• H.R.2115, the “Flight 100-Century of Aviation Revitalization Act” introduced in May by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), was combined with S.824, the “Aviation Investment and Revitalization Act,” introduced in April by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and approved by unanimous consent in the Senate in late November. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration for four years and provides $59 billion in funding.
Inconsistent and incomplete FAA oversight of its designee programs limits the agency’s ability to ensure designees perform their work according to federal standards, according to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO said the FAA needs to develop a better mechanism to improve oversight compliance and upgrade its databases to provide complete and consistent information.
Taiwan’s government is expected to lift a long-standing prohibition of private aircraft ownership in the first quarter of next year. Several charter providers that already operate helicopters as permitted under existing rules have indicated, off the record, that they are now making plans to buy business jets later this year.
Michael Denham, Bombardier senior v-p of strategy, and 60 other corporate officers are being fired from the Montreal-based transportation company. The move is part of a major organizational change in the wake of CEO Paul Tellier’s dismissal and the creation of the Office of the President, which “regroups strategic and executive management responsibilities around the chairman” and new CEO Laurent Beaudoin.
Congress granted an additional 30 days (to April 1) for federal security agencies to submit a report on actions that would be required to open Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to general aviation. The report was supposed to have been completed by March 1.
At the request of launch customer JetBlue, Embraer has introduced longer-range versions of its 190 and 195 E-Jets. Designated with the suffix AR (advanced range), the airplanes will carry structural reinforcements that allow for higher max takeoff and landing weights. The changes will add as much as 300 nm of range, allowing the 190 to fly as far as 2,300 nm and the 195 to fly as far as 2,100 nm.
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.