The Department of Transportation has issued a final rule that provides a start date for mandatory direct-observation drug testing.
The long-simmering feud between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) over wages and working conditions was apparently resolved late last month. Union members will have 45 days to ratify the many issues agreed upon through mediation, but five issues decided by arbitrators, including compensation, are not subject to ratification.
The Department of Transportation has issued a final rule, Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs, that requires direct-observation drug testing for return-to-duty, safety-sensitive transportation industry employees who have already failed or refused to take a urine drug test. The rule takes effect August 31.
NetJets Europe has achieved its goal of reducing flight crew capacity by 60,000 pilot duty days per year in response to declining demand for its fractional ownership and block charter services.
In hard times past, when an economic crisis resulted in reduced demand for business aircraft and business aviation services, layoffs were common, often with little notice and minimal compensation. In this recession, which has hit business aviation like the downhill run on a roller coaster with no bottom in sight, companies have sought to ease the trauma of job loss.
A voluntary furlough-mitigation program collaboratively formed in April by NetJets and its pilot union, the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), has averted layoffs and furloughs. “Through innovative and purely voluntary measures, NetJets has been able to align our pilot and other areas of our workforce to match our current owner demand levels,” NetJets chairman and CEO Richard Santulli told AIN.
An FAA inspector has filed a federal “whistleblower” complaint against his employer, charging the agency with removing him from his field position overseeing the certification of Colgan Air’s Bombardier Q400 operation last year when he raised concerns about pilot flying performance and the airline’s safety culture.
“The layoffs came primarily in initial engineering and design. Less affected were our main production activities such as building interiors, painting and flight test,” a Dassault Falcon spokesman told AIN in regard to the layoff of 111 workers last week from the Little Rock Completion Center.
The hobbling economy has forced another company to cut personnel.
StandardAero has reduced its business aviation workforce by 119 employees, with layoffs in Springfield, Ill.; Los Angeles; Houston; and Augusta, Ga. A spokesman for the company said that the cuts, effective immediately, affect about 3 percent of the company’s 4,000 employees. “As has been the case with others in the industry,
So here’s a pop quiz (true or false) for all you aviation enthusiasts:
1. All employees in safety-sensitive positions at U.S. airlines must be drug and alcohol tested.
2. These same employees need 10-year background checks before being hired.
3. Mechanics are considered as occupying safety-sensitive positions.