An NPRM from the Treasury Department on the assessment of federal excise taxes (FET) in the aircraft management industry could be issued as early as August, according to Jorge Castro, a consultant to the National Air Transportation Association. Speaking at the group’s annual Air Charter Summit in Washington, D.C., last week, he told the audience that dialog has heated up between the Internal Revenue Service and FAA regarding regulation of the FET laws.
France’s civil aviation authority, the DGAC, has approved the idea of training medical personnel as helicopter emergency medical service (Hems) “technical crewmembers,” beginning October 8. This change should meet the EASA IR-OPS requirement, which France opted out of for two years. Most helicopter EMS flights in the country today are conducted by a single pilot.
The FAA should allow non-military drones access to fly in rural areas now, rather than wait for the agency to complete its broader integration into civil airspace following the rulemaking process, according to the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Drones are too valuable to be kept on the ground and the agency is moving too slowly in creating applicable safety regulations, said AUVSI president Michael Toscano.
Duncan Aviation’s location in Provo, Utah, has been designated by Mexico’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation as an approved aircraft maintenance organization. In addition, the company’s Battle Creek, Mich. location recently received approval from the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation. Besides the FAA, Duncan Aviation’s locations in Lincoln, Neb., Battle Creek and Provo hold certificates from 10 more civil aviation authorities around the world.
The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) yesterday that would regulate “air charter brokers.” The agency says it is undertaking this action “to protect consumers, ensuring that consumers of single-entity charter air transportation have adequate information about the operator of chartered aircraft and enumerating certain prohibited unfair and deceptive practices by air taxis and commuter air carriers.”
Congress left Washington for its annual break without taking any action on FAA funding for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins October 1. Many other government agencies–including the rest of the Department of Transportation–also are awaiting appropriations.
FAA enforcement cases tend to focus on the front-line employees, usually pilots or mechanics, who allegedly violate federal aviation regulations. Occasionally other certified airmen, such as aircraft dispatchers, parachute riggers or air traffic controllers at contract towers, face enforcement action.
The Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) believes the formula the FAA uses to determine the number of inspectors required to maintain system safety is flawed, despite the facts that 4,000 FAA safety inspectors are employed nationwide, and that the agency has an enviable Part 121 safety record.
A Europe-wide proposed regulation, combined with a lack of response from national authorities, will have a serious impact on the financial viability of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) in France, according to Union Française de l’Hélicoptère (UFH). The lobbying association warns that the likely requirement for a second flight crewmember would create a costly burden and do nothing to benefit the missions French HEMS operators are allowed to perform.
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