Spokane, Wash.-based Rocket Engineering is developing the Turbine P/Baron in parallel with the Royal Turbine Duke program. The Baron conversion, which fits two PT6A-21 turboprops and Hartzell four-blade full-feathering-reversing metal props to the light twin, costs about $700,000 (airframe additional). The company plans to have an STC in about 12 to 18 months.
Fourteen aviation trade groups signed aletter to the heads of the Senate foreign relations committee asking for quick action to name Donald Bliss as the next U.S. representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a position that has been vacant since Edward Stimpson stepped down last fall.
Last week, the White House introduced its proposed budget for federal programs in fiscal year 2007 that includes language calling for a new funding mechanism for the FAA.
General aviation is not going to “blacken the sky” with very light jets, said General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce, and he took issue with those who would use that claim for a “misguided imposition” of user fees on GA.
A new FAA program is intended to improve the use of comprehensible English as the international language of aviation and support new English language proficiency standards that are scheduled to go into effect in two years. The agency recently signed a five-year cooperative agreement with Ordinate of Menlo Park, Calif., to create a standard aviation English test.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials is asking Congress to “say no” to the FAA’s 2007 budget proposals. According to NASAO, “All of the states and thousands of airports across the nation will suffer if the administration is allowed to slash nearly a billion dollars out of the already authorized $3.7 billion Airport Improvement Program.” The FAA is requesting $2.75 billion for airport improvements.
A Berlin court on December 21 recommended to keep Tempelhof downtown airport open until Oct. 31, 2008, one year longer than now planned. The final court decision is expected on January 15. A decision to keep the airport open–limited to certain kinds of operations, such as business aviation–is still possible. However, according to German press reports, it is unlikely.
Mark Rosenker became the 11th chairman of the NTSB in August after serving as acting chairman since March 2005. A member of the NTSB since March 2003, he was designated by President Bush as vice chairman the following month.
After becoming the longest-serving Transportation Secretary in the department’s history, Norman Mineta tendered his resignation to President Bush in June. The lone Democrat in the Cabinet, he said it was time to move on to other challenges and joined New York public relations firm Hill & Knowlton as vice chairman.
Since taking over as president of the Regional Airline Association (RAA) from Walt Coleman six years ago, Debby McElroy has steered the organization toward a more vocal and active role in government affairs, helped heighten the regional airline industry’s influence over transportation policy and shepherded the association through some of the most tumultuous and transformative times in the history of air transport.