Several speakers at the FAA’s 10th annual general aviation forecast conference, held in Wichita April 15 and 16, disputed the agency’s numerical prophecies. Helicopter Association International president Roy Resavage asserted the FAA was underestimating the number of in-service civil helicopters by 50 percent, skewing that part of the forecast.
United States Department of Homeland Security
Some operators are concerned about possible coordination problems that might arise between the FAA and Transportation Security Administration once the TSA moves from being part of the DOT, as is the FAA, to the new Homeland Security Department (HSD).
Declaring that “this meeting is not designed to ask for a bailout of the American airline industry,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue said last month at the chamber’s second annual national aviation summit that “we’re simply asking government not to require the airline industry to absorb more than its fair share of the costs associated with the war on terrorism and defense of our homeland.”
Lawmakers escaped the dog days of August in Washington by taking a vacation and returned the first week of September to face a multitude of concerns, though few involve aviation.
In the past month the nation and the aviation industry have successfully navigated the first-year anniversary of September 11, the first Code Orange alert (one tier below the highest level) and additional TFRs (around the three crash sites) that actually proved to be “temporary.”
One year after September 11, corporate aviation is still seeking assurances that its business aircraft will be able to operate on par with the commercial airlines in the event there is a future shutdown of parts or all of the National Airspace System.
Comments on the Transportation Security Administration’s Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP), which details the proposed requirements to comply with the TSA’s security program mandate for Part 135 airplanes with an mtow of 12,500 lb or more, were due August 19, but that deadline likely will be extended to at least September 19.
Air taxi operators are caught in a conundrum. Comments are due August 19 on the Transportation Security Administration’s draft standard security program (TFSSP) for air-taxi aircraft with a mtow of 12,500 lb or more (not more than 12,500 lb, as defined by FAR Part 25). However, obtaining a copy of the proposed TFSSP is not easy or quick.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) will remain off-limits to all forms of general aviation for the foreseeable future. This despite massive lobbying efforts by the General Aviation Coalition and others. A government plan to reopen DCA to some GA operators had reportedly incorporated elements of the NBAA’s proposed security letter of authorization (SLOA).
The President’s Budget of the United States has usually been delivered by the Government Printing Office to Congress bound in a sober, solid navy. This year’s, issued February 4, was literally wrapped in the flag. The red, white and blue motif was repeated in the United States Department of Transportation Fiscal Year 2003 Budget in Brief, which tossed in photos of airplanes and ships in flag livery or overflying flag masts.