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Latest FAA News and Updates, Press Releases, Fact Sheets, Speeches, and Testimonies
Updated: 2 years 41 weeks ago

News and Updates - FAA Statement on Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Devices

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 19:34

In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.

http://www.faa.gov/go/packsafe

News and Updates - FAA Moves Forward with SoCal Airspace Modernization

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 14:30

September 2- The Federal Aviation Administrations effort to modernize Southern Californias airspace is moving forward.

The FAA has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact/ Record of Decision for the Southern California Metroplex project. The decision enables the agency to proceed with the project, which includes 99 new satellite-based procedures-41 departures, 37 arrivals and 21 approach procedures that guide aircraft down until theyre very close to their destination airports.

Modernization is needed because many of the current air traffic procedures in Southern California are decades old. While they are all safe, some are inefficient because they rely on ground-based navigation aids, which limit available flight paths.

Prior to making the decision on the Metroplex project, the FAA conducted thorough environmental reviews and dozens of public meetings and stakeholder briefings. The agency also evaluated and responded to thousands of public comments, and made a number of changes in response to public input.

The FAA plans to begin working immediately toward phasing in use of the procedures, starting in November 2016 and continuing through April 2017.

News and Updates - International Partners Plan for Aviation Growth

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 14:09

August 31- The Certification Management Team (CMT), comprised of leaders from four civil aviation authorities, has published a strategy to develop and implement policies that streamline certification. The team includes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),Agencia Nacionalde Avia?o Civil (ANAC) of Brazil, European Aviation SafetyAgency (EASA), and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA). The FAA and EASAalso have establishedabilateral Validation Improvement Roadmap (VIR) that defines the specific bilateral initiatives.

The continued globalization of the aviation industry has prompted collaboration among the worlds civil aviation authorities to harmonize regulatory systems. Industry growth has increased the level of domestic certification activity, and validation projects from emerging States of Design are placing growing resource demands on other authorities. By maximizing the use of existing U.S. bilateral partnerships with our CMT partner countries, we can reduce the amount of effort all of the agencies currently expend on validation programs.

Strong partnerships are a key to consistent safety standards around the world. As leaders in the global aviation community, the CMT members are pioneering a strategy that focuses on confidence-building initiatives and risk-based validation principles to accept partner certification activities with limited or no technical involvement. This is a significant expansion of previous initiatives, which allows the authorities to maximize their reliance on the certificating authority as much as possible.

The CMT Strategy and the FAA-EASA VIR support the FAAs Global Leadership Initiative, which is transforming how the FAA prioritizes and targets resources to engage with the international aviation community to improve safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability through regulatory harmonization and partnerships.

News and Updates - The FAA's New Drone Rules Are Effective Today

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 12:07

The Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) new comprehensive regulations go into effect today for routine non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) more popularly known as drones.

The provisions of the new rule formally known as Part 107 are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground. A summary is available here.

The FAA has put several processes in place to help you take advantage of the rule.

Waivers: If your proposed operation doesnt quite comply with Part 107 regulations, youll need to apply for a waiver of some restrictions. Youll have to prove the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver. Users must apply for these waivers at the online portal located at www.faa.gov/UAS

Airspace Authorization: You can fly your drone in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace without air traffic control authorization, but operations in any other airspace need air traffic approval. You must request access to controlled airspace via the electronic portal at www.faa.gov/UAS, not from individual air traffic facilities.

You may submit your requests starting today, but air traffic facilities will receive approved authorizations according to the following tentative schedule:

Class D & E Surface Area October 3, 2016

Class C October 31, 2016

Class B December 5, 2016

We will try to approve requests as soon as possible, but the actual time will vary depending on the complexity of an individual request and the volume of applications we receive. You should submit a request at least 90 days before you intend to fly in controlled airspace.

Aeronautical Knowledge Test. Testing centers nationwide can now administer the Aeronautical Knowledge Test required under Part 107. After you pass the test, you must complete an FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application to receive your remote pilot certificate at: https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx

It may take up to 48 hours for the website to record you passed the test. We expect to validate applications within 10 days. You will then receive instructions for printing a temporary airman certificate, which is good for 120 days. We will mail you a permanent Remote Pilot Certificate within 120 days.

The new regulations dont apply to model aircraft operations that meet all the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (which is now codified in part 101), including the stipulation they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.

News and Updates - Section 333 vs. Part 107: What Works for You?

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 10:34

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) new small drone rule formally known as Part 107 is effective on August 29. You may also be wondering what happens to your Section 333 exemption grant or petition for exemption. View the video here.

The biggest question is whether you are better off flying under the provisions of Part 107, or should continue using your existing exemption?

Your exemption is valid until it expires usually two years after it was issued. Even after Part 107 becomes effective, you may choose to fly following the conditions and limitations in your exemption.

However, if you want to operate under the new Part 107 regulations, youll have to obtain a remote pilot certificate and follow all of the rules operating provisions. You must apply for a waiver if some parts of your operation dont meet the rules requirements.

If you already have a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization under your Section 333 exemption a COA you can continue to fly under the COA limitations until it expires. If you don't already have a COA, you probably won't need one when the new drone rules go into effect.

However, if you want to fly in controlled airspace, you will need permission from FAA air traffic control. Details about obtaining that permission will be online at www.faa.gov/uas when the small drone rule is effective on August 29, 2016.

If you applied for a Section 333 exemption but havent received it yet, you should have received a letter from the FAA with specific information about the status of your petition. Generally, if your petition is pending and falls within the provisions of the rule, you should follow the steps outlined in the rule.

Whether you choose to fly under your exemption or under the new small drone rule is your choice, depending on how you want to operate your aircraft. Youll have to compare the conditions and limitations in your exemption to the operating requirements in the rule to determine which one best addresses your needs.

News and Updates - Applying for a Waiver under the New Drone Rules

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 10:34

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) new small drone rule effective August 29 formally known as Part 107 allows for some expanded operations based on technology mitigations if you can make the safety case for a waiver of some provisions. Operators can apply for waivers to operate at night, beyond line of sight, above 400 feet and other specific types of operation.

Heres what you need to know about the waiver process:

Under Part 107, you may request a waiver of certain provisions starting August 29 if your operations dont quite fit under the rules provisions. On August 29, the FAA will have an online portal you can use to request waivers of applicable Part 107 regulations at www.faa.gov/uas.

Its important to understand the FAA wont grant waivers automatically, and processing your waiver request may take time. The exact length of time will depend on the volume of requests we receive and the complexity of your waiver application. You should submit your waiver requests to the FAA as early as possible we recommend at least 90 days before you plan to fly.

If you currently have a Section 333 exemption grant, and we previously said you could operate under Part 107 with a waiver, you will receive a letter by August 29 notifying you that we have granted you a waiver or that we need additional information for you to make your safety case.

Information on the regulations potentially eligible for a waiver is here and a short video on the waiver process is here.

News and Updates - Get Ready for the New Small Drone Rule!

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 17:08

A new world of opportunities for drone operators opens next week on August 29 when the new small drone rule for non-hobbyists becomes effective. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to make sure you have the information youll need to take advantage of those opportunities.

Aeronautical Knowledge Test

One very important step you have to take is to obtain your remote pilot certificate. Under the new rulealso known as Part 107the person actually flying a drone must have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate.

To qualify for the certificate, you must either pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center or have an existing non-student Part 61 pilot certificate. If you are qualifying under the latter provision, you must have completed a flight review in the previous 24 months and must take an FAA UAS online training course. The Transportation Security Administration will conduct a security background check of all remote pilot applications prior to issuance of a certificate.

The FAA has posted extensive materials, including a test guide and sample questions, to help you prepare for the knowledge test. You can review the materials by clicking on the Knowledge Test Prep Part 107 button at www.faa.gov/uas.

You also can watch a short video about the knowledge test here: https://youtu.be/v-d1RuTFvbs.

News and Updates - NextGen Benefits at Salt Lake City International

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 12:59

NextGen is bringing new benefits to Salt Lake City International Airport through a technology called Data Comm. Data Comm revolutionizes communications between air traffic controllers and pilots by replacing some traditional voice communications with digital information exchanges.

Voice communication is labor intensive, time consuming and can lead to miscommunications known as talk back, read back errors. Data Comm, by contrast, enables streamlined, two-way data exchanges between controllers and flight crews for clearances, instructions, advisories, flight crew requests and reports.

By exchanging digital messages, air traffic controllers, pilots and airline operations centers can communicate more clearly and efficiently.Better communication improves controller and pilot productivity, improves safety, can reduce flight delays and can help aircraft fly more direct routes, which saves time and fuel while reducing aviations impact on the environment. Several U.S. carriers are benefiting from Data Comm capabilities at Salt Lake City, including Southwest, FedEx, UPS, American, Delta and various general aviation operators.

The FAA began testing Data Comm capabilities and benefits in 2014 at Newark and Memphis with UPS, FedEx and United Airlines, as well as select international operators. The FAA started deploying Data Comm in air traffic control towers in the fall of 2015 and aims to have it in more than 50 towers by the end of 2016. The technology will be installed in air traffic control facilities that manage high altitude traffic beginning in 2019.

For more information, visit http://www.faa.gov/nextgen or follow #FlyNextGen on Social Media.

News and Updates - The FAA Announces A New Center of Excellence

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 11:30

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today announced that the agency has selected the University of Oklahoma and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teams to lead the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance (COE TTHP). The COE will conduct research and development on technical training for air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors, engineers, pilots and technicians.

This world-class, public-private partnership will help us focus on the challenges and opportunities of this cutting-edge field of research, Administrator Huerta said. We expect this team will help us educate and train aviation professionals well into the future.

The academic team members all have nationally-recognized collegiate aviation-related education programs and core members also own and operate their own aircraft and airports. A partnership of principal investigators from the different universities will perform the research projects. The universities will engage senior faculty as well as graduate-level and undergraduate students in their research activities.

The FAA expects the COE will be fully operational and engaged in a robust research agenda within the next few months.

The FAA will take advantage of advancements in teaching, such as part-task training, modeling, immersive human-in-the-loop simulation, and adaptive learning technologies that are standard in other technical workforces. The COE will examine human factors issues such as changes in learner expectations and academic best practices for training a new generation of learners. The center also will research innovative training methods for this new generation. This includes new technologies such as mobile learning as well as new ways of collecting and managing training data.

The FAAs Center of Excellence program is a long-term, cost-sharing partnership between academia, industry and government. Congress authorized Air Transportation Centers of Excellence under the Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering and Development Authorization Act of 1990. This legislation enables the FAA to work with center members and affiliates to conduct research in airspace and airport planning and design, environment and aviation safety, as well as to engage in other activities to assure a safe and efficient air transportation system.

The FAA has established 12 Centers of Excellence in critical topic areas focusing on: unmanned aircraft systems, alternative jet fuels and environment, general aviation safety, commercial space transportation, airliner cabin environment, aircraft noise and aviation emissions mitigation, advanced materials, general aviation research, airworthiness assurance, operations research, airport pavement and technology, and computational modeling of aircraft structures.

For more information about the FAA Centers of Excellence program, visit the COE web page at http://www.faa.gov/go/coe.

Speech - Utah Drone Symposium

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 00:00
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Security and Hazardous Materials Angela Stubblefield
Utah

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. The last time I had the opportunity to come to Utah was during the 2002 Winter Olympics when I was an FAA intelligence analyst working in the FBIs Olympic Intelligence Watch Center. I appreciate the chance to come back to your beautiful state.

When I was here in 2002, Unmanned Aircraft Systemsat least of the size, variety and capability that we see todaywere not on our radar in domestic civil aviation safety and security.

Today, however, highly automated unmanned aircraft come in all shapes and sizes. Unmanned aircraft can range in weight from a few grams to thousands of pounds, and can operate at altitudes from near surface to the edge of space. Some can remain aloft for only a few minutes, and others for days.

As varied as these designs are, their potential uses are even greater.

Once the domain of either the Department of Defense or remote control model aircraft enthusiasts, unmanned aircraft today spark excitement among hobbyists, businesses, critical infrastructure owners, and public sector entities such as law enforcement and firefighters.

Unmanned aircraft are transforming industries providing filmmakers with a fresh angle on the world, and giving first responders a new tool for search-and-rescue operations.

Theyre improving the safety of our transportation infrastructure inspecting miles of rail tracks and pipelines that crisscross our country.

And theyre tackling jobs that can be dangerous for people or other aircraft to do, such as smokestack and power line inspections.

As with any new technology, unmanned aircraft bring both opportunities and risksboth in safety and security.

We need to incorporate unmanned aircraft and their users into a shared culture of safety, security and responsible operation.

Weve found that the best way to accomplish this is to partner with a wide range of government, aviation, and technology stakeholders, which is one reason I am here today.

America has the most complex airspace in the world and its the FAAs job to ensure the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System for the flying public and everyone who wants to use it. We also have a duty to protect national and homeland security, and we must work closely with our security and law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local levels.

Today, I would like to talk about what the FAA is doingalong with our partners in industry, government, and user communitiesto address safety and security concerns associated with increasing unmanned aircraft activity in the National Airspace System, and indeed around the world.

The array of safety and security risks ranges from users who do not understand the obligations of safe and compliant operations in the National Airspace System to those who do not care for FAA constraints and restrictions to the actual bad actors, such as criminals and terrorists, who seek to use unmanned aircraft as a means to do harm to people or property.

Similarly, there is a broad range of mitigation techniques that can be used to address these risks. These range from education and public awareness efforts, to grounding manned aircraft or vectoring them away from unmanned aircraft operating in the area, to using technologies that assist law enforcement in locating the non-compliant operator or removing the unmanned aircraft from specific operating areas.

In all of our efforts, our partnerships are key. Were receiving valuable input on regulations, and building consensus around public education campaigns. And its helping us make substantial progress on safely integrating unmanned aircraft into our airspace.

We saw this firsthand when an industry task force developed recommendations that helped the FAA create a drone registration system in just a matter of weeks last fall. And in the eight months since the system went live, more than 500,000 hobbyists have registered their unmanned aircraft.

To put that in perspective, we only have 320,000 registered manned aircraft and it took us 100 years to get there.

Registration of unmanned aircraft, whether operated commercially or for hobby, gives us a direct connection to these unmanned aircraft owners both initially and on a recurring basis. It allows us to educate users about rules, accountability and responsibility for safe operation. It encourages unmanned aircraft owners to become part of the safety culture that has been deeply embedded in traditional manned aviation for more than a century.

Registration also can assist us with enforcement by allowing us to connect a drone with its operator in cases where people arent following the rules.

To identify new ways to make the registration process easier, we are working to support potential third-party applications, such as smart phone apps, that could enable manufacturers or retailers to scan a code on a drone and automatically register it.

Were also encouraging operators to download our free smartphone app, B4UFLY, which lets you know where its safe and legal to fly a drone. Its available for both Apple and Android devices, and its already been downloaded more than 85,000 times.

We continue to expand our ongoing No Drone Zone campaign to remind people to leave their unmanned aircraft at home during major public events like the Super Bowl and most recently the political conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

In addition to educating hobbyists, were putting a regulatory framework in place to address the commercial use of drones.

On August 29th, our first regulation to enable routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft takes effect.

It allows unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds to fly within visual line of sight, up to 400 feet high, and up to 100 miles per hour during daylight hours. This rule is designed to allow commercial and other non-hobby drone operations while minimizing safety risks to other aircraft, as well as people and property on the ground. And it will provide an important regulatory foundation for allowing additional operations in the future.

However, you still cant fly a small unmanned aircraft over anyone who is not directly participating in the operation or under a covered structure or stationary vehicle. But were working on that, and toward that end, we hope to propose a rule on unmanned aircraft operations over people by the end of this year.

Despite our progress on integration, we know our work has just begun.

So we established a Drone Advisory Committee that will be chaired by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. This Committee will help us prioritize our unmanned aircraft integration activities, including the development of future regulations and policies. It will include representatives from across the aviation spectrum, and well be announcing the members soon.

Were also chartering an Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team that will include a wide variety of stakeholders from the drone and aviation industries. Similar to the highly successful Commercial Aviation Safety Team, this group will analyze safety data to identify emerging threats that drones may pose to aircraft, people, and property. It will also develop mitigation strategies to address these threats and prevent future accidents.

The creation of the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team and the Drone Advisory Committee reflects the importance of this issue to our agency, and the value of our collaboration with stakeholders.

One ongoing trend that is particularly troubling to the FAA and our stakeholder partners is the number of unmanned aircraft sightings reported near or around airports and manned aircraft. Despite our collaborative efforts to educate unmanned aircraft users on responsible operations, the number of these sightings continues to rise each year.

To date, we have received more than 1,100 reports in Fiscal Year 2016, which exceeds 100 per month. We are on pace to surpass last years numbers, and this really drives home the need for careful and safe integration.

The FAA wants to send a clear message that such operations are dangerous and illegal. We are working closely with the law enforcement community to identify and investigate unauthorized unmanned aircraft operations. The FAA has levied civil penalties for a number of unauthorized flights in various parts of the country, and we have many open enforcement cases.

We also have received a disturbing number of reports about unmanned aircraft interfering with wildfire fighting operations, including just last week here in Utah, over the Corner Canyon Fire. Wildfire suppression requires extensive support from and coordination with aircraft that deliver water and chemicals, and transport firefighters. These aircraft conduct high risk operations that have been slowed or stopped on multiple occasions due to unmanned aircraft flying in the area without coordination.

These reckless activities endanger lives in the air and lives and property on the ground when minutes can count.

Utahs recent adoption of a state law that increases the criminal penalties for such activity is a clear effort to try to mitigate this risk.

Similarly, in the FAAs recently signed reauthorization extension legislation, Congress gave us authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $20,000 against any unmanned aircraft operator who interferes with wildfire suppression, law enforcement activity, or emergency response efforts.

Although unmanned aircraft can sometimes hinder such operations, they also can be great tools to support firefighting and other beneficial operations. Indeed, in two sections of our 2016 Reauthorization act, Congress directed the FAA to take actions to enable expeditious approval of unmanned aircraft operations in support of firefighting operations, emergency response efforts, and restoration of utilities.

As we work to identify and mitigate safety concerns, we recognize that unmanned aircraft operations also have implications for privacy and security.

The FAA is mindful of privacy concerns and has been actively engaged with our interagency partners to address this issue. We have provided support to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's multi-stakeholder process directed by Presidential Memorandum to develop and communicate best practices for privacy, accountability, and transparency for both commercial and private unmanned aircraft use. This initiative recently resulted in the publication of voluntary best practices, which is an important step forward in addressing an issue that affects us all.

As part of a privacy education campaign, the FAA will provide all drone users with the NTIAs recommended privacy guidelines as part of the unmanned aircraft registration process and through the FAAs B4UFly mobile app. The FAA also will educate all commercial unmanned aircraft pilots on privacy during their pilot certification process; and we will issue new guidance to state and local governments on drone privacy issues as well.

Apart from privacy concerns, unmanned aircraft can also present security risks.

Several high profile events in 2015, including an unmanned aircraft landing on the White House lawn, highlighted the potential security risks and the challenges in countering them.

The US Government has a well-established policy and capability to react to traditional aviation threats. However, the nature of unmanned aircraft operations means we currently lack the technical capability to easily identify, track and respond to these threats using traditional means.

The Department of Homeland Security was designated as the lead federal agency for focusing federal partners, including the FAA, Department of Defense and others, on this thorny problem. We and other agencies are also working with industry stakeholders on possible technologies to help detect and track unmanned aircraft movement through the National Airspace System, as well as options for mitigating threats.

This group has engaged law enforcement agencies and state and local governments in and around the National Capital Region as part of this effort, but we need to expand that engagement to other state and local government partners as well.

There are three main focus areas of this work currently underway:

  • Rules of engagement and common operating procedures for law enforcement, since they and security forces will be the last line of defense for most security risks presented by unmanned aircraft.
  • Technology research, development and evaluation, and
  • Legal issues, which can affect the use of possible detection and mitigation options to address safety and security risks.

Law enforcement agencies in the National Capitol Region are developing training and education guidance that will help ensure that all the local, state and federal partners are working from the same information and have a coordinated response.

This information will be pushed out to the broader state and local law enforcement community.

The FAA also has a Law Enforcement Assistance Program, with special agents located across the country and responsible for providing support nationwide. Just as we do with drug-related and other criminal matters associated with aviation, our agents can provide support to law enforcement and other government agencies by providing training, confirming unmanned aircraft registration, and identifying if the unmanned aircraft was conducting approved operations.

Toward this end, we published a law enforcement assistance guide that is available on the FAA website and is being updated to reflect the Part 107 rule. It provides some basic guidance about what type of information to collect and whom to contact at the FAA if you have an unmanned aircraft incident at your site or facility.

If anyone is interested in learning more about our LEAP program, I am happy to talk during a break.

The FAA and the Department of Homeland Security also are co-leading an Interagency UAS Detection at Airports Strategy Working Group. This group includes the Department of Defense, FBI, U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Energy, the Department of Interior, NASA and the Federal Communications Commission.

The group is focusing on the safety and security needs of airports against errant or hostile unmanned aircraft by creating a safe, efficient, and flexible framework to assess the integration of unmanned aircraft detection technologies. Results of these assessments will also help inform partner agencies and stakeholders that are responsible for safeguarding critical infrastructure.

The FAAs focus is on evaluating technology that can help us detect and track unmanned aircraft movement in the National Airspace System, which will enable us to mitigate the safety risks of unmanned aircraft flying near manned aircraft and airports. We evaluated one vendor's product at Atlantic City airport this winter and worked with the FBI on deploying a system at JFK earlier this spring. We are currently working with several other manufacturers and airports to coordinate additional equipment evaluations over the next six to nine months.

Although some of these technologies have been used successfully by DOD overseas, the FAA and other agencies are evaluating whether these technologies can effectively operate in a civil environment, such as an airport or around other critical infrastructure.

We are looking at UAS detection as a whole of government exercise, which was reinforced by Congress in our 2016 Reauthorization, directing FAA to work with DOD and Homeland Security, as well as other relevant federal partners, to establish a pilot program focused on airspace hazard mitigation in and around airports and critical infrastructure.

We must ensure we understand the impacts these technologies could have on aircraft, airports, and air navigation systems. We dont want deployment of unmanned aircraft detection and mitigation systems to introduce safety risks for manned aircraft.

One important consideration with these efforts is that current law may impose barriers to the evaluation and deployment of certain unmanned aircraft threat detection and mitigation systems by most federal agencies, as well as state and local entities and private individuals.

There are a number of federal laws to consider, including those that:

  • Prohibit destruction or endangerment of aircraft;
  • And prohibit electronic surveillance or recording of electronic signals and regulate electronic communications.

The Department of Justice is leading a federal interagency group that is analyzing how these and other laws apply to the evaluation and deployment of certain unmanned aircraft detection and mitigation technologies.

Further complicating the issue is the desire of some state and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure owners, to take action on their own to mitigate unmanned aircraft safety, security, and privacy risks.

Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Unmanned aircraft are aircraft subject to regulation by the FAA to ensure safety of flight and safety of people and property on the ground.
  • Congress has vested the FAA with exclusive authority to regulate areas including airspace use, management and efficiency, air traffic control, safety and navigational facilities. This requires a delicate balance between safety and efficiency, and the protection of people on the ground.
  • Substantial air safety issues are raised when state or local governments attempt to regulate the operation or flight of aircraft.

In December 2015, the FAA issued important guidance to states and municipalities that are considering their own unmanned aircraft laws or regulations. Our guidance explains that any local laws should be consistent with the extensive federal regulatory framework for aircraft and airspace use. It also explains that a consistent regulatory system ensures the highest level of safety for all aviation operations.

Several federal agencies, along with state and local governments and private sector infrastructure and venue owners, have asked or are considering asking the FAA for additional airspace restrictions or prohibitions in and around high-value facilities and assets. Currently, there are only 12 Prohibited Areas, which were established in the interest of national security and welfare.

In evaluating requests for additional prohibited areas, the FAA must also consider impacts to other users access to the National Airspace System, the systems operational safety and efficiency, and our statutory mandates.

Congress addressed the intense interest in this issue in our Reauthorization legislation. The legislation, which became law on July 15, directs the FAA to establish a process by which government and private entities can request airspace restrictions over fixed sites.

We are analyzing that language and evaluating how best to proceed. In the interim, we have issued a Notice to Airmen that strongly advises pilots and unmanned aircraft operators to avoid the airspace above or in close proximity to military facilities, power plants, and other critical infrastructure or sensitive locations unless specifically authorized.

A number of federal, state, and local government and private sector entities are also thinking about the broad range of mitigation techniques that could be used to address risks posed by unmanned aircraft.

We encourage government entities concerned about unmanned aircraft safety and security issues to review your existing authorities to see how they could be used to develop appropriate regulations, guidance, and concepts of operations. Once you have that developed, please contact us, and we will be happy to review and coordinate with you. We can work collaboratively to discuss the operational and airspace safety considerations as youre developing those plans.

Some have called the birth of the unmanned aircraft industry the Wright Brothers moment of our time and that may be so.

Safely and securely integrating drones into our airspace is one of the FAAs top priorities, and were determined to get it right. Its essential for our economy, and our role as a global aviation leader.

Im confident that we will do so by working closely and collaboratively with our public and private sector stakeholders, like many of you in the room today.

Again, I want to thank you for inviting me to this forum, and I look forward to the rest of today's program and panel discussion. Thank you.

News and Updates - The FAA is Hiring Air Traffic Controllers

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 23:02

In preparation for the future workforce, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will be accepting applications from entry-level candidates for air traffic controller positions from August 8-15, 2016.

We provide the safest, most efficient airspace system in the world and we need exceptional people to support our mission, said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

The FAA regulates the aviation industry to ensure that every person who travels through Americas skies arrives safely at their destination. The FAA employs more than 14,000 air traffic controllers who are largely responsible for carrying out this mission.

The job vacancy announcement for the position of Air Traffic Control Specialist-Trainee will be available on USAJobs.gov, the federal government's official job site. If youre interested in applying, you can establish an online account today. This is a highly competitive position. The agency expects more than 25,000 applications for approximately 1,400 positions during the seven-day job opening. All applicants will need to meet basic qualifications and answer specific questions for this position once the job is announced.

Air Traffic Control Specialists (ATCS) are responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of air traffic through the nation's airspace. Developmental controllers receive a wide range of training in controlling and separating live air traffic within designated airspace at and around an air traffic control tower or radar approach control facility, or air route traffic control center. As a new ATCS, you will spend your first several months of employment in an intensive training program at the FAA Academy located in Oklahoma City, OK.

The FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 affected the ATCS hiring process. As a result of this legislation, candidates who graduated from a Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) program are required to submit proof of graduation and an appropriate recommendation from the CTI institution. Eligible veteran candidates are required to provide a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active duty within 120 days of the announcement closing. The FAA strongly encourages potential applicants to take the necessary measures to obtain this information as soon as possible to receive consideration for ATCS positons.

To learn more about the air traffic controller profession as well as an overview of the day-to-day work please view this link:

https://www.faa.gov/jobs/

Speech - White House Drone Day

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 00:00
Administrator Michael Huerta
Washington, DC

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you for that introduction, Megan.

Good morning, everyone. Thanks for being here today.

American ingenuity has fueled our nation since its earliest days. Its created businesses, improved lives, and cemented our place on the worlds stage.

Ingenuity has defined aviation, as well.

It all started with a pair of brothers who owned a bicycle shop and solved a riddle that had baffled man for centuries how to take to the air.

It continues to this day, where one of the most exciting sectors of the aviation industry doesnt even require a pilot to be physically present in the cockpit.

Highly automated unmanned aircraft come in all shapes and sizes. Some can fit in the palm of your hand. Others can deliver packages. I even saw one concept at the Consumer Electronics Show this year that proposed using drones as taxis.

As varied as these designs are, their potential uses are even vaster.

Unmanned aircraft are transforming industries providing filmmakers with a fresh angle on the world, and giving first responders a new tool for search-and-rescue operations.

Theyre improving the safety of our transportation infrastructure inspecting miles of rail tracks and pipelines that crisscross our country.

And theyre tackling jobs that can be dangerous for people or other aircraft to do.

Just last week, two people were killed in two different accidents involving crop dusters exactly the type of job a small unmanned aircraft could do with much less risk to people and property on the ground.

These are just a few examples of the potential drones have to change our world for the better. There are countless others.

Unmanned aircraft have sparked excitement among hobbyists and businesses alike and manufacturers are stepping up to meet this interest.

The unmanned aircraft industry is moving at the speed of Silicon Valley. And the FAA knows we cant respond at the speed of government.

America has the most complex airspace in the world and its the FAAs job to ensure the safety of it for the public and everyone who wants to use it.

We need to incorporate unmanned aircraft and their users into our culture of safety and responsibility. But we need to do it in a way that doesnt stifle the enthusiasm for this growing industry.

Weve found that the best way to accomplish this is to partner with a wide range of government, aviation, and technology stakeholders.

Were receiving valuable input on regulations, and building consensus around public education campaigns. And its helping us make substantial progress on integrating unmanned aircraft into our airspace.

Now were taking the next step, and formalizing this partnership.

The FAA is chartering an Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team that will include a wide variety of stakeholders from the drone and aviation industries. Similar to the highly successful Commercial Aviation Safety Team, this group will analyze safety data to identify emerging threats that drones may pose to aircraft, people, and property. They will also develop mitigation strategies to address these threats and prevent future accidents.

Were also establishing a Drone Advisory Committee that will be chaired by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, whos here with us today. This Committee will help us prioritize our unmanned aircraft integration activities, including the development of future regulations and policies. It will include representatives from across the aviation spectrum, and well be announcing the members soon.

The creation of the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team and the Drone Advisory Committee reflects the importance of this issue to our agency, and the value of our collaboration with stakeholders.

We saw this firsthand when an industry task force developed recommendations that helped the FAA create a drone registration system in just a matter of weeks.

Thats not a timeline thats supposed to be possible in government. But by working together, we got it done and weve registered more than 500,000 hobbyists in eight months.

To put that in perspective, we only have 320,000 registered manned aircraft and it took us 100 years to get there.

Registration helps us connect a drone with its operator in cases where people arent following the rules an important step forward for our enforcement efforts.

It also gives us a valuable opportunity to educate users about how to fly their unmanned aircraft safely.

Were encouraging operators to download our free smartphone app, B4UFLY, which lets you know where its safe and legal to fly a drone. Its available for both Apple and Android devices, and its already been downloaded more than 85,000 times.

We also use our ongoing No Drone Zone campaign to remind people to leave their unmanned aircraft at home during major public events like the recent conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

In addition to educating hobbyists, were putting a regulatory framework in place to address the commercial use of drones as well.

On August 29th, our first regulation for the routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft takes effect.

It allows unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds to fly in sparsely occupied areas, up to 400 feet high, and up to 100 miles per hour during the day.

This rule is designed to allow commercial drone operations while minimizing risks to other aircraft, as well as people and property on the ground. And it will provide an important regulatory foundation for allowing additional operations in the future.

Were partnering with private industry through our Pathfinder Program to research activities that arent covered under our current rule.

Companies including CNN, PrecisionHawk, and BNSF Railroad have committed extensive resources to studying urban operations over people, and flights beyond visual line of sight and theyre sharing the data with us.

The information received from Pathfinder, along with our work at the FAAs drone test sites, will help us draft our next round of regulations.

We hope to propose a rule on unmanned aircraft operations over people by the end of this year.

Some have called the birth of the unmanned aircraft industry the Wright Brothers moment of our time and that may be so.

But if theres one thing I am sure of, its that the only limit to this technology is imagination and our nation has no shortage of that.

Safely integrating drones into our airspace is one of the FAAs top priorities, and were determined to get it right. Its essential for our economy, and our role as a global aviation leader.

Im confident that by working closely with our partners in the aviation industry and the unmanned aircraft community, we will succeed and continue being a model for the rest of the world.

Thank you.

News and Updates - FAA Administrator Talks Safety and Innovation at AirVenture

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 11:25

Speaking before a diverse general aviation audience at the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta underscored the importance of government and industry collaboration and highlighted a number of initiatives that are making general aviation safer and more efficient.

The passion that drives pilots to fly here, year after year, is the same passion that fuels so much of the work we do every day at the FAA, said Administrator Huerta. Were committed to making general aviation safer and more efficient and were making a lot of progress. Collaboration between the FAA and industry is allowing the GA community to benefit from upgraded technology, lower costs, and higher levels of safety.

By working together, the FAA and industry are transforming general aviation in a number of ways:

The FAA is offering a one-time $500 rebate to general aviation owners to help offset the cost of purchasing ADS-B Out equipment, or an integrated system that also includes ADS-B In. The agency will issue 20,000 rebates on a first-come, first-served basis beginning this fall to owners of U.S. registered, fixed-wing, and single-engine piston aircraft. The January 1, 2020 deadline will not change, so the time to buy your ADS-B equipment is now. Its a smart move.

TheGot Data? External Data Access Initiative aims to increase and improve the publics access to FAA data. The initiative will spur innovation, provide better opportunities for the development of new applications and services, and ultimately, advance the safety and efficiency of the aviation industry

The FAA is working to meet a recent Congressional mandate to draft a rule within 180 days that will generally allow pilots to fly without a medical certificate if they have a drivers license, held a medical certificate within the past 10 years, completed a medical education course, and have been physically examined by a state-licensed physician.

The Part 23 proposed rule and Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE) policy are aimed at streamlining aircraft certification. The Part 23 rewrite would overhaul the airworthiness standards for small general aviation aircraft, which would speed the time it takes to move safety-enhancing technologies for small airplanes into the marketplace. The recent NORSEE policy will encourage general aviation aircraft owners to voluntarily install safety enhancing equipment on airplanes and helicopters that is not required by the agencys regulations. It will reduce costs and streamline the installation of equipment, such as traffic advisory systems, terrain awareness and warning systems; attitude indicators; fire extinguishing systems; and autopilot or stability augmentation systems.

New Airman Certification Standards provide pilots, instructors and evaluators with a single-source set of clear, logical standards that tell them what they need to know, consider and do to qualify and pass both the knowledge and practical tests for airman certification and ratings.

The GA Joint Steering Committee promotes safety technologies and best practices within the general aviation community and is working to reduce risk in general aviation. The FAA partners with stakeholders to raise awareness about safety issues such as Loss of Control the number one cause of fatal general aviation accidents through the Fly Safe education campaign.

The FAA encourages the general aviation community to spread a positive safety culture to the newest members of the community who operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Pilots and aircraft owners can share important UAS information with their friends and family on flying unmanned aircraft for fun or work.

The United States has the largest and most diverse GA community in the world, with more than 220,000 aircraft including amateur-built aircraft, rotorcraft, balloons, and highly sophisticated turbojets. The FAA and GA community areworking together to put the right technologies, regulations, and education initiatives in place to improve safety.

Speech - EAA AirVenture

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 00:00
Administrator Michael Huerta
Oshkosh, WI

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you for that introduction, Jack.

Before I get started, I want to take a moment to recognize the winners of this years FAA General Aviation Awards. These awards celebrate aviation professionals for their contributions in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, and safety.

Please join me in congratulating:

  • Robert James Hepp, of Fairfax Station, Virginia Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year;
  • Adrian Allen Eichhorn of McLean, Virginia Aviation Technician of the Year; and
  • Richard Lawrence Martindell of San Diego, California FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.

Thank you for the work you do every day to promote excellence and safety in the general aviation community.

Its great to be back here at AirVenture. Its one of my favorite events of the year.

And I knew I was truly at Oshkosh earlier today when I had a chance to catch up with Art Schwedler.

Now for those of you who dont know, Art has been volunteering at this show for 30 years. Hes on the EAA Government Host team, and hes greeted nine different FAA Administrators at Oshkosh over the years.

Hes an AirVenture institution. And his commitment embodies so much of what makes this event special.

One of my favorite parts of coming to Oshkosh is getting to see the wide variety of aircraft that make their way here.

Its one thing to look at an aircraft in a museum.

But who agrees with me that its impossible to fully appreciate an old warbird until youve heard those big radial engines rumbling overhead?

That happens every day at Oshkosh.

Of course, AirVenture isnt just about vintage Piper Cubs and rare biplanes. Its also a place to glimpse our industrys future.

Manufacturers from around the world come here to show off their latest creations. Their planes are made from the newest composite materials. And even the most basic instrument panels are packed with technology that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could only have dreamed of when they made the first moon landing.

The passion that drives all of you to fly here, year after year, is the same passion that guided Orville and Wilbur Wright that inspired Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart.

And its the passion that fuels so much of the work we do every day at the FAA.

Were committed to making general aviation safer and more efficient not only for you, but for the next generation of GA pilots. And were making a lot of progress.

As you may know, President Obama recently signed a bill extending the FAAs operating authority until September 30, 2017. But for many of you, I know the real takeaway from this piece of legislation is language about third-class medical certification reform.

Over the last several years, countless general aviation pilots and stakeholders have urged the FAA to reconsider our medical certification requirements for private pilots. Ive heard about it many times myself, right here at Oshkosh.

We took this feedback seriously, especially since its in keeping with our shift toward more risk-based decision-making.

Getting this done is a priority for our agency, and Congress agreed.

Theyve given us 180 days to draft a rule that will generally allow pilots to fly without a medical certificate if they have:

  • A drivers license,
  • Held a medical certificate within the past ten years;
  • Completed a medical education course; and
  • Been physically examined by a state-licensed physician.

Ive assembled a dedicated team thats in charge of drafting the necessary regulatory text and moving it through our rulemaking process on the timeline Congress has laid out.

We know youre eager to see this new rule in place. And both the FAA and the Department of Transportation are committed to getting it done as soon as possible.

Thats not the only piece of good news I came here to share.

For the last several years, Ive spent a lot of my time at these sessions talking about the benefits of equipping your planes with ADS-B. Its a key NextGen technology that uses GPS to take the search out of search-and-rescue if you run into trouble. It also provides free weather and traffic updates to help you make better-informed decisions in the cockpit.

Despite these benefits, theres been some hesitation when it comes to adopting this technology. One of the main reasons weve heard about is cost.

Today, Im here to tell you that there is no better time to get off the sidelines and start enjoying all that ADS-B has to offer.

Last month, the FAA announced a new incentive program that offers eligible aircraft owners $500 to help offset the cost of purchasing ADS-B Out equipment, or an integrated system that also includes ADS-B In.

Well be issuing 20,000 incentives on a first-come, first-served basis for one year, or until all 20,000 are claimed whichever comes first.

Its going to be available this fall to owners of U.S. registered, fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft.

But you dont have to wait. Were thrilled that several manufacturers have stepped up to offer bridge rebates of $500 to encourage owners to equip between now and when the FAA incentive launches.

You can also place orders for your equipment right here at Oshkosh and delay delivery until our program is available.

These incentives along with the fact that some ADS-B units can be found for as little as $2,000 are already starting to move the needle. Weve heard from a number of pilots who had planned to wait a few years to install ADS-B, but who are instead equipping now.

This is a smart move. The January 1, 2020 equipage deadline isnt moving.

As many as 160,000 GA aircraft must have ADS-B installed by that time. As you can imagine, were likely to see capacity issues at repair stations around the country as we get closer to the deadline.

I recently heard about a Texas repair shop owner who is telling customers to get on his calendar for ADS-B installations now because hes already booked five years out.

No one wants their aircraft to become a hangar queen. So check out all of the ADS-B equipment available here at Oshkosh.

Stop by the FAA booth to get more information on our incentive program. And get ahead of the crowds and schedule an installation appointment at your local repair station.

The time to equip is now.

I dont have to tell you how exciting it is to be a general aviation pilot today.

Technologies like ADS-B are ushering in a new era for safety. And with these advances, the FAAs role as a regulator is shifting.

Aviation has always attracted some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the world. And theyve got big ideas.

What will the planes of tomorrow look like? Has our quest for lighter materials like carbon fiber and nanotubes put us on the verge of game-changing designs? What new tools will make their way into the cockpit thanks to advances in computing power?

These are exciting questions and theyre being answered right now in research and development labs around the world.

The FAA is committed to meeting these innovations head on as regulators.

Over the past several years, weve taken a long, hard look at how we certify aircraft and parts.

In the past, weve made improvements. But these changes were incremental, and often independent from each other.

Now, were setting out to transform the way we do business in the name of increasing our efficiency and effectiveness.

Earlier this year, we released a proposed rule that would rewrite the FAAs small airplane certification standards better known as Part 23.

Instead of requiring certain design elements on specific technologies, the new Part 23 will define the safety outcomes we want to achieve.

This approach recognizes theres more than one way to deliver on safety and it provides room for flexibility and innovation in the marketplace.

Our Part 23 rewrite overhauls how we certify aircraft in the future. But we also recognize how important it is to modernize the existing general aviation fleet.

We want to reduce unnecessary regulatory barriers that make it costly and time-consuming to develop and install safety technologies in GA aircraft.

Many of these technologies arent required by regulation, but they still provide a number of valuable safety benefits and we want to make sure you can easily take advantage of them.

Lets talk real-world examples of how were doing this.

A recent policy statement helped the FAA approve a supplemental type certificate process for installing a new electronic flight information system in GA aircraft much like what you can find on a jetliners flight deck.

This potentially life-saving technology, which can help prevent loss of control accidents, was previously only available for use in the experimental fleet.

But we kept hearing from the general aviation community you wanted the opportunity to put these devices in your cockpits.

So we worked closely with Dynon Avionics and our friends here at EAA to find a way to make it easier to get these kinds of non-traditional technologies into certificated aircraft.

The results speak for themselves: more than a thousand owners have already contacted Dynon and EAA to find out how they can install this technology in their aircraft.

Since that groundbreaking approval, several other companies have applied to bring similar technologies that were previously unavailable into the certified marketplace.

In fact, just last week we approved a similar process that will make it easier to install the Garmin G5 Electronic Flight Instrument in a significant number of GA aircraft.

This collaboration between the FAA and industry allows the GA community to benefit from upgraded technology, lower costs, and higher levels of safety. As we look to the future, well be pursuing these types of partnerships even more.

We also published a new policy to encourage general aviation aircraft owners to voluntarily install non-required safety enhancing equipment on airplanes and helicopters. This will improve safety, reduce costs, and make it easier to install equipment like traffic advisory systems, terrain awareness and warning systems, attitude indicators, fire extinguishing systems, and autopilot or stability augmentation systems.

And were not limiting our certification improvements to aircraft and technologies. Were also updating the way we certify pilots.

For years, weve heard from pilots about problems with the knowledge, or written test. I even heard from my own former Deputy, Mike Whitaker, when he was getting his certificate.

The knowledge test focused too much on memorizing things you didnt need to know to be a safe pilot.

And it didnt ask anything about risk management, which every pilot has to use in real-world operations.

Thats changing. Last month, we started the rollout of the new Airman Certification Standards, which were developed during a five-year collaboration between FAA and industry experts.

By integrating knowledge and risk management with practical skills, these standards define what a pilot needs to know, consider, and do to fly safely in Americas complex airspace.

This is good news, whether youre planning to get a new certificate or youve had your pilots license for decades.

By keeping knowledge questions current and incorporating risk management into pilot training and testing, we will make our airspace safer for everyone.

While Im on the subject of streamlining for greater efficiency and effectiveness, let me also give you a quick overview of some changes were making inside the FAA.

I recently approved a plan for what were calling the Future of Flight Standards. Among other things, it includes restructuring our organization over the next twelve months according to function rather than geography.

Youll still work with the same FSDOs and other FAA facilities, but eliminating the outdated geography-based model will promote greater agility, efficiency, and consistency for the people we serve.

If theres one common thread to everything Ive mentioned so far today, its this: when the general aviation community speaks, the FAA is listening.

Youre on the front lines of the aviation industry, and your insights are invaluable.

A few months ago, I sent Mike Whitaker down to Sun n Fun to kick off the FAAs new Got Data? initiative with a listening session.

I know what youre thinking. Got Data? Sounds riveting.

But data is the foundation for everything we do at the FAA. And our data often makes its way into the tools you rely on in the cockpit every time you fly.

Avionics manufacturers turn the navigational charts and instrument approaches the FAA produces into a wide variety of electronic products. These feed into your flight management systems, iPads, and other mobile devices.

The biggest advantage of these new products is that they enable pilots to have greater awareness about where they are, and what lies ahead, than ever before. And it all fits in the space of a silicon chip.

Now imagine what could be possible if we opened up more of our data to more partners in more formats. Thats the idea behind Got Data.

We want to find better ways to help the private sector access aeronautical data currently offered by the FAA. We also want to identify additional data resources we could provide.

Our goal is to help industry be in a position to create innovative products and technologies that can improve safety and efficiency in the aviation industry.

We got great feedback at our Sun n Fun listening session and weve already implemented some of the ideas we received.

We created a Data Innovation Center that serves as a new central location for all of the FAAs aeronautical information.

We also launched automated digital product downloads that will make it easier for users to ensure theyre using the most up-to-date data.

This is only the beginning of our work on Got Data. Were going to continue working closely with aircraft owners, application developers, and manufacturers to provide new and better data that will improve the products you use in the cockpit and the safety and efficiency of our airspace.

This kind of collaboration is essential to advancing safety, as well.

Safety is the common goal that unites the FAA with every level and every sector of the aviation industry.

The FAA has been proud to partner with a number of GA stakeholders to raise awareness about safety issues like Loss of Control the number one cause of fatal general aviation accidents.

Just two days ago, EAA awarded its first Founders Innovation Prize, which recognizes creative solutions to loss of control in flight.

EAA and groups like AOPA and GAMA have also been a valuable contributor to the Fly Safe campaign.

I hope youll all consider checking out Fly Safe, which launched last year on FAA.gov to help prevent Loss of Control accidents.

We have a lot of terrific resources available for you to take advantage of.

As all of you know, being a pilot isnt a right its a responsibility. Theres a great old saying: You dont have to take off, but you do have to land.

Everybody here knows theres a lot more to flying than just knowing the rules and pushing buttons. It takes good judgment. It requires discipline. And it demands a true sense of professionalism thats rooted in a deep, unwavering commitment to doing the right thing.

Everyone here today shares that commitment.

And I know that because, if you flew in to Oshkosh, you had to be at the top of your game.

With all of the planes coming and going, this is one of the most challenging sites in the world to navigate around.

So on behalf of the air traffic control staff working this years event thank you for doing your part to make this a safe and successful show.

Now its time for my favorite part of the day: hearing from you.

But first, let me introduce you to a few of my colleagues from the FAA, who are going to help me answer some of your questions.

News and Updates - Airman Certification Standards and You

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 11:08

July 27- The July/August 2016 issue of FAA Safety Briefing focuses on the world of student pilots and airmen-in-training. Building on our previous student pilot-themed editions in 2012 and 2014, this issue provides tips and resources for success in initial pilot certification. It also explores the new Airman Certification Standards (ACS), which begin rolling out this summer. The ACS list the standards for what an applicant needs to know, consider, and do in order to pass both the knowledge test and the practical test for a certificate or rating.

Feature articles include:

  • The ABCs of ACS A Better Certification System for Future Pilots (p. 10)
  • Heres My Advice Pilot Tips from Top CFIs (p. 14)
  • Junkyard Dog or Factory Fresh Choosing the Right Trainer for You (p. 20)

In this issues Jumpseat department (p. 1), Flight Standards Services Director John Duncan discusses the connection between the new Airman Certification Standards and the FAAs Compliance Philosophy, while Checklist (p. 21) explains how ACS helps define the right stuff with what is taught and tested for airman certification. You can also find out about the upcoming ACS for Aviation Maintenance Technicians in Nuts, Bolts, and Electrons (p. 36) as well as how ACS was able to incorporate the special emphasis items found in the Practical Test Standards in our Angle of Attack department (p. 37).

And for those headed to AirVenture 2016 this year, youll find a list of scheduled FAA safety forums (p. 7) as well as a background on each of this years National General Aviation Award winners (p. 34).

FAA Safety Briefing is the safety policy voice for the non-commercial general aviation community. The magazine's objective is to improve safety by:

  • making the community aware of FAA resources,
  • helping readers understand safety and regulatory issues, and
  • encouraging continued training.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter@FAASafetyBrief.

News and Updates - Fly Safe: Prevention of Loss of Control Accidents

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 12:31

July 25- The FAA and general aviation (GA) groups #FlySafe national safety campaign aims to educate the GA community on best practices in calculating and predicting aircraft performance, and in operating within established aircraft limitations.

Transition Safely
The lack of or poor transition training has been cited as a causal factor in many general aviation accidents. Pilots think they only need transition training when stepping up to a high-performance or complex airplane, from single-engine to multi-engine aircraft, or even from tricycle gear to tail wheel. But they can also benefit from transition training when moving from traditional aircraft to amateur-built or light-sport airplanes, as well as from steam gauges to a glass cockpit.

The goal of transition training is to make sure you have proper training in the specific systems and operating characteristics of every airplane model you fly. Transition training focuses on those areas where you might encounter something unique to the airplane whether as a normal procedure or in an emergency.

How Do I Train?
The quality of your training could save your life! Choose wisely, and as you do so, think Structure, Specifics, and Quality.

Structure
Transition training should be conducted in accordance with a written training syllabus, which is a checklist for training. Your syllabus should provide a logical, systematic and comprehensive approach to ensure you cover all the basics. Youll also want to review the applicable practical test standards (PTS) or Airman Certification Standards (ACS) that are appropriate to the certificate and/or rating that you hold.

Specifics
The goal of transition training is to teach you what is different about the aircraft and the equipment onboard. The syllabus should address the basics of the aircrafts systems (fuel, electrical, control, hydraulic, avionics, environmental, etc.), but with the emphasis on how characteristics of the new aircraft differ from those you already know.

Your training should cover normal, abnormal and emergency procedures. It should also cover performance characteristics including what to expect on takeoff and landing, climb, cruise, descent and glide. Finally, it should address limitations, such as weight and balance, speed, wind limits and more.

Qualified Instructor
To get the greatest benefit from your transition training, you need to hire an instructor who is current and qualified. He or she needs to thoroughly understand the airplane and equipment you want to master. Your instructor should follow a syllabus, and he or she should be able to shift the emphasis to fit your qualifications and goals, as well as the characteristics of your aircraft.

What is Loss of Control?
A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen because the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and may quickly develop into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.

Contributing factors may include:

  • Poor judgment/aeronautical decision making,
  • Failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action.
  • Intentional failure to comply with regulations,
  • Failure to maintain airspeed,
  • Failure to follow procedure,
  • Pilot inexperience and proficiency
  • Use of prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drugs or alcohol.

Message from FAA Administrator Michael Huerta:
The FAA and the aviation community are working together to prevent Loss of Control accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our Fly Safe campaign. Each month on FAA.gov, were providing pilots with a Loss of Control solution developed by a team of experts. They have studied the data and developed solutions some of which are already reducing risk. We hope you will join us in this effort and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I know that we can reduce these accidents by working together as a community.

Did you know?
Last year, 384 people died in 238 general aviation accidents.

  • Loss of Control is the number one cause of these accidents.
  • Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight.It can happen anywhere and at any time.
  • There is one fatal accident involving LOC every four days.

Learn more
FAA Advisory Circular 90-109A, Transition to Unfamiliar Aircraft, and the Airport Handbook (FAA-H08083-3A) Chapters 11 to 15, have the basic information you need to know.

Shifting GearsTips for Tackling Transition Training is on page 16 of the March/April issue of the FAA Safety Briefing. Whether youre transitioning to LSA or Experimental, this article has handy tips.

The FAASafety.gov website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.

AOPA, Transitioning to Other Aircraft, features helpful courses, quizzes and more.

The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

Understand what makes every airplane tick by taking the online courses and safety quizzes offered by AOPA

The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of accidents in GA.

The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers across different parts of the FAA, several government agencies, and stakeholder groups. The other federal agencies are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which participates as an observer. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The European Aviation Safety Agency also participates as an observer.

An FAA fact sheet outlines GA safety improvements and initiatives.

News and Updates - Democratic Convention is a No Drone Zone

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 11:01

Like its Republican counterpart in Cleveland, next weeks Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is a No Drone Zone.

Philadelphia and its surrounding communities are off limits to drones under flight restrictions the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put in place from 2 p.m. on July 25 through 5 a.m. on July 29. The restricted area is a circle of airspace 30 nautical miles in radius around the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Philadelphia.

Flying a drone anywhere in the restricted area during the Democratic Convention is against the law. Violating the airspace may result in criminal or civil charges. The restriction applies to all unmanned aircraft, including radio-controlled model aircraft.

The FAA has posted a No Drone Zone video for the convention at: https://youtu.be/QT76JBKmPCE

In addition to the drone restrictions, airspace restrictions also will be in place for traditional manned aircraft during the convention within the 30 nautical mile radius ring and within two even more restricted rings of airspace within a three-mile radius and a 10-mile radius of the convention venue.

Gateway airport procedures will be in effect for general aviation aircraft flying into and out of Philadelphia International Airport. The gateway airports are Harrisburg International Airport, PA, and Westchester County Airport, NY. TSA will provide daily screening during limited hours while the restrictions are in place.

The FAA recommends that all non-regularly-scheduled air carriers and air cargo operators check with the airport or fixed-based operators for parking reservations because of the heavy volume of expected flights and limited parking.

Pilots can view the temporary flight restrictions at: http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_6_3975.html

News and Updates - FAA Improves Runway Conditions Reporting

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 11:21

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other members of the aviation community have developed new standards to improve safety at U.S. airports during inclement weather. On October 1, 2016, U.S. airports, airline flight crews, dispatchers, general aviation pilots, and air traffic controllers will begin using new Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) standards to reduce the risk of runway overrun accidents and incidents due to runway contamination caused by weather and other factors.

The FAA developed the standards based on the work of the Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), which was formed after the December 2005 overrun accident at Chicago Midway Airport. In that accident, Southwest Flight 1248 ran off the end of the runway and into a city street after landing during a snowstorm.

As a result of the committees work, the FAA has developed a new method for airports and air traffic controllers to communicate actual runway conditions to the pilots in terms that directly relate to the way a particular aircraft is expected to perform. TALPA improves the way the aviation community assesses runway conditions, based on contaminant type and depth, which provides an aircraft operator with the effective information to anticipate airplane braking performance.

Airport operators will use the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) to categorize runway conditions and pilots will use it to interpret reported runway conditions. The RCAM is presented in a standardized format, based on airplane performance data supplied by airplane manufacturers, for each of the stated contaminant types and depths. The RCAM replaces subjective judgments of runway conditions with objective assessments tied directly to contaminant type and depth categories.

For example, using todays assessment process, a runway that is covered with two inches of dry snow would be reported as FICON 2IN DRY SN OBSERVED AT 1601010139. 1601010151-1601020145 along with Mu values as TAP MU 29/27/29 OBSERVED AT 1601010139. 1601010151-1601020145.

A Mu number describes a braking co-efficient of friction.

Starting October 1, 2016, the same NOTAM with contaminants would be reported using Runway Conditions Codes as follows:

DEN RWY 17R FICON (5/5/3) 25 PRCT 1/8 IN DRY SN, 25 PRCT 1/8 IN DRY SN, 50 PRCT 2 IN DRY SN OBSERVED AT 1601010139. 1601010151-1601020145

The pilot or dispatcher would then consult the aircraft manufacturer data to determine what kind of stopping performance to expect from the specific airplane they are operating.

The airport operator will assess surfaces, report contaminants present, and determine the numerical Runway Condition Codes (RwyCC) based on the RCAM. The RwyCCs may vary for each third of the runway if different contaminants are present. However, the same RwyCC may be applied when a uniform coverage of contaminants exists. RwyCCs will replace Mu numbers, which will no longer be published in the FAAs Notice to Airman (NOTAM) system.

Pilot braking action reports will continue to be used to assess braking performance. Beginning October 1, the terminology Fair will be replaced by Medium. It will no longer be acceptable for an airport to report a NIL braking action condition. NIL conditions on any surface require the closure of that surface. These surfaces will not be opened until the airport operator is satisfied that the NIL braking condition no longer exists.

Airports will start reporting runway conditions using the RCAM on October 1. The FAA is advising operators to develop procedures for pilots and dispatchers that address the changes to runway condition reporting procedures.

News and Updates - FAA: Republican Convention is a No Drone Zone

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 10:36

July 14- The Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week promises to be buzzing with activity, both inside and outside Quicken Loans Arena. Theres one thing that shouldnt be buzzing around, however drones.

Cleveland and its surrounding communities are a No Drone Zone under flight restrictions the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put in place from 6 p.m. on July 17 through 3 a.m. on July 22. The prohibited area is a circle of airspace 30 nautical miles in radius around the Quicken Loans Arena.

Flying a drone anywhere in the prohibited area during the Republican Convention is against thelaw. Violating the airspace may result in criminal or civil charges. The restriction applies to all unmanned aircraft, including radio-controlled model aircraft.

The FAA has posted a No Drone Zone video for the convention.

In addition to the drone restrictions, there are also airspace restrictions for traditional manned aircraft during the convention within the 30 nautical mile radius ring and within two even more restricted rings of airspace within a three-mile radius and a 10-mile radius of the arena. Gateway airport procedures will be in effect for general aviation aircraft flying into and out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport. Pilots can view the temporary flight restrictions on our website.

Similar restrictions will be in place for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia the following week.

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