Growing distrust between elements within various pilot groups and airline management over the use of confidential safety information is threatening the integrity and effectiveness of the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), according to the Regional Airline Association. In fact, the issue dominated the discourse during a December meeting of some 20 regional airline safety directors at RAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments last month on the question of whether a lower court can hold Lexington Blue Grass Airport liable for the Aug. 27, 2006, crash of a Comair Bombardier CRJ that killed 49 of its 50 occupants. Comair contends that the airport should bear some responsibility for the crash for not adequately notifying the pilots of a construction project that diverted airplanes on the taxiway.
Regional carriers Comair, Republic and Trans States last month announced plans to cut hundreds of jobs. Some of the biggest cuts will come from Cincinnati-based Comair, which expects to cut 300 pilot jobs and 220 flight attendant positions as the airline moves forward with plans to remove 15 percent of its flying capacity starting next month.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines accepted its first Bombardier CRJ700 during ceremonies that marked not only the Atlanta-based airline’s baptism as a 70-seat jet operator but the delivery of the Canadian manufacturer’s 600th CRJ–a 40-seat version that entered revenue service with ASA on January 31.
Heartened by a recent WTO ruling against Canada for its support of Bombardier CRJ sales, Brazil’s Embraer has now turned its attention to its European competition, accusing the German government of illegally subsidizing the development of Fairchild Dornier’s 728 and 928 programs.
All four of Delta Air Lines’ regional affiliates benefited from the company’s continuing network realignment last month, as Delta concentrates ever more intently on “rationalizing” capacity and cutting costs with regional jets.
The summer of 2001 saw regional airline executives sweating from more than the heat of the season, as 89 days of uncertainty produced by the pilots of Cincinnati-based Comair threatened to halt the growth momentum of an entire industry. Of course, the strike severely hurt Comair’s parent airline, Delta, to the tune of at least $200 million.
What was to have been a routine milk run on March 19 from Nassau, Bahamas, to Orlando, Fla., for Comair Flight 5054 turned into several moments of sheer terror when the Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia began accruing a coating of ice as it entered IMC at 18,000 ft about 46 min after takeoff.
Delta Air Lines’ “realignment” of its regional subsidiaries reached the top levels of management last month, when Delta senior v-p of strategy and business development Fred Buttrell became president and CEO of Delta Connection. Buttrell replaced long-time Comair CEO David Siebenburgen, considered by many the father of the regional jet movement in the U.S.
Divergent conditions in the regional airline business and the business jet realm have conspired to create a potential boon for completion companies involved in converting Bombardier CRJs into executive transports.