As professionals engaged in business aviation, each of us probably has questions about what lies ahead for our community. Will there be sufficient airspace and runway capacity to accommodate an increasing number of operations without a subsequent increase in delays? Will the ATC infrastructure be improved, and if so, whose voices will dominate the debate for designing a new system?
Air Traffic Organization
In January, the Helicopter Association International (HAI) urged its members to press their Congressional representatives to support improved communications and weather services over the Gulf of Mexico.
Former Top Gun instructor-pilot Robert Sturgell, who took over the FAA as acting administrator when Marion Blakey completed her five-year term on September 13, has been nominated by President Bush to run the agency for the next five years.
The U.S. has the finest aviation system in the world. As we enter the 21st century, a major challenge for the FAA will be to maintain its global preeminence in civil aviation in an era of increasing traffic volume and major technological advancements. To meet this challenge the FAA is modernizing the National Airspace System (NAS) and associated regulations. Central to this effort is the development of the NAS architecture.
Lockheed Martin delivered the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) equipment to the FAA on budget and ahead of schedule last month, meeting a major milestone in the agency’s Flight Plan for modernizing the National Airspace System (NAS).
The FAA said yesterday that it exceeded its goal for reducing the 'most serious' runway incursions by 25 percent in Fiscal Year 2007, which ended September 30. According to the agency, there were 24 serious runway incursions this past year out of more than 61 million operations, or one for every 2.545 million operations, exceeding the agency's goal of no more than one incursion for every two million surface movements.
As the result of a “call to action” on runway incursions last August, the FAA announced last month, the U.S. aviation community has initiated and completed “significant short-term” actions to improve safety at major airports in the U.S.
With the forcible shutdown of Chicago Meigs Field fresh in their minds, several members of the House aviation subcommittee called to eliminate some of the security restrictions that have been imposed on general aviation as a result of 9/11 and continuing unspecified terrorist threats. And general aviation trade associations pleaded with the lawmakers to create a cohesive federal policy on airspace and airport shutdowns.
Louise Maillett, who was instrumental in developing the slot lottery at New York
La Guardia Airport that helped minimize system delays during the notorious summer of 2000, has been appointed senior counsel to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. In this position, she will provide advice and assistance to senior agency officials on policy and other emerging issues affecting transportation and programs.
David “Bruce” Johnson has been appointed director of the FAA’s Air Traffic Service (ATS) division, with Linda Schuessler as his deputy director. Johnson replaces Bill Peacock, who retired May 2 after 30 years with the FAA. Schuessler takes over from Jeff Griffith, who retired late last year.