In the aftermath of September’s terrorist attacks a number of federal agencies, private companies and pilots have suggested exploring ways of allowing civil aircraft to land themselves in the event the pilots become incapacitated. According to aerospace engineers, the technology for such an airborne system already exists, and would require only modifications to an aircraft’s avionics and flight controls to implement.
Linemen at Pride Flight Services in Alexandria, La., need to know their stuff. The sole FBO at England Alexandria International Airport (AEX), Pride has as diverse an overall clientele as any FBO in the country, serving major airlines, regionals, military aircraft and a wide range of general aviation traffic.
Air traffic at West Palm Beach Airport (PBI), Fla., came to a screeching halt for about an hour on the morning of April 12 due to a lightning strike, but it wasn’t an airplane that was hit. The primary runway at PBI was out of service for about an hour when a bolt of lightning left what airport officials described as a “pothole” on 10,000-foot-long Runway 9L/27R.
Apparently most business aircraft operators had the wherewithal and the good sense to clear out of the way in the face of the Southeastern hurricane hat trick in August
When it first opened at Waterbury-Oxford Airport, Conn., 20 years ago, Keystone Aviation consisted of one 15,000-sq-ft hangar and a passenger terminal. Today, this award-winning FBO has become one of Connecticut’s largest corporate jet complexes, with more than 130,000 sq ft of hangar space, 60,000 sq ft of office space and a newly renovated passenger terminal.
Still unclear at press time was how Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 91 will affect general aviation, particularly business aircraft and private aircraft with mtows exceeding 12,500 lb.
The Transportation Security Administration’s notice of public meeting and request for comments on “Aircraft Repair Station Security” (Docket No. TSA-2004-17131) garnered 20 comments by the March 29 deadline. Responses came from individual pilots, small and large maintenance facilities and special interest groups.
The FAA is investigating having VASI and PAPI lights begin flashing when the landing runway is occupied. Doing so could prevent “landovers,” where an aircraft continues its approach and touches down while another aircraft or vehicle is still on the runway.
The Burbank, Calif., airport authority is considering using an FAA noise study to expand an overnight curfew at Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (BUR). The draft proposal is contained in an ongoing FAA Part 161 noise study typically required before an airport can implement aircraft operating restrictions. The Burbank proposal would close the airport to all operations– regardless of aircraft noise level–between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
The newly completed Swift Aviation Services (SAS) FBO at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is up and running and welcoming large business jets beneath the massive canopy that covers 0.7 of an acre of ramp space near the west end of Runway 7R-25L.