Budget sequestration may have some obvious negative consequences, such as precluding the Pentagon from displaying U.S. warplanes at the Paris Air Show for the first time in more than two decades. But it has the potential to yield some positive changes as well. On the domestic side of the ledger, for example, the head of the FAA’s office of flight standards foresees draconian funding cuts as an opportunity to make changes in the way his agency does business.
Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization program faces long-term technical risks and still uncertain acceptance by airspace users. But after a decade in development, NextGen could be stalled by a nearer-term threat: substantially reduced funding from Congress. In June, the House appropriations committee released transportation funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2014 that would reduce the FAA’s capital funding account, which supports NextGen programs, to its lowest level since 2000.
The FAA claims the NextGen Air Transportation System initiative is progressing, according to its recently issued NextGen Implementation Plan report, which projects a reduction in delays of 41 percent by the end of the mid-term implementation period in 2020.
Several decades ago there was an advertisement with three elderly ladies in a fast-food joint. They look at a burger and ask, “Where’s the beef?” One panelist at a NextGen symposium hosted by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) International and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) in late June suggested that selling NextGen to the end users may present a similar perception problem. “Where is the hype?” he asked. “I just don’t see the hype.”
The FAA is proposing a $2.75 million civil penalty against Boeing for allegedly failing to maintain its commercial airplane quality control system in accordance with approved FAA procedures. In September 2008, Boeing discovered it had been installing nonconforming fasteners on 777s. The following month, the FAA sent Boeing a letter of investigation that requested a response within 20 working days.
The heads of the various general aviation trade associations participated in a roundtable forum here at AirVenture Tuesday to discuss the industry’s deteriorating relationship with the FAA. Attendees were asked to sign petitions opposing user fees and the FAA’s imposition on air traffic fees at AirVenture and given “This Isn’t Over Buttons,” referring to the EAA’s continuing legal challenge of those fees.
The Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) report on recommended changes to general aviation aircraft certification regulations has been released, just in time for the opening of this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show on July 29. And, in what appears to be encouraging support from the federal government, new Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx expressed support for the recommendations.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued type certificates in the restricted category to the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle X200 and AeroVironment Puma AE small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on July 19, for the first time permitting operators to use the aircraft for commercial purposes.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Friday proposed levying a $2.75 million civil penalty against Boeing Commercial Airplanes for its alleged failure to maintain its quality-control system in accordance with approved FAA procedures.
West Coast Aviation Services has named Anton Pint, formerly FAA accountable manager, the new Part 135 director of maintenance for West Coast Charters and Alfredo Garcia, formerly sales manager, the new general manager for West Coast Aircraft Maintenance. Pint has been a Black Hawk mechanic in the Army and lead TFE731 mechanic for Garrett Aviation LAX. Garcia has been in the industry for some 20 years and got his start with Garrett LAX as an A&P mechanic.