Congress bailed out of Washington in early December and was scheduled to land back in place on January 20. The recess provided ample time for reviewing legislative accomplishments and failures during the first session of the 108th Congress and for taking a look at what might happen in the second session.
Want to know what your aviation state taxes are being used for, how to apply for refunds and other tax details? Then you might want to check out the 2004 State Tax Guide for General Aviation from costing analysts Conklin & de Decker. The guide, which comes on a CD-ROM, also shows how sales and use taxes apply to aircraft sales, ownership, leases, parts, labor, fuel purchases and maintenance.
Nearly three months after being directed by Congress to develop a plan for giving pilots and mechanics a “third party” review process if they lose their FAA certificates for alleged security reasons, the Transportation Security Administration has yet to propose such a plan. To date, there have been no FAA certificates pulled under the regulation, according to AOPA.
HAI’s first-responder database is up and running with more than 250 helicopters registered since it became operational last July. The association formed the database in response to communications gaps that came to light after 9/11 and rescue missions flown in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The slightly worn helicopter searchlight at the Vectorbeam Technologies booth (No. 4101) illustrates not wear and tear from normal operations but the punishment that the unit went through during RTCA DO-160E testing, including lightning tests.
AgustaWestland and Eurocopter have confirmed “their joint commitment to the NH90 program,” the two companies announced here at Heli-Expo’07. They will ensure that commitment is reaffirmed during meetings planned during the next few weeks between the NATO Helicopter Management Agency and government representatives. The NH90 backlog stands at 445 firm and 100 options ordered by 18 armed forces in 14 countries.
The Inspector General of the DOT says that as long as Congress continues to mandate funding the FAA out of general tax funds, aviation taxes can fully pay for ATC modernization efforts. AOPA believes this position is “verification from the federal government” of its financial analysis of the FAA’s current funding structure.
With a disclaimer that the move does not indicate endorsement, Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure officially introduced the Bush Administration’s plan for reauthorizing the FAA.
In his State of the Union message to Congress, President Bush laid out the broad and ambitious objectives and goals the administration hopes to achieve during his second term. Topping the list was social security reform, for which the President sketched out options but acknowledged that it would be up to Congress to thrash out the details of any proposed legislation.
• After the November elections, House Democrats vowed to pass the “Six for ’06” bills (minimum wages, stem cell research, energy and so on) in the first 100 legislative hours of the 110th Congress and, to their credit, they did so in 87 hours. However, when those bills were sent to the Senate, three met resistance, one appeared to be destined for a veto by the President and two were subjected to heavy criticism from outside groups.