Enthusiasm over a near 50-percent year-over-year jump in passenger traffic had reached a climax early in the summer of 2006 at Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport when, in an instant, on July 13 Israeli bombs shattered and set ablaze all the good feelings along with vast chunks of runway and the airport’s main fuel tanks.
A senior air force officer serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has challenged the defense industry to produce lighter and more capable equipment for troops calling in air strikes on Taleban positions.
Federal legislation introduced last month would require surface-to-air missile (SAM) protection, similar to that now used on military transport aircraft, on all of the nearly 7,000 U.S.-registered jet airliners. The bill, coauthored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), directs that installations begin by the end of the year.
New York City has been granted $9.8 million in federal funds to buy and equip a hybrid “super-copter” equipped for response to a variety of emergency situations but specifically terrorist attacks. Making the announcement, U.S.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced two days after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon the formation of a Business Aviation Security Task Force to develop procedures to “prevent the illegal use of private, corporate, charter and fractional business aircraft by potential terrorists.”
In the aftermath of the U.S. terrorist attacks, general and business aviation is facing severe flight restrictions. For example, flights below 3,000 ft agl within a three-nautical-mile radius of any major professional or college sporting event or “any other major open-air assembly” are now prohibited throughout the U.S. VFR flying below, through or above enhanced Class B airspace was not allowed.
Some charter companies are reporting new interest and bookings as a result of last month’s terrorist attacks. Demand is reportedly up in response to more time-consuming airline check-in security requirements, as well as the perception that charter will provide better security. One wire story said a charter service in Southern California reported a 110-percent increase in customer calls.
Boeing Business Jet officials in Seattle were uncertain at press time how the BBJ program would be affected by the planned layoffs of between 20,000 and 30,000 Boeing employees by the end of next year. The decision comes amid an actual and expected drop in orders for Boeing airliners as a result of last month’s terrorist attacks. Deliveries of airliners this year, which Boeing had expected to be 538 aircraft, could be as low as 500.
Thomas McSweeny is delaying his planned departure from the FAA at the request of the agency. McSweeny agreed to continue serving as associate administrator for regulation and certification through at least this month. He is preparing to join Boeing as director of international safety and regulatory affairs (see page 24).
At a meeting on September 20, the NBAA board of directors decided to re-schedule the association’s 54th annual convention and trade show for December 12 to 14 in New Orleans. The association’s annual meeting of members has been scheduled for October 31 in Washington. The annual convention and meeting was originally scheduled for September 18 to 20 in New Orleans, but was canceled following the terrorist attacks of September 11.