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. Data received in the last two years indicates that the positive rate for drug testing is less than 1 percent and the positive rate for alcohol testing has been less than 0.5 percent.
For the second year in a row, Western Aircraft’s facility in Boise, Idaho, has been recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and was awarded the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (Sharp) for its stellar safety and training program.
An FAA program to buy private airport development rights is targeting “troubled airports” that the agency believes could be at risk for sale to developers or other possible means of closure. According to AOPA, the federal pilot program is similar to one in New Jersey that has been successful in acquiring development rights and preserving airports there.
Pilots considering vision-correction surgery take note: a recent study by the U.S. Navy shows that custom (also known as wavefront-guided) Lasik is better than traditional Lasik eye surgery.
Washington MedStar is to equip its fleet of EC 135s and a BK 117 with the Sky Connect Tracker system, which will allow its operations center to monitor the location and status of its fleet anywhere, continuously and under virtually any conditions.
Dr. Frederick Tilton has been named the FAA’s new federal air surgeon, replacing Dr. Jon Jordan, who retired last December. Tilton had been the deputy federal air surgeon since 2000 and became acting federal air surgeon when Jordan retired.
On January 25 the NTSB Office of Aviation Safety presented a special investigation report on EMS and helicopter EMS (HEMS) operations, attributing a number of EMS accidents to the safety deficiencies allegedly inherent in the less stringent Part 91 rules, which are in place when no patients or organs are on board. The agency invested 3,500 man hours investigating the 55 most recent accidents, 35 of which occurred without patients aboard.
Turbomeca is investing approximately $50 million to expand production and product support activities at its Grand Prairie, Texas facility.
The allocation includes approximately $10 million to fund a 67,000-sq-ft expansion that is expected to be fully operational by May. The expansion allows the company to continue to expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul activities, as well as assemble and test some Arriel and Arrius models.
Cessna announced a new satellite-based, centrally managed parts inventory system for its Citation service centers. The system allows each center easy access to inventory availability at any Cessna-owned facility; previously, each center managed its own inventory. Separately, the Wichita-based aircraft OEM conducted a two-year study of repeat orders to establish sufficient inventory requirements for the most sought-after parts.
Jeppesen introduced the follow-on version to its CD-ROM FliteCrew DLS training program for pilots. Consisting of eight computer-based modules, the software includes individual sections covering weather, aircraft performance, airport operations, regulations (Part 91 and 135), AIM procedures, human factors, charts and navigation and recurrent medical training, the latter developed with partner MedAire.