Progress is being made toward the goal of rotorcraft taking their place in the national transportation infrastructure, according to presenters at January’s American Helicopter Society (AHS) infrastructure convention in Carmel, Calif. The most significant announcement was a congressional requirement in the 2004 federal appropriations bill for the FAA to prepare a document–a technology road map–to define how the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration
Unilaterally imposed work rules and the FAA reauthorization process are among the issues Pat Forrey, new president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), plans to address during his first year in office. Forrey took over the association’s reins in September after he defeated two-term incumbent John Carr.
A new final rule issued by the FAA last month will subject airports hosting scheduled flights in aircraft designed to hold between 10 and 30 passenger seats to standards now reserved for larger airports under FAR Part 139. The rule would reclassify U.S. airports into four categories, based on service type.
Boeing has proposed that a team headed by its Air Traffic Management business unit lead the FAA’s Traffic Flow Management Modernization program, a 12-year initiative to modernize the traffic flow infrastructure in the U.S. and add new functions and features to the system, which the FAA uses to monitor, manage and measure the flow of air traffic nationwide.
Nav Canada last month awarded its national ADS-B program to Syracuse, N.Y.-based Sensis, and installation of the first system ground stations is now under way. The FAA, on the other hand, faces some unexpected pre-contract issues as it moves toward its implementation plan.
A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and testimony from the DOT Inspector General released last week show that some agencies of the government remain mixed on the necessity of user fees and how or if they should be implemented.
In a program that started more than 10 years ago, the FAA is now in the final stages of its northeast airspace redesign project, which involves “a wholesale restructuring” of the cruising, departure and arrival routes and procedures in more than 31,000 sq mi of airspace encompassing 21 major airports in five states. The purpose of the redesign is to improve air traffic efficiency and reduce delays, particularly at LGA, EWR, JFK and PHL.
For many years, companies such as Space Expeditions, Space Adventures and even some airlines have been seriously talking about lofting paying passengers into space on privately operated (non-governmental) vehicles. When Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne won the X-Prize on Oct. 5, 2004, it dawned on people that this idea was a real near-term probability.
As Congress began hearings last month on the Bush Administration’s plan to fund the FAA, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey attempted to do what one lawmaker called “defending the indefensible.”
Early indications from Capitol Hill signaled that the White House proposal for increased taxes and user fees to provide the necessary money to run the FAA and modernize the ATC system would have rough sledding in Congress.
Riley Aviation of Kirsch Municipal Airport in Sturgis, Mich., has received FAA certification as a Part 145 repair station for limited instrument and limited radio aircraft. The company also offers major and minor phase inspections, complete interior refurbishment, full-scale helicopter maintenance and maintenance management. Riley Aviation is also a full-service FBO offering charter and aircraft management.