The FAA has finally released its study of Part 135 air-taxi operators, mandated by Congress more than four years ago in the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21). Because it took the agency four years to publish the report–in part because of 9/11–the charter industry is questioning the value of the data.
Aviation International News » January 2005
A former employee of GE Aircraft Engines claims the company knowingly shipped defective parts built during a 10-year period at its factory in Madisonville, Ky. The charges came to light in a $64.4 million “whisteblower” lawsuit filed by former quality-control engineer Terri Brown, unsealed in late November at the request of the Courier-Journal of Louisville.
The German government gave the green light to sell to the public 74.9 percent of DFS, the agency operating the country’s ATC system. Shares of DFS will not be available before next year, with details of the privatization to be worked out this year. A government spokesman said there would be no restriction on who could purchase stock, and Lufthansa chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber told Reuters news agency that
The Transportation Security Administration is allowing operators to increase progressively the time for which international waivers are valid. Any operator who has a 90-day waiver coming up for renewal now can request a six-month waiver. Once an operator has a six-month waiver, it can get a one-year waiver. The holder of a one-year waiver coming up for renewal can request another one-year waiver.
A jury ordered Universal Avionics to pay Honeywell $5.5 million in damages for violating a patent related to Honeywell’s original (pre-“enhanced”) GPWS. The same jury last month ruled in favor of co-defendant Sandel Avionics. All three firms build terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) and have been locked in a lawsuits over TAWS patents since 2002.
According to a Little Rock local newspaper account, hangar space is hard to come by in the state of Arkansas, especially the capital city. Adams Field (LIT) is reported to be tapped out on hangar accommodations, and some local businessmen said they are concerned the situation could curtail economic growth in the city.
In another effort to help reduce accidents, NATA is developing a ground-incident safety management system (SMS) that it hopes will merge data on ground-handling accidents from as many as 500 FBOs within two years. Though NATA president James Coyne estimates that such accidents cause $100 million in damage claims annually, there is no data readily available on the details.
Bob Walesch since 1984 has held senior positions with four major FBOs and spearheaded the launches of two of them that are located on medium-size business-aviation airports near warm oceans. He’s now the v-p and general manager of the brand-new Avitat Boca Raton (Fla.), which opened late last year.
The turn of the new year has seen several new facilities opening in time for the winter season.
• In Oakland, Calif., the Business Jet Center had its grand opening on December 1. The FBO terminal is the old airline passenger terminal on the historic airport, and the art deco motif used in the renovation reflects its history.
Accidents involving aircraft on airport ramps remain one of the most expensive sources of claims for insurance companies. Efforts to curtail such losses have taken a new turn with a three-way cooperative program that teams the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU).