Air Traffic Control Headlines

In a recent Washington, D.C. press event, Iridium announced a join venture to form Aireon, an traffic management system that will be able to continuously track aircraft anywhere in the world.

A Brazilian military court has convicted an air traffic controller over the 2006 collision between a GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes Boeing 737-800 and a new Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet being ferried north to the U.S. by two American pilots, who also face charges. The collision, which took place over a remote area of the Brazilian rainforest, downed the 737-800 and 154 people aboard the airliner were killed. The Embraer business jet, which also had a New York Times air-travel columnist on board, landed safely.

Boeing is offering airlines new software subscription services which will help them save fuel and boost in-flight environmental and operational efficiency. The company is marketing the services, which Environment News Services reports are based on the Direct-To advanced software algorithms developed by NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California, under the name InFlight Optimization Services.

The Federal Aviation Administration FAA) has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $1.4 billion for the third phase of U.S. National Airspace System integration support (NISC-III).

Nationwide one-day strikes by public transport workers and air traffic controllers are affecting travel to and from France on Tuesday but airlines are trying to maintain most of their flights to and from Paris, The New York Times reports. The newspaper quotes a spokesman for Aéroports de Paris – which operates both main Paris airports, Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly – as saying their terminals are calm and less crowded than on a typical day.

Air traffic controllers in Fukuoka let two visiting junior high-school students issue radio instructions to the pilots of two passenger jets en route to the city's airport, Japan's Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry revealed on October 12. The ministry added that the controllers' supervisors made an effort to conceal the incident.

The number of potentially dangerous mistakes recorded by U.S. air traffic controllers has jumped by 51 percent in the past year and the actual number of such errors is much higher, The Washington Post reports. This is because the reported increase reflects only a fraction of the overall number of errors in fiscal 2010.

DOT has transmitted to Congress the 2011-2015 National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), which identifies 3,332 existing and 48 proposed airports that are significant to national air transportation, reports aviationnews.net.

Otis, a unit of United Technologies Corporation long known for its Pratt & Whitney engines was selected by LAX to build and maintain for five years the new units.  In a news release, Otis touts the 88 energy-efficient elevators.

With the increasing popularity of small, unmanned aircraft (20 kg or less), some of which can now be controlled by Smart Phones, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today issued advice on using the devices in built-up areas or when in proximity to people, property or vehicles. The CAA said it was important that owners of the aircraft understood the risks they pose, despite their small size, to other airspace users and also to individuals on the ground.