Nearly three months after the union representing air traffic controllers rejected the FAA’s request for federal mediation to help reach a labor agreement, the union has changed its mind, saying it is “unhappy with the pace of the negotiations in the last two weeks.” When the FAA called for federal mediation last November, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) labeled it a “publicity stunt.” At that time, a NATCA spokesman to
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News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
Several leadership changes, including two U.S. appointments, have recently been made at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Montreal-based group that provides recommendations and standards intended to be followed by its 189 member countries. Assad Kotaite, who will retire on July 31 after nearly 30 years as ICAO Council president, will be replaced by Kobeh González, who has served as ICAO representative of Mexico.
Leaders of three general aviation organizations went on the offensive yesterday in response to an Air Transport Association plan that would place a tax (read user fees) on the number of “departures” and “time in system” and give the airlines the most influence among ATC system stakeholders.
On Tuesday, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey testified before the Senate subcommittee on aviation about the financial health of the agency, specifically the FY 2007 budget and condition of the aviation trust fund.
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.
Switzerland officially joined the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on December 1. It joins Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein as non-European Union (EU) countries that are EASA member states, as are the 25 nations of the EU.
Garlick Helicopters and Double R Flying Service in Montana and their owner, Ronald Garlick, have been indicted on federal fraud charges in connection with allegedly non-airworthy parts used on a Bell UH-1 and OH-58A. Garlick was convicted in 1998 on similar charges and served a year in prison, according to the DOT. At press time Garlick declined to comment.
• Congress took a three-week break on November 16 to allow lawmakers to ponder the results of the election. On December 5 lame-duck lawmakers limped back into session but ran like race horses on the way to the finish line and ended the business of the 109th Congress four days later.
In the late 1970s, Continental Airlines president Frank Lorenzo used a court of law to confront his pilots with an existing, although seldom used, negotiating technique, abrogating their contract when he was unable to secure an agreement through traditional collective bargaining. He quickly replaced his then striking workers with a non-union workforce willing to accept his management style and pay scale.