A coalition of aviation trade associations spoke out on behalf of the international maintenance, repair and overhaul market. While the matter at hand was drug and alcohol testing at foreign aviation repair stations, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association says that what is really at stake is international sovereignty, the health of the global aeronautical business community and the safety of the flying public worldwide.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) tapped Jonathan Archer, a 24-year aviation industry veteran, as its new director of engineering and airworthiness. Archer most recently provided key support for the FAA and the Joint Planning and Development Office as an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton. His work included facilitating an FAA aviation certification service pilot study implementing a voluntary safety management system for select Part 21-approved design and manufacturing organizations.
One of the top priorities for the NBAA safety committee is to help pilots better understand the airport environment at unfamiliar landing locations. To assist cockpit crews, the safety committee recently rolled out a prototype of a new airport safety assessment tool to quantify airport risks around the world. The airport audit tool currently takes the form of a seven-page safety checklist for crews to use before their first arrival.
The FAA is proposing a $295,750 civil penalty against SkyWest Airlines for allegedly violating DOT drug-and-alcohol testing regulations. The agency alleges SkyWest failed to include more than 150 safety-sensitive employees in its random drug-testing pool. Further, SkyWest allegedly failed to receive verified negative drug test results for two other employees before hiring one for and transferring the other to safety-sensitive positions.
Wichita-based emergency medical transport operator EagleMed achieved Level 3 of the FAA’s safety management system on July 7. EagleMed president Larry Bugg said, “We are committed to every practice and principle of SMS and are determined to achieve SMS Level 4 status, which represents the pinnacle of aviation safety.” EagleMed is one of two FAA Part 135 certificate holders in the FAA’s Central Region to achieve Level 3 status.
By the end of this year, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration expects to release a long-delayed draft rule that will begin to establish the conditions under which individuals and companies can fly small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for commercial purposes. But concerns over potential privacy infringements could postpone the release of a final “small UAS” regulation until well into 2016. Routine flights by larger UAS will follow when standards become available to properly equip them for collision avoidance and command and control from the ground.
The Air Charter Association of North America (Acana) and Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) have teamed to raise standards for the air charter industry, to include Part 135 and 121 operators and air charter brokers. The two associations are collaborating on the development and implementation of best practices “that will lead the air charter industry,” said Acana chairman and co-founder Scott Bickford.
The FAA last month released Safety Info for Operators document 14009 to explain a new data-gathering system on implementation of safety enhancements to Part 121 air carriers. The informational notice says all data gathered is only for the evaluation of industry-wide safety-related issues and is not intended to reflect regulatory compliance.
The FAA published the document as part of its support for the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (Cast), of which the agency is a participant along with air carriers, manufacturers and aviation labor organizations.
The European Commission is conducting a user survey of an aviation safety initiative focused on possibly revising EC regulation 216/2008 related to common civil aviation rules and the role of the European Aviation Safety Agency. This online survey asks for informed opinions and suggestions to help identify strengths and weaknesses in the current EU aviation safety system, as well as possibilities for improving safety, competitiveness, environmental protection and the quality of air services.
I’ve written periodically about FAA enforcement and what I consider to be abuses of the process, along with sanctions that are significantly disproportionate to the safety impact of the offenses charged.
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