A One/Two Punch: The 2 Hottest Topics for LABACE 2017

LABACE 2017 Aerial View

There’s a lot going on in the business aviation industry and LABACE is a great place to learn about the newest innovations in the market. While sales of new and used aircraft remains sluggish, the service side of business aviation continues to be quite strong with innovative technologies continuing to transform the market.

Some topics remain at the forefront of what’s happening (yes, yes connectivity). We are also seeing how new mandates are generating a lot of interest-and questions.

With that, I wanted to share what we see as the two biggest topics at LABACE 2017.

1) Connectivity is king. Study after study shows that travelers are demanding the always – available internet experience they enjoy at home be available in the sky too. And even though inflight Wi-Fi hasn’t been available for very long, the demand for the service is high so much so that many passengers say they are willing to choose an alternative to their preferred airline just to access in flight internet.

The good news is that there are many new connectivity options available that can satisfy not only the demand for access, but also access to high-quality service. From Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX to ViaSat’s mobile broadband via the Ku-band network to Iridium’s NEXT and others, reliable, high speed connectivity is here. The question now becomes – what’s the best choice and how can I work with a service provider to implement it in a cost-effective manner?

2) Mandates are driving ADS-B Out, FANS equipage. Regulatory agencies across the globe, including in the U.S. and Europe, are requiring the use of ADS-B Out in aircraft that are operating in controlled airspace by 2020. And that’s good, because ADS-B Out technology provides some significant benefits: it allows an aircraft to continuously broadcast its GPS position, heading, velocity and other surveillance information to Air Traffic Control (ATC). But, the new mandates are driving business aircraft operators worldwide to get equipped so that they can continue to access increasingly modernized airspace and creating an urgent need to plan for completing ADS-B Out installations by the end of 2019.

In addition to ADS-B Out, the FANS 1/A North Atlantic mandate will reach a significant milestone at the end of 2017, requiring all aircraft operating in the North Atlantic Region between Flight Levels 350 and 390 to be equipped with a FANS controller pilot data link communication (CPDLC) and automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C) technologies. In 2020, the North Atlantic FANS mandate will expand to include all traffic at Flight Level 290, and above, throughout the North Atlantic Region. The trend that “prime” airspace is being reserved for those operators that are well equipped is not being lost on the industry as more operators seek to understand, implement and get trained on these new technologies.

These are some of what we see as hot topics for LABACE 2017, but we’d love to hear what you think. Comment below or if you’re attending LABACE 2017, please visit us at stand #2016. Our team will be on hand, waiting to talk with you.

Read more about author Ben Gambrell.

Alphabet soup for pilots: FANS 1/A+ CPDLC and ADS-C

There’s a lot of talk lately about FANS 1/A+ CPDLC and ADS-C, but what does it really mean to operators? What is truly the value?

FANS 1/A, or Future Air Navigation Systems, is the suite of avionics upgrades that implement Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C) and Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC).  When position reporting is established, ADS-C provides position, altitude, speed, intent and meteorological data direction to ATC with no crew intervention.  CPDLC is a data application that enables text-based message transmissions between the air traffic controller and the flight crew.

So, why use data link messaging instead of voice transmissions?

First, it reduces the chances of human error. Secondly, it increases the efficiency and volume of pilot requests that can be handled by ATC. As ATC moves towards best equipped, best served operation, FANS 1/A+ provides even more benefits for operators and pilots.  Top five benefits of FANS 1/A and CPDLC include:

  • Allows pilots to fly more optimal flight levels, consuming less fuel.
  • Allows ATC to reduce minimum separation requirements between aircraft
  • Minimizes language barrier issues and other communication errors through the use of a standard message set.
  • Reduces pilot  and air traffic controller workloads through the use of automated position reporting.
  • Replaces verbel air traffic control instructions and crew requests over radio frequencies, reducing frequency congestion.

Today, we offer upgrades to FANS 1/A+ for some Rockwell Collins-equipped aircraft types. After your aircraft is equipped to utilize FANS 1/A+, our ARINCDirect team can test your system and provide the required training for operation. We also offer FANS testing for all ARINCDirect customers for new FANS installations, refresher training for flight crews and troubleshooting assistance for any FANS issues that may be encountered.  In addition to our manual FANS testing stations, we also have automated FANS test stations which are available 24/7 from anywhere in the world.  

For more information regarding FANS testing or to schedule a testing session, please email ADFANS@arinc.com or call +1 410-266-2990.

Read more about author Erin Santiago.

Flying to the 2016 Summer Games

First and foremost, Landing permits

As we inch closer to the long awaited Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, deadlines for necessary arrangements are approaching to ensure fluid travel into the lively city. While all destinations require a certain amount of pre-planning, Brazil’s unique systems require a bit of additional attention. While landing in Brazil can come with the typical slot challenges, the slot revision process can be troublesome if not handled correctly. These slots can be especially difficult to obtain during times of high flight traffic such as the Summer Games.  With such a highly anticipated event, it would be best to begin your arrangements as soon as possible.

Brazil’s airport system requires you to have your landing permit in hand prior to reserving a slot.  Travel schedules also need to be concrete and verified before landing permits can be secured. The Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC)  will only allow three changes before canceling a request, making you start the process over. So, when sending aircraft and crew documents along with the permit request, it is critical to present the most current and legible copies. Improper documentation will be returned and will be considered the first of the three permit changes.

Although landing permit approvals typically take 24 hours around the time of a large event, the wait can be significantly longer. During the Summer Games you should anticipate four business days for approvals, assuming that all documents are in order.

It is very important that clients arrive in Rio/SBGL during the approved times (0500-1100z, 0200-0800 lcl).

If a client wants to arrive outside of the authorized time it will be considered yellow zone air restriction time and there will be strict procedures in place. These are mandatory and will require entering via a predetermined HUB airport (Manaus/SBEG, Recife/SBRF, Salvador/SBSV) to clear customs and going through an extremely thorough special inspection by the Federal Police. This process will need to be requested well in advance as it will take quite some time, as well as incur extra fees. So, we strongly recommend avoiding yellow area air space restrictions.

Security throughout Rio, including at airports, is expected to be intense to maximize safety for all in attendance. ANAC has already clearly stated to all handlers that crew changes will be scrutinized rigorously leading up to the event. Primary pilots (a maximum of three) may be registered on the landing permit. Alternate crew members (a maximum of three), must also be specified and accounted for, however alternate aircraft will not be accepted on the request.  If multiple aircraft are heading to the event, separate crews are required for each tail.

Here’s a breakdown of some key facts about the documents required for travel to Brazil:

Crew |Three (3) legible and valid documents:

  • Pilot License – Front and back copy of most current license
  • Medical Certificate – Must be valid until after the final departure date. (1 yr. validity from exam date; 6 month validity if older than 60 years old)
  • Passport

Aircraft [Part 91] | Three (3) legible and valid documents:

  • Airworthiness Certificate
  • Registration Certificate
  • Worldwide Insurance – Indicate worldwide coverage, third-party coverage, third-party coverage amount, and full operator address

Aircraft [Part 135] | Five (5) legible and valid documents:

  • Airworthiness Certificate
  • Registration Certificate
  • Worldwide Insurance – Must indicate worldwide coverage, third-party coverage, third-party coverage amount, and full operator address
  • Air Operator Certificate (AOC)
  • Operations Specifications – Must include tail of aircraft that will be landing in Brazil

Note:

  • Private aircraft registered in charter companies fall under Part 135.
  • Some airports, customs will request chartering contracts, including a list of passengers.
  • All aircraft (Part 91 and Part 135) will need to provide a letter explaining the purpose of the trip as well as a letter of authorization for the SLOT request (template will be provided).
  • A letter of authorization will be required for each tail requesting a slot. If any changes need to be made, Brazil will cancel the existing slot and issue the new one as a new request, both of which will incur a charge.

Need someone to walk you through the logistics of traveling to Rio for the Summer Games?  Our International Trip Services team is waiting to help.  Contact them at +1-713-430-7200 or ops@rockwellcollins.com.

Read more about author Michelle Torres.

*Rockwell Collins is not a sponsor or in any way affiliated with the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A big step toward NextGen: DCL in the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun the deployment of its Data Link Departure Clearance (DCL). This service will be available at 56 major airports in the U.S. by the end of 2016. This is the first step towards nationwide enroute CPDLC coverage. DCL enables your departure clearance to be delivered and responded to via FANS CPDLC. Potential revisions will be delivered via CPDLC, all clearances will be in a loadable route format.

Whew! Now that we’ve gotten the technical description out there let’s talk about what this really means for operators and why operators may want to take advantage of it.

  • The Data Link Departure Clearance Service (DCL) provides automated assistance for delivering initial, and revised departure clearances.
  • DCL does not replace Pre Departure Clearances, but is the next step in the evolution of data link.
  • The service provides the ability to introduce revisions to a previously cleared flight plan, which can be received at any time until the aircraft is handed off to the tower for takeoff.
  • In the not too distant future, logging on to receive your DCL clearance will seamlessly transfer you to enroute CPDLC after takeoff.
  • ARINCDirect has administrative access to the FAA’s Subscriber Database and manage our operators DCL and PDC preferences.

If you need more information about how DCL can work for you, contact our training team for more information: ADTraining@arinc.com.

Read more about author Christian Renneissen.

4 things you need to know before traveling to Cuba

You’ve no doubt seen the recent headlines of U.S. President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba. Not surprisingly, the interest in traveling to this beautiful island has drastically increased as well. While the process of traveling there by corporate or private aircraft may have been streamlined, the criteria to go remain unchanged.

If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must still be authorized by meeting certain conditions defined by the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. The latest amendments do not provide additional categories of authorized travel, but do offer some interesting examples of what actually qualifies for the general license for people-to-people travel.

So, before your flight department considers adding Cuba to your itinerary, here’s the CliffsNotes to the amended regulations:

1. Visas are a must-have

Visas are required for entry into Cuba.

Passengers:
– Visas must be obtained prior to entry into Cuba and they must be sourced in advance directly from the sponsor in Cuba.

Crews:
– Visas can be obtained upon arrival.
– Not required for crew dropping off/picking up passengers but recommended.

2. Complete information for your sponsor in Cuba is required

Be sure you have all the required details for your sponsor in Cuba. Cuban authorities will be verifying the following information at a minimum:

– Company name
– Individual to be contacted
– Title of contact individual
– Address
– Phone number
– Fax number and/or email

3. Approved ports of entry / exit are no longer required

The Interim Final Rule that was published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Federal Register on March 21, 2016, addressed changes to the regulations regarding flights to and from Cuba. Essentially, 19 CFR 122, Subpart O has been removed, eliminating the need for aircraft flying to and from Cuba to utilize specific airports of departure and arrival.

4. No need to obtain a temporary sojourn license

A Temporary Sojourn License is no longer required, with two key restrictions:

– The aircraft/crew cannot stay in Cuba for more than 7 consecutive days.
– The aircraft cannot go to more than two airports within Cuba, and both must be international airports (entry and exit point).

This is not an exhaustive list of considerations before heading to Cuba, but it should get you started. Once you’re ready to take flight, let us help!

Get all of your questions answered and even set up your trip to Cuba by contacting us at ops@rockwellcollins.com or by phone at +1 713.430.7200. Safe travels!

Read more about author Rick Snider