There will be blood, at least if two senior U.S. senators have their way. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) are asking the Defense Department to bar United Technologies, parent of helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky and engine maker Pratt & Whitney, from future defense contracts. Pratt & Whitney Canada already has agreed to pay a $75 million fine and comply with independent monitoring after selling civilian software to China for use in that country’s Z-10 military attack helicopter, a violation of various export laws.
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.
Owners and operators of business aircraft were disappointed last month when the IRS issued final regulations disallowing certain deductions for “entertainment” use of company aircraft.
The provisions were originally contained in the “American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.”
Under the new rules, the difference between the actual cost of personal entertainment flights provided for “specified individuals” and the amount included as income for the individual is disallowed as a deduction to the corporation.
Stakeholders in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry are coming to accept that introducing UASs into the national airspace system (NAS) will occur gradually, and that a September 2015 deadline for “safe integration” established by Congress is more a waypoint than a destination.
As an industry, aviation demands unwavering attention to procedure and regulations, and when those procedures are ignored and result in an accident, they garner the attention of NTSB member Robert Sumwalt and his colleagues. Last year pilot and air traffic controller professionalism landed on the Safety Board’s “Most Wanted” list for the first time, following a spate of concluded accident reports that indicated lapses in this area.
Europe’s regional airlines face many challenges–not least of which centers on trying to change the way politicians in Brussels view aviation. The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) expends much effort on behalf of its 65 members trying to convince Eurocrats that regional airlines provide vital economic links that need nurturing in an era of consistently high fuel prices and an economic downturn severe enough to threaten the very existence of the European Union.
At the end of 2012 Mike Ambrose, 67, will retire as director general of ERA after serving more than 25 years in the post. The ERA board has approved the elevation of Simon McNamara, 40, to the role from his current position as deputy director general.
In the wake of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showing that foreign flight students can be cleared for flying lessons earlier than they would be cleared to fly commercially on U.S. airlines, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee has filed a bill to close a loophole in the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP).
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG) has criticized the FAA for its management of the Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program, which is designed to reduce aircraft bird strikes. “The FAA’s oversight and enforcement activities are not sufficient to ensure airports fully adhere to program requirements or effectively implement their wildlife hazard plans,” concludes the August 22 report.
The U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association has voiced its support for reforms to the aircraft certification processes as proposed by the FAA in a report submitted to Congress last week. “This report is an important first step in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the FAA, which is necessary to support growing industry activity in the development of new aircraft and safety-enhancing technologies,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration would have to slash its operations budget and could not support current levels of passenger and air cargo activity if the process of automatic federal spending cuts known as “sequestration” takes effect in January as scheduled. In turn, reduced passenger and cargo activity would lead to job losses and other economic fallout, according to a study released by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).