While machinations continue on future funding of the FAA, the House and Senate last week approved a six-week extension of the current law. The House passed its version of FAA reauthorization legislation on September 20, but the Senate version has not yet been debated on the floor.
Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the Transportation Security Administration David Stone and Washington journalist Fred Barnes will be the featured opening general session keynote speakers for the NBAA Convention, October 12 to 14 in Las Vegas. Stone had served as acting administrator of the TSA since December 4 last year and had been deputy chief of staff at TSA since August last year.
Aviation security collided with politics last month on Capitol Hill, when a Senate bill that would have created–among other provisions–a new force of federal employees to screen airline passengers and their baggage encountered stubborn resistance in the House.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded two $45 million contracts for further research into shoulder-launched-missile protection systems for commercial aircraft. BAE Systems, based in Nashua, N.H., and Northrop Grumman each got the nod to take its program to the Phase II level–a time period covering the 18 months from August this year through January 2006.
ERA member airlines continue to express concern about proposals for a significant overhaul of regulations governing the region’s deregulated air-transport area. Any European Commission (EC) changes to the so-called “third package” rules agreed upon by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Transport Ministers will likely go into effect either next year or in 2009, according to ERA.
Transport Canada and Canadian government officials in Moscow have appealed to Russian authorities to issue certification for the Bombardier CRJ900, two of which Kazan-based Tatarstan Airlines had received this summer but may not operate until the 86-seat regional jet gains approval to fly in the CIS. The airline, which placed a firm order for six of the airplanes, has leased the first pair to a carrier in United Arab Emirates in the interim.
Lawmakers had much to think about when they returned from their summer break at the end of August. A Gallup poll revealed that the job approval rating for the Democrat-led Congress had dropped to 18 percent, the lowest rating since Gallup began tracking public opinion in 1974. When the Democrats took control of Congress in January the job approval rating was 35 percent.
Four former military airports that have been converted to civilian airports have been granted funds under the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The airports are Portsmouth (N.H.) International; Sawyer International in Marquette, Mich.; Plattsburgh (N.Y.) International; and Killeen-Fort Hood Regional in Killeen, Texas.
Mark Wilson, chief executive of the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA), is set to leave the organization this month to assume a new position as director of regulatory affairs with NetJets Europe. Wilson joined the General Aviation Manufacturers and Traders Association in 2003 and led its merger with the UK’s Business Aircraft Users Association to create BBGA.
The fate of Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport is in the hands of local voters, who on October 17 can cast ballots in favor of keeping the historic downtown gateway open. No fewer than 170,000 pro-Tempelhof votes will be needed to force a full public referendum on the issue next year, with the outcome to be determined by majority (provided at least 25 percent of registered voters cast a ballot).