This summer’s London Olympics dominated the agenda at the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) annual conference on March 6, with the group’s patron, Prince Michael of Kent, reminding members that this is an opportunity for the industry to shine. While the high-security event poses plenty of challenges, it should provide a welcome boost to a largely service-based industry that generates almost $3.2 billion for the UK economy each year.
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.
The FAA proposed levying a civil penalty of $153,000 on Colgan Air last month for allegedly operating 17 flights without giving pilots or flight attendants the required minimum amount of rest.
Critics vented frustration with Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) during the FAA Forecast Conference March 8 in Washington, D.C. Leading the chorus of criticism, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood hinted that the U.S. government is considering “enforcement measures” to counter the European Union regulat
The Civil Aviation Directorate of Serbia has launched an initiative to open a registered “heliport” in each municipality in the country. AIN understands these will be proper landing areas with at least a wind sock. Municipalities would have to pay for land development and site maintenance. Currently, the Serbian registry of heliports includes only eight platforms.
The FAA has issued what could be an expensive tail-boom inspection airworthiness directive for the more than 100 Eurocopter EC130B4s in service in the U.S., most of them with air-tour operators. The AD mandates inspections for cracks in the region where the tail boom meets the fenestron assembly. If cracks are found the boom must be replaced at an estimated cost of $64,250 per helicopter.
The families of the two Colombian men killed in the July 2011 crash of a Robinson R66 have hired Los Angeles law firm Baum Hedlund to represent them. Last month the law firm issued a press release featuring photos of the dead men with their families and blasting Robinson for placing “profit over passenger safety.” Baum Hedlund has faced off with Robinson in five previous crashes of R22s and R44s.
The FAA is moving to redefine what “extremely remote” means when it comes to Part 29 certification provisions regarding loss of helicopter gearbox lubrication. The S-92 originally gained certification after Sikorsky convinced the FAA that complete loss of lubrication was extremely remote. Failure of the main rotor gearbox lubrication system is blamed for the fatal ditching of a Cougar Helicopters S-92A off Newfoundland in March 2009.
A House/Senate conference committee removed language inserted by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in the final FAA re-authorization bill that would have mandated helicopters transiting parts of Long Island to fly off its North Shore at a minimum altitude of 2,500 feet.
When President Obama signed the four-year FAA reauthorization bill on February 14, he put an end to more than four years of foot-dragging and often contentious debate, along with a record 23 short-term extensions of the FAA’s operating authorization and ability to levy and collect aviation excise taxes, since the last four-year reauthorization expired in the fall of 2007.
The FAA will continue to allow non-U.S. citizen owner trust aircraft registrations, according to a recently released notice of proposed policy. In mid-2010, the agency announced a moratorium on non-citizen trusts, but was persuaded by NBAA and other groups to reverse that decision while the FAA could review the practice and draft a new policy. The FAA also held a public meeting last June to solicit industry input to shape the draft policy. Non-citizen trusts are used by U.S.