Those who operate N-registered business aircraft in Europe know how well off we are in the U.S. Aside from a multitude of flight information regions under the jurisdiction of different countries, Eurocontrol charges and airport restrictions, there is simply a different attitude toward business aviation in Europe compared with the U.S.
Effective April 1, the commercial passenger tax on international operations increases from $5 to $5.50 per passenger. Commercial operators, including Part 135
air-taxi operators conducting international passenger operations, are required to collect and remit a commercial passenger user fee to U.S. Customs.
The business and corporate side of general aviation should continue to benefit from a growing market for new microjets over the next 14 fiscal years, and the FAA expects business use of GA aircraft to expand at a more rapid pace than that for personal and sport use.
When the ICAO Assembly meets in Montreal late this month, the International Business Aircraft Council (IBAC) will propose standardization of international regulations governing fractional ownership operations. At present, the U.S.
Under the Transportation Security Administration’s new regulations permitting the resumption of general aviation operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), air-taxi aircraft with mtows of 12,500 pounds or less cannot qualify. However, Part 91 aircraft of this size can qualify. As an example, in comments sent to the TSA, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) cited a King Air 90 with an mtow of 9,650 pounds.
Few, if any, Citation Mustang orders are for air-limo operations, and Cessna appears neither surprised nor alarmed.
The FAA has finally released its study of Part 135 air-taxi operators, mandated by Congress more than four years ago in the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21). Because it took the agency four years to publish the report–in part because of 9/11–the charter industry is questioning the value of the data.
While the FAA drastically cut down on the numbers of very light jets estimated to take to take to the air in the next decade, comments and speeches at the agency’s 31st Annual Forecast Conference this week indicate there will be changes in the way the aviation industry is to pay for operating the nation’s aviation system. For general aviation, it could be in the form of new user fees, higher fuel taxes or both.
Release of a new air-taxi operations specification (OpSpec A008) to replace interim Notice 8400.83, published last June, has been delayed again–from the end of November to the end of last month. It’s expected that operators will have 60 days from its release to comply. One of the purposes of the OpSpec is to clarify operational control criteria for multi-layered charter arrangements.
In recent letters to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) asked the agency to form an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to address industry concerns regarding its impending rule to require commercial and fractional jet pilots to perform landing distance assessments at the time of arrival including a more restrictive safety margin.