The FAA proposes replacing the current designee program with a new one that expands the functions that designees may perform, permits non-FAA-certified individuals and organizations to become designees and does away with existing designee categories.
Regulations and Government » Government
News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
Beginning in mid-February, Congress took a couple of weeks off and returned to business in early March. Nevertheless, there has been no slowdown in the introduction of bills and, at press time, there were 1,133 bills introduced in the House and 533 in the Senate. A number of bills that failed to make the grade in the 108th Congress were reintroduced with the expectation that some could be enacted into law this go-around.
• H.R.2115, the “Flight 100-Century of Aviation Revitalization Act” introduced in May by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), was combined with S.824, the “Aviation Investment and Revitalization Act,” introduced in April by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and approved by unanimous consent in the Senate in late November. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration for four years and provides $59 billion in funding.
While Congress has acted on several recommendations from the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry, the group is still concerned about the lack of coordination and communication between executive branch departments having jurisdiction over the air-transportation system.
Former Pentagon official Thomas Bloom has been named CFO of the FAA, overseeing the agency’s $14 billion operating budget, as well as the development and FAA-wide application of cost accounting and performance management policies and systems.
Adm. James Loy, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), has been promoted to second-in-command at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was selected over other higher-ranking officials in the Cabinet department.
Following an acrimonious battle between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association over the recently passed FAA reauthorization bill and a provision to privatize some control towers, the agency and the union signed a two-year contract extension last month that expands pay for performance to air traffic controllers and provides potential savings of several million dollars.
Inconsistent and incomplete FAA oversight of its designee programs limits the agency’s ability to ensure designees perform their work according to federal standards, according to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO said the FAA needs to develop a better mechanism to improve oversight compliance and upgrade its databases to provide complete and consistent information.
Taiwan’s government is expected to lift a long-standing prohibition of private aircraft ownership in the first quarter of next year. Several charter providers that already operate helicopters as permitted under existing rules have indicated, off the record, that they are now making plans to buy business jets later this year.
Even as officials of the North Carolina Department of Transportation celebrated the centennial of manned flight at ceremonies on the Outer Banks on December 17, a state audit issued three weeks earlier was recommending some extensive cost-cutting measures with regard to the state’s aircraft operations.