• So, President George W. Bush won the election and will serve four more years in the White House. Cabinet changes are the subject of speculation, but Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta’s name has not surfaced as of press time. Troubled by back problems, Mineta may or may not stay on.
Aviation International News » December 2004
The NTSB expressed disappointment last month over the FAA’s alleged foot-dragging on several safety recommendations, and the safety agency changed the classifications of the FAA’s responses from “acceptable” to “unacceptable.”
At Airshow China2004–held from November 1 to 6 in Zhuhai, Guangdong–Russian and Chinese helicopter manufacturers revealed new medium-weight helicopter projects. For the first time, Mil exhibited a model of the Mi-54, and AVIC II revealed details about the medium utility helicopter it is studying.
Interest continues to grow in the formation of regional scheduler and dispatcher groups under the NBAA umbrella. Schedulers and dispatchers in New England and eastern New York are interested in forming a regional S&D group. Those interested should contact Amy Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org or NBAA Northeast Regional Representative Dean Saucier at dsaucier@ nbaa.org.
Online is where it’s at, and FltPlan. com allows corporate, charter and business aircraft users to create IFR flight plans online free of charge. The Web site provides a navigation log, weather data, IFR filing capability, airport information (including diagrams and a list of fields closest to a given city), passenger flight briefing sheets, low- and high-altitude en route charts and customized aircraft performance numbers.
Fran Dawson of Universal Weather & Aviation recommends using e-mail groups to work more efficiently. Schedulers and dispatchers typically spend much of the day communicating with a variety of people at different locations– pilots, passengers, limo drivers, FBOs, caterers–with regard to any particular flight.
At the NBAA Convention in October, Flight Explorer announced the launch of version 5.0 of its aircraft tracking software. The upgrade is available from the Alexandria, Va.-based company at no cost to existing subscribers to Flight Explorer Professional. The cost to new subscribers remains at $250 a month for a one-year contract for the basic system.
Important new features of Flight Explorer version 5.0 include:
Wyvern Consulting has added specific scheduling and dispatch capabilities to its aviation safety consulting business. Through the upgrade, Wyvern will offer specific expertise in the following functional areas of charter or corporate flight departments:
British company Avcen has designed an innovative ducted-fan twinjet, called the Jetpod, that it claims will cruise at 300 knots yet take off and land in slightly more than 400 feet. The owners are currently looking for investors to help them to move the project off the drawing board and into proof-of-concept flight trials.
For some time I have been aware of and exposed to a changing culture at the major airlines, and it holds lessons for corporate aviation.