The FAA has finally released its study of Part 135 air-taxi operators, mandated by Congress more than four years ago in the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21). Because it took the agency four years to publish the report–in part because of 9/11–the charter industry is questioning the value of the data.
Steve Brown took over as NBAA senior vice president of operations three months ago, but he is an old hand on the Washington scene. Before accepting the NBAA post, he served as a senior vice president of AOPA, president of the National Aeronautic Association, and most recently as FAA associate administrator for air traffic services and then vice president of operations planning in the FAA’s new Air Traffic Organization (ATO).
While it’s unlikely the FAA will push back this month’s deadline for the installation of ELTs in virtually all corporate jets, the agency might allow operators to file for a temporary exemption to the requirement if they can show a good-faith effort at compliance.
After calling on European Union (EU) member states last year to align their operating rules more closely with those of the FAA, the U.S.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has formed a joint industry committee to draft recommendations and submit them to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
A Raytheon Beech T-34 Mentor crashed on December 7 when the left wing snapped off about four inches inboard of the root attach point. The Mentor was being operated by Texas Air Aces/Aviation Safety Training (AST) and crashed near Houston Hooks Field, killing the flight instructor and front-seat passenger. AST’s mission was emergency upset training for major flight departments around the U.S.
Relocated from temporary offices in Brussels to a new building across the Rhine in the city of Cologne, Germany, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is set to become the cornerstone of European Union (EU) policy to contribute to “cleaner and safer” aviation in Europe and the rest of the world.
U.S.-registered turbine business aircraft accident numbers were mixed last year, according to aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. The total number of accidents was down slightly last year compared to 2005, thanks mostly to the turboprop sector, which saw a 17.5-percent reduction.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking last month that will require pilots to replace their paper certificates with upgraded, counterfeit-resistant plastic certificates within two years after the rule becomes final.
See www.flightsafety.org/damagecalculator for a new model for estimating the cost of ground accidents. The cost model is the Flight Safety Foundation’s first tool in its Ground Accident Prevention program and it includes direct and indirect costs. The tool should help operators reduce the cost of ground accidents.
Last month this column looked at safety management systems (SMS) and considered why the industry is embracing them. This month focus shifts to the key elements of such systems and their contribution to the industry’s livelihood.