Former FAA Administrator J. Lynn Helms died on December 11 at age 86. Appointed FAA Administrator by President Ronald Reagan, Helms served for nearly three years through January 1984. He was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and a graduate of the Navy Test Pilot School.
In a statement issued this afternoon, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt expressed “outrage” over the incidents early yesterday at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in which two separate flight crews could not reach an air traffic controller as their aircraft were upon approach to the field shortly after midnight.
Three days before the start of this year’s Republican National Convention (RNC) in Saint Paul, one of the Minnesota Twin Cities’ biggest fly-ins of transient business aircraft, Key Air opened the doors to its brand-new FBO on 25 acres on the northwest corner of Anoka County Airport.
Holders of DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP) clearances will be permitted to operate through the temporary flight restriction (TFR) areas surrounding the Republican National Convention in the vicinity of Minneapolis/St. Paul from September 1 to 4. Only current DASSP operators, of which there are more than 200, are eligible.
Air Culinaire, the Arlington, Va.-based business aviation caterer, announced the January 1 opening of a facility at Dallas Love Field. Air Culinaire COO Cliff Smith said the company will take over the food service operation currently handled by Signature Flight Support and will be providing catering throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
As he promised in March, Under Secretary of Transportation Security John Magaw is considering applications for a director of general aviation security.
The General Accounting Office warned the FAA that unless it makes better plans to replace the 5,000 air traffic controllers expected to retire over the next five years, there might be a shortfall that could affect the safety of the ATC system and increase air traffic delays.
By March 1, the Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Transportation Security Administration and Secret Service, must provide a report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations on the status of restoring access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The order is part of the FY 2005 DHS appropriations measure Congress approved last month.
In 1981 President Reagan fired virtually all aircraft traffic controllers and banned them from reapplying for controller jobs after their union, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association (Patco), convinced them to strike. While nearly 800 Patco controllers have been re-hired since President Clinton lifted the ban in 1993, “thousands” of others have not been hired because of their age, Patco said.
The Washington Airports Task Force, a private Virginia organization dedicated to promoting aviation in Virginia and the National Capital region, is the latest group to assail federal agencies for not reopening Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation.
- Page 1