Italian police arrested the current and former CEOs of AgustaWestland on bribery charges this morning and raided the company’s Milan headquarters. Giuseppe Orsi, who served as the helicopter manufacturer’s CEO until December 2011 and is currently head of its parent company, Finmeccanica, was taken into custody, while current AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini was placed under house arrest.
Year of birth missing
In a filing in bankruptcy court just before Christmas, Hawker Beechcraft asked for court approval to shed two underfunded pension plans covering some 9,500 non-union workers and retirees. The request is part of an agreement with the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) and the OEM’s machinists’ union. Terms of the agreement require PBGC to assume responsibility for the two terminated pensions, while Hawker Beechcraft will keep the pension plan covering its 8,200 current and former union employees. A hearing to consider the plan is scheduled for January 17.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University published its 2013 schedule of safety courses. Three of the four week-long courses take place at the university’s Daytona Beach campus, while the fourth will be held at the Prescott, Ariz. facility. Topics include occupational safety and health and aviation ground safety; aviation safety program management; aircraft accident investigation and management; and an advanced accident management class.
U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) executives said they will use new approaches to increase enrollment in “Pre-Check,” a program that pre-screens airline passengers for security risks and helps smooth the flow of people through airport security lines. Airport executives complain the program has gone underused.
HondaJet president and CEO Michimasa Fujino was presented the 2012 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aircraft Design Award last week. The AIAA Aircraft Design Award “honors a design engineer or team for the conception, definition or development of an original concept, or career contributions leading to significant advancement in aircraft design or design technology.” According to the AIAA, Fujino is being recognized for pioneering the “unique” over-the-wing engine mount used on the in-development HondaJet.
Here we are in 2012, nearly 110 years since the Wright Brothers made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, and with some notable exceptions aircraft design over the years has become about as conservative and uninspired as a bowl of Jello.
TSA Administrator John Pistole announced the retirement of deputy administrator Gale Rossides last week , effective July 1. Rossides has been with the TSA since its inception 10 years ago and, according to Pistole, “was one of the original six hired in 2001 to build the TSA.” During the TSA’s first years, she built the foundation for the agency’s workforce planning strategy. She later served as senior advisor to the deputy secretary of DHS to assist in the stand-up of the TSA’s parent agency and returned to the TSA in September 2005.
Despite its unpopularity with business and general aviation, the Transportation Security Administration’s proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (Lasp) was created based on actual risks and intelligence, according to Kip Hawley, the agency’s chief from 2005 to 2009.
The U.S. aviation security system is broken because of an “unhealthy” separation between the traveling public and the Transportation Security Administration, according to former TSA chief Kip Hawley. “There’s always been some separation and disconnect when the public looks at security measures,” he said.
The U.S. Senate approved legislation yesterday to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, bringing to conclusion a dispute in Congress driven by the airline industry’s opposition to export financing of Boeing long-range aircraft purchased by competing foreign carriers. The Export-Import Act of 2012 (H.R.2072) was approved a week earlier by the House and is expected to be signed by President Obama. The bill extends the bank’s charter through 2014 and increases its lending authority by $40 billion, to $140 billion.