As the U.S. government shutdown enters its eighth day, the FAA announced this morning that it is recalling 800 employees from its office of aviation safety this week to provide oversight across the country. These recalls are part of a contingency plan that would see up to 2,500 employees recalled over a two-week period, but only if their positions provide for “the protection of life and property.”
Every decade or so, sometimes more often, someone or some organization proposes “privatizing” the U.S. air traffic control system. In 1985 it was the Air Transport Association (ATA), now renamed Airlines for America, which released a study calling for a self-supporting federal ATC corporation.
Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s largest supplier, has joined forces with Bell Helicopter on the V-280 being proposed for the DoD’s joint multi-role (JMR) technology demonstrator program. The move by Lockheed Martin comes one month after the company announced it is developing a “universal” avionics and weapons package for the Army’s JMR aircraft even before selection of an airframe. As many as 4,000 helicopters could be acquired under the program.
Even as French aircrews began training in the U.S. on the Reaper UAS, EADS Cassidian announced that it had received a one-year extension to its support contract for the Harfang UAS that the French air force intends to replace with the American drone. Cassidian also noted that the similar Heron UAS operated by the German air force and supported by the company has logged 15,000 hours over Afghanistan. The Germans are also considering a Reaper buy as a replacement for the Israeli-origin UAVs.
NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman and vice chairman Christopher Hart have been renominated by the White House to new terms as members of the agency. In addition, the Obama Administration has also nominated Hersman to her third term as chairman.
The long-running dispute over President Obama’s signature health-care initiative led to the first federal government closure of “non-essential” services in 17 years at 12:01 a.m. EDT today. For the FAA, however, it is business almost as usual. Of a total of 46,070 FAA positions, 30,556 are considered exempted and those employees reported for work as usual.
In ceremonies at the Seville factory and at Orleans airbase on September 30, Airbus Military and the French Air Force celebrated the entry into service of the A400M airlifter. No new aircraft were handed over, but delivery of the second aircraft for France and the first for Turkey will occur by the end of October.
Members of Congress drifted back to Capitol Hill last month after spending most of August and the first week in September on their annual summer vacations. Talk immediately turned to the situation in Syria and the specter of another round of sequestration.
One of the major orders of business they faced–with the September 30 end of the 2013 fiscal year looming–was how to fund the government for FY2014. One of the first tasks was approval of a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government operating beyond October 1.
Gulfstream Aerospace appointed Brent Monroe vice president of North American sales for the western division. In his new role, he leads a sales team whose territory includes the Western U.S. states, as well as Alaska and Hawaii, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Monroe, who is based in Dallas, has more than 20 years of experience in both military and business aviation, particularly in the Midwest region.
More than half of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives now belong to the House General Aviation Caucus, according to group co-chairs Sam Graves (R.Mo.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.). On Friday, the caucus passed the 218-member mark and kept going, totaling 223 at press time. “This achievement is due to the tremendous leadership and hard work of Congressmen Graves and Barrow and their staffs,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.