The FAA will present its seventh seminar on domestic RVSM airspace on June 9 and 10 in Atlanta. The goal of the seminar is to provide regulatory and procedural information on DRVSM. Specific topics include DRVSM program overview, aircraft and operator approval processes, safety and monitoring considerations and ATC programs and policies.
Federal Aviation Administration
• Congress dodged the dog days of August by taking a six-week recess beginning July 22, but not before legislators increased their bills introduced count to 2,772 in the Senate and 5,001 in the House of Representatives.
The House Appropriations Committee has added a directive to a report on FAA funding for Fiscal Year 2005 that would require the agency to ensure that pilots continue to get the best possible flight briefing and en route information services without user fees.
Delaware-based Dassault Falcon Jet Wilmington and Nashville-based Averitt Aviation have received the FAA’s Diamond Award for aviation maintenance training. The FAA’s highest level award for maintenance training, the Diamond Award is a certificate of excellence given to select companies participating in the FAA Aviation Technician Training Program.
Interested parties are getting more time to comment on the FAA’s controversial proposal to require all air-tour operators to be certified under Part 135 or 121, with an extension of the comment period from April 19 to June 18.
After meeting with industry representatives over several days in early March, the FAA launched a new ATC plan designed to head
off gridlock by “sharing the pain” around choke points such as New York, Chicago and Atlanta.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association urged the Senate appropriations transportation subcommittee to ask FAA Administrator Marion Blakey what the agency plans to do about “the looming air traffic control staffing crisis.” The association anticipates a personnel shortage of up to 50 percent in the next 10 years. “This is of particular concern because it takes up to five years to train a controller,” said NATCA president John Carr.
It is good news that the joint program and development office (JPDO), formed recently at the direction of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, is crafting a national policy on air transportation. Many voices, among them mine when I served as president of NBAA, called for a vision and mission statement by the U.S.
DOT Secretary Mary Peters cautioned that aviation delays will grow without significant FAA funding reforms (read: user fees) as forecasters predict air traffic will increase by the equivalent of the traffic generated by two major hub airports each year through 2020. Speaking at the annual FAA Forecast Conference last Thursday, Peters noted that airline delays last year reached an all-time high.
The FAA’s plans to update certification rules to reflect the improved capabilities and performance of modern helicopters appears to be moving ahead with few hurdles, according to officials with knowledge of the changes proposed last August.