The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has no choice but to cut the services it provides or raise more money over the next decade, according to an FAA executive involved in planning the agency’s next reauthorization.
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Boston Executive Helicopters’ long-planned FBO at Norwood (Mass.) Airport is stalled again amid allegations of ethical and criminal misconduct by members of the airfield’s administrative body, the Norwood Airport Commission. The company claims this infighting is intensifying a campaign being waged by certain members to thwart the planned FBO. City and state ethics and rulemaking officials are reviewing requests by the company to investigate the purported improprieties. Members were unavailable for comment, but documents obtained by AIN corroborate some of the allegations.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member and pilot Dr. Earl Weener told attendees at an EAA AirVenture 2014 forum on Wednesday that the safety of corporate aviation is “very good and getting better.” He said personal general aviation flights continue to account for the majority of aviation accidents, and most of those are caused by a loss of aircraft control in the air and on the ground.
Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), an avid pilot and co-chair of the House Aviation Caucus, again pressed FAA Administrator Michael Huerta today to set up a loan-guarantee program for owners and operators to finance NextGen avionics upgrades. In a letter to Huerta, Graves reiterated that the 2012 FAA reauthorization bill gave the agency the “authority to, via a partnership with a private intermediary, provide loan guarantees of up to 90 percent of the principal amount…to assist commercial and general aviation aircraft seeking to purchase and install the necessary equipment.”
The FAA issued an emergency Notam today that prohibits the flight of all U.S. air carriers and commercial operators, U.S.-registered aircraft and FAA-certificated airmen into and out of Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, for a minimum of 24 hours. The ban does not apply to U.S.-registered aircraft operated by foreign carriers. The move comes after a rocket fired from Gaza landed within a mile of the airport, destroying a residence.
The British government has sought to exclude Russian officials from this year’s Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) by refusing to issue its usual special invitations for the country’s official delegation. According to the Russian embassy in London, some Russian business visitors have been denied UK visas, preventing them from traveling to this week’s show.
The U.S. Congress would have a say in White House plans to open customs pre-clearance facilities in foreign countries under legislation a House committee passed on June 11. Airline industry groups, which last year opposed but failed to prevent the opening of such a facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, appear to have accepted the legislation even as news surfaced of U.S. plans to open a pre-clearance facility in Dubai.
The NTSB issued nine recommendations asking both the FAA and National Weather Service to provide more comprehensive preflight weather information to pilots. “Timely, detailed weather information is critical for enabling airmen to properly balance risks and make sound decisions when determining to fly,” the Safety Board said.
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