While general aviation interests hailed the tax law that extended the deadline for the 50-percent accelerated bonus-depreciation allowance for business aircraft, the law also contains a provision that severely limits expenses that a company may deduct when employees use an employer-provided aircraft for personal travel.
On December 23 NetJets pilots overwhelmingly elected the five-member master executive council (MEC) slate known as Strong Union. Eighty-nine percent of the more than 1,900-strong unionized fractional pilot workforce supported the candidates and delivered a vote of no confidence to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 284.
Metalworkers at Embraer’s assembly plant in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil, ended their threats of a strike last month when they agreed to accept a 17.35-percent wage hike retroactive to November 1. In late November roughly 4,000 morning-shift workers voted to enter strike mode after rejecting an offer of a 16.15-percent increase. At the time the workers demanded a 20-percent raise and a reduction in working hours from 43 to 40 hours per week.
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.
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.
The four major fractional aircraft operators hired 482 pilots last year compared with 198 in 2003, bringing the total roster of fractional pilots to 3,649 last year, according to aviation hiring firm AIR in Atlanta.
The IRS has issued temporary guidelines on the bonus depreciation option.
Bombardier has reached an agreement with the Tucson Airport Authority that will allow start-up interiors shop DunnAir Business Jet Completion Center to sublease its old completion center at Tucson International Airport. The facilities will total about 32 acres and include a 235,000-sq-ft hangar.
As new and used business aircraft sales continue a steady climb, the completion and refurbishment industry follows suit.
Pats, the DeCrane completions center in Georgetown, Del., recently announced it will be expanding its operation, adding as many as 40 new jobs through this year and increasing the workforce to about 200.
In the first 11 months of last year, the four largest fractional aircraft operators hired just 186 pilots, compared with 997 in the same time frame in 2002, according to figures compiled by AIR Inc., an Atlanta-based aviation-career consulting firm. November was one of the more active months, however, with 25 pilots reportedly being hired by one operator, Flight Options, AIR numbers show.