There may be but a handful of vintage airport terminals left in the United States, and the very fact that some exist at all depends on some specific circumstances. Typically they are found at airports that for whatever reason could not, or did not, expand at a rate to justify destroying their original terminal and replacing it with a larger, more functional structure.
The job of an FAA inspector must be incredibly boring. I imagine them sitting at their desks all day facing down gigantic piles of paper: letters of authorization, certification compliance packages, applications for operating certificates, enforcement actions, ad infinitum. And when the poor beleaguered inspector gets one pile stamped, signed and delivered, an FAA factotum appears with a new stack and thumps it onto whatever clear space remains in the office. Every day, looking up blearily from the stacks, our overworked inspector looks fondly out the window and wonders whether she can take a few minutes away from the office to visit the airport and see if her charges are playing nice or need some friendly nudging.
Some private fliers seem to want to remain “under the radar.” They like that they can avoid interaction with the general public by leaving and arriving via inconspicuous FBOs, and they travel on unmarked jets, sometimes with the protection of NBAA’s Block Aircraft Registration Request program. The less of an impression they make on the masses the better.
Reports that the captain of the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that crashed at San Francisco International Airport was stressed about landing at the airport without a glideslope left many of us shaking our heads.
While my primary job was to be an observer at the Avantair bankruptcy auction–which was held in a warehouse just a mile from the company’s former Clearwater (Fla.) Airport on Friday, January 10–I was also a participating bidder. Bidder number 156 to be exact.
Look, it could happen to any of us. Landing at the wrong airport is not that hard.
It happened again Sunday evening, when a Southwest Airlines 737-700 made a relatively short landing at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport (KPLK) in Branson, Mo. (actually one mile south of downtown Branson), six miles north of the destination airport, Branson Airport (KBBG). This is the second recent wrong-airport landing by a large commercial airplane. A Boeing Dreamlifter cargo carrier operated by Atlas Air landed at the wrong airport in Wichita in November. They were headed for McConnell Air Force Base (KIAB) but landed at smaller Jabara Airport (KAAO), nine miles northeast of the intended destination.
FAA spokesman Les Dorr, in a Poynter story about a journalist’s use of a radio-controlled aircraft to film airborne video, once again publicly stated the FAA’s claim that commercial use of radio-controlled aircraft is prohibited. The Spokane, Wash.,-based Spokesman-Review ran the journalist’s video of a polar-bear swim event on its website.
If you’re a journalist, it helps to know how to write. But sometimes, nothing matters more than doing your research.
An FAA enforcement case against the operator of a commercial drone or unmanned aircraft system (UAS) may lead to a determination of whether the FAA has regulatory jurisdiction over model radio-control aircraft and whether the agency can prohibit the commercial operation of such aircraft. This is believed to be the first FAA enforcement action against the operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft.
The FAA’s refusal to acknowledge reality rears its ugly head in Advisory Circular 120-76B, Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness, and Operational Use of Portable Electronic Flight Bags.
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