FAA to upgrade contingency systems after Chicago blaze

When an air traffic control center employee set fire to a critical part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Chicago Center air traffic control hub, flights were canceled or delayed in the Midwest. Now, the agency is looking into what went wrong and how it can make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Senators call on FAA to expedite drone rulemaking

A group of senators want the FAA to speed up the process for integrating small unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace.

NextGen components come to D.C., Texas

Parts of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, are coming to the Washington, D.C., metro area and to airports in northern Texas, according to two recent announcements from the agency.

What does the Pirker ruling mean for the FAA and drones?

In the wake of a recent ruling, members of industry are calling on the FAA to use its regulatory authority of unmanned aerial vehicles to encourage innovation.

NextGen dominates FAA reauthorization debate

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., convened a hearing to start looking at the upcoming 2015 reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Public and private research supports UAS commercialization

As the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2015 deadline for integrating small unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace approaches, members of the private, public and education sectors are already looking into the ways they can use drones to make tasks easier and safer — with or without the FAA.

Transportation Department launches website for cruise ship info

Even though the Transportation Department only has minimal involvement in the cruise line industry, the department launched a website last week to direct users to the appropriate agency, whether it be the Federal Maritime Commission or the Coast Guard, to handle their complaint or comment.

DOT chief data officer prepares for forthcoming ‘wave’ of digital transportation data

The world of transportation data is about to explode as more means of travel become digitally interconnected, making the amount of data the Transportation Department handles today “look like child’s play,” Richard McKinney, the department’s chief information officer, said recently. That’s why, in preparation for that inevitable surge of data, McKinney hired DOT’s first ever chief data officer.

Unmanned high-tech balloon used in hunt for alleged murderer

Since September, authorities have been searching for a man who allegedly gunned down a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper. Now, police are deploying an unmanned aircraft system — a silent, high-tech balloon equipped with cameras to monitor a three-to-five-mile radius — to help with the search.

NextGen plan cites funding as ongoing concern

As the Federal Aviation Administration continues to attempt to roll out the Next Generation Air Transportation System, the latest joint implementation plan released by the agency said that without any changes to the current trajectory, the project will be funded fully.

Getting to yes: Tech firms fly into UAS debate

Amazon Prime Air, Google X, GoPro and several drone manufacturers have joined forces as part of the Small UAV Coalition to try to get the FAA to move faster on testing and integration of drones into the national airspace system.

New Mexico cluster to focus on unmanned and autonomous systems

As the number of unmanned systems in use in the air, on land and in the oceans continues to rise, recent action by the Small Business Administration will work to accommodate the potential for small businesses to control parts of that market.

New NOAA system creates high-res weather ‘mesh’ for forecasters

NOAA recently activated its high-res Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system in order to better predict severe weather, like thunderstorms, tornadoes or snow.

FAA develops updated NextGen rollout plan with industry support

After weeks of concerns regarding the rollout of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, the agency announced an updated plan accelerating the system’s delivery over the next three years.

FAA: NextGen could’ve minimized Chicago tower fire

In the aftermath of a Chicago-area air traffic control tower fire that grounded flights nationwide Sept. 26, Federal Aviation Administration head Michael Huerta said an agency program several years in development could have eased travelers’ woes – had it been fully in place. “We are steadily increasing the amount of air traffic we can handle in the airspace around Chicago,” Huerta said at the Air Traffic Control Association’s conference last week in Washington, D.C. “This incident in Chicago is also a stark reminder of the reasons that we are working toward an even more robust and scalable system.” The Next…

The CIOs of 2020 will lead with ‘soft skills’

Come 2020, a hard-nosed technical expertise is not going to cut it for federal IT leaders. Tomorrow’s IT leaders and the people who fill their vacancies are going to require business acumen and soft skills, like the ability to communicate, a group current federal chief information officers said Tuesday.

FAA preps NextGen summit, but questions remain about drones

Until recently, the FAA has been subject to criticism for not involving industry enough in the rollout and planning for NextGen. The “Call to Action” summit, scheduled for October 28, however, is designed to reverse that trend and garner broader industry support to meet the 2020 deadline to equip aircraft with new avionics technology.

Drones actually are coming to a movie set near you

In early June, the Motion Picture Association of America filed a request with the Federal Aviation Administration to use small unmanned aircraft systems while filming movies. Thursday, the Transportation Department granted its request.

As commercial space travel approaches, FAA issues recommendations

NASA isn’t the only federal player in space travel anymore. As commercial space travel gets closer to reality, the Federal Aviation Administration released a framework of recommended practices for human space flight safety.

Is the FAA organized for NextGen success?

Aviation industry leaders are optimistic about the state of current U.S. air traffic control systems, but they are also concerned about the ability of the Federal Aviation Administration to put new, technology-driven systems in place.

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