General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) president and CEO Pete Bunce briefed members of the U.S. House General Aviation Caucus today on two issues the group considers important to the future of general aviation: the Part 23 certification rewrite and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Caucus co-chairs Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.) invited Bunce to participate as part of a series of briefings the caucus is holding with key government and industry leaders to raise awareness of general aviation issues.
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
The FAA has launched an Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program for the general aviation community, bringing to the sector a system many operators–from Parts 121 and 135 to GA pilots–are already using. The agency announced the one-year demonstration project on March 28.
After a meeting April 30 between AOPA president Mark Baker and the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the association is urging members report any encounters they have with CBP or other law enforcement officers.
AOPA has already received more than 50 reports from members being questioned and sometimes searched by CBP agents or local law enforcement officers acting on the federal agency’s requests. In some cases, the officers approached pilots with drawn weapons or dogs to inspect the aircraft.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
GAMA praised the U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s “continued strong support” for reform of the Part 23 aircraft certification process and the transition away from leaded avgas. “We are especially pleased by the committee’s emphasis on improving the certification process at the FAA,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
All 50 U.S. states have officially recognized the importance of aviation, and general aviation in particular, the Alliance for Aviation Across America announced. Except for Montana, which issued a letter, all have issued statewide proclamation through either the governor’s office or the state legislature. Most recently, the California Senate and Assembly issued proclamations of California Aviation Awareness Day. Just five years ago, virtually no states had issued statewide proclamations; now many states have begun issuing these proclamations annually.
World Fuel Services (WFS) is promoting the AvPOS point-of-sale system as its payment software of choice for non-U.S. markets. AvPOS, from KHI, is specifically designed for FBOs and aviation merchants and supports World Fuel’s Avcard, the Multi Service Aero Card and KHI’s U.S. government Air Card. AvPOS enables FBOs and ground handlers to transact sales anywhere, including the ramp.
Massachusetts recently announced plans to build or renovate general aviation airport administrative facilities in 15 communities over the next five years. The first four projects currently in design are for the airports in Beverly, Fitchburg, Mansfield and Southbridge. Each project is funded by the state and a required 5-percent local match. Construction is expected to take approximately nine months. Another 11 airports are scheduled for construction or renovation from 2016 through 2019.
AOPA is celebrating its 75th anniversary today. Concerned that the growing influence of military air power would eclipse general aviation, five founders gathered on May 15, 1939, to establish AOPA, electing C. Townsend Ludington as the association’s first president. Then, as now, AOPA’s primary mission was to protect the freedom to fly for the growing population of general aviation pilots and aircraft owners. Today, AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association, with representatives in Frederick, Md.; Washington, D.C.; Wichita; and seven regions across the U.S.
AOPA and Jeppesen announced a new partnership that will support many of the programs that “educate and engage” AOPA pilot members across the U.S. Under the agreement, Jeppesen will support and participate in AOPA Foundation Air Safety Institute seminars, the 2014 regional AOPA fly-ins and the association’s 75th anniversary “Homecoming” Fly-In at its Frederick, Md. headquarters.
AOPA members will benefit from Jeppesen’s support through AOPA Air Safety Institute seminars, which qualify as the ground portion of the FAA Wings program.