Although the FAA needs to hire 11,800 new controllers through Fiscal Year 2015 to replace retirees and other vacancies, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association noted the agency’s latest FAA Administrator’s Fact Book reports that the overall total number of controllers dropped from 14,227 at the end of FY2005 to 14,206 in FY2006.
Aviation International News » February 2007
Mike Redenbaugh, who joined Bell Helicopter in May 2003 as president after being a v-p at Honeywell engines, resigned from the company last month. Textron, Bell’s parent, named Textron executive Richard Millman to replace Redenbaugh.
Mesa Air Group will help establish a new Chinese regional airline under a contract it signed in late December with China’s Shenzhen Airlines. The deal gives Mesa a 25-percent stake in the new company, expected to launch service by the end of the year with 50-seat regional jets. The 500 million yuan ($64 million) venture gives Shenzhen Airlines a 51-percent stake as required by Chinese law and Delaware-based Wilmington Trust Corp.
Confusion over French visa requirements for U.S. general aviation aircrews is causing many flight departments to scramble for proper documents. While visas have been a requirement for years, U.S. corporate aircrews are only now encountering vigilance from French authorities. Some industry observers suggest the scrutiny might be in response to recent tightening of U.S. visa requirements.
Cessna will construct a Citation Service Center at the Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz., and close the Long Beach, Calif. service center. The new operation is scheduled to open in a “phased transition” by the first quarter of 2009. The company said the Mesa facility will be more than twice as large as its Long Beach facility and have more than 10 times the ramp space.
US Airways expects to launch Embraer E190 service from Philadelphia this month, marking the first application of the Brazilian narrowbody in mainline service in the U.S. Plans call for the dual-class, 99-seat jets to link Philadelphia with Hartford, Conn.; Boston; Dallas; Providence, R.I.; and Manchester, N.H.
Two fatal bizjet accidents in the first two weeks of this year, already half the total for all of 2006, have claimed the lives of four pilots.
There are signs of life at Utilicraft Aerospace, which now trades on the stock market as symbol UITA on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board. Utilicraft also announced plans to build a new facility at Double Eagle II Airport in Albuquerque, N.M. Early last month the company signed a letter of intent for construction of a 55,000-sq-ft facility where it will build the twin-engine FF-1080-300ER.
A private mediator joined contract negotiations between Comair and its 1,500 pilots last month as part of a tentative settlement that saw the airline move the date on which it threatened to unilaterally impose pay cuts from December 30 to February 2. A new schedule of negotiations called for meetings on January 8, January 15 to 19 and January 29 to February 1 in Washington, D.C., and January 25 to 26 in Los Angeles.
Shareholders of Mesaba Airlines parent MAIR Holdings last month accused Northwest Airlines of a conspiracy to suppress the value of its regional affiliate in preparation for a planned buyout.