The FAA has released its long-awaited omnibus helicopter rule governing emergency medical services (EMS), Part 135 and Part 91 procedures, operations, training and testing and required equipment. The agency estimates that the new rule is expected to cost operators $311 million to implement over the next decade. It closely mirrors the FAA’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) released in 2010.
Regulations and Government
News about bills, laws, regulations and other governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace. Topics include FAA reauthorizations, taxes on fuel and aviation activities, environmental legislation, ICAO decisions, governmental mediation of labor conflicts and World Trade Organization disputes and decisions.
HAI president Matt Zuccaro gave an upbeat assessment of the helicopter industry on the eve of Heli-Expo 2014. “Air tours are doing well, corporate operations have re-established themselves and offshore oil and gas work is very busy right now, so it’s a pretty positive picture,” he said. Nonetheless, the industry faces challenges including a potential shortage of pilots and mechanics.
“The younger generation has so many options,” said Zuccaro. “We’re starting a sales and marketing campaign to show them being a pilot or a mechanic is a good career path.”
Aviation interests are pleased with a decision issued late Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that halts an effort by the city of Santa Monica to close its airport (SMO).
In an effort to modernize its distribution of letters to airmen, starting today the FAA will disseminate these letters via its website, rather than through the U.S. Postal Service, email or bulletin board postings as it had been doing. “This is a tremendous step forward in providing [aircraft operators] with this critical information so they can be fully prepared for all conditions affecting their flights,” noted NBAA director of air traffic services and infrastructure Bob Lamond.
NBAA welcomed passage by the House of Representatives of H.R.3578, which compels the FAA to establish a rulemaking process before implementing any mandatory pilot-screening requirement for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a condition for getting a medical certificate. In November, the FAA announced a plan to begin requiring OSA screening for pilots with a body mass index of 40 or greater. “The business aviation community thanks lawmakers for passing this measure seeking a fully transparent process for any consideration of OSA screening,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
Thai Civil Aviation Authority auditors have completed the appraisal of independent complete aircraft spares support specialist AJW Technique’s facility in Montreal. The audit comprised a review of quality systems and processes; no areas were in need of corrective action.
India’s newest domestic startup, full-service Delhi-based Tata SIA Airlines, could have an advantage over newcomer budget-carrier AirAsia India as the latter is forced to wait for its air operators permit (AOP), which has been delayed by the decision of the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue a public notice requesting comments. This could put on hiatus AirAsia’s plans of launching before summer.
As the aviation world awaits U.S. District Court Judge John Walker’s ruling in a case involving the city of Santa Monica’s attempts to close Santa Monica Airport, AOPA and NBAA filed an amicus curiae (friends of the court) brief to support the FAA’s motion to dismiss the city’s complaint.
The Air Line Pilots Association International, FBI and FAA have jointly launched a campaign across 12 U.S. cities to raise public awareness about the consequences of illegal laser attacks on aircraft cockpits. Reports of aircraft laser illuminations in the U.S. have increased sharply over the past few years (partially fueled by an FAA website set up to report such incidents), from 2,836 in 2010 to 3,960 in 2013.
The Indian government last week stalled completion of several major military equipment deals until at least the end of the current financial year on March 31. “We have no money,” said defense minister A. K. Antony at the Defexpo show in New Dehli on Thursday.