India’s Directorate-General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) days as a regulator appear to be numbered now that the country’s government has approved “in principle” a new Civil Aviation Authority to replace it. India’s information and broadcasting minister explained that the new CAA will be an autonomous body tasked with looking at aviation safety issues and composed of a chairperson and at least seven but not more than nine other members. No date for the next step toward approving the CAA has been announced.
Former Charlotte, N.C., mayor Anthony Foxx was sworn in last week as the 17th secretary of transportation. He succeeds former Republican congressman Ray LaHood, who announced in January that he would not remain in President Obama’s Cabinet for a second term.
Foxx, who received unanimous Senate confirmation, spent his first full day meeting DOT employees and holding meetings on issues facing the department, including transportation safety and hurricane and severe weather preparedness.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced a two-year collaborative research agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on June 19 to carry out widespread fatigue damage assessment for the JAXA curved fuselage panel tests. The partnership is considered a cost-effective way to study widespread fatigue issues on an aircraft’s main pressure vessel. The tests are ultimately designed to improve air safety by creating evaluation technology capable of maintaining the structural integrity of new and aging civilian aircraft.
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.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) introduced changes this week to its Southern border overflight exemption process, which will save Part 91 and 135 operators money and lighten their administrative burden. Recently introduced CBP reporting requirements such as the Electronic Advanced Passenger Information System (eApis) make available to the agency information that CBP previously required for approval for Southern border overflights, eliminating the need for duplicate information reporting for both programs.
ABC News reported June 9 that seven heavily armed Taliban fighters launched a pre-dawn raid on NATO’s Kabul Airport facilities, wounding two Afghan civilians. None of the seven guerrillas, all of whom were killed in the attack, managed to breach the airport perimeter.
British Defence Minister Philip Hammond published the details of his plan to appoint a commercial company to manage the UK’s defense procurement. The controversial proposal has been mooted for more than a year and is Hammond’s response to what is widely perceived to be a long history of under-performance by the 15,000-strong Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organization.
The U.S. government spends more on its military each year than any other nation by far, but it will be a restrained Department of Defense (DOD) that presents itself at this year’s Paris Air Show. That’s because a previously obscure fiscal mechanism known as “sequestration” requires the DOD to cut $41 billion, or roughly 8 percent of its $527 billion base budget, by September 30, the end of the fiscal year on the government’s calendar.
Anticipating the end of the U.S. government’s 2013 Fiscal Year on September 30, nearly a dozen aviation organizations sent a joint letter late last week to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders asking them to provide continued funding in FY2014 for the 149 contract air traffic control towers at risk of closure under sequestration cuts.
Online jet charter broker PrivateFly estimates that approximately half of the estimated £9.3 million in potential revenue from the recent extension of the UK’s air passenger duty (APD) tax to business jets will be lost to nonpayment in the first year. The extended tax, which became effective on April 1, applies to all flights departing from the UK.