Avionics News February 2021 - 62

AN UNCONVENTIONAL CONVENTION
Continued from page 61

Dickson also noted the FAA's 20 months of work
to restore flight status to hundreds of Boeing 737
MAX airliners, which included many used as Boeing
Business Jets. And the FAA made progress on the
front of supersonic flight returning to American skies.
Preparing for a return of
supersonic flight
On Dec. 17, the anniversary of the Wright brothers
historic first flight, and two weeks after VBACE,
the FAA and the state of Kansas signed an accord
establishing a 700-plus-mile supersonic flight-test
corridor across much of Kansas.
On Wright Brothers Day, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly
and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary
Julie Lorenz announced that KDOT and the FAA
finalized an agreement to establish the Kansas
Supersonic Transportation Corridor for use in testing
non-military aircraft that fly faster than the speed of
sound. " To be able to deliver this new opportunity
for our country is yet another example of Kansas
cementing its reputation as a national leader in the
aviation industry, " Kelly said in a statement.
" This high-altitude flight corridor gives Kansas a
strategic advantage in attracting companies involved
in the development of supersonic aircraft and
will play a significant role in our state's ability to
encourage economic development as we recover from
the COVID-19 pandemic, " she said.
The Kansas SSTC is a 770-nautical-mile racetrackshaped corridor at or above Flight Level 390 - 39,000
feet mean sea level. The FAA's Kansas City Air Route
Traffic Control Center assessed this route to protect
the safety and efficiency of the national airspace
system. This corridor, running the length of Kansas,
just north of the Kansas-Oklahoma border, is entirely
in federal airspace above Kansas.
The route will support sustained flight up to Mach
3 and is within reach of numerous airports equipped
to provide fuel, ground and technical support for the
flight test programs expected to use the SSTC.
KDOT Secretary Lorenz, who chairs the Aviation
Committee for the American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials, commended
62

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february

2021

the collaborative efforts resulting in Kansas securing
the SSTC. She acknowledged Kansas Senator Jerry
Moran's involvement in the process in coordination
with the FAA, NASA, the Air Route Traffic Control
Center and the National Institute of Aviation Research
at Wichita State University.
Moran noted that industry forecasts predict a
market for as many as 300 sophisticated supersonic
aircraft over a 10-year period, representing as much
as $40 billion in revenue and requiring a " deep bench
of skilled manufacturing talent. "
A notable keynote speaker:
And not a one-note pony
NBAA membership includes many in the
entertainment business, and one of those members
delivered the keynote address on the opening day
of VBACE: pilot, country singer, songwriter Dierks
Bentley.
In his remarks, Bentley talked about why he
continues to be an advocate for business aviation from
the experienced perspective. Among the aircraft in
which Bentley is experienced: Cessna Citation CJ4
and a Cirrus SR-model piston single - an aircraft
Bentley lost to a March 2020 tornado that hit John C.
Tune Airport, where he kept the airplane, and ravaged
parts of Nashville, Tennessee.
" For the majority of people, whether they're flying
a jet or a prop plane or whatever, they're going to
work, " Bentley said. " For me personally, my business,
and the people I employ, I wouldn't be able to do
it without aviation. I can't afford to spend 24 hours
riding a bus to get somewhere to play a show. "
Like most of the country, Bentley's work world
suffered from the ripple effects of the pandemic.
Since the onset of COVID-19, Bentley detailed, he
hasn't been touring and his flying suffered from the
inactivity. He joked that the only aircraft he's flying is
a remote-controlled airplane.
He stressed that he hopes to start touring again
soon. But first, he'll tackle restoring his currency.
" As a pilot, you're only as good as your last
flight, so you've got to stay on top of it, " he said to
the VBACE audience. " When I do get back at it for
touring, the first thing I'm going to do is go to one
of the TRU or FlightSafety (learning centers) and get
fully back into it. "



Avionics News February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News February 2021

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Avionics News February 2021 - Intro
Avionics News February 2021 - No label
Avionics News February 2021 - Cover2
Avionics News February 2021 - 1
Avionics News February 2021 - 2
Avionics News February 2021 - 3
Avionics News February 2021 - 4
Avionics News February 2021 - 5
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