General aviation interests expressed consternation over a May 1 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advisory warning the GA community against planned Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks using “light aircraft,” issued even as new TFRs covering a peripatetic President Bush continue to disrupt day-to-day operations.
Previously this column has addressed efforts within the federal government to transform our nation’s air transportation system. Policy leaders believe that the business model of traditional airlines has reached its limit and simply is incapable of meeting the need for efficient travel.
The days following the unprecedented shutdown of the National Airspace System caused massive grumping and anguish in the corporate and general aviation community, exacerbated when the federal government allowed only “commercial” aircraft to resume flying.
Perhaps as an example of the NTSB moving forward on long-outstanding issues, it has asked the FAA to require nonscheduled Part 135 operators to report activity data annually, including flight hours, revenue miles, aircraft types and missions.
At the end of this month, Brian Humphries will take over as chief executive of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), succeeding Fernand Francois, who is retiring after 12 years in the post. Humphries, who has been EBAA chairman since 1996, will retire from his day job as managing director of Shell Aircraft, the international flight department of the Royal Dutch Shell energy group.
Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) proposal to subject all general aviation passengers and property to security screening was short-lived in the face of strong opposition from general aviation interests.
General aviation was of one voice as it charged up Capitol Hill to shoot down the proposed legislation before it got off the ground, and Weiner withdrew the bill.
It is good news that the joint program and development office (JPDO), formed recently at the direction of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, is crafting a national policy on air transportation. Many voices, among them mine when I served as president of NBAA, called for a vision and mission statement by the U.S.
The European general aviation industry has created a counterpart to the U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in an effort to head off the threat posed by a barrage of new EU regulations.
U.S. airlines are getting a lot of attention of late, with dire tales of gridlocked traffic and passengers trapped for hours because of weather problems, stretched-thin logistics chains and full flights. It’s a zoo out there, which is good for business aviation because the alternative has never looked worse.
Ron Swanda, who was the first representative of the U.S. aviation industry to participate in the European Joint Aviation Authorities’ deliberations on operational rules and regulations, has retired as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s senior vice president of operations after 25 years with the organization. He was also a member of the U.S.