• So, President George W. Bush won the election and will serve four more years in the White House. Cabinet changes are the subject of speculation, but Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta’s name has not surfaced as of press time. Troubled by back problems, Mineta may or may not stay on.
Heritage Aviation of Grand Prairie, Texas, is to install VIP interiors for
two Sikorsky S-92s ordered by the government of Turkmenistan to transport
its president, Saparmurat Niyazov. The first helicopter is scheduled for delivery in October next year and the second in March 2006.
In response to oil leaks, Dutch civil aviation authorities have instructed operators of Fokker 50 twin turboprops to check the propellers after each flight. The order was issued early last month and Fokker Services is now developing a Service Bulletin that is expected to be issued before year-end.
Nearly six years after the creation of a civilian-run aviation agency was first proposed, Brazil’s civil aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), has yet to become reality. But observers expect the nation will move away from full military control of civil aviation this year.
Operators at Berlin Tempelhof airport last month challenged a local court recommendation that offered only to postpone closure of the downtown airport by a year, to October 31 next year. A final court decision is now delayed indefinitely. A decision to keep the airport open–limited to certain types of operational use such as business aviation–is still possible.
“The job of a controller is no longer just separating airplanes,” National Air Traffic Controllers Association president John Carr told attendees at a symposium on “Post 9/11 Security Impacts on Air Traffic Control and Aviation” in Washington, D.C., in late January. “They have to be aware of possibilities that we did not even contemplate on the morning of September 10.”
Last year, the Bush Administration unveiled its proposed “next generation air transportation system” and then cut the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) budget request by nearly $400 million.
Last month, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) introduced bills to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Transportation to draw up regulations to re-open Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation. Such regulations would have to be prepared within six months of the bill becoming law.
Word was circulating last month that the weight of the Quiet Technology hush kit fitted to the Gulfstream III that crashed on November 22 while landing at Houston to pick up former President Bush might have played a role in the accident.
Last year’s slump in commercial aircraft sales and employment was not as sharp as predicted and not nearly as deep as the industry experienced 10 years ago. That’s the assessment of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), which also sees a recovery for civil aviation between next year and 2006, along with a concurrent upswing for aerospace employment.