With the biennial reshuffling of the U.S. Congress comes the task of reorganizing the general aviation caucuses in both the House and Senate. The GA caucuses are made up of representatives and senators who recognize and support the benefits that GA provides to the nation.
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.
A Europe-wide proposed regulation, combined with a lack of response from national authorities, will have a serious impact on the financial viability of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) in France, according to Union Française de l’Hélicoptère (UFH). The lobbying association warns that the likely requirement for a second flight crewmember would create a costly burden and do nothing to benefit the missions French HEMS operators are allowed to perform.
The major deficit-reduction mechanism that the U.S. government adopted as law more than a year ago but never really intended to use, will nevertheless take effect on March 1 after political parties failed to reach agreement on cutting costs. “Sequestration” forces the Department of Defense to slash $46 billion from its budget through the end of the fiscal year in September, and some $500 billion over the next decade.
Within Six Months
March 13, 2013:
Air Carrier Contract
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.