Regulations and Government

News about bills, laws, regulations and other governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace. Topics include FAA reauthorizations, taxes on fuel and aviation activities, environmental legislation, ICAO decisions, governmental mediation of labor conflicts and World Trade Organization disputes and decisions.

August 21, 2014 - 3:33pm

As more aircraft equip with ADS-B OUT–which broadcasts position, velocity, altitude and other information in unencrypted formats on easily received frequencies–business aircraft operators are concerned about whether they can continue blocking their aircraft from display on flight-tracking websites. While the FAA offers a way for operators to request blocking of particular aircraft from FAA radar data feeds, there currently is no physical means to block reception of mode-S transponder or ADS-B signals by a simple receiver.

August 21, 2014 - 3:05pm

Key lawmakers are asking the U.S. DOT to expedite a review of the FAA’s proposed rulemaking on third-class medical reform. In two separate letters, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) wrote to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, urging his department to complete its review of the FAA notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) within the next 30 days and open the proposal for public comment.

August 19, 2014 - 3:20pm

The FAA has essentially shut down flight-sharing systems that attempted to match pilots with passengers who wished to fly to the same destination. One such company, AirPooler, sought an FAA interpretation to ensure that its business model didn’t violate the regulations.

August 19, 2014 - 3:15pm

As Congress prepares to work on Fiscal Year 2015 transportation funding and FAA reauthorization legislation, aviation stakeholders are expressing “renewed concerns” about the preservation of 252 federal contract towers, NBAA said. Fifty-five senators recently signed a letter asking FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to consider “all perspectives” in the effort to streamline tower operations as the FAA continues to deal with budget pressures.

August 14, 2014 - 3:20pm

The FAA announced it will formally re-examine the certification standards for helicopters under FAR Parts 27 and 29. Currently Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have no more than nine passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29.

August 14, 2014 - 3:05pm

The NTSB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment regarding proposed changes to rules governing investigation procedures. It is proposing to organize investigation procedures into mode-specific subparts to make the rules easier to access and consult. The NTSB also proposed updating “some terms and procedures,” including using “event” to describe transportation mishaps in regulatory text.

August 14, 2014 - 3:00pm

Business aircraft operators are frustrated that the FAA takes so long–months in many cases–to sign off Letters of Authorization (LOA), principally for RVSM operations. One operator has been waiting five months for an LOA after a Falcon changed ownership in April; this jet is flown and maintained by the same crew, and it was already N registered and RVSM approved before the sale. The operator recently nearly declared an emergency because he wasn’t allowed to climb above 29,000 feet and was facing a line of thunderstorms.

August 9, 2014 - 12:00pm

Brazilian business aviation faces a squeeze between official restrictions and unofficial competition, vying with airline traffic for limited slots at the country’s major airports and with illegal “pirate” air taxi services for customers. Hosting the World Cup soccer tournament at 12 host cities around the country in June and July served as a stress test of the country’s aviation infrastructure. Although no major problems occurred, many, including industry group ABAG, feel that business aviation was sacrificed for that apparent success–and that this does not bode well.

August 7, 2014 - 2:35pm

The FAA plans to formally reexamine the certification standards for helicopters under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs, the agency announced. Currently, Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have nine or fewer passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29 rules.

August 6, 2014 - 5:15am

The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry, launched with modest expectations by the island’s government in May 2007, is seeing no letting up in activity as business aircraft owners seize on the advantages of using the M-register. Various factors are driving the registry’s popularity, including banks’ advising owners to distance themselves from Russia; VAT rules; impending ratification by the UK of the Cape Town Convention; intensified scrutiny of U.S.

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