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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s overhaul of the air traffic system is proceeding despite early snags due to technology problems and poor planning. A U.S. study outlines several problem areas that remain, but says the FAA is now taking important steps to speed project implementation.
Interim Reports Give TCAS Mixed Reviews 4 pages. [PDF 28K]
During the first large-scale field testing of the traffic alert and collision-avoidance system (TCAS) in operation, controllers and pilots encountered vexing and potentially dangerous conflicts with some air traffic control procedures, including false alarms during arrivals and departures at some airports. But they say TCAS will have great safety potential when the problems are resolved.
Airports — Breeding Grounds for Birdstrikes 4 pages. [PDF 33K]
Report predicts hundreds of ingestion events each year and many of them are likely to cause engine failures, engine damage, aborted takeoffs, turnbacks and diversions. And a just-released safety recommendation by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board suggests that current certification requirements for engine foreign object ingestion may not be adequate because they do not consider effects of normal service “wear and tear.”
Explosives Detection Keeps Pace With Modern Technology 6 pages. [PDF 49K]
Sniffers, based on nuclear physics or the nose of a well-trained dog, are used to protect aircraft passengers against terrorist bombs. Unfortunately, military and intelligence organizations continue to create materials for clandestine operations — explosives that cannot be detected.
Safer Ground Equipment Urged 4 pages. [PDF 25K]
Proper maintenance and timely replacement of aircraft support equipment can provide benefits both in safety and economics.
Applied Common Sense Is a Prime Factor in Ramp Safety 4 pages. [PDF 24K]
Conscious utilization of a basic human attribute is the key to preventing a large percentage of accidents and incidents at the airport