Both the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Independent Pilots Association (IPA) applauded last week’s announcement of new legislation in the U.S. Senate–S.1692, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)–to include cargo pilots in the new Part 117 flight and duty time regulations that take effect January 4 next year. FedEx pilots are ALPA members, while UPS pilots are represented by the IPA.
Politics of the United States
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) recently filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to eliminate the mandatory North Shore Route for helicopters over New York’s Long Island. The FAA mandated the route in July last year after political pressure from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). HAI has long argued that the North Shore Route is unsafe and that its imposition violates several laws.
A performance audit conducted from March 2012 through February 2013 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the U.S. Attorneys General (AGs) and the FBI director reimbursed the federal government for their personal travel in government aircraft in accordance with federal requirements. The study was requested by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep.
Custom Aircraft Cabinets (CAC) will officially open its new 146,000-sq-ft facility in Little Rock, Ark. tomorrow. The expansion represents a $6 million investment and triples the size of the existing complex at Little Rock Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field. CAC is one of the country’s largest suppliers of high-end custom cabinetry and upholstery goods for business jets. Among those expected to attend the opening ceremonies is U.S. Representative Tim Griffin (R-Ark), a member of the Congressional Aviation Caucus.
When Florida congressman John Mica decided not to challenge Republican term limits on chairmanships, it set the stage for Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) to take the controls of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Following the withdrawal of a “hold” by Sen. Jim DeMint last month, the Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Michael Huerta to a five-year term as FAA Administrator. Huerta has been serving as acting FAA Administrator since Randy Babbitt resigned from the post after a drunken-driving arrest in December 2011 in Fairfax, Va.
The aviation industry unanimously applauded the confirmation.
I am so relieved that the U.S. presidential election is finally over. The past year—and especially recent months—have been marked by an undercurrent of anxiety, with otherwise-loving families having cocktail-soaked dinner wars and old friends severing Facebook ties over national policy issues. Perhaps now we can all stop bickering and get down to business.
International air travelers still pass through a relatively small number of “metropolitan gateways” or areas in the U.S., which over the last two decades have supported a dramatic increase in the number of passengers entering or leaving the country. But federal aviation policies “do not prioritize these metro areas,” according to a Brookings Institution report.
NBAA Convention attendees interested in next Tuesday’s Presidential election in the U.S. received insightful thoughts on the outcome during this morning’s second-day general session from James Carville and his wife (and political polar opposite) Mary Matalin.
Two aviation-prominent U.S. representatives are not happy with acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta’s implementing the mandatory North Shore VFR helicopter route over Long Island. In a letter to Huerta, Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Tom Petri (R-Wisc.), the chairmen of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its aviation subcommittee, respectively, accuse him of bending to “outside pressures, including political ones” while failing to address “troubling safety concerns” the route creates, mainly because a considerable portion of it is over water.
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