Last month pilots, airport managers and others gathered at two public meetings to tell the FAA what they think of the agency’s proposal to make the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone (ADIZ) a permanent fixture. But lurking in the rooms like a stealthy 900-pound gorilla was the even more worrisome possibility that the FAA might mandate similar “security” treatment elsewhere.
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.
• Controlling earmarking, or “pork” amendments, and restraining lobbyists’ largesse continued to command the attention of lawmakers, and that led to a spate of committee hearings and bills to reduce public concern about lawmakers’ integrity.
When the GAMA executive board was in Washington, D.C., for the industry briefing earlier this year, acting NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker assured GAMA members that the Safety Board “has its eye on the GA ball.”
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), whose district includes Wichita, used the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) annual industry review and market outlook briefing to tout his “Promotion Responsibility for Our U.S. Aviation Act of 2005” bill.
Though active only in evening and night hours, they will be in effect through December 31 and are likely to be renewed. Originally extending from 12,000 feet to 14,000 feet, they are expected to be changed to extend from 14,000 feet to 16,000 feet. The TFRs were issued in response to U.S. Customs Service and Border Patrol unmanned aerial vehicle surveillance operations.
The 90-day performance tolerance standard assessment was prompted by a review at New York Tracon conducted last year that revealed some small operational-error violations on final approach that were detected by later examination of radar records. Controllers are not being assessed an operational error on final approach if aircraft separation is inadvertently reduced from 3 nm to 2.7 nm (excluding larger separation standards for heavies).
Transportation Department Inspector General Kenneth Mead, a tireless ally of disgruntled airline passengers and often a thorn in the side of the nation’s airlines, resigned last month after nearly nine years to join a Washington law firm. The DOT has not yet named his successor.
The effort began in May last year with the formation of a collaborative decision-making workgroup. The initiative, called the Airspace Flow Program, is meant to replace multiple ground delay programs in support of Swap (the severe weather avoidance program). An advanced session on the subject was on the agenda at the Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in January.
Have you ever heard the comments about Washington, D.C., being a merry-go-round or the suggestion that reality stops at the Beltway? There’s a host of such jabs aimed at the decisions that flow from the nation’s capital. I think we all have complained about some of the decisions from Washington in general or the DOT/FAA in particular. I have no intention of trying to defend some of the decisions that seem disconnected from reality.
The cost of having a business aircraft worked on by a certified repair station that also works on airline aircraft may go up as a result of new FAA drug and alcohol testing requirements.