When former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced formation of the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC) in 2010, he promised that efforts of the 19-member group would not languish on a shelf and be forgotten like the work of several other aviation panels over the past two decades. So how’d he do?
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News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
The FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization program faces long-term technical risks and still uncertain acceptance by airspace users. But after a decade in development, NextGen could be stalled by a nearer-term threat: substantially reduced funding from Congress. In June, the House appropriations committee released transportation funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2014 that would reduce the FAA’s capital funding account, which supports NextGen programs, to its lowest level since 2000.
The heads of the various general aviation trade associations participated in a roundtable forum here at AirVenture Tuesday to discuss the industry’s deteriorating relationship with the FAA. Attendees were asked to sign petitions opposing user fees and the FAA’s imposition on air traffic fees at AirVenture and given “This Isn’t Over Buttons,” referring to the EAA’s continuing legal challenge of those fees.
On Thursday, four Texas-based creditors filed an involuntary Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy filing against Avantair in Florida’s Middle District (Tampa) U.S. Bankruptcy Court. A summons was sent to Avantair on Friday and the company has until August 16 to respond. If Avantair does not respond by then, the court may allow the bankruptcy case to proceed; if it does respond, a hearing will be set and the judge will then decide if the case has merit to proceed.
The FAA’s demand that the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) pay $447,924 for ATC services at this year’s AirVenture celebration in Oshkosh, Wis., stunned the entire aviation community, and ran contrary to the decades-long relationship between the two organizations. In the days leading up to EAA AirVenture 2013 (July 29-August 4), EAA board chairman, acting president and CEO Jack Pelton spoke with AIN about the association’s response, as well as changes at this year’s AirVenture and to EAA itself.
General aviation interests are hailing the growth of the House General Aviation Caucus, which has reached a record total of 200 members of the House of Representatives, making it one of the largest and most active caucuses in Washington, D.C. Formed in 2009, the House GA Caucus–and its companion GA Caucus in the Senate–serves as an informal group of lawmakers, assembled to promote the role the industry plays in local communities and the national economy. Both caucuses work to inform debates about policies affecting the general aviation community.
The European Business Aviation Association has protested proposed new European Commission guidelines restricting state aid for airports. The rules would seek to phase out all public support for airports over a 10-year period and would introduce a sliding scale that limits permitted aid to airports with fewer than five million passengers per year and bans it for facilities with more than that throughput.
For a time in the 1970s and 1980s, Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire gave out his Golden Fleece Awards. But they had nothing to do with Jason and Argonauts.
Airshows in the U.S., already reeling from widespread cancellations and significantly diminished attendance following the withdrawal of U.S. military demonstration teams, are now facing a new financial hurdle: user fees from the FAA.
The Pentagon blamed the withdrawal of its popular jet demonstration teams, the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds, on cutbacks attributable to automatic federal budget sequestration. The Army also has withdrawn its Golden Knights parachute team.
Industry stakeholders should take a “careful approach” in recommending funding and other structural reforms to the U.S. aviation system, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees at a NextGen symposium on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Air Line Pilots Association International sponsored the event.