In the late 1970s, Continental Airlines president Frank Lorenzo used a court of law to confront his pilots with an existing, although seldom used, negotiating technique, abrogating their contract when he was unable to secure an agreement through traditional collective bargaining. He quickly replaced his then striking workers with a non-union workforce willing to accept his management style and pay scale.
Federal Aviation Administration
You are sitting in a diner, sipping your fourth cup of coffee, solving aviation’s problems with an old friend, when the idea comes to you in a caffeinated burst of inspiration: a new jet, one that will fill a niche no manufacturer has yet tackled, with safety features, performance, efficiency and comfort that will open new markets and sell like hot cakes around the globe.
In a November 7 response to a request by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the DOT Inspector General’s office reviewed a recent series of ATC equipment outages in Southern California, as well as a problem with a runway-incursion alerting system at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Citing a serious near collision of two widebodies in Chicago last July, the NTSB at a public meeting Tuesday called again for “effective action” by the FAA to counter the danger posed by potentially catastrophic runway collisions.
In what many observers predicted, the FAA/Industry Age 60 Aviation Rulemaking Committee was unable to reach consensus on whether to raise the mandatory retirement age of 60 for airline pilots. Bloomberg News reported it obtained a copy of the report, which the FAA is studying but has not yet released.
While safety is at the top of her list of priorities, new Transportation Secretary Mary Peters told the third annual FAA International Aviation Safety Forum early last month that President Bush has charged her with modernizing the U.S. ATC system, “including new approaches to funding to deal with our aging infrastructure.”
The two federal government labor unions that represent air traffic controllers and employees of the National Weather Service (NWS) have asked the FAA to reconsider a plan to eliminate on-site meteorologist positions at each of the ATC en route centers. The FAA plans to contract with a commercial weather company to provide forecasts from one remote centralized location.
The User Request Evaluation Tool (URET), a conflict-detection tool that automatically detects and advises air traffic controllers of predicted conflicts between aircraft or between aircraft and special activity in airspace within the National Airspace System, is now operating at all 20 FAA en route centers.
The FAA’s office of aviation safety has been recognized as the first federal agency to achieve certification to the International Organization for Standardization ISO 9001:2000 quality management standard of a single corporate management system that covers multiple services.
On October 30, Dr. Jan Galla opened an aviation medical examination office at the Jet Aviation facilities on Teterboro Airport. Galla, a cardiac surgeon for the past 20 years, decided to become an aviation medical examiner (AME) full-time after five years of offering airman medical exams in his spare time. Galla’s practice is solely for aviation medical exams, primarily for professional flight crews.