Having missed the October 1 deadline for funding nine of the 13 government agencies that had been neglected, a lame-duck Congress made up for that lack of action after the November elections by enacting the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, a $388 billion “Omnibus” spending package, contained in a 3,000-page document that weighed some 14 pounds.
As anticipated, there have been numerous changes in the makeup of President Bush’s cabinet. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge turned in his resignation, effective February 1 or until the Senate names a successor. Ridge had the unenviable task of coordinating and integrating the activities of 22 government agencies with 180,000 employees into one department.
The German government gave the green light to sell to the public 74.9 percent of DFS, the agency operating the country’s ATC system. Shares of DFS will not be available before next year, with details of the privatization to be worked out this year. A government spokesman said there would be no restriction on who could purchase stock, and Lufthansa chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber told Reuters news agency that
David Stone, formerly deputy chief of staff at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and security director for Los Angeles International Airport, has been named to serve as acting TSA Administrator. Before joining the TSA, he was an admiral in the U.S. Navy, where his last assignment was in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as the director of environmental protection safety and occupational health.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is still searching for a replacement for former president and CEO Ed Bolen, and the board of directors has hired the international executive search firm of Heidrick & Struggles to assist in the effort.
Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO John Douglass said the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy released late last year includes the tools necessary to revive federal aeronautics programs, but it must be backed up with money.
The comity promised by new House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lasted all of about 24 hours when the 110th Congress convened last month. As part of the Democrat majority’s 100 legislative-hour program, the chamber passed new ethics rules designed to keep lobbyists distanced from lawmakers and their staffs.
The 110th Congress opened for business on January 4, with the Democrats in control of the Senate and the House of Representatives. After the obligatory congratulatory oratory to honor newly elected legislators, Democrats began the process of showing that they can break the previous legislative deadlock by having both parties involved in solving the country’s problems.
Sikorsky Aircraft recently received a contract to deliver a new S-76C++ to Trustair in the UK. In addition to the S-76C++, Sikorsky and Lynton Aviation, one of its UK sales representatives, facilitated the simultaneous sale of an S-76B from a third party to Trustair.
Beginning today, all U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens from Canada, Bermuda and Mexico entering the U.S. from within the Western Hemisphere at airports of entry will be required to present a valid passport. In lieu of a passport, U.S. citizens have been permitted to present a variety of documents to establish their identity and citizenship and right to enter the U.S.