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.

April 5, 2014 - 3:10am

On March 4 the FAA issued its final rule on Stage 3 helicopter noise certification standards for new helicopter type design and the upgrade of Stage 1 and Stage 2 helicopters when upgrading to Stage 3 via supplemental type certificate (STC). The rule standardizes FAA regulations with those adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2002 and follows the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the topic issued in 2012.

April 3, 2014 - 3:15pm

Responding to concerns raised by NBAA, AOPA and other aviation groups, the FAA announced yesterday that it drafted new guidelines for dealing with pilots at risk of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Under the revised draft guidelines, pilots will no longer be disqualified on the basis of body mass index (BMI) alone–a reversal from the FAA’s initial proposal in November–and they will be issued medical certificates even if they are referred for additional evaluation.

April 3, 2014 - 2:40pm

The FAA will begin formal rulemaking to consider whether to allow private pilots to use a driver’s license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate in some circumstances, the agency announced yesterday. The announcement follows a joint petition by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association to the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption, as well as proposed legislation, the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act (GAPPA), that is currently making its way through both the House and Senate.

April 2, 2014 - 12:25am

Never renowned for its ability to fast-track rulemaking, the FAA might be gunning for a new record.

It has been nearly a decade since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) introduced an amendment to its aviation rulemaking to require member states to have certified international airports establish a safety management system (SMS). The FAA has said it supports harmonization of international standards and has worked to make U.S. aviation safety regulations consistent with ICAO standards and recommended practices.

April 1, 2014 - 2:00pm

Business aircraft passengers flying out of UK airports are facing rate increases for air passenger duty (APD) of between 50 and 58 percent under revisions to the tax the government announced last month.

April 1, 2014 - 5:25am

Top FAA regulators justified the new omnibus helicopter safety rule at February’s Heli-Expo convention. John Duncan, director of FAA flight standards, and Kim Smith, manager of the rotorcraft directorate, said the new rule is necessary in light of a recent surge in helicopter accidents, and they are confident that it will contribute to a significant reduction in the accident rate.

March 31, 2014 - 12:40pm

The FAA wants input before it updates its drug-and-alcohol-testing rules for some airline maintenance personnel who perform safety-sensitive functions outside the U.S. The agency is seeking input to assess the likely economic impact on the companies affected. Responses must be received by May 16.

March 27, 2014 - 3:50pm

On Tuesday the six members of the Santa Monica city council voted unanimously on a plan to prepare to close all or part of Santa Monica Airport. More than 100 attendees spoke during the late-night meeting, with opinions split about evenly between those supporting the field’s future as an airport and those seeking to use its 227 acres for parkland or property development.

March 25, 2014 - 3:35pm

An item titled “The Future of Santa Monica Airport” on the agenda for tonight’s Santa Monica (Calif.) City Council meeting is likely to result in a spillover crowd, with both airport proponents and anti-airport groups urging members to attend to express their opinions.

March 25, 2014 - 3:15pm

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and FAA signed a nine-year deal late last week for the agency to provide ATC service at the EAA’s annual AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wis.

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