The FAA released Notice 8700.49, effective October 11, to guide FAA inspectors in helping operators develop Safety Management Systems (SMS). An SMS advisory circular–AC 120-92–was released on June 22, and since then the FAA has promoted the SMS concept industry-wide, at meetings such as the Bombardier Safety Standdown in early October and the Nascar race team SMS Safety Summit on October 20.
Federal Aviation Administration
In an October 24 letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, National Air Transportation Association (NATA) president James Coyne asked the agency to form an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to address industry concerns regarding its impending rule to require commercial and fractional jet pilots to perform landing distance assessments at the time of arrival.
The Safety Board determined that factors contributing to the Teterboro Challenger accident were Platinum Jet Management’s conduct of charter flights without FAA certification, false representation of itself as a charter operator and its failure to ensure that all for-hire flights were conducted in accordance with Part 135.
On November 23, as previously reported, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will adopt an amendment to increase the age limit for airline pilots to 65, provided another crewmember pilot is under age 60. On September 27, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey established an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) on the Age 60 issue. Its principal task is to recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the new ICAO standard.
A new FAA Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO 06014) has been published to emphasize that if pilots plan to take off with polished frost on the wings or control surfaces as currently permitted by regulations, they should do so only in accordance with an aircraft manufacturer’s approved procedures.
The FAA is trying to interview the pilot of a non-U.S. registered Gulfstream V involved in a Class A runway incursion at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on September 30. During the incident, a departing SkyWest Airlines CRJ700 stopped within about 100 feet of the Gulfstream, which was on the same runway. The Gulfstream then continued on its planned flight to Long Beach, according to an FAA spokesman.
In its new study of the FAA’s aging aircraft program, the DOT Inspector General’s office noted the rules do not cover both private and commercial aircraft with fewer that 30 seats. As an example of non-program aircraft, the study pointed to the Dec.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Wednesday issued an interim order that pushes back a new FAA drug and alcohol testing rule compliance date 10 days, to October 20. The court will use the extension to take a closer look at a filing from the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) that asks for the compliance date to be moved to July 10, 2007.
While the debate continues over how best to fund the next-generation air transportation system, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is of the opinion that “given the diverse nature of the FAA’s activities, a combination of alternative [funding] options may offer the most promise for linking revenues and costs.” In a study released last week, the GAO stated that among the alternatives that the FAA should consider are “user fees.” The GAO