And ’Commercial Airspace’ Is?

 - November 17, 2006, 3:57 AM

As the user-fee battle rages, rhetoric from Air Transport Association member airlines is reaching vast audiences. Lost in the debate, however, is a reference made by ATA v-p of operations and safety Basil Barimo late last year, in which he coined the term “commercial airspace” and attempted to connect the user-fee issue with safety in relation to less experienced pilots flying very light jets in so-called commercial airspace. To help business aviation operators grasp ATA’s position, AIN asked Barimo to clarify his remarks. “We’re talking about airspace where large airliners operate,” he said. “The FAA should look at whether it makes sense to let an inexperienced [some new pilots will learn to fly in their VLJ, he believes], freshly instrument-rated private pilot operate in congested airspace. Training someone to fly an airplane is one thing; having the seasoned judgment to make the right decisions is something entirely different.”