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FAA News and Regulation Update

FAA News and Regulation UpdateThere’s always something new to know regarding Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations. Here are brief overviews of some of the latest FAA news for fall 2012.

October 16: FAA Approves More Medical Oxygen Units
The FAA has authorized the use of seven more portable oxygen concentrator models for passenger medical use on airplanes. Portable oxygen concentrators are small units that separate oxygen from nitrogen and other gases in the air, and provide oxygen at greater than 90 percent concentration. They do not use compressed or liquid oxygen, which is considered hazardous material.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that U.S. airlines and foreign carriers flying into the U.S. allow passengers to use FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrators during all phases of a flight. The DOT also encourages airlines to voluntarily allow non-approved units because they pose no safety danger.

There are now 21 approved oxygen concentrator models. The newly-approved devices are the AirSep Focus, AirSep FreeStyle 5, Inogen One G3, Inova Labs LifeChoice Activox, Respironics Simply Go, Precision Medical EasyPulse, and the SeQual SAROS.

Read a PDF on the Use of Additional Portable Oxygen Concentrators on Board

October 11: New Issue of FAA Safety Briefing on Aviation Education
The FAA has released the Sept./Oct. 2012 issue of FAA Safety Briefing, which can be read on the FAA website.

The new issue focuses on aviation education, and includes articles on the different types of aviation training devices, a story on the importance of situational awareness, what it takes to be a flight instructor, an article on the Aviation Rulemaking Committee’s (ARC) airman testing standards and training, an update on runway safety strategies, the FAA’s plans to begin testing distance learning for AMT trainees, and important cold weather precautions for rotorcraft.

October 11: Newly Updated: Airport Design Advisory Circular (AC) Updated
The FAA’s Office of Airports has updated the Airport Design Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5300-13A. It is the first major rewrite to the AC in more than 20 years, and is the result of joint collaboration between the FAA and the aviation industry.

The AC is used by airport operators, planners and engineers, and provides the geometric layout and engineering design requirements for runways, taxiways, aprons, and other airport facilities. The document is especially important to FBOs and airports undergoing construction and improvements because it outlines the FAA’s standards and recommendations for the development of airport layout plans and airport construction projects. 

Read the updated FAA AC.

September 14: FA Administrator Huerta Renews Key Education Partnerships
Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta has renewed two partnerships to promote youth education of aerospace education and careers.

Jamail Larkins will remain the FAA’s official ambassador for aviation and space education under the Science, Engineering, and Mathematics-Aviation and Space Education program (STEM-AVSED). Larkins is one of the country’s youngest aviation entrepreneurs and President of Ascension Air. The STEM-AVSED program coordinates presentations with Larkins for agency outreach events, career expos and school visits, and Larkins speaks to 20,000 students each year through public schools and youth groups.

Huerta also renewed a partnership with Build-A-Plane Executive Director Katrina Bradshaw. Build-A-Plane is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting aerospace and aviation careers by allowing students across the U.S. to construct and restore real airplanes.

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