LAAS developer Honeywell and FAA LAAS program officials remain tight lipped about how the contract, awarded in April on the understanding that the system’s development was 80-percent complete, had by September reversed itself to becoming only 20-percent complete.
Federal Aviation Administration
In part because of a high-profile charter crash at Teterboro Airport (TEB) early in 2005 and several other accidents involving responsibility for operational control, the FAA late last year released its long-awaited Operations Specification (OpSpec) A008 and related guidance regarding operational control in Part 135 charter operations.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking last month that will require pilots to replace their paper certificates with upgraded, counterfeit-resistant plastic certificates within two years after the rule becomes final.
Kansas City Aviation Center’s Chesterfield, Mo. facility has been given an FAA Part 145 designation. Midwest Aviation Center (MWAC) was established last August by KCAC on Spirit of St. Louis Airport. The facility is approved for all small aircraft, the Pilatus PC-12 and Piper Malibu/Meridian series, King Air 200 and Citation 500 series. It is also approved to service most Continental and Lycoming engines as well as the TPE331, PT6 and JT15.
Raytheon Aircraft announced that its Little Rock, Ark. completions facility has been awarded FAA designated alteration station (DAS) status.
Although the FAA needs to hire 11,800 new controllers through Fiscal Year 2015 to replace retirees and other vacancies, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association noted the agency’s latest FAA Administrator’s Fact Book reports that the overall total number of controllers dropped from 14,227 at the end of FY2005 to 14,206 in FY2006.
Delivery of the first Eclipse 500 very light jet happened on either Dec. 31, 2006, or Jan. 4, 2007, depending on how you count. Eclipse Aviation received its first certificate of airworthiness from the FAA on the last day of 2006 and announced that it had delivered its first airplane by the end of the year to co-owners David Crowe and fractional share/management firm Jet-Alliance. But it held a formal delivery ceremony on January 4.
Last year the FAA said it would delay until this January its plan to limit “priority service” for aircraft registration in connection with international flights to allow only one request per aircraft (by N-number) in any three-month period due to agency staffing limitations, but now it has decided to back off.
While the FAA did rescind Notice N8000.336 regarding addition of airplanes to Part 135 certificates, late last year it reissued the policy in a new notice, with only one change. Like N8000.336, Notice N8000.343 requires FAA principal inspectors to obtain concurrence from FAA headquarters before allowing an operator to add a new turbine-powered airplane to its OpSpecs.
The final report of the FAA/industry rulemaking age-60 committee is now posted on the agency’s Web site. The committee was unable to reach consensus on whether to increase the mandatory retirement age of 60 for airline pilots. The report can be viewed and downloaded at www.faa.gov/media/Final_Age_60_ARC_Report_11_29_2006.pdf.