• Congress dodged the dog days of August by taking a six-week recess beginning July 22, but not before legislators increased their bills introduced count to 2,772 in the Senate and 5,001 in the House of Representatives.
Regulations and Government » Government
News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
The House Appropriations Committee has added a directive to a report on FAA funding for Fiscal Year 2005 that would require the agency to ensure that pilots continue to get the best possible flight briefing and en route information services without user fees.
An ongoing racketeering and corruption investigation by the Florida state attorney’s office has produced indictments of 19 suspects and seven companies for alleged theft of jet fuel and contract manipulations at Miami International Airport (MIA) dating back to 1999. Estimates of how much fuel was stolen or other money misappropriated add up to as much as $5.3 million.
After meeting with industry representatives over several days in early March, the FAA launched a new ATC plan designed to head
off gridlock by “sharing the pain” around choke points such as New York, Chicago and Atlanta.
An AD for the Landmark 8000 terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), manufactured by L-3 Communications Avionics Systems, corrects potential altitude errors. Technicians uncovered the problem after connecting a Landmark TAWS to the baro set voltage divider in a Citation 500 through its Honeywell BA-141 altimeter and AZ-241 air-data computer.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association urged the Senate appropriations transportation subcommittee to ask FAA Administrator Marion Blakey what the agency plans to do about “the looming air traffic control staffing crisis.” The association anticipates a personnel shortage of up to 50 percent in the next 10 years. “This is of particular concern because it takes up to five years to train a controller,” said NATCA president John Carr.
In one of its longest investigations into a general aviation accident, the NTSB released its final report last month on the Oct. 10, 2000, crash of a Canadian-registered Bombardier Challenger 604 during a manufacturer’s test flight at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The two pilots and flight engineer died as a result of injuries sustained from the accident.
Three Italian aviation officials and an air traffic controller have been sentenced to jail terms of between six and eight years after being convicted of manslaughter and negligence over the Oct. 8, 2001, fatal collision between a Cessna Citation CJ2 and a Scandinavian Airlines System McDonnell Douglas MD-87 at Milan Linate Airport.
The FAA’s plans to update certification rules to reflect the improved capabilities and performance of modern helicopters appears to be moving ahead with few hurdles, according to officials with knowledge of the changes proposed last August.
To borrow the term “caveat emptor” (Latin for “let the buyer beware”) and mangle it only a bit, flight crews of aircraft that require two pilots should be aware that in some countries both of those pilots need to be type rated in that particular airplane.