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.

February 4, 2013 - 1:27pm
Boeing 737-800

Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, confirmed in a ruling last Thursday that airlines based in the EU carry liability for accommodation and other “necessary, appropriate and reasonable” costs incurred by passengers in the event of long delays, even for disruptions beyond their control.

February 4, 2013 - 1:55am

Changes and amendments to FAA Operations Specifications (OpSpecs) often serve as a proxy for agency rulemaking or regulation, thus bypassing prescribed channels, according to a government-industry rulemaking committee.

The Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation (CRI) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) found that the proliferation of OpSpecs creates inconsistent application and confusion among operators. To address this confusion, the committee recommended that the FAA periodically review the reasons for each OpSpecs paragraph.

January 28, 2013 - 11:55am

The U.S. FAA has formed an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to make recommendations by next summer on safely allowing the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) in flight. The committee will meet as in-flight entertainment and consumer electronics associations turn up the pressure to ease current restrictions on PEDs with new research on airline passenger demand.

January 21, 2013 - 12:35pm

A new Reason Foundation study argues that U.S. passenger airports could support themselves and fund capacity improvements with user fees and long-term financing, eliminating the need for government grants from the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The study by the libertarian research organization also proposes spinning off the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) into a separate federal entity that charges users for ATC services.

January 14, 2013 - 9:40am

The line has sharpened between airlines and labor groups over the FAA’s decision to exclude all-cargo operations from its new, stricter pilot flight duty rule, scheduled to take effect in January next year. Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization representing major U.S. airlines, issued a statement on January 7 reaffirming its support of the duty rule as published and urging Congress to reject new legislation that would change the rule to include all-cargo carriers.

January 8, 2013 - 3:50pm

Despite his rhetoric during a presidential debate that “corporate jets” should not get tax breaks, President Obama signed a bill–the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012–last week that extends the 50-percent accelerated depreciation for capital goods, notably including business aircraft, through the end of this year.

January 3, 2013 - 3:10pm

Following the withdrawal of a “hold” by Sen. Jim DeMint last month, the Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Michael Huerta to a five-year term as FAA Administrator. Huerta has been serving as acting FAA Administrator since Randy Babbitt resigned from the post after a drunken-driving arrest in December 2011 in Fairfax, Va.

The aviation industry unanimously applauded the confirmation.

December 18, 2012 - 2:50pm

The FAA is amending maintenance regulations, removing the task of updating some databases from the preventive maintenance category effective Jan. 28, 2013. Previously, because database updating was listed as preventive maintenance in FAR Part 43 Appendix A, pilots were allowed to perform the updates only on aircraft that they own or operate, but not on commercially operated aircraft. This is because Part 43.3, paragraph (g) allows only pilots who own or operate aircraft not flown under Parts 121, 129 or 135 to conduct preventive maintenance.

December 17, 2012 - 1:40pm

The “high level group” formed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop a global agreement on reducing carbon emissions from the air transport industry convened for the first time on December 12. The group aims to draft a plan for adoption at the next ICAO Council, scheduled for September and October 2013.

December 13, 2012 - 5:15am
Pictured (l-r) are Rolf Smith, Viation sales director; Pat McHaffey, managing director of Viation UK; Greg Thomas, PrivatAir CEO; Christian Hatje, PrivatAir v-p business aviation; and Nick McHaffey, director of Viation UAE.

The Gulf region is in need of a sound regional business aviation policy and is suffering from lack of a dedicated regulatory environment, said London-based lawyer Aoife O’Sullivan during a break yesterday from overseeing several business aircraft transaction on the fringes of MEBA 2012 in Dubai.

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