Changes Due For Airspace And FSS...

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New Year, New Rules

With a new year right around the corner, the landscape of aviation is about to experience some changes. Workers at the FAA's Flight Service Stations are awaiting a decision, expected in January, on who will run their operations in the future. Air traffic controllers may soon suffer the pangs of "Be careful what you wish for," as the FAA sends hundreds of new hires into their facilities. And for those who fly in the flight levels, Domestic Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums take effect on Jan. 20. The FAA says the added routes between Flight Levels 280 and 410 will save time and money, but many GA operators are skeptical. Nonetheless, they must upgrade their equipment and complete all the paperwork to become RVSM compliant, or resign themselves to flying at FL280 or lower. The option exists also to transit the RVSM airspace and fly en route above FL410, but how that will work out in practice remains to be seen. Not far behind the new airspace rules, turbine aircraft that can carry six or more passengers will need to comply with new rules to have a Terrain Awareness and Warning System installed -- that deadline is March 30.