On Friday, Signature Flight Support broke ground on its 240,000-sq-ft, $82 million FBO complex at Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport in California. When completed late next year, the new Signature San José facility will serve the general aviation needs of individuals and companies in Silicon Valley. Blue City Holdings, the private aviation arm of Google’s founders, is one of the anchor tenants.
I often get the feeling that general aviation is the red-headed stepchild in government’s view of the aerospace industry. With apologies to the late Rodney Dangerfield, GA seems to get no respect from the federal government. There have been three comprehensive studies on aviation in the past quarter century, and a few others on narrower topics.
Every decade or so, sometimes more often, someone or some organization proposes “privatizing” the U.S. air traffic control system. In 1985 it was the Air Transport Association (ATA), now renamed Airlines for America, which released a study calling for a self-supporting federal ATC corporation.
Continuing its protest about the development of a new FBO at San Jose, Calif., Atlantic Aviation has filed a second lawsuit against the city over its awarding of a 50-year lease to a partnership led by Signature Flight Support at California’s Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.
In a vote before the San Jose city council on Tuesday, Signature Flight Support’s proposal for the development of an $82 million FBO in conjunction with Blue City Holdings (representing the private aircraft of the principals of Google) at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport received overwhelming approval. A final verdict is expected next week at the close of a brief public comment period.
Airport perimeters are the weak links in the nation’s aviation security efforts, warns former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, now a vice chairman with Hill & Knowlton Strategies.
The ease with which anyone can penetrate an airport perimeter may shock those familiar with today’s elaborate security inside terminals, Mineta wrote recently in an op-ed article for The Washington Post. In Philadelphia last year, a driver crashed through a gate and onto a runway. There were similar “near-catastrophes” in Miami and Dallas, he said.
Congress seems to be getting fed up with the slow pace of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) rollout. When NextGen was publicly announced in 2004 by then-Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, 2025 was often mentioned as the target date by which all of the expected benefits would become available to users.
Corsair Aviation, owner of two Part 135 charter companies, has purchased charter/management firm ACM Aviation, based at California’s Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. ACM used to be an FBO as well as a charter/management company, but sold the FBO portion–called San Jose Jet Center–to Atlantic Aviation parent Macquarie Infrastructure in August last year. Corsair will operate the three charter companies separately.
Tongue firmly in cheek, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) president John Carr thanked Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta for the Bush Administration’s decision to declare seafood inspection an “inherently governmental” function. He added that the safety of our nation’s seafood supply should be a national priority.
Although the presidential elections will not take place until November next year, the voting public can expect the Bush Administration and members of Congress to gear up and steadily move forward on domestic programs that will have the most influence on voters when it is time to cast ballots. Obviously, President Bush wants to be reelected and, at the same time, retain party control over the Senate and the House of Representatives.
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