The FAA determined that the minimum percentage rate for substance-abuse testing this year will remain at 25 percent of covered aviation employees for random drug testing and 10 percent for random alcohol testing. The rates will remain the same because data indicates that the positive rate for drug tests over the last two years was less than 1 percent and the positive rate for alcohol tests in the past two years was less than 0.5 percent.
If business aviation observers are on the right track, the industry is again facing a shortage of the skilled craftsmen it needs to keep up with burgeoning demand for business aircraft.
This latest labor shortage has its origins in the recession that began in 2001, when business aircraft sales dropped precipitously and thousands of skilled workers–people who had been so badly needed during the boom of the late 1990s–were laid off.
More detailed reporting of top executive compensation, including such perks as personal use of corporate aircraft, is the aim of new proposals under consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Wall Street Journal calls the proposals the “most sweeping overhaul of pay disclosure rules in 14 years.” The SEC will consider whether to formally adopt the proposals at a public meeting next Tuesday.
The FAA has determined that the minimum random drug and alcohol testing percentage rates for next year will remain at 25 percent of safety-sensitive employees for random drug testing and 10 percent of safety-sensitive employees for random alcohol testing. These rates have remained unchanged since 1998, when they were first set.
NetJets Europe pilots are preparing to establish trade union representation at the fractional ownership company. According to Teamsters union officials, a group of the European pilots is now evaluating four possible options for union representation and it expects to launch the new organization by year-end.
The FAA yesterday adopted a 2004 notice of proposed rulemaking amending airman medical standards so that a refusal to submit to a required drug or alcohol test carries the same penalty as failure of a test–revocation or disqualification from holding an airman medical certificate. The same penalty awaits a pilot with an alcohol test result of 0.04 or greater.
The FAA recently hosted representatives from key industry organizations, including the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), to discuss aspects of new drug and alcohol testing rules pertaining to maintenance contractors and subcontractors for Part 121 and 135 operators (FAR 135.251 and 135.253).
On Friday, Taiwanese-backed Sino Swearingen furloughed 100 production-line workers at its San Antonio final assembly plant for the SJ30 light jet, as well as 30 at its subassembly manufacturing facility in Martinsburg, W. Va. V-p of sales and marketing Bob Kromer told AIN that the “temporary” layoffs are due to hiring getting ahead of current SJ30 production capabilities.
After the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) voided the late October MEC elections due to balloting concerns, the NetJets pilots finally were scheduled to vote in new union leaders on December 22 (results are posted on www.ain-online.com). The pilot group has been without peer representation since November 1, when the terms of the former MEC members expired.
By September next year European aircraft maintenance providers will be obliged to have conducted approved human factors training for their staff. The requirement is included in Part 145 rules issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), but national aviation authorities’ (NAAs) inconsistent implementation of the rule appears to be causing confusion for some European companies.