A new FAA program is intended to improve the use of comprehensible English as the international language of aviation and support new English language proficiency standards that are scheduled to go into effect in two years. The agency recently signed a five-year cooperative agreement with Ordinate of Menlo Park, Calif., to create a standard aviation English test.
Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA today published an order extending through October 28 a flight-reduction program at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, including slot reservations for general aviation operations. The current limitations were scheduled to end April 1, which was an extension from an original termination date of October 29 last year.
Eight aviation trade groups, including the National Air Transportation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Regional Airline Association, have asked the FAA to extend the April 10 compliance date of a recent drug and alcohol testing rule.
The first trial of the FAA’s new airspace flow programs (AFP) begins shortly, likely during the next occurrence of severe thunderstorm-related weather in the Northeast U.S. The AFP allows ATC to impose delays on traffic scheduled to fly through areas constrained by severe weather. Delays are designed to affect en route traffic only, not traffic for destination airports unaffected by weather.
Testifying yesterday at a field hearing in Wichita before the House subcommittee on aviation, general aviation manufacturing leaders urged Congress to take a “strong and proactive” role in issues that could negatively affect the GA industry.
Top FAA lawyers and flight standards specialists met with charter companies yesterday in Las Vegas in the first of 10 air-taxi operational control workshops. The FAA explained the need to help the charter industry understand regulatory requirements for operational control and discussed planned new requirements for charter Opspecs A008, which will replace Notice 8400.83 issued last June.
On Tuesday, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey testified before the Senate subcommittee on aviation about the financial health of the agency, specifically the FY 2007 budget and condition of the aviation trust fund.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials is asking Congress to “say no” to the FAA’s 2007 budget proposals. According to NASAO, “All of the states and thousands of airports across the nation will suffer if the administration is allowed to slash nearly a billion dollars out of the already authorized $3.7 billion Airport Improvement Program.” The FAA is requesting $2.75 billion for airport improvements.
Testifying recently before the House aviation subcommittee on unmanned aircraft (UA), FAA associate administrator for aviation safety Nicholas Sabatini outlined the challenges of integrating UAs into the National Airspace System. Sabatini explained that operations of UAs are currently approved under two means–certificates of authorization (COA) for government agencies and experimental airworthiness certificates for private industry.
While the FAA did rescind Notice N8000.336 regarding addition of airplanes to Part 135 certificates, on December 18 it reissued the notice in a new form with only one change. Like N8000.336, Notice N8000.343 requires FAA principal inspectors to obtain concurrence from FAA headquarters before allowing an operator to add a new turbine-powered airplane to its OpSpecs.