Doctors and pilots. Hard to find a group more at odds. Doctors, in the person of aviation medical examiners (AMEs), put aviators holding Class I medical certificates through thorough examinations every six months. Aviators view these exams as one of the stiff prices they pay for the privilege of flying for pay.
Aviation–and more particularly business aviation–is increasingly becoming the dominant component in the portfolio of UK public company BBA Group. The London-based group aviation holdings on both sides of the Atlantic now account for close to 60 percent of its worldwide business (out of approximately $2.3 billion total revenues recorded last year).
In the aftermath of July’s well publicized engine-out ditching of a Pilatus PC-12 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Russia, industry observers are asking how this and other recent accidents have affected the statistical reliability of single-engine turboprops and if sales of these aircraft are suffering.
Thomas McSweeny, who has been FAA associate administrator for regulation and certification since October 1998, is leaving the agency this month to join Boeing as its director of international safety and regulatory affairs. He will be prohibited from any contact with the agency for one year.
In 1997 the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, which was charged with examining threats to our national security, recommended an assessment be made of the vulnerability of the U.S. transportation infrastructure if it had to rely on GPS.
Fractional aircraft ownership operations, as well as charter operations, would be regulated under FAR Part 121, if the Airline Dispatcher Federation (ADF) has its way. The Washington trade group, which represents about 1,100 airline dispatchers, lamented that the notice of proposed rulemaking establishing fractional-ownership operations under Part 91 doesn’t require dispatchers.
James Taylor, instrumental in marketing the Falcon Jet, Cessna Citation and Canadair Challenger, was appointed to the board of directors of VisionAire, the Chesterfield, Mo. company that is developing the VA-10 Vantage six-place, single-engine business jet. Taylor also is credited with turning around financially troubled Gates Learjet.
Piper Aircraft last month received FAA certification for flight into known icing for the company’s new Meridian turboprop single. Piper is implementing a retrofit scheduling program to bring the fleet of approximately 100 Meridians up to the latest production standards, and will include modifications to allow for the approval.
The FAA intends to implement major airspace changes in the Southwest U.S. on October 4. The Las Vegas four cornerpost plan integrates changes in standard routings in airspace controlled by the Albuquerque and Los Angeles Centers. The plan also includes changes to the Phoenix and Las Vegas Tracon airspace that serves Phoenix Sky Harbor International and Las Vegas McCarran International Airports.
The NTSB has asked Congress to “convince the FAA of the need for immediate action” to prevent runway incursions. In an August 29 letter to 12 members of Congress, Safety Board chairman Carol Carmody and two Board members said the NTSB has issued 100 recommendations regarding runway incursions since 1983. The issue has been on the Safety Board’s list of “Most Wanted Safety Improvements” since 1990.