Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
The U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of California reported March 10 that Sergio Patrick Rodriguez of Clovis, Calif., was sentenced to 14 years in prison for aiming a laser pointer at a Fresno police helicopter in the summer of 2012. Rodriguez’s sentence is believed to be the longest yet delivered for a laser-pointer incident. United States District Judge Lawrence O’Neill said the crime was serious with potentially deadly consequences.
The FAA future flight technologies branch approved Air Crew Academy’s automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) online training module last week. Previously, individual operators were required to submit the academy’s ADS-B training module to their local FSDO case-by-case to obtain a letter of authorization (LOA). The ADS-B module covers operating procedures, flight planning, MEL procedures, human-factors considerations, ADS-B phraseology, normal and abnormal system operation, aircraft IDs, data source errors and incident reporting.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is preparing to reduce its staff by 20 percent in the face of government budget cuts. Safety inspectors, mostly based in Canberra, make up just over half of the 110 personnel who might be let go. The union representing the safety inspectors is fighting the planned cuts.
An administrative law judge with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dismissed the $10,000 fine the FAA levied against Raphael Pirker for flying a small unmanned aircraft, casting doubt on the agency’s ability to regulate their commercial use.
Aviation interests are pleased with a decision issued late Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that halts an effort by the city of Santa Monica to close its airport (SMO).
Yesterday, U.S. District Court judge John Walter dismissed the city of Santa Monica, Calif.’s complaint against the U.S. government, in which the city sought to clarify its rights to do what it wishes with the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) property.
As the aviation world awaits U.S. District Court Judge John Walker’s ruling in a case involving the city of Santa Monica’s attempts to close Santa Monica Airport, AOPA and NBAA filed an amicus curiae (friends of the court) brief to support the FAA’s motion to dismiss the city’s complaint.
Another Wall Street firm is entering the increasingly crowded helicopter leasing market. Perella Weinberg’s $2.1 billion Asset Based Value Strategy unit is teaming with Hawke Aerospace to form Infinity Helicopter Leasing. Infinity said it will focus on the light end of the market–singles and light twins–that service the onshore EMS, law enforcement and utility markets in the U.S. and Canada. Previous helicopter leasing market entrants, such as Milestone Aviation, have focused on the lucrative offshore market for medium and heavy twin-engine helicopters.
Three people (the pilot and two passengers) aboard a Bell 206 died January 27 near Silt, Colo., when their power line patrol helicopter crashed after striking a wire at about 11:20 a.m. Rifle, Colo.-based DBS Helicopters operated the aircraft.