The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in October will remove its non-U.S. flight information publications and digital aeronautical flight information file from public access. The plan, however, will not affect charts for the U.S., Caribbean and South America or Pacific, Australia and Antarctica in areas considered part of the U.S. Flight Information Region, for which NGA will distribute charts until October 2007.
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.
A proposed noise-compatibility program for Southwest Florida Airport in Fort Myers is under review by the FAA. Comments are due January 31. For more information, contact the FAA at (407) 812-6331.
Another penalty has been assessed against Darby Aviation, one of several operators involved in the crash of a Challenger 600 at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport on February 2. Doing business as AlphaJet International, the Muscle Shoals, Ala.
The FAA has reiterated its request that pilots submit information on wake turbulence encounters that occur in domestic RVSM airspace, including the U.S., offshore airspace and the San Juan flight information region, via the NASA-operated Aviation Safety Reporting System.
With some air traffic controllers already earning more than $200,000 annually, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey is digging in her heels during the agency’s current round of negotiations with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).
Transportation Department Inspector General Kenneth Mead last month called for renewed emphasis to reduce the general aviation accident rate, noting that the number of fatalities and accidents has remained fairly constant over the past few years.
Congress may have approved FAA funding for Fiscal Year 2006 before it adjourned for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the drumbeat for user fees in future years continues. Within days of the passing of the $13.8 billion budget, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey was telling the Washington Aero Club that her agency needed a revenue stream that is tied to the actual cost of services.
Before leaving for Congress’s December break the Senate approved a $39.7 billion, five-year deficit reduction bill by a vote of 51 to 50. Among the provisions of the bill are an increase in out-of-pocket costs for Medicare, changes in welfare and child-support programs to save $1.6 billion and a change in the student loan program to save $12.7 billion by fixing the interest rate at 6.8 percent.
The enactment of the FY2006 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill will restore planned cuts in the FAA’s aircraft certification service, a move that has drawn praise from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The final bill provides $4 million more than the FAA budget request and returns staffing to FY2004 levels.
In a state-of-the-industry press release last month, the Air Transport Association (ATA) again called for a change in the way the FAA does business. The association said that restructuring the air traffic system is a critical first step for the airline industry to return to financial health.