Items tagged with FAA

Extreme weather, air traffic congestion, equipment maintenance issues, late arrival of connecting flights...and now iPad software glitch can be added to the list of flight delay causes. On Tuesday evening dozens of American Airlines flights were temporarily grounded due to problems caused by an issue with the software in iPads used in cockpit by AA pilots. The problem apparently struck randomly across the airline's fleet, affecting an app that serves as a navigational aid. In a statement, American Airlines said, "Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads.... Read more...
Considering all of the talk and worry in the air these days on the subject of drones it seems all but impossible that nearly 16 months have passed since Jeff Bezos first revealed Amazon's plan to deploy such devices in the service of delivering our books, tech hardware, etc., in the can-see-it-from-here future.  In the days immediately following Bezos's reveal on "60 Minutes" in December 2013, the Amazon drone service — Prime Air — became for a short time one of the most shared stories (and videos) across the social media sphere. Then as fast as... Read more...
With all the talk about security and encryption on devices that are personal to us like smartphones and tablets, we’d like to think that computer systems that help to control and monitor key U.S. infrastructure and transportation systems would employ rigorous security measures to safeguard against cyberattacks. This is even more important when it comes to the daunting task of air traffic control where interruptions to service and computer downtime could cripple air travel across the country and put passenger (and flight crew) lives at risk. With so much at stake, it’s quite disappointing to hear... Read more...
When Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveiled Amazon Prime Air in late 2013 via 60 Minutes, a lot of people took it as a joke -- an easy way for Amazon to hog the limelight for a little bit. It took only a few months more to realize that the company was very serious about the venture, and while it might still seem a little bit outlandish to use drones to deliver packages, it can and has been done. Of course, deploying drones for commercial use is easier said than done. The amount of regulatory work that needs to be done is massive, and we're still not at the point where we're much closer, something proven... Read more...
In response to the growing popularity of drones, the Federal Aviation Authority has started to modify its rules and regulations to include remote controlled aircraft. However, Amazon, which plans to use drones to deliver packages, warned the FAA that it needs to be more lenient with its regulation on the use of drones outdoors; otherwise the retailer will move its research teams out of the country.Amazon has been planning to test drones for its Prime Air program and, back in July, approached the FAA for permission to test drones outdoors near Seattle where one of the company’s R&D labs is working... Read more...
On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration released an updated notice criminalizing the operation of drones or model plans over large sports stadiums and auto racetracks. According to the notice, operators who violate certain conditions can be fined and imprisoned for up to a year. The updated notice states that aircraft, which now includes unmanned and remote controlled planes, are not allowed to fly within three miles, or below 3,000 feet of any stadium that can seat 30,000 or more people during the regular or post season of Major League Baseball, National Football League, and NCAA Division... Read more...
Maybe your kids or grandchildren will inherit a world where delivery drones are the norm, but for now, the Federal Aviation Administration is keeping a close and cautious eye on these unmanned aircraft. Current restrictions are so tight that the University of Michigan had to cancel plans to have a drone deliver the game ball before kickoff on Saturday as the Wolverines prepared to take on the University of Utah at its Ann Arbor stadium. "The FAA promotes voluntary compliance by educating UAS operators about how they can operate safely under current regulations and laws," the agency told Bloomberg... Read more...
Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet just received FAA Authorization to be included in flight bags used by pilots in commercial aviation. In recent months, the airline industry has actually embraced newer technologies in a big way, paving the way for handheld use during taxi, takeoff, and landing. Plus, Apple's iPad has found a home in select flight bags as well, cutting out weight and modernizing the pilot playbook. Microsoft's no stranger to the airline world, as it recently partnered with Delta in order to install Windows Phone devices on Delta flights to handle food purchases and the like. This week,... Read more...
There's progress, and then there's going too far. While you won't find too many technology lovers who are opposed to having Wi-Fi below 10,000 feet or being able to leave one's Kindle on from gate-to-gate, there's a fine line here that may soon be crossed. Enabling connectivity in the sky is a godsend for those who fly frequently and need to get work done, but by and large, all of this happens at a low volume level. The noise of one's keyboard is largely drowned out by the rumble of the airline engines, and there's a good reason that most in-flight Wi-Fi services don't allow VoIP or video calls.... Read more...
Now that the FAA has relaxed some of the rules for devices that passengers aboard commercial flights can use during takeoff and landing, ereader users everywhere can rejoice and also squeeze in some extra reading time on flights instead of just staring glumly at the back of their seats. To celebrate, Amazon announced that for one day only, it’s offering a 15% discount on the Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch, and Kindle. That puts the price tag for the Kindle Fire HD at $118, the HDX 7-inch at $195, and the Kindle at just $59. Customers can use the promo code “ThnksFAA” at... Read more...
Rumors have been flying (har!) for nearly a year that the Federal Aviation Administration would at long last enable carriers to relax the archaic rules that barred passengers from using electronic devices during take-off and landing. The spiel has always been that those devices and their mysterious frequencies could potentially screw with the navigation system on the aircraft, and in a worst-case scenario, could cause a crash. Of course, that really never proved to be true. Still, change in the airline industry happens at a comically slow pace, so it's no real surprise to see that it has taken... Read more...
Remember when that 757 aircraft came crashing down midway through takeoff, killing everyone on board all because a passenger's handheld media player interfered with the plane's onboard electronics? You don't remember reading about that or seeing it on the news? That's because it never happened, nor is it likely to, yet passengers are always asked to turn off their electronic devices during takeoff and landing. It's a rule that's been in place and unchanged since 1966 when experts feared electromagnetic interference could disrupt onboard navigation equipment. According to a report in The Wall Street... Read more...
Anyone who finds themselves strapped in an airplane on a regular basis knows that "chime" all too well. It's the sound of hitting 10,000 feet on the way up (liberating) and the sound of hitting 10,000 feet on the way down (depressing). Kidding aside, this arbitrary measure has somehow forced modern passengers to hold tight on booting up their tablets, phones, MP3 players and laptops... and for what reason? The myth of cellular radios screwing with a plane's GPS system has been busted time and time again, yet still, the runway is seemingly no place for a notebook. Oddly, it's okay to read a 50lb.... Read more...
When it comes to flying in the U.S., and dealing with either the FCC or the FAA, "red tape" comes to mind. It's a heavily regulated industry, and with safety at the forefront, there's at least somewhat of an excuse. But, it's still no fun to deal with, particularly if you're waiting for Wi-Fi to come to your favorite airline. But now, the Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Report and Order establishing rules to help speed the deployment of Internet services onboard aircraft. In other words, this action allows in-flight Wi-Fi providers to get their equipment certified faster and installed... Read more...
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