• Congress closed up shop on September 29, and November 13 was set as the date for what might be a lame-duck Congress to reconvene. The long interval freed legislators who are up for election to go to their home districts and do battle for votes. Democrats are hoping that the scandals surrounding Republican congressmen will influence voters to restore the Democrats to majorities in the House and Senate.
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.
British authorities are expected to decide by mid-February how and when to apply new operating rules to business aircraft registered in the UK’s overseas territories. These new rules will likely be based on the International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) drawn up and administered by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC).
European charter operators are expressing increasing frustration about what they have come to regard as anti-competitive restrictions on their ability to fly in and out of the U.S.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Transportation Department Inspector General are questioning whether the FAA’s safety inspectors and air traffic controllers will be able to cope with the introduction of very light jets (VLJ) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
More than 15 years after the publication of initial proposals, commercial single-engine operations under instrument meteorological conditions (SE-IMC) could at long last become permitted in Europe, though not before 2010.
With the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) poised to raise the age limit for commercial pilots to 65 effective November 23, the FAA has convened an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the same standard.
Former Flight Options pilot Franklin Rodriguez last month was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison after pleading guilty last May to smuggling into the U.S. some 200,000 Ecstasy pills while flying a C-5 Galaxy mission from Germany to Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., for the Air National Guard.
The comment period on a proposal to continue the reservation and slot program under the high-density rule at New York La Guardia Airport (LGA) has been extended from October 30 to December 29, the result of requests from several trade groups. The program, which includes a slot-reservation system for general aviation operations (six slots are available per hour between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m.) is set to expire January 1.
On November 23 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will adopt an amendment to increase the age limit for airline pilots to 65, provided another crewmember pilot is under age 60. The FAA established on September 27 an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the new ICAO standard.
The $388 billion omnibus spending bill Congress passed late last year cut the FAA’s budget for Fiscal Year 2005 to $13.6 billion, $219 million less than in FY 2004. But lawmakers added $9.5 million more than the Bush Administration requested to train more air traffic controllers.