The FAA is proposing a $295,750 civil penalty against SkyWest Airlines for allegedly violating DOT drug-and-alcohol testing regulations. The agency alleges SkyWest failed to include more than 150 safety-sensitive employees in its random drug-testing pool. Further, SkyWest allegedly failed to receive verified negative drug test results for two other employees before hiring one for and transferring the other to safety-sensitive positions.
The European Commission is conducting a user survey of an aviation safety initiative focused on possibly revising EC regulation 216/2008 related to common civil aviation rules and the role of the European Aviation Safety Agency. This online survey asks for informed opinions and suggestions to help identify strengths and weaknesses in the current EU aviation safety system, as well as possibilities for improving safety, competitiveness, environmental protection and the quality of air services.
NetJets’ repair stations achieved a new safety milestone yesterday, entering Level III of the FAA’s safety management system (SMS) program. As such, NetJets is the first repair station in the U.S. to achieve this safety level.
Australian minerals institute AusIMM awarded its Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award to the Flight Safety Foundation for its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (Bars) program, which was designed to audit aircraft operations that are used extensively for carrying mining company personnel. The institute noted the Bars program raised the level of minimum acceptable standards for aircraft operations worldwide. Bars consists of four components: risk-based international aviation standard, auditing program, aviation safety training programs and global safety data analysis program.
The U.S. District Court for Philadelphia has sentenced Joel Stout, of Elizabethtown, Pa., to 60 months probation and 60 hours of community service. Stout, an A&P mechanic and former employee of Flying Tigers, previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to his participation in a complex fraud involving unauthorized aircraft inspections.
Business aviation’s strong accident record is no reason for operators to rest on their laurels, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt reminded attendees at the recent FSF business aviation safety summit (BASS). Sumwalt, former manager of aviation for Scana and a retired US Airways pilot, is a man obsessed with the pursuit of improving aviation safety. He reminded the audience that leadership is about influencing others. “Your job as leaders in business aviation is to make sure accidents don’t happen on your watch. You must also be constantly trying to improve. You need a leadership obsession.”
JetSeat is offering drug-and-alcohol testing programs for FAR Part 145 repair stations worldwide. FAA Part 91, 135 and 145 operators are required to implement and administer drug-and-alcohol testing programs that include written policy; drug-and-alcohol testing; supervisor and employee training for all safety-sensitive positions; and a continuing drug-and-alcohol abuse prevention program.
The European Commission proposed new guidelines last week designed to harmonize rules and regulations that dictate the operation of unmanned aerial systems, which the EC designates as remotely piloted aircraft systems. Potential European operators are eager to put unmanned vehicles into service as soon as possible. The proposed new European guidelines will look at safety, security, privacy, data protection and insurance liability issues.
The FAA announced on April 9 that the aviation safety rating of the Philippines has been upgraded to category one from category two after the agency completed an international safety assessment last month. The Philippines’ safety rating was set to category two in 2008 for unspecified safety deficiencies.
The Squadron’s new iFrat flight risk assessment tool for the iPad uses a color-coded risk scale and breaks down flights into five elements: planning, environment, assets, communications and event. Pilots record an assessment of each element, based on their flight experience and knowledge; iFrat then generates a simple pictorial report exportable via email. New FAA rules require helicopter EMS pilots to conduct a risk assessment before each flight.
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