Congress recessed for 16 days in mid-April and when it returned, the major issues facing both houses were President Bush’s proposal for $726 billion in tax cuts, defense spending and Congressional “pork.”
Louise Maillett, who was instrumental in developing the slot lottery at New York
La Guardia Airport that helped minimize system delays during the notorious summer of 2000, has been appointed senior counsel to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. In this position, she will provide advice and assistance to senior agency officials on policy and other emerging issues affecting transportation and programs.
Like its predecessors, it would be the most widely recognized helicopter in the world– the personal transport for the world’s most powerful leader, a leader who has traveled by helicopter since the mid-1950s. And a leader who had traveled in the same make and almost the same model of American-made helicopter most of those days.
The Bush Administration has proposed a $14 billion reauthorization budget for the FAA for fiscal year 2004, taking a bigger bite from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund but calling for no new user fees. The FAA spending plan is part of the overall Transportation Department budget package, and is up slightly from the $13.6 billion requested for FY 2003.
Federal legislation introduced last month would require surface-to-air missile (SAM) protection, similar to that now used on military transport aircraft, on all of the nearly 7,000 U.S.-registered jet airliners. The bill, coauthored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), directs that installations begin by the end of the year.
By June 1 Gulfstream is expected to start offering the BAE Systems Matador infrared surface-to-air missile countermeasures system for the GV and GV-SPs, and on their new derivatives, the G500 and G550. FAA approval for the approximately $3 million option was pending at press time. Gulfstream said the Matador has been installed on one GIV and six GIV-SPs since it was certified for the GIV series two years ago.
Gulfstream now offers the FAA-approved BAE Systems Matador infrared surface-to-air missile countermeasure system for the G500, G550 and GV. The $3 million system was approved for the G400 and G300 at last year’s NBAA Convention and has already been installed on one GIV and six GIV-SPs since it was certified for the GIV series more than two years ago.
• Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J) introduced legislation that would require ATC to remain a government function. The bill, S.338, is in response to President Bush’s recent executive order stripping ATC of its “inherently governmental” status and designating it a “commercial” activity, allowing it to be outsourced. Lautenberg argues that ATC privatization in other countries has increased costs and jeopardized safety.
By the middle of last month, both houses of Congress had given preliminary approval to separate legislation that would reauthorize appropriations for the FAA. The House version is titled the Flight 100–Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Flight 100-CARA) and covers the next four fiscal years, while the Senate version is named the Aviation Investment and Revitalization Vision Act (AIR-V) and would be for three years.
• Even though the Senate and the House of Representatives did not sit in session during August, a multitude of committee and subcommittee meetings convened during this period to look into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the aftermath and how to avoid such events in the future.