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Friday
Jun092017

Final Production of the Cessna Citation Mustang

The Cessna Citation Mustang rolled off the assembly line for the last time last month. (Photo courtesy Testron Aviation)Textron Aviation Inc., on May 11 announced the final production Cessna Citation Mustang has rolled off the assembly line and will be delivered in the coming weeks. The ground-breaking Mustang quickly set the standard in its category for pilots stepping up to jet ownership, and enjoyed tremendous success throughout its 12-year production run with more than 470 aircraft delivered to customers around the world.

“The Mustang proved to be an incredible success for our company and our customers, and we’re thrilled to celebrate the ingenuity and pride that went in to creating the world’s most popular entry-level light jet,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing. “We remain dedicated to developing new products and providing solutions that matter to our customers. The Citation M2 is a great example of this and we believe it will carry on the legacy as the entry-level jet that pilots want and need.”

“Mustang customers can continue to expect the highest level of service through maintenance, parts and support solutions from our Customer Service organization,” said Kriya Shortt, senior vice president, Customer Service.

The company is positioned for a seamless transition within the light jet segment as it continues to offer customers an exceptional combination of speed, range and payload with the Cessna Citation M2. The M2 was introduced in 2013 and quickly received overwhelming market response, with nearly 150 aircraft delivered to customers around the world.

Perfect for corporate, charter or private use, the Citation M2 features a spacious interior with excellent in-cabin technologies, updated touch-controlled avionics and two powerful Williams FJ44 engines, facilitating cruise speeds of over 400 knots. The aircraft is designed for single-pilot operation and features Garmin G3000 avionics and seating for seven.

Leading the light jet segment

With more than 5,000 aircraft delivered, Textron Aviation continues to lead the light jet segment, offering customers the widest product range on the market. From the popular entry-level Citation M2 jet, to the upgraded efficiency and comfort of the CJ3+ and the top-performing CJ4, the Citation CJ family of light business jets has evolved to offer a range of capabilities, systems and options unmatched in its class.

 

 

Friday
Jun092017

GAMA Praises U.S. Congress for Protecting and Funding Important Aviation Priorities

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) praised the U.S. Congress last month for passing the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus, providing key funding for general aviation manufacturers in safety, certification, and alternative fuels. The bill, which now heads to President Trump for his signature, will fund the U.S. government through September 30, 2017.

The bill provides $1.29 billion for aviation safety activities, including $1.5 million of that amount for six additional full time equivalent (FTE) positions to support the certification of new technologies. The measure also directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with industry to achieve the goal of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of product certification, including fuller utilization of organization designation authorization (ODA), something for which GAMA has strongly advocated.

Additionally, the measure emphasizes the importance for FAA to continue to “strengthen international aviation safety cooperation and improve the flow of aviation products globally through strategic engagement with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC).” These efforts should leverage the respective safety competencies of bilateral safety partners to streamline validations of products and reduce burdensome and duplicative work by regulatory specialists.

The bill also provides $7 million for NextGen – Alternative Fuels for General Aviation, $1.2 million more than the request. This funding will ensure that the necessary aircraft and engine testing is undertaken to support required FAA approvals and authorizations for the transition of the piston aircraft fleet to an unleaded aviation fuel.

The explanatory statement accompanying the bill includes by reference language that raises concerns about the removal of the U.S. air traffic control system from the Federal Aviation Administration, citing removal as “fraught with risk, could lead to uncontrollable cost increases to consumers, and could ultimately harm users of and operators in the system, including the flying public, the aviation community, FAA’s workforce, and the small towns in rural America that rely on access to the national air space.”

 “We appreciate the strong support shown by Congress in this omnibus measure for general aviation, especially in the critical areas of safety, certification, and the transition to an unleaded avgas and in raising strong concerns about the attempt to remove the U.S. air traffic control system from the FAA,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said.

 

 

Tuesday
May022017

GAMA Welcomes New Era of GA Development With Final CS-23 Rule

GAMA Welcomes New Era of GA Development With Final CS-23 Rule

Friedrichshafen, Germany

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) last month hailed the launch of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) CS-23 final rule, calling it a true breakthrough for the general aviation sector.

The new CS-23 framework will dramatically improve how easily new safety technologies and products can be developed and made available to customers. Manufacturers and suppliers will no longer have to comply with overly prescriptive design requirements, which have not kept pace with the development of technology. Instead, industry will now be able to more nimbly respond in a cost-effective manner through performance-based safety rules, coupled with consensus standards for compliance.

“This is a landmark day for the general aviation industry,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “This rule is nothing less than a total rethinking of how our industry can bring new models of pistons, diesels, turboprops, light jets, and new hybrid and electric propulsion airplanes to market, as well as facilitating safety-enhancing modifications and upgrades to the existing fleet. The new CS-23 rule makes it easier for manufacturers to do so by reducing the time, cost, and risk involved in certification. This will provide existing and future pilots with the tools they need to fly safer and more easily.”

“EASA CS-23 are new smart and flexible rules that were prepared with, and for, a safe innovative general aviation industry,” added Trevor Woods, EASA’s Director of Certification.

The new rule forms part of a global, harmonized effort to develop common certification standards; removing regulatory barriers and promoting the acceptance of airplanes and products worldwide. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also in the process of implementing its Part-23 rule for small airplanes, a result of recommendations from the Part-23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which GAMA co-chaired. Other leading aviation authorities are expected to follow suit to implement similar rules, creating a truly global framework.

“It would not have been possible to reach this milestone without the dedication and tireless efforts of many in the industry and EASA,” Bunce noted. “This initiative is truly the poster child of future rulemaking: with a cooperative, global approach between authorities and all relevant stakeholders”.

Using the international standards body, ASTM International, seven of the world’s leading authorities have been working with 250 different stakeholders to agree upon a continually evolving body of standards to underpin the rule. In parallel, EASA retains its independent role in surveillance and oversight, while strengthening its risk-based methodology to improve safety.”

“These new rules will allow us to bring new airplane models with features using increased automation to market,” stated Simon Caldecott, President and CEO of Piper Aircraft as well as Chairman of GAMA. “We anticipate that these new features will not only help increase the user experience, but will help improve safety.”

“It’s revolutionary,” remarked Ivo Boscarol, CEO of the Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel, “which is why we have been an active supporter of the CS-23 initiative. Right now, we see tremendous opportunities in hybrid and electric propulsion and increased automation. The new CS-23 will enable us to move at the pace of these developments and more readily leverage these innovations.”

“I am sure the result we see here today is a testament to what we can accomplish when government and industry work hand in hand to achieve a common goal,” added Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design Germany. “In fact, it might be the best example yet of global cooperation between aviation authorities.”

The new CS-23 framework goes into effect on August 15, 2017. For more information, visit the GAMA website at gama.aero.

 

 

 

Tuesday
May022017

NBAA: Proposed Restricted Areas in Alaska Would Have Negative Operational Impacts

NBAA has filed formal comments in opposition to proposed new restricted areas proposed by the FAA as R-2201A through H, and J, in Fort Greely, AK, near Allen Army Airfield. The agency has proposed the change at the request of the U.S. Army, which is seeking this airspace carve out to “conduct full spectrum helicopter gunnery training, longer range firing on target areas and integrated use of varied weapon types.”

NBAA opposes the creation of this new restricted area, said Heidi Williams, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure, on operational and safety grounds.

“Eliminating access to more than a half dozen critical low-altitude IFR routes will have significant impact on the connectivity between northern and south-central Alaska. Further compressing of VFR traffic in this already-constrained VFR corridor is a bit like threading a needle – and will result in safety and operational impacts detrimental to navigating Isabel Pass,” she said. “If created, the new SAA [special activity area] would impact safety and operational efficiencies in Alaska.”

“This restricted area would impact the LifeMed flights we conduct out of the Fairbanks area,” said Steven Lewis, Aeroair LLC program manager. “We currently receive re-routes from ATC when the MOAs are active, even though we are medevac. To circumvent these vast areas when filing would prove to be extremely onerous to the patients awaiting care by adding to the preflight planning of a time-sensitive flight.”

The proposed SAA will make flying in Alaska more difficult and less safe, said Kristi Ivey, NBAA’s Northwest regional representative. “In the unique operating environment that Alaska provides, general aviation pilots are already required to manage multiple challenges, such as terrain and weather.

“This proposal would only serve to add an additional level of risk that could potentially affect the safety of the operations. Our members and the general aviation community in Alaska need proposals that would improve safety, not detract from it,” she said.

For more information, visit nbaa.org.

 

Tuesday
May022017

FAA Restricts Drone Operations Over Certain Military Bases

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations – “Special Security Instructions” – to address national security concerns about unauthorized drone operations over 133 military facilities.

This is the first time the agency has instituted airspace restrictions that specifically apply only to unmanned aircraft, popularly known as “drones.” The authority is limited to requests based on national security interests from the Department of Defense and U.S. federal security and intelligence agencies.

U.S. military facilities are vital to the nation’s security. The FAA and the Department of Defense have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of these 133 facilities. The restrictions will be effective April 14, 2017.There are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, the FAA has created an interactive map online. The link to these restrictions is also included in the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app. The app will be updated within 60 days to reflect these airspace restrictions. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website at faa.gov.

Section 2209 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 also directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish a process to accept petitions to prohibit or restrict UAS operations over critical infrastructure and other facilities. The Department of Transportation and the FAA are currently evaluating options to implement such a process.

The FAA is also considering additional requests from federal security and intelligence agencies for restrictions. More information can be found at faa.gov.

FAA Will Release Maps to Speed up Drone Authorization ApplicationBottom of Form

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was scheduled to release the first set of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) facility maps on April 27. The maps will depict areas and altitudes near airports where UAS may operate safely. They will help drone operators improve the quality of their Part 107 airspace authorization requests and will help the FAA process these requests more quickly.

Beginning April 27, users may access the facility maps at http://www.faa.gov/uas.  Users will be able to download the data in several formats, view the site on mobile devices and customize their views.

By referring to the facility maps when completing airspace authorization applications, remote pilots will be able to tailor their requests to align with locations and altitudes that the maps indicate are likely to be approved for small UAS operations. This will help simplify the process and increase the likelihood that the FAA will approve their requests.

FAA air traffic personnel will use the maps to process Part 107 airspace authorization requests. Altitudes that exceed what are depicted on the maps require additional safety analysis and coordination to determine if an application can be approved. 

The maps will be informational only. They do not automatically authorize flights. Remote pilots must still submit online airspace authorization applications at https://www.faa.gov/uas/. The maps also do not guarantee approval for requests within the guidelines indicated by the maps. Only the FAA can grant controlled airspace access, which must be done through the authorization process.

The agency is releasing the maps in phases, with the first release on April 27 containing approximately 200 facility maps, as the first step in streamlining the airspace authorization process. The FAA plans to release facility maps over the next 12 months. Updates to the maps database will coincide with the agency’s existing 56-day aeronautical chart production schedule (PDF). If a map is not yet available, it can be expected in future releases.

The FAA’s website will be updated within the several weeks with additional guidance and information about the facility maps. Visit www.faa.gov/uas on April 27, 2017 to view the facility maps.

Additional questions may be directed to the FAA’s UAS Integration Office via uashelp@faa.gov or by calling 844-FLY-MY-UA.

 

 

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