While most of NASA is reaching for the stars, the segment of the agency that conducts aeronautics research here on earth has taken a budget cut for the second consecutive year following President Bush’s initiative to expand the exploration of space.
Federal Aviation Administration
When a Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet Management overran the runway during an aborted takeoff at Teterboro Airport in February, crossed a busy highway and crashed into a warehouse, there was a collective sigh of relief when all eight passengers and the crew emerged with non-life-threatening injuries.
The FAR Part 135 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) delivered a long-awaited briefing on its research and a preview of the coming notice of proposed rulemaking. The committee’s two-year charter comes to a close this month, and the committee met for the last time in late February.
The FAA announced today that it intends “later this year” to issue a formal notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to increase the mandatory airline pilot retirement age from 60 to 65. The planned proposal follows several other recent related actions.
At the Dubai Air Show last month, Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Georgia (the former Soviet Republic, not the Peachtree State), featured as part of its small stand a wall-size photograph of the twin-engine Maverick Jet kitplane.
Hoping to stave off a shortage of air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA intends to hire 12,500 new controllers during the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified professional controllers more quickly.
The FAA is reviewing a proposed noise-compatibility program for Dannelly Field, Montgomery, Ala. The program, being developed under FAR Part 150, is scheduled to be approved or rejected no later than August 27. Comments may be submitted until April 29. For more information, contact the FAA’s Kristi Ashley in Jackson, Miss.; telephone (601) 664-9891.
Concerned by its findings between 1998 and 2003 involving airline pilots, the FAA late last year proposed to amend airman medical standards so that a refusal to submit to a required drug or alcohol test would result in revocation or disqualification of an airman medical certificate. Only about 20 comments were submitted.
While the national intelligence reform law President Bush signed in December carries a provision for photo IDs for “pilots”, confusion reigns over which airman certificates are included. An FAA spokesman told AIN that the law would include any U.S.-issued license, including that for pilots, A&Ps, air traffic controllers and dispatchers. But the law only refers specifically to improved pilot licenses.
As it searches for 12,500 new air traffic controllers, the FAA extended the eligibility period for college students with training in ATC to become controllers. Previously, graduates of the agency’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) could be hired on an expedited basis only within two years of graduation.