The FAA determined that the minimum percentage rate for substance-abuse testing this year will remain at 25 percent of covered aviation employees for random drug testing and 10 percent for random alcohol testing. The rates will remain the same because data indicates that the positive rate for drug tests over the last two years was less than 1 percent and the positive rate for alcohol tests in the past two years was less than 0.5 percent.
Regulations and Government » Government
News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
January 13 is the closing date for comments on the FAA’s proposal to establish rules covering extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) applicable to Part 121 and 135 operations. The vast majority of the more than 60 comments submitted by press time supported the proposed ETOPS thresholds of 180 minutes for Part 135 and 207 minutes for Part 121.
For the first time since 1975, the number of safety recommendations classified as “open” has dipped below 1,000, the NTSB said last month. Of the 989 open recommendations, 335 are related to aviation and 339 to highway transportation.
Having missed the October 1 deadline for funding nine of the 13 government agencies that had been neglected, a lame-duck Congress made up for that lack of action after the November elections by enacting the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, a $388 billion “Omnibus” spending package, contained in a 3,000-page document that weighed some 14 pounds.
As anticipated, there have been numerous changes in the makeup of President Bush’s cabinet. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge turned in his resignation, effective February 1 or until the Senate names a successor. Ridge had the unenviable task of coordinating and integrating the activities of 22 government agencies with 180,000 employees into one department.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is to be headquartered in Cologne, Germany. The decision was confirmed during the European Union summit meeting on December 13 and 14.
The IRS has issued temporary guidelines on the bonus depreciation option.
The FAA has scheduled several “fact finding” informal meetings to solicit information from operators and others concerning proposed revisions to Los Angeles Class B airspace. Meetings will be held at various locations in the Los Angeles area on January 20, 22, 27 and 29. For more information, contact the FAA’s Debra Trindle at (310) 725-6611.
While generally praising the FAA’s system of designated examiners and representatives, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said that the agency has not ensured that its oversight process for designees is consistent among its field offices.
A Super Bowl Special Traffic Management Program (STMP) for the Houston area will be in effect January 28 through February 3, requiring all non-airline operators to obtain arrival and departure reservations for seven airports within the greater Houston area. Reservations can be obtained up to 72 hours before arrival and departure times.