Airspace

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Airspace

Companies using business aircraft operate within the National Airspace System (NAS) differently than the airlines do.  For example, business aircraft tend to fly above or below airline traffic and operate into a far greater number of airports than air carriers do.  NBAA has provided resources to allow operators of all sizes of business aircraft to maximize their efficient operation through the National Airspace System.

Airspace News

NBAA Air Traffic Services Provides Holiday Flight-Planning Tips
Dec. 19, 2014
The volume of air traffic will increase from now through Jan. 2, but NBAA Air Traffic Services is offering a number of tips that will make navigating the national airspace system (NAS) easier during this busy period. Most of this helpful guidance can be found in FileSmart, an FAA/industry initiative designed to educate aircraft operators about the importance of filing timely and accurate flight plans in order to help avoid air traffic delays and operate more efficiently. FileSmart contains three main components: file early, file accurately and check the status of the NAS. Read more.
UAS Rollout Timeframe Debated in House Aviation Subcommittee Hearing
Dec. 15, 2014
Last week, lawmakers on Capitol Hill expressed frustration with the slower-than-mandated rollout of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) during a hearing of the House Aviation Subcommittee, but government officials and industry stakeholders, including NBAA remain steadfast in their desire to take a methodical, safety focused approach to UAS integration. Congress mandated that the FAA have a plan in place to fully integrate UAS by September 2015, but the agency missed a key deadline for that plan. Read more about the UAS rollout.
NOTAM Mandates Cold-Weather Altitude Correction, Reporting at 272 Airports
Dec. 11, 2014
After conducting a risk analysis of cold-weather altimetry errors at airports with current FAR Part 97 instrument approaches, the FAA has compiled a list of 272 cold-temperature-restricted airports in 30 states that need altitude corrections to ensure the required obstacle clearance. When the temperature falls to an airport-specific threshold, pilots are required to correct for the cold temperature and report the corrected altitude to air traffic controllers. The FAA published the list of cold-temperature-restricted airports, and their corresponding operational requirements in the general notices section of the current Notice to Airman publication. Read more about the NOTAM.
New NOTAM Search Tool a Boon to Pilots
Nov. 25, 2014
Information essential for flight planning just got easier to find with the roll out of the FAA's latest NOTAM Search capability. For pilots, NOTAM Search means that the days of rooting around trying to find applicable NOTAMs while planning for a flight are just about over. New functionalities are already in place that significantly improve the NOTAM search process, and by next fall, implementation of all four phases of the new service will be complete. "NBAA – through the efforts of members of the Access Committee – worked closely with the FAA and the rest of the aviation community in providing input that has led to significant enhancements to the NOTAM Search flight planning tool," said Bob Lamond, NBAA's director of air traffic services and infrastructure. "The result is a product that will benefit every flight operation in the U.S." Learn more about the new NPTAM Search tool.
Five Can't Miss Winter Weather Resources for Business Aircraft Operators
Nov. 24, 2014
As winter approaches, NBAA's John Kosak, an NBAA Air Traffic Services specialist and staff liaison for the NBAA Weather Subcommittee, highlights the top weather resources for business aircraft operators in the National Airspace System. Learn more.
NBAA’s Steve Brown Represents Members at NextGen Planning Meetings
Nov. 24, 2014
NBAA Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown represented business aviation interests last week at the FAA/industry ADS-B working group "Equip 2020" meeting, which focused on three main areas: process improvements, cost issues and expanding or accelerating the benefits of ADS-B equipage. The group discussed the possibility of improving processes by streamlining and minimizing installation-related paperwork, as well as potential delegation of some oversight responsibilities to repair stations and aircraft shops. Brown also took part participated in the National Research Council (NRC) meeting that reviewed FAA's plans for implementing broader NextGen programs. Read more about NextGen planning, including the role of ADS-B.
Extensive Airspace Reconfigurations Coming Nov. 13
Nov. 10, 2014
One of the biggest airspace reconfigurations ever undertaken in North America is underway. Called the Windsor/Toronto/Montreal (WTM)/Northeast U.S. Airspace Redesign, it will affect just about every route, departure and approach between Windsor, Ontario, Canada; Cleveland, OH and Boston, MA. Building on experience gained through the redesign of the airspace over Houston and Dallas,TX, the FAA is partnering with Nav Canada for this latest redesign, which goes into effect with the next chart cycle on Thursday, Nov. 13. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for details on these widespread airspace changes.
New Weather Prediction Tools Coming for Business Aviation
Nov. 3, 2014
The process of predicting weather that could impact aviation is about to change with the conversion of one product to full automation and the advent of another collaborative service that will combine automation with human oversight. The Collaborative Convective Forecast Product, for predictive snapshots of weather in two-hour increments, will soon be automated and offered 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. In addition, the FAA will soon offer a new product: the Collaborative Aviation Weather Statement, an advanced weather forecasting tool with interactive human oversight. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on these new weather prediction tools.
FAA Announces New NOTAM Header Format for Conflict Zones, Crisis Situations
Oct. 31, 2014
The FAA recently announced new notice to airmen (NOTAM) header formats for conflict zones and international crisis situations. New NOTAMs will be shown as an advisory, a prohibition, or a pointer NOTAM that direct the reader to a related special federal aviation regulation. "These new header formats will help pilots more easily glean the most importation information from the NOTAM," said John Kosak, an air traffic management specialist at NBAA. "Is the NOTAM advisory in nature or is the NOTAM a new prohibition? Pilots will be able to quickly determine the critical nature of a NOTAM based on the new header system." Learn more about the new NOTAM format.
NBAA to Host Webinar Oct. 8 on NextGen DataComm
Oct. 3, 2014
Data communications improvements stemming from NextGen, the FAA's next-generation air transportation system, will be the focus of a webinar NBAA is hosting on Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m. (EDT). The free, one-hour live presentation, sponsored by Jeppesen, will address the global shift currently underway in operational information management. The DataComm aspect of NextGen will reduce controller-to-pilot voice communication by enabling air-to-ground and ground-to-ground communications capabilities – enhancements that will help speed route clearances and airport turnarounds, especially in cases of poor weather conditions or other disruptions. Learn more about the webinar and register now.
FAA Grants Exemptions to Six UAS Operators for Aerial Filmmaking
Sept. 26, 2014
In another tentative step toward wide-scale deployment of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in commercial applications, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Sept. 25 that the FAA has granted exemptions under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 for six Hollywood contract operations to utilize UASs for aerial cinematography. "The step announced by the agency is in accord with our long-held position on UAS – namely, that they should not share the same airspace with manned aircraft unless they meet the same certification and airworthiness standards as manned aircraft, including the ability to take timely directions from air traffic control, and to sense and avoid other aircraft and UAS," said Sarah Wolf, NBAA's senior manager for security and facilitation. Learn more about the FAA's UAS announcement.
Sixth and Final UAS Test Program Now Operational
Aug. 28, 2014
The FAA recently announced the start of operations at its sixth and final unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The FAA granted seven certificates of waiver or authorization (COA) for Virginia Tech to conduct tests utilizing several small and micro-sized aerial observation and filming platforms, including the Smart Road Flyer, eSPAARO and Sig Rascal. "The information yielded from these test locations will be instrumental in fully, safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system, and ensuring that their operation does not interfere with business aircraft flights or other aviation operations," said Sarah Wolf, NBAA's senior manager for security and facilitation. Read more about the newest UAS testing site.
New NBAA Subcommittee's Focus On Weather Will Benefit Members, Other Operators
July 28, 2014
A new effort to improve the gathering and dissemination of weather information to general aviation operators was highlighted on July 21, as NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen announced the formation of a new NBAA Weather Subcommittee. "A lot of people, at every level, are dedicating their time and expertise to help us try and identify the best weather practices, and best weather information, so that together we can ultimately disseminate it," Bolen said. "Working together, we can collectively raise the bar and continue to enhance aviation safety, not just in the U.S., but around the world." Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on NBAA's new Weather Subcommittee.
As FAA Plans Initial Integration of UAS, NBAA Closely Monitors, Coordinates With Government
July 18, 2014
The FAA said it expects that by Aug. 31 it will take the first step toward codifying the agency's five-year phased plan to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System. Congress mandated that the FAA fully integrate UAS by September 2015 as part of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA). However, a recent report determined that the agency is unlikely to meet that deadline due to technological challenges surrounding the ability of UASs to detect other aircraft. "The industry is understandably frustrated by the amount of time it's taken to reach this point," noted former FAA Deputy Chief Counsel and Acting Chief Counsel Marc Warren. "But although integration of UASs into the airspace is the primary focus of FMRA, the rulemaking element is only one aspect to an incredibly complex and comprehensive undertaking." Read more about UAS integration.
NextGen: What Does It Mean for Business Aviation?
July 17, 2014
Steve Brown, NBAA's chief operating officer, has a unique perspective on NextGen, having previously served as the FAA's vice president of operations planning and associate administrator for air traffic services. Recently, Brown took time to answer some questions about what the new-generation air traffic management system will mean for business aviation, including concerns he has about the technical aspects of NextGen and his thoughts on if the complete rollout of NextGen will be beneficial for business aviation. Read more on Browns' thoughts about NextGen.
FAA's 'Got Weather?' Resource Helps Pilots Better Understand Thunderstorms
June 30, 2014
The upcoming July 4 holiday is a central component of the summer season, and because unique weather conditions are also associated with summer, now is a good time for a reminder about an online FAA safety resource that provides tips for pilots dealing with the season's thunderstorm activity. Launched by the agency in May with the support of aviation groups, including NBAA, the "Got Weather?" initiative offers information about a variety of weather-related phenomena, ranging from agency publications to news articles and other resources from across the aviation community. Learn more about Got Weather.
NBAA's Bolen Hosts DC Policy Forum Opener on NextGen, With Business Aviation Perspective
June 6, 2014
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen last week served as moderator for a high-profile gathering of aviation professionals about progress toward the implementation of the Next Generation (NextGen) air transportation system. As chairman of RTCA, Bolen introduced speakers and panels at the start of the two-day RTCA 2014 Global Aviation Symposium in Washington, DC, and served as moderator of a panel featuring industry technology, analysis and policy experts. "From the business aviation perspective, we believe that capacity is really important, because when airports get too crowded, we [in business aviation] tend to get pushed out," Bolen said. "One of the greatest strengths is the diversity of our aviation system, despite the system shocks of recent years, from the economic meltdown, high fuel prices and even a government shutdown." Read more about the NextGen panel discussion.
Parking Reservation Program In Place for Augusta Area Airports During 2014 Masters Tournament
Jan. 22, 2014
For the first time, there will be no FAA E-STMP air traffic slot reservation requirements for any of the Augusta-area airports during the 2014 Masters Golf Tournament. However, there will be parking reservation requirements for Augusta Regional (AGS), Aiken Municipal (AIK), Thomson McDuffie (/HQU) and Daniel Field (DNL) starting Friday, April 4 at 5 p.m. local time through Monday, April 14. The mandatory parking reservation program will be managed via a common website for all four area airports, which will go live on March 1. Additional details can be found on NBAA's Masters web page.
FAA Issues Air Traffic Advisory for Super Bowl
Jan. 20, 2014
Each year, accommodations must be made for all modes of transportation to and from the Super Bowl's host city – including all types of aviation traffic. This year, the Super Bowl will be held on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The FAA last week issued an advisory for the New York/New Jersey region for Jan. 29 to Feb. 3. As previously reported, parking reservations will be required at both Teterboro (TEB) and Morristown Municipal (MMU) airports. The FAA has no plans to implement an air traffic slot program. The advisory, which emphasizes the high volume of traffic expected Sunday night through Monday night, will be reissued daily through Feb. 3. Review the latest information as it becomes available on NBAA's Super Bowl resources page.
Industry Group Seeks NBAA Member Feedback About Delivery of Weather Data
September 23, 2013
With an eye on how federal belt-tightening is affecting service delivery, the Friends and Partners of Aviation Weather (FPAW) is asking for NBAA Member input on its delivery of information through the Aviation Digital Data Service. FPAW is a collaborative effort to improve the coordination of relaying weather issues. "FPAW is looking for information from all aspects of general aviation, including business aviation. We would love to hear from NBAA Members. Commercial aviation has no trouble speaking up at these gatherings," NBAA Aviation Air Traffic Management Specialist John Kosak said. "We need to represent the interests of business aviation." Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on relaying necessary aviation weather information.
Aviation Officials: NextGen Pace Threatened By Sequester-Driven Uncertainty
July 19, 2013
Continued work on high-priority Next Generation (NextGen) aviation system modernization efforts could face further challenges, and possible delays, as a result of the uncertain fiscal environment that may require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make more difficult choices, members of a House aviation subcommittee learned at a hearing last week. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scovel both described the challenges that are expected as a result of mandatory federal budget cuts under the sequester. Read more about the future of NextGen.
FileSmart Urges Pilots to File Early, Accurately
July 8, 2013
As basic flight students, most pilots learned how to file and close a flight plan, but in an era of increased air traffic density and enhanced communication, NBAA Air Traffic Services Specialist Jim McClay argues that may not be enough. McClay is one of the principle forces behind a new initiative called FileSmart, which encourages operators to file early, file accurately and take in the current status of the National Airspace System before filing. FileSmart was unveiled on June 6 at NBAA's White Plains Business Aviation Regional Forum. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more about FileSmart.
International Weather Hazards Highlighted in New Webinar
June 27, 2013
Business aviation pilots face a wide range of weather hazards when flying internationally, but an NBAA webinar presented on June 26 advised that understanding these phenomena before a flight – and their sometimes unexpected effects – can improve safety dramatically. During the hour-long session, "International Weather Hazards and Impacts," Jeppesen meteorologists described challenges posed by monsoons, dust and sand storms, tropical cyclones and jet streams. Order the webinar to learn more about international weather hazards.
NBAA's Bolen Represents Business Aviation in High-Profile NextGen Forum
June 7, 2013
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen last week participated in a key panel of leading aviation policy planners on recommendations for how to best continue implementation of a satellite-based platform designed to preserve America's global leadership in aviation system technologies and management. The panel was held June 5 at the RTCA 2013 Global Aviation Symposium in Washington, D.C., and included representatives from airlines, general aviation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and other stakeholders. Bolen, a former RTCA chair who currently serves on RTCA's board of directors, spoke about the progress NextGen has made and what it will take to keep momentum going on this important issue, especially in the current fiscally constrained environment. Read more about the NextGen forum.
IFR Departure Clearances Expanded in the NAS for GNSS-Equipped Aircraft
February 25, 2013
Last week the FAA issued a NOTAM allowing properly-equipped aircraft to be issued IFR departure clearances from uncontrolled airports that are beyond 40 NM from the NAVAID without radar monitoring. GNSS-equipped aircraft may now receive these clearances with point-to-point route segments, on the ground, or in the air. Prior to this change, IFR clearances were only issued when either ATC radar monitoring was available or when a departure procedure was published including a transition to the en-route structure. View the full NOTAM FDC 3/9599.
MTOs: A Direct Line to the FAA
February 8, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NBAA have created a structure that allows NBAA Members to point out their observations about system operations to the agency through its five managers of tactical operations (MTOs). The MTOs are the faces of the FAA in their respective regions, explained NBAA Director, Air Traffic Services & Infrastructure Bob Lamond. Acting as customer advocates, each MTO "owns" an issue until it is resolved. Read more about MTOs.
Convention Session Will Detail New Weather Forecasting Methods
August 10, 2012
Those attending NBAA's 2012 Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2012) in Orlando, FL will have an opportunity to learn more about the cooperative efforts underway between the FAA and the aviation community to bring more reliable weather information to operators. "Collaborative Decision Making Weather Evaluation Team Update on Supporting NextGen Concepts" will be presented Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Orange County Convention Center. Learn more about this session at NBAA2012.
FAA Releases NextGen Plan Electronically
August 6, 2012
The FAA has released the 2012 version of the NextGen Implementation Plan as a PDF, and, for the first time, as an e-book on the NextGen website. The plan details the progress towards the transformation of the U.S. airspace system, supported by strong collaboration between the FAA and the entire aviation community. NBAA continues to play a key role in fostering further industry-agency collaboration. Steve Brown, NBAA's chief operating officer, serves as co-chair of the Aviation Rulemaking Committee focused on Next Gen planning. The FAA's 2012 update details the benefit of aviation system transformation and accomplishments to date, and outlines the agency's strategy for moving forward. For more information, contact NBAA's Bob Lamond at rlamond@nbaa.org. View the FAA's NextGen Implementation Plan.
This Storm Season, Watch for Hurricane Updates from NBAA Air Traffic Services
June 11, 2012
As hurricane season begins to intensify, now is a good time to review what information and guidance to expect from NBAA Air Traffic Services (ATS) before, during and after these storms. Once the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) begins to have its hurricane telephone conferences (telcons) among aviation stakeholders to coordinate response procedures, NBAA ATS will begin issuing hurricane updates to the business aviation community via the Association's Airspace Alerts subscriber list, as well as via its new @NBAA_ATS Twitter account. Read more about ATS's role in hurricane updates.
Tools for Traffic Management in Storm Season
May 22, 2012
To help facilitate business aircraft operations, the GA Desk's efforts to help subscribers find the most efficient and timely routes around bad weather are augmented by tactical route coordinators (TRCs). For example, the TRC at New York TRACON is used to provide reroutes during Severe Weather Avoidance Plan events for airspace over the New York region. The TRC establishes a phone bridge with tower personnel at the small airports most often used by business aircraft and New York Center personnel, as well as flight plan service providers. The coordination among the parties helps smooth departure rates and make options available for operators able to adjust their departure plans. Read more about traffic management during stormy weather.
FAA Issues Update on NextGen Work
May 7, 2012
The FAA's updated NextGen Implementation Plan, now available online, includes tweaks to its strategy for modernizing departure and arrival procedures, particularly in 21 "metroplexes" (metro areas encompassing multiple airports). Highlights of the plan affecting general aviation include expanded implementation of WAAS/LPV approaches, as well as RNAV RNP. NBAA Senior Vice President for Operations & Administration Scott Brown said of the plan, "They've appropriately prioritized what they need to do first, and they've followed recommendations from the industry advisory committees we participate in, so we're happy about that." Read more about the latest NextGen plan.
Updated Web Site Offers Information for Avoiding Midairs
August 3, 2011
Recent midair collisions involving general aviation aircraft have highlighted the need for pilots to remain aware of their surroundings at all times. A partnership between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) has paved the way for the development of an informative website about the subject. Effective last month, the updated SeeAndAvoid.org website includes links to the military's Mid-Air Collision Avoidance (MACA) programs, as well as greater access to information about military aircraft movements. Learn more.
New NBAA Resource Explains Considerations for EFVS
April 11, 2011
Operators of aircraft equipped with an FAA-approved enhanced flight visual system (EFVS) must ensure their pilots understand how to use the system safely. The NBAA Access Committee has developed a resource for Members on the operational considerations for using EFVS; the relationship between the final approach segment vertical descent angle and any installed visual glide slope indicator; and how that relationship is depicted on instrument approach charts. View the resource.
FAA Releases Updated Guidance on Instrument Landing System Intercepts
April 8, 2011
As a result of the NBAA Access Committee’s involvement in the FAA’s Aeronautical Charting Forum, the FAA has released a new Information For Operators message (InFO 11009) regarding minimum crossing altitudes at stepdown fixes on instrument landing system (ILS) approaches. While the ILS glideslope remains stationary regardless of atmospheric temperature, stepdown fixes are published according to indicated altitude, which varies with temperature changes. This means that on hotter days, pilots must comply with the minimum stepdown altitude, even if it means remaining above the ILS glideslope until reaching Final Approach Fix. Review the InFO and NBAA’s summary.