In an unusual display of harmony, leaders of 18 aviation associations signed a letter to President Bush asking that he appoint a new FAA Administrator to the normal five-year term instead of a recess appointment that might not be approved by the Senate by the end of the next session. “Our nation cannot afford a recess appointee as we face the time-critical challenge of modernizing our nation’s aviation infrastructure,” the letter stated.
Civil aviation authorities
European authorities apparently do not share the qualms the Federal Communications Commission and FAA have about the in-flight use of personal cellphones. At the Paris Air Show in June, mobile telephony service provider OnAir announced that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the airborne GSM equipment that supports OnAir Services for use on the Airbus A318.
Continuing its efforts to crack down on loopholes in its oversight of Part 135 charter operators, the FAA is conducting mandatory special emphasis inspections through the end of the year. The inspections began last month and are in enforcement of Operational Specification A008, which took effect in March. The specification is aimed at eliminating ambiguities in operational control in charter flights.
The FAA last month made good on a longstanding promise to provide Airworthiness Directives (AD) and Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIB) only via e-mail. According to the agency, operators can sign up at the designated Web site (http://rgl.faa.gov) and receive the service by aircraft, as was the case with paper copies.
Emphasizing the pivotal role of foreign repair stations in the aviation industry, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) recently testified before the Senate subcommittee on aviation operations, safety and security regarding the oversight of foreign contract maintenance.
Our community will face greater change in the next 10 years than we experienced in the last 50. We will see new communications, navigation and surveillance equipment, as well as changes in piloting requirements and procedures. A new class of very light jets (VLJs) will emerge, and owner pilots will be operating them in airspace previously the pur-view of professionals.
At a Senate hearing on FAA financing last week, Delta Air Lines COO Jim Whitehurst, speaking for the Air Transport Association (ATA), reiterated one of ATA’s longstanding assertions that tracking departures and time in the system is the best way to measure the costs that aircraft impose for ATC services. The association first proposed such tracking in March 2006.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association is urging the European Union to unify rules for general aviation operations rather than leave regulation to individual member states of the EU.
Civil aviation authorities in Africa are planning an Africa-wide regulatory system similar to the European Union’s European Aviation Safety Agency. The new AFRO-CAA was to be launched on June 28 at a meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, and plans call for the AFRO-CAA to publish regulations and focus on regulatory harmonization and oversight of aviation operators in Africa.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) said in testimony last week to the Senate subcommittee on aviation operations, safety and security that foreign repair stations are safe and subject to heavy oversight.