The National Association of State Aviation Officials is asking Congress to “say no” to the FAA’s 2007 budget proposals. According to NASAO, “All of the states and thousands of airports across the nation will suffer if the administration is allowed to slash nearly a billion dollars out of the already authorized $3.7 billion Airport Improvement Program.” The FAA is requesting $2.75 billion for airport improvements.
Testifying recently before the House aviation subcommittee on unmanned aircraft (UA), FAA associate administrator for aviation safety Nicholas Sabatini outlined the challenges of integrating UAs into the National Airspace System. Sabatini explained that operations of UAs are currently approved under two means–certificates of authorization (COA) for government agencies and experimental airworthiness certificates for private industry.
Cessna, Eclipse and Adam Aircraft are all confident that their respective very light jets will be certified this year. According to Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton, the Citation Mustang is on track for FAA approval in the fall, though he hinted that the VLJ could get its papers a little earlier.
Piaggio Aero Industries, manufacturer of the Avanti turboprop twin, says it will develop a business jet. The Italian airframer is considering which of two designs to develop, but must first reach agreement with a “strategic partner” to make the project a reality. “The concept is almost frozen.
FlightSafety International achieved a first recently when it put a Citation Sovereign simulator into service at its Orlando Learning Center. It is the first device with electric motion and control loading approved by the FAA as level-D.
The airlines that own Arinc are interested in selling the 77-year-old aviation communications company. Based in Annapolis, Md., Arinc posted revenues of $890 million last year, but its owners, including financially troubled carriers Delta and American, are said to be reluctant to make necessary investments in the company.
In mid-2002, former Pilatus Business Aircraft COO Thomas Bosshard was named president and CEO of this U.S. subsidiary of the Swiss manufacturer of the PC-12 turboprop single. He replaced Angelo Fiataruolo, who had been president since July 2000. Now, Bosshard, a Swiss national, is returning to Switzerland, where he has been promoted to COO of parent company Pilatus Aircraft.
Embraer is extending the $2.75 million introductory price to May 31 for the Phenom 100, its offering in the growing very light jet segment. The price of the eight-seat, 1,160-nm (four occupants) Phenom 100 increases to $2.85 million on June 1. First flight is scheduled for the first quarter of next year, with entry into service expected in mid-2008.
The first quarter of this year continued the downward trend in fatalities from turbine business aircraft accidents. According to safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla., there was one fatal accident involving a business jet in the first quarter, the same as the tally during the first three months last year, but four people were killed compared with eight last year.
A Berlin court on December 21 recommended to keep Tempelhof downtown airport open until Oct. 31, 2008, one year longer than now planned. The final court decision is expected on January 15. A decision to keep the airport open–limited to certain kinds of operations, such as business aviation–is still possible. However, according to German press reports, it is unlikely.