Aviation trade group support is growing quickly for The Dependable Air Service Act, introduced yesterday by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), which would permit the FAA to transfer funds between areas in the DOT budget and thus end sequestration-related furloughs of air traffic controllers. “Even with relatively clear weather, there have been more than 5,000 flight delays over the past three days,” double the tally from a year ago, Natca said.
Federal Aviation Administration
Although the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) believes the FAA has made progress on safety issues, it says the agency must expand and enhance the reliability of its key data sources. A DOT report issued last week says, for example, that the FAA faces challenges with establishing an effective risk-based oversight system for repair stations and aircraft manufacturers.
Boeing cleared one of the last hurdles in its campaign to return the 787 to service Friday afternoon, when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced it had approved its design modifications for the airplane’s battery system. The FAA said the changes address risks at the battery cell level, the battery level and the aircraft level.
The General and Regional Aviation Committee of the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program is set to deliver a key report to officials at China’s CAAC aviation authority officials next Wednesday about general aviation operations in China. It is expected to represent a key step in opening up lower airspace in the country.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has made progress in delivering some of the operational improvements that are envisioned by the NextGen ATC modernization effort. But to demonstrate those improvements sooner, the agency has also made “trade-offs” that could limit their overall benefit to airlines in the coming years, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Regarding the effects of sequestration on Flight Service Stations, contractor Lockheed Martin had this to say: “As we anticipated, it is taking time for our customers [the FAA] to determine how they will implement sequestration’s required cuts. We’re working closely with them as they explore a host of potential scenarios, although we still do not know exactly how our employees or many of our programs, including general aviation, will be affected.”
As expected, President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014, released yesterday, includes a proposed aviation user fee–just as previous budgets have since 2007 when the Bush Administration first floated the idea.
Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) plan to introduce a bill Wednesday morning intended to prohibit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from closing 149 federal contract tower facilities under budget sequestration, an industry source confirmed to AIN. A companion measure is also expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In an effort to deliver operational improvements more quickly, the FAA has made “trade-offs” in establishing performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures that could limit their benefits in the near term, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Remember the spate of sleeping controllers and the angst it all caused at 800 Independence Avenue and 1200 New Jersey Avenue?