to establish a deliberate direction for aviation in the U.S. and our partners around the world. The first such initiative is ensuring we aggressively pursue the next level of safety in our aerospace system. Despite having one of the safest years on record in the aviation industry, the FAA has not rested on its laurels. We are committed to doing even better, by issuing new rules that require most U.S. commercial airlines to have risk-based Safety Management Systems in place by 2018. These initiatives also include important governance structures and rulemaking for new aerospace designs and technologies such as UAS, emergency response mechanisms for dealing with incidents like the fire at our facility in Chicago, and improved business models for design and manufacture of aircraft, as well as commercial space vehicles.

Second, we are focused on delivering benefits to the traveling public through technology and infrastructure improvements in the National Airspace System, or NAS. Our current air traffic system is based on infrastructure that was built 50 years ago and is becoming increasingly costly to maintain. Deploying NextGen throughout our NAS by involving industry, government and academic stakeholders will enhance widespread benefits, both in dollars and environmental benefits through fuel savings and reduced carbon emissions, just to name a few. In fact, the metroplex located right here in North Texas has made history by turning on 80 new procedures in a single day, and creating all new direct paths by utilizing satellite based procedures.

Third, we continue to enhance our nations position as a global leader and the gold standard in aviation safety, air traffic management, and technological integration. We must continue to maintain our seat at the global table with active participation in ICAO and other international aviation forums. While aviation has its roots in America, we must diligently work with the global community to shape the second century of flight with a collaborative approach and encourage other nations to vigorously participate in discussions on aviation safety and efficiency. We all operate in a global community, and rapid technological advances in the information age only reinforce the need for greater international cooperation on air transportation.

Which brings me to our Administrators Fourth initiative, and one that I want to spend a little more time with you today. That is the workforce of our future. For today, Ill broaden it out not just to the FAA workforce, but to the entire aviation enterprise as a whole. On this, Ill offer you a simple thought. When we embark on game-changing aviation initiatives such as NextGen, commercial space, or UAS, we should also think about the challenges of our other NextGen project, and that is of course inspiring our next generation of global aviation professionals. I say the word global to arouse a vision of the challenges that lie ahead of us as a nation, and what quite frankly will be the linchpin of Americas success in the next 20 years. Furthermore, I want to bring the role of women in aviation to the forefront here, because it will be none other than the diversity of our workforce that will cultivate the kind of innovation we are looking for. For the need for more women in the aviation industry, particularly in leadership positions, cannot be overstated. But to create change, real change, Ill steal the words right from Katy Perry when I say that there is no better time than today to ignite that light and inspire our next generation of aviators. Many of them are with us here at WAI, and facing similar challenges and barriers in aviation that women and minorities have faced throughout aviation history.

To our younger folks, if youve ever felt like youve been put in a boxand sometimes folks can do that just by telling you that you are pursuing a career that is Non-Traditional, take a look around at the firepower you have in this room. The WAI team will be here for you to not only ignite the light, but keep it burning. Because aviation attracts innovators at every level, people with a sense of adventure. As leaders, we just have to take it upon ourselves to cultivate it in our youth. After all, aviation is 1 part mindand 2 parts heart.

You see, I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the smell of walleye curry on my jersey often drew more attention than warranted on the basketball court. I eventually took a hint from the fact that the splinters in my backside from riding the bench exceeded my 3 point shooting percentage. So I decided to turn my eyes to the sky, and a career in aviation. Of course I was the recipient of many strange looks for pursuing a career that was non-traditional for a young Asian American. So, with the inspiration and support of my family I decided to make my dreams come true at the Air Force Academy. To make that happen, my parents were the ones who encouraged me to ignite the light. After graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1993, I found myself as a young officer at Kelly Air Force Base, located just South of San Antonio Texas. I was active in the Indian American community in a variety of ways, but when I put my cultural activities on my military resume, a colleague recommended I leave that part out, for fear it may hurt my career. Needless to say, fitting in had always been a challenge for young Asian Americanswhich is why I chose to ignite that light, move beyond the stereotypes people intended for me, and chart my own path.

Looking back, I have to say there is no resume that could replace the fact that being authentic and putting my best self forward each day was what being an aviator was all about. It embodied the ideals of promise and hope in the American Dream that brought my parents to America in the first placefor nowhere else in the world could anybody even conceive of walleye curry in the neighborhood! Thats the heart of innovation, people pushing the envelope, being non-traditional, and eventually coming up with something new.

In many ways, the very act of flight itself is non-traditional, and the ultimate expression of human freedom. It attracts people with an inherent desire to liberate themselves from the forces of gravity. Peoplelike Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, the incomparable Amelia Rose Earhart, and one of my personal heroes, Heather Penney. They always seem to defy the status quo in the same way that they defied the forces of gravity each time they took to the air, or entered the board room.

These pioneers serve as a constant reminder to all of us that the forces of orthodoxy and status quo are always acting upon us, and it is our sense of freedom that encourages us to push back in pursuit of new ways of thinking and reach beyond the sky. This was the gift given to me by my parents when they chose to come to America, and further cultivated by the Air Force. My former boss, Major General Sharon Dunbar, always remarked, The skys no limit. I agree. Because it is in the sky that that one finds the finest of human idealsthe promise of opportunity, and a clear glimpse of the horizon. The word opportunity itself gives us hope, and the reason my family and I fell in love with America.

Our nation faces a myriad of challenges in the future, and the forces of darkness often seem unyielding as we read the headlines from day to day. But in the end we must remember that it is small things that often seem to turn the tide. A field trip to an aviation museum, a paper airplane contest in class, or a road trip with dad, to the WAI conference! So weve got to get out there and do it now, get out to those STEM fairs and talk about engineering and science careers, and talk to our underrepresented communities about opportunities to serve in aviation careers, and also support our small businesses. Remember, the status quo needs only one thing to triumphand that is for good people to stand on the sidelines.

Inspiring our next generation of aviation professionals is a national priority, but it cant happen without a commitment to our youth in one key area, and theres really no way of getting around this. Weve got to ensure equal opportunity is part of our mantra. That means more females on corporate boards, more women wearing stars at the Pentagon and equal pay on the flight deck, as well as in our towers and engineering labs. Im honored to continue this journey with you and offer you my commitment to same, because we honor the pathfinders that have gone before us by opening up the doors of opportunity, and empowering youth to do none other than ignite that light.

Ill close the best way I know how, by sharing the story of those who always inspire us when we need it the most. Americans who always seem to light the way, and never falter under the most extreme conditions, many of whom are with us here today and members of WAI.

A few years ago I had the chance to fly into Afghanistan on a combat mission with a diverse C-17 crew. During our mission, we came to realize that we had several heritages were represented on the flight deck. During a stopover in Europe, we had the chance to interact with some of the local citizens. One such citizen came up to us and remarked that he found it hard to believe that our crew could function with so many cultural differences. I would think that the plane would eventually crash he said. My crew reacted nearly in unison:

"That is what makes America so strong."

So lets do it. Get out there with our youth and help them ignite that light! On behalf of the FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, thank you for what you do, but most importantly, thank you what you represent here at WAI, and may God bless and protect the millions of aviation professionals serving all over the world.


Germany fines aircraft operators $5.9 million as it publishes first Aviation EU ETS non-compliance list

Thu, 2015-03-05 12:25
Thu 5 Mar 2015 – Germany has become the first EU country to publish a list of aircraft operators that have not complied with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in 2012, the first year of the aviation sector's inclusion. According to the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), fines totalling €5,363,400 ($5.9m) have been levied on the 44 operators named. Most are small aircraft operators but two major German airlines, Air Berlin and Condor, have surprisingly found their way onto the list. The two carriers say this was due to small discrepancies in reporting and have received only small fines. Notable by their absence are Air China and Aeroflot, which both operated flights within the European Economic Area (EEA) during 2012 and so are still subject to the reduced scope of the EU ETS but whose governments have not permitted them to comply.

Testimony - Before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Aviation concerning Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization: Enabling a 21st Century Aviation System

Tue, 2015-03-03 00:00

Chairman LoBiondo, Ranking Member Larsen and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to speak today about the reauthorization of the FAA.

It seems like not that long ago we were united behind the FAA reauthorization of 2012 with a sense of urgency to provide long term funding to support our nations aviation system. And now we are here again to continue that work. We have a joint responsibility government and industry to pull together to create the air traffic system that will carry this nation well into the 21st century.

In the last five years the FAA has made major progress in transforming our airspace system through NextGen, and that progress continues as we speak.

The FAA has delivered on its commitment to build the foundation that will support the many applications of NextGen. In 2014, we completed the coast-to-coast installation of a network of radio transceivers that will enable a satellite-based air traffic control system that provides a more precise and efficient alternative to radar. With this foundation in place, we have fulfilled our end of the bargain. We are working with the airline industry and the general aviation community to help them do their part to meet their requirement to equip by the 2020 deadline.

By the end of this month, we will finish the upgrade of our en route air traffic control automation system. This system will accommodate the new technologies of NextGen. Again, we met our commitment. This is one of the largest automation changeovers in the history of the FAA. It results in a more powerful air traffic system that can handle the challenges of the coming decades.

Through our collaboration with industry, we have identified key priorities in implementing NextGen, and we have followed through. We now have more satellite-based procedures in our skies than radar-based procedures. We have created new NextGen routes in cities across America that are saving millions of dollars in fuel burn, shortening flight paths, decreasing carbon emissions and cutting down on delays. All of this means airline schedules are more predictable and travelers face fewer delays.

The United States stands as a leader in aviation internationally, and we intend to remain the gold standard. Our manufacturers produce innovative aircraft and avionics that help maintain our nations positive balance of trade. We are truly unique in that we have the most diverse aviation community, which includes new users like unmanned aircraft and commercial space vehicles. Civil aviation contributes 12 million jobs and $1.5 trillion to our economy.

Americas leadership in aviation is being challenged on a global level, however, with the growth of foreign competitors and the shifting dynamics of supply chains. Domestically, the FAA faces challenges that I think we can all acknowledge: We have competing priorities among our stakeholders one of the byproducts of a healthy, diverse system. And, we have had to navigate a constrained fiscal environment in recent years, with nearly two dozen short term extensions prior to our 2012 reauthorization.

The FAA needs to prioritize its resources to leverage new technology and to respond nimbly to evolving challenges. To maintain our global leadership and to continue to reap the economic benefits of this industry, we should use the upcoming reauthorization to provide the FAA with the tools necessary to meet the pressing demands of the future. A lot is at stake, and we need to get this right.

To that end, the Administration has developed a set of principles that we believe will improve our nations airspace system and set the course for future progress.

First, we need to maintain our excellent safety record and foster the use of data and analysis to focus our precious resources on the areas of highest risk in our aviation system.

We must continue the modernization of our air traffic control system. Part of that effort is to ensure stable funding for core operations and NextGen investments. Collaboration with industry is absolutely essential. We need to deliver benefits, and industry needs to equip to use these improvements.

FAA Reauthorization should secure appropriate funding for our nations airports. It should also enable the integration of new users into our airspace system and support the agency in fostering a culture of innovation and efficiency.

The FAA also needs to realign todays airspace system with current demands. We need the flexibility to make investment choices that further the health of our airspace system so everyone can benefit.

And finally, we need to maintain our position of aviation leadership on the world stage. This means the FAA needs to remain at the table to shape and harmonize international aviation standards that promote seamless travel around the world.

We are extremely proud of Americas aviation heritage and the innovation and inspiration that our strong and diverse system has always provided. I look forward to working together to make sure that the United States continues to lead the world as we create the right conditions for further innovation and achievement in the second century of flight.


Maersk warns of slowdown in global trade

Sun, 2015-03-01 07:36
Oil price drop boost offset by sluggish economies in Europe and emerging markets

Speech - FAA Report

Fri, 2015-02-27 00:00
Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker
Atlanta, GA


Welcome to Richard Anderson

Thank Dennis Roberts:

  • It is my pleasure to announce Dennis Roberts as our new Southern Regional Administrator, based here in Atlanta.
  • Many of you already know Dennis from his tremendous work in the Performance Based Navigation arena.
  • Since December 2010, Dennis has been serving as Director, Airspace Services for ATOs Mission Support.
  • He worked closely with many of you as the key FAA representative on several PBN-related NAC taskings.
  • He was also instrumental in developing the PBN blueprint for success and in helping industry identify both FAA and industry barriers and possible solutions to successful usage of PBN procedures.
  • Edie Parish will be Acting Director of Airspace Services. But I want to thank and acknowledge Dennis for his very significant contributions to our NextGen efforts.

NextGen Priorities

  • A lot has happened since our last NAC meeting on Oct. 8th.
  • We delivered the NextGen Priorities Joint Implementation Plan to Congress on October 17..
  • The plan incorporated the NACs NextGen Integration Working Group Final Report as an appendix.
  • We have participated in several Congressional briefings with the NAC by our side.
  • We have also developed and implemented an oversight process for monitoring these priorities.
  • I am pleased to announce that the FAA delivered on 11 out of 11 commitments in calendar year 2014. We completed wake recat in Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Houston, and completed feasibility assessments for PBN and surface initiatives. We also completed a final investment decision for initial en-route services for Data Comm.
  • We are on target to deliver on three out of three commitments at the end of the first quarter of this calendar year, making us 14 for 14.
  • Industry also met their commitment in calendar year 2014.
    - The Performance Based Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PARC) completed their review of the data link recording rule and delivered recommendations in November of last year.
    - I am very pleased to report that we completed our review of their recommendations, and on Wednesday, February 25, our new policy went on display in the Federal Register. The new policy applies the recorder rule only to new aircraft, manufactured after the effective date of the rule, and to those aircraft which did not have any data link solutions available before the effective date.
    - This new policy will allow the rule to be applied in a consistent and predictable manner, and it enables thousandsof older aircraft to affordably access the safety and efficiency benefits of data communications.
  • This work on NextGen Priorities has been very rewarding for the FAA and sets a new standard for how we are working together with the NAC to move NextGen forward.
  • You will hear more details on all of these accomplishments this afternoon from the leads of the working groups and our FAA subject matter experts.
  • I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Steve Dickson for his outstanding leadership of the NAC Subcommittee Tim Campbell has a tough act to follow.

ADS-B Equip 2020 Mandate

  • Eleven days after filing our report to Congress on the NextGen Priorities, FAA hosted an industry Call to Action.
  • This was designed to bring all industry stakeholders together to assess how were doing toward being fully equipped with ADS-B Out by January 1, 2020.
  • It was a very well attended event.
    - Identified a number of issues.
    - Created working groups to roll up our collective sleeves and problem solve.
    - This was led by General Hoot Gibson from the NextGen Institute, and the effort was called Equip 2020.
  • Im pleased to report that this initiative has resulted in quite a bit of progress. Ill mention just three areas where weve made significant progress.
    - In general aviation, we are seeing a marked uptick in equipage 3,000 aircraft have equipped since October: A 50 percent spike.
    More significantly, competition amongst avionics manufacturers has led to a dramatic cost reduction in equipage over a 50 percent price drop since October.
    Several sources now exist for units at prices lower than $2,000.
  • In support of airline equipage, the Equip 2020 team reached an agreement that allows air carriers with first and second generation receivers (SA aware) to continue to use these until 2025. This recognizes their dedication in adopting early and it provides time to upgrade to the best available receiver technology.
  • It also recognizes that we want to reward not punish early adopters of technology. We want to ensure earlier equippers have flexibility in compliance with final standards.
  • This has been an unresolved issue for three years but after the Call to Action, we got an agreement in about 60 days. Its a good example of what can be accomplished when experts work together as a team.
  • I also want to credit Equip 2020 for producing an equipage tracking database.
  • With this effort, youll be able to capture data from suppliers (the solutions and products theyre offering) and youll be able capture data from the air carriers (what are they buying, when are they buying it, etc.).
  • With this information, youll be able to track the equipage trends specifically, by comparing supplier plans with air carrier plans and spot potential risks to achieving equipage compliance by the deadline.
  • This way, well know if were on track for 2020 and if not, we can redouble our efforts accordingly.

McKinsey Benefits Study

Like I said, its been a busy few months

  • In addition to the Priorities and Equip 2020, FAA engaged the consulting firm McKinsey & Company to better understand the benefits NextGen is providing to the aviation industry.
  • The FAA worked with McKinsey to conduct carrier-specific NextGen benefits evaluations, including the benefits of equipping with ADS-B Out.
    - This McKinsey study covered major categories of carrier benefits, including:
    Savings in direct operating expenses
    Savings in crew time
    Overhead savings
    Benefits of added capacity
    Benefits of increased predictability
    - The consultants used a replicable analysis based on the FAAs system-wide model, with added elements that can be included in future modeling.
  • We presented a business case to carriers in their language based on carrier-specific details, including:
    - Flight schedules and
    - Fleet projections and
    - The Net Present Value investment case for ADS-B Out and partial DataComm equipage by 2020, which in each case has a positive NPV.
  • We held discussions with the six major passenger carriers:
    - Delta, Alaska, United, Southwest, American and jetBlue
    - We have also met with UPS and are scheduled to visit FedEx and Republic in the coming weeks.
  • Key themes we heard from the airlines:
    - Appreciation of, and need for, an open, airline-specific dialogue with FAA on NextGen.
    - Perceived challenges with previous programs.
    - Commitment to equip for the ADS-B 2020 mandate.
    - Excitement over NextGen and the promise of future benefits.
    - Specific, near-term improvements each airline would like to see to maximize benefits.
  • Next steps for the FAAswork on NextGen benefits and carrier alignment:
    - Follow-up discussions with airlines.
    - Update to the FAAs NextGen strategy.

Houston, North Texas and DC Metroplex

  • Finally, just before the last NAC meeting, we implemented the latest Metroplex in North Texas, and subsequently we implemented new procedures in DC.

    - Lynn Ray is going to provide an overview of those projects.


  • I would like to share a few highlights from our successful Metroplex initiatives in Houston, North Texas and Washington, D.C.
  • In the spring of 2014, we launched 61 new routes for flights into and out of Houston area airports. At the same time, we also used a Time Based Flow Management capability along with the Houston Metroplex enhancements to help match capacity and demand, and increase throughput and capacity. Post-implementation data analysis shows an annual savings of $6 million from reduced fuel consumption.
  • Now in December, as part of NextGen priorities, we added the wake recat capability into Houston Intercontinental and Hobby airports, giving Houston a suite of fully integrated tools and capabilities.
  • Last September in North Texas, we increased safety by procedurally separating departure and arrival flows to the two major airports serving Dallas with 80 new NextGen procedures. This was the North Texas Metroplex initiative. We continue linking North Texas to the rest of our nations airspace with the same repeatable and predictable methods of optimizing TBFM that were used in Houston. We are currently conducting post-implementation analysis of North Texas and will make sure the efficiency of the airspace compliments its increased safety.
  • In Washington, D.C. our Metroplex initiative employs safer and more efficient procedures throughout the region. The D.C. Metroplex will implement 50 new procedures staged over eight publication cycles. These procedures will be completely implemented by June 25 and have projected savings of $6.8 million in fuel costs, 2.5 million gallons of fuel saved, and a reduction of 25,000 metric tons of carbon. The D.C. area will be more efficient and more green because of Metroplex.
  • With various NextGen technologies, policies, and procedures coming to fruition and our ability to deliver on our promise to implement NextGen priorities, we are climbing that mountain of challenges Bill Ayer so often referred to.


  • Looking forward, I am very pleased to report that we are on the verge of finishing all ERAM sites. Teri Bristol, ATOs COO, will provide a few more details.


  • ERAM is considered the backbone of the nations airspace system. Replacing the 40-year-old Host system, ERAM processes flight and radar data, provides communications, and generates data for controllers' screensfunctions that enable air traffic control across the nation.
  • The transition to ERAM represents one of the largest automation changeovers the FAA has ever undertaken.
  • ERAM is a flexible and expandable system designed to accommodate the new technologies being implemented as part of the FAAs NextGen initiative.
  • To date all 20 En Route centers have reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC), a milestone met when the system is deemed acceptable to be introduced into the operational environment at an Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and a local and national plan exists that can support the facilitys goal to move toward extended and continuous operations.
  • 16 of the 20 centers have declared Operational Readiness Date (ORD) which is the commissioning of a new system into the National Airspace System (NAS).
  • ORD is the culmination of a series of events and milestones that demonstrate confidence and operational suitability of a system. ORD occurs prior to decommissioning of a legacy system, and is a separate activity from decommissioning.
  • By the end of March we anticipate marking the completion of the ERAM deployment as the four remaining centers declare Operational Readiness (ORD).

FACT 3 Report

  • Also since our last meeting, the FAA has issued its latest FACT report. FACT stands for the Future Airport Capacity Task and details the long-term airport capacity needs of domestic airports. Eddie Angeles, our Associate Administrator for Airports, will share the highlights of this important work

Eddie Angeles:

  • As Mike stated, in late January, the FAA published the third edition of its report on long-term airport capacity needs.
  • The report identifies airports that are at risk for significant delays and congestion through 2020 and 2030.
  • For the rest of this decade, much of the U.S. hub airport system has sufficient capacity except for several high-demand airports that have consistent delays: NYC area airports, ATL, PHL, and SFO to a degree.
  • New runways have helped to improve capacity at many formerly congested airports. Going forward, both new runways and NextGen improvements are needed to improve efficiency at capacity-constrained airports.

Small UAS Proposed Rule

  • Also, as Im sure you are aware, earlier this month, we issued a UAS proposed rule as the next step in our continuing efforts to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into our nations airspace.
  • Weve made a lot of progress in our task to integrate UAS. Last year, we published a comprehensive plan and road map to safely integrate unmanned aircraft; we opened six test sites across the country for research on unmanned aircraft; we approved the first ever commercial operations in the Arctic; and we have granted more than two dozen exemptions for commercial use of unmanned aircraft in domestic airspace.
  • The proposed rule is a big step forward in outlining the framework that will govern the use of small unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds. This proposed rule offers a very flexible framework that provides for the safe use of small unmanned aircraft, while also accommodating future innovation in the industry.
  • Safety is always our number one priority. This proposed rule makes sure that we are protecting other aircraft, as well as people and property on the ground.
  • The unmanned aircraft industry is expanding greatly and this technology has the capability to dramatically change the way we use our nations airspace.
  • We are doing everything that we can to safely integrate these aircraft while ensuring that America remains the leader in aviation safety and technology.

Catex 2 Decision

  • Continuing on our theme of recent accomplishments, I am pleased to share our most recent decision on Categorical Exclusions.
  • In the fall of 2012 we asked the NAC to provide technical suggestions for determining ways to measure reduction in noise on a per flight basis.
  • The NAC approved their Catex task groups recommendation to implement a system for noise analysis in the summer of 2013.
  • The FAA has decided that we will use the NACs recommended net noise reduction methodology to implement the Categorical Exclusion that is called for in the 2012 reauthorization, with a couple of technical modifications:
    1. Well evaluate net changes in noise, instead of net changes in the affected population. This is more consistent with the statute, which requires a determination of measurable reductions in noise. A net day-night average sound level reduction would support this determination.
    2. Well rule out using the categorical exclusion if noise increases are significant. Instead of the NACs add-on significant test, this will be embedded in FAAs interpretation of what constitutes a measurable noise reduction. We wont make a reduction determination in situations where there are significant noise increases.
  • Our noise staff tested these modifications using the same data at two airports that the NAC Task Group used to test the NACs recommendation, and we got the same results.
  • The FAA will provide a detailed debrief at the March 11 subcommittee meeting for those who are interested.
  • I do want to call to your attention that industry provided the only positive comments on this categorical exclusion and this net reduction methodology.
  • All other comments were negative, and highlight the problem were experiencing with opposition to PBN procedures that shift noise over communities. One of the expressions of community concern is to demand more detailed and participatory environmental reviews than occur when we implement a procedure using a categorical exclusion. The opposition to using categorical exclusions to bypass environmental reviews is a symptom of the larger issue of noise. Well be discussing this in more depth at the June NAC meeting when we review the Blue Print for Success to Implementing PBN.


Moving to the international scene, Ed and I made a trip to Brussels two weeks ago to meet with SESAR, Eurocontrol, the Commission, and the new Deployment Manager.

Ed, you want to provide a brief update on that?

  • Since the NAC last met, the FAA and European teams have continued their harmonization work on many fronts.
  • We've also had constructive discussions on how we are working together, and how we will do so going forward, especially as the new SESAR Deployment Manager section takes shape.
  • This was included in our discussions during our recent visit to Brussels.
  • One major accomplishment in the trans-Atlantic partnership that I would like to highlight is the recent completion of the Joint Harmonization Report that we havenoted at previous meetings. Thisdocument was written by a team of representatives from SESAR, EuroControl, and the FAA's NextGen and Air Traffic Organizations.
  • The report provides details of major initiatives and accomplishments made via the FAA-Europe agreement on harmonization over the last few years. The report was presented to the High-Level Committee that oversees the trans-Atlantic agreement, and this committee approved the document and its public release.
  • And, I'm happy to report that the document has been printed and we've got a few copies here today. The report will also beposted on the FAA and SESAR websites, and we'll have many more copies available at World ATM Congress in a few weeks in Madrid.
  • I think you'll find it a useful document that showcases the important work being done in partnership across the Atlantic.

Reauthorization and Capital Investment Plan

  • The work on reauthorization progresses, we have a hearing before Congress scheduled for March 3. This hearing will cover our progress in implementing NextGen and areas where Congress can help us to create a more efficient system. With the current FAA authorization set to expire at the end of September, passing a new bill that helps lay the groundwork for the future of U.S. aviation is a top priority.
  • And finally, Ive asked Mark House, our Chief Financial Officer to be here today to provide some highlights on our current capital investment plan. In the interest of transparency, Mark is here to share our capital investment process and challenges we have in funding NextGen multi-year programs without multi-year funding.

Mark House: Presented Brief from a Slide Deck

Thank you, and that concludes the FAA remarks.