The House appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and Housing has approved a Fiscal Year 2006 funding bill that includes $14.4 billion for the FAA, $877 million more than the agency’s funding for this fiscal year and $1.74 billion more than the Bush Administration requested.
Federal Aviation Administration
FAA regulations that would impose numerous new requirements on air-tour operators are one step closer to publication. The rulemaking, proposed in October 2003, is now under review at the Office of Management and Budget. That review and approval is the last step before the FAA can publish a final rule.
The FAA is requesting public comments on the usefulness of airport advisory services now available at 20 airports in the continental U.S. The agency does not give a reason why it’s asking for comments, but it could be collecting data to help decide whether the cost of continuing the service is justified.
SATS, the small aircraft transportation system research program funded jointly by industry and government, concludes later this year, five years after it superseded the Agate (advanced general aviation transportation experiment) program, which set this ball rolling in the mid-1990s.
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) has asked President Bush to replace FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker because they have not grounded the Mitsubishi MU-2. Early last year Tancredo asked the FAA to ground the turboprop twin “due to its shockingly high accident rate.” In lieu of grounding the aircraft, Tancredo agreed with Mitsubishi that the FAA should mandate a type rating.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) last month introduced H.R. 2787, legislation that would restore to the FAA the mission of promoting aviation in addition to safety. In 1996 Congress stripped the FAA of that responsibility due to concerns that the agency was becoming too cozy with the industry it regulates.
The FAA last month issued a proposed order to extend through at least next September the high-density rule at New York La Guardia Airport (LGA), including the general aviation slot reservation program, which is now scheduled to expire on January 1. The agency last month proposed a new rule for public comment to maintain the high-density rule at LGA.
Part 135 operations are the subject of FAA Notice 8400.83 focusing on clarifying the responsibility for operational control during air-taxi operations and spelling out the limitations of using doing-business-as (DBA) names. The FAA’s director of flight standards sent the June 10 notice to all Part 135 principal operations inspectors, providing them new, more stringent guidance on issuing DBA name authorizations.
Leaders of several general aviation groups have been named to help the FAA Joint Planning and Development Office create a next generation air transportation system (NGATS) for 2025. NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, AOPA president Phil Boyer, GAMA president Pete Bunce and Helicopter Association International president Roy Resavage will join other aviation officials on the NGATS Institute management council.
Salt Lake City helicopter pilot Jeremy Johnson, 29, was cleared of all alleged FAR infractions in connection with his Santa Clara River flood rescue flights and subsequent fund-raising helicopter rides in his Robinson R44 in January.