As a result of the Congressional elections in November, the 108th Congress, due to convene early this month, will enjoy a Republican majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), whom many Washington pundits regarded as an obstructionist when it came to moving legislation through that body, gave way as majority to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
Aviation International News » January 2003
The NTSB has called for improvements in the way the Transportation Department collects data, including the FAA’s Accident/Incident Data System (AIDS), the Near Midair Collision System (NMACS) and NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).
Like many a “Washington hand” leaving a position, the Air Transport Association’s Carol Hallett was more forthcoming in her comments to the Washington Aero Club than she might have been in the past.
The BBA Group sold its Signature Aircraft Engineering rotorcraft maintenance business and Signature Helicopters charter operation to the UK’s McAlpine group for an undisclosed sum. The companies, which are based, respectively, at Blackbushe and Denham Airports in southern England, will be combined with McAlpine’s existing aviation services subsidiaries with annual revenues of around $23 million.
Universal Weather & Aviation has opened an executive aircraft handling operation at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport. It represents the company’s first permanent presence in Australia and will supplement more than a dozen UVglobal Network handling operations around the Pacific Rim.
Helicopter mountain rescue operations are among the most demanding flying there is. Pilots are challenged by pushing the performance envelope of their machines in notoriously unpredictable weather, and when the mission is rescue, they face another layer of difficulty, driven by the desire not only to survive their mission, but to save lives too.
They’re the unsung heroes of the highwire, the workers who straddle live high-tension transmission lines, wires literally sizzling with their lethal load. Suspended in midair by a helicopter, stabilized by the rock-solid hand of a steady-hovering pilot, line crews would be hard-pressed to repair aging powerline infrastructure as quickly or as well in isolated areas.
As the vertical lift industry convenes in Dallas next month (February 9 to 11) for the 55th HAI Heli-Expo trade show and meeting, it is a dazed and uncertain business beset by flat markets, rising (often ruinous) insurance rates, a growing shortage of rotorcraft pilots and mechanics and a soft overall economy.
Effective January 23, the FAA is codifying the provisions of Title VIII of the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000. This new law finalizes the government’s definition of just what constitutes a commercial air-tour operator (chiefly, an entity that flies sightseers over the Grand Canyon or any other of the 384 parks of the National Park Service regularly at an altitude of less than 5,000 ft agl).
Following up on the strategy it announced at last year’s HAI to expand in the helicopter parts and service market, Bell Helicopter Textron has announced that it acquired the helicopter skid shoe business of Calimesa, Calif.-based Carbide Technology. The $1-million-a-year-revenue business line will become part of Edwards & Associates, a unit of Textron that provides parts, service and modifications for the helicopter market.