With nearly 20,000 comments received on the proposal to make the Washington, D.C., air defense identification zone (ADIZ) permanent, the FAA will hold two public meetings this month to give pilots, airport managers and others a chance to present their views on the proposal.
Federal Aviation Administration
The Senate at press time was considering a bill that imposes a $250,000 fine and a possible prison term of up to five years for people who point lasers at aircraft. The legislation is an outgrowth of a number of recent incidents. Laser beams can temporarily blind pilots and, in some reported cases, cause permanent eye damage. The bill passed in the House last month.
Starting February 1, owners and operators of aircraft with “questionable registrations and/or no TSA-required security measures/waivers” might be denied access to the National Airspace System.
A proposed noise-compatibility program for Southwest Florida Airport in Fort Myers is under review by the FAA. Comments are due January 31. For more information, contact the FAA at (407) 812-6331.
Another penalty has been assessed against Darby Aviation, one of several operators involved in the crash of a Challenger 600 at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport on February 2. Doing business as AlphaJet International, the Muscle Shoals, Ala.
The FAA has reiterated its request that pilots submit information on wake turbulence encounters that occur in domestic RVSM airspace, including the U.S., offshore airspace and the San Juan flight information region, via the NASA-operated Aviation Safety Reporting System.
With some air traffic controllers already earning more than $200,000 annually, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey is digging in her heels during the agency’s current round of negotiations with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).
Congress may have approved FAA funding for Fiscal Year 2006 before it adjourned for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the drumbeat for user fees in future years continues. Within days of the passing of the $13.8 billion budget, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey was telling the Washington Aero Club that her agency needed a revenue stream that is tied to the actual cost of services.
The enactment of the FY2006 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill will restore planned cuts in the FAA’s aircraft certification service, a move that has drawn praise from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The final bill provides $4 million more than the FAA budget request and returns staffing to FY2004 levels.
In a state-of-the-industry press release last month, the Air Transport Association (ATA) again called for a change in the way the FAA does business. The association said that restructuring the air traffic system is a critical first step for the airline industry to return to financial health.