The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) ended its search for a new president on Tuesday when it announced that veteran pilot Thomas Hendricks will take the reins at the organization. He succeeds James Coyne, who announced earlier this year that he will be stepping down at the end of December from the post he has held since 1994.
The FAA has extended the comment period for a proposed exemption to the third-class medical certification requirement for recreational pilots to September 14. The agency received more than 14,000 comments during the initial 20-day comment period, and the vast majority of the comments supported the proposal.
The National EMS Pilots Association (Nemspa) is taking nominations for its 2012 pilot of the year. Nominations can be made at www.nemspa.org through September 1. The award will be presented at the Air Medical Transport Conference in Seattle this October.
Rod Rakic and Adam Fast are tackling one of the unique challenges facing the general aviation industry: how to get pilots to fly more. Rising fuel prices and the many obstacles that discourage pilots from flying have caused large reductions in flying time, which are reflected in low new aircraft delivery numbers, declining fuel sales and low used aircraft prices. “Our challenge is how do we keep people flying longer and more,” Rakic explained.
Few doubt that the new rules governing pilot duty time and first officer qualifications will challenge human resource departments at regional airlines throughout the U.S. But to a nation that depends on regional airlines for some 50 percent of its flights, the extent to which the new regulations will affect the supply of pilots and service to small communities remains largely underappreciated, much to the frustration of the Regional Airline Association and its members.
There is only a little time left to comment on a petition for exemption from the third-class medical requirement for pilots flying recreationally. The exemption petition was submitted to the FAA by the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the comment period closes on July 2. As of June 25, there were more than 3,300 comments, but the more comments received, the more the FAA might pay attention.
After asking for a show of hands from air charter operators who are experiencing difficulties filling pilot vacancies, FAA deputy director of flight standards John Duncan told attendees at this week’s NATA Air Charter Summit that he gets involved in discussions about pilot shortages in a lot of different venues. “From an academic standpoint, it’s going to be interesting,” he said. “But from a community standpoint, it’s probably going to be a little painful. This is an interesting dilemma for the aviation community.”
The FAA has just released a greatly expanded version of the original Pilot Record Improvement Act advisory circular (AC 120-68F) to address more operational situations employers might encounter related to a new-hire pilot’s professional certifications, safety record and possible law-enforcement actions.
As Congress considers a bill that would extend new Part 121 pilot rest rules to air cargo operations, the FAA has asked a federal court to put a pilot-union lawsuit on hold so the agency can re-examine its position. When the FAA issued the new regulations in December, it covered only passenger-carrying flights. But a bill introduced by Reps. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) and Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) would broaden the fatigue regulations to include cargo pilots. The FAA initially suggested that cargo operators could voluntarily adopt the new flight, duty and rest regulations.
Satellite communications equipment manufacturer Thrane & Thrane introduced its new flagship Aviation 700D at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) last month in Geneva.
The announcement follows parts manufacturer approval (PMA) from the FAA, allowing certification for use on all aircraft and permitting the Danish company to start worldwide shipment of the product.