At the Dubai Air Show last month, Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Georgia (the former Soviet Republic, not the Peachtree State), featured as part of its small stand a wall-size photograph of the twin-engine Maverick Jet kitplane.
Security concerns; new flight, duty and rest time recommendations; and growing attention from the private-equity financial camp topped the items of interest at
this year’s NATA Convention. Held in conjunction with Aviation Industry Week, NATA’s annual meeting also addressed the changing role of aircraft charter brokers, airport authorities assuming FBO roles and NATA’s own Safety First Management System 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.
From a safety perspective, last year was not a good year for the air medical sector. A spate of fatal accidents has led to much media speculation about the safety record of U.S. air ambulances and even the medical benefits of using them so (apparently) freely. It has also further tarnished a deteriorating rate apparent in statistics from previous years.
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.
While the national intelligence reform law President Bush signed in December carries a provision for photo IDs for “pilots”, confusion reigns over which airman certificates are included. An FAA spokesman told AIN that the law would include any U.S.-issued license, including that for pilots, A&Ps, air traffic controllers and dispatchers. But the law only refers specifically to improved pilot licenses.
The idea of mixing legal weapons with pilots is not new. Aviators of yore often carried firearms–and with good reason. There are more recent incidents that support the practice. In the mid-1960s, an airliner was taken over by a man wielding a gun who shot both pilots. In another incident a disgruntled PSA employee broke into the cockpit of a BAe 146 in 1987 and shot and killed both pilots.
Failure to provide timely distribution of guidance material to repair stations has prompted the FAA to delay for one year–until April 6 next year–the compliance deadline for repair stations to meet new regulations (FAR 145.163) for having an approved training program in effect. “This action will give repair stations sufficient time to develop their programs,” the FAA said, “and will give the FAA time to evaluate them and approve them.”
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.
“This is a recording” will have more meaning to accident investigators if the FAA enacts a proposal to beef up rules regarding cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) and flight data recorders (FDRs). The rules, proposed primarily in response to NTSB recommendations, would not mandate the installation of CVRs or FDRs in aircraft not already required to have them.