When the national threat level was raised to code orange (high) on December 21, most people in general aviation took it in stride. With New Year’s celebrations just days off, new TFRs were issued for New York City and Las Vegas, followed by one for downtown Chicago, and waivers were suspended for sports stadium overflights and the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone.
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Deep within every accident are messages for improving safety, but some mishaps are particularly provocative and have far-reaching implications. The runway overrun of a Challenger 600 at Teterboro Airport (TEB) in February is one of those events.
At an oversight meeting on the President’s proposed FY2006 budget for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), subcommittee chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) expressed concern about the lack of progress by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA in reopening the airport.
Last month, the FAA approved a $500,000 grant for preliminary engineering work on installing safety barriers at the end of Teterboro (N.J.) Airport’s Runway 1, which ends 300 feet from a multilane commuter highway. The grant comes as a direct result of the February 2 accident in which a Challenger overran the runway following an aborted takeoff, crossed the highway (seriously injuring a motorist) and crashed into a warehouse.
Bids are invited from “qualified persons or firms” to design, develop and operate a new FBO facility at Boston Logan International Airport, which is currently served by Signature Flight Support. As part of its request for proposals (RFP), the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) will host a pre-submission conference and site tour on February 10 where copies of the draft lease and operating agreements will be available.
When a Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet Management overran the runway during an aborted takeoff at Teterboro Airport in February, crossed a busy highway and crashed into a warehouse, there was a collective sigh of relief when all eight passengers and the crew emerged with non-life-threatening injuries.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) boss Kip Hawley told a Senate panel that in addition to general aviation’s voluntary efforts to secure GA, the TSA was doing more screening of pilots and studying the “throw weight” of GA aircraft to determine the potential for causing harm. Currently, aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or more used in scheduled or charter service must operate under the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program.
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.
The FAA is reviewing a proposed noise-compatibility program for Dannelly Field, Montgomery, Ala. The program, being developed under FAR Part 150, is scheduled to be approved or rejected no later than August 27. Comments may be submitted until April 29. For more information, contact the FAA’s Kristi Ashley in Jackson, Miss.; telephone (601) 664-9891.
An FBI/Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that made only a few passing references to general aviation aircraft being used by terrorists nevertheless provided fodder for newspapers and broadcast news media for several days last month and prompted general aviation interest groups to activate extensive damage control.