Qantas was criticized by an Australian senator and some airline employees last week for its plan to remove life rafts from more than half of its Boeing 737-800 fleet to save fuel. ICAO regulations do not require aircraft flying within 400 nm of land to carry rafts. The airline said it is also pulling the equipment to simplify flight operations.
OSHA issued a final rule, effective Jan. 1, 2015, updating the appendix of industries that, because they have relatively low occupational injury and illness rates, are partially exempt from reporting requirements. Aircraft technician, maintenance and hangar operations (which are currently not exempted) remain absent from the revised exemption list.
Approximately 300 pilots and other employees of NetJets took to the picket lines yesterday in a three-pronged “informational” protest outside the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary’s Columbus, Ohio headquarters and at its bases at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and California’s John Wayne Orange County Airport.
According to NBAA, IRS officials recently indicated the agency plans to intensify audits of companies for improperly classifying employees as independent contractors, which could include contract pilots frequently used by corporate flight departments. The independent contractor issue is so concerning and complicated that NBAA issued a Best Practices for Utilizing Independent Contractors guide for business aircraft operators in 2011.
Unionized pilots with Lufthansa-owned low-fare carrier Germanwings staged a six-hour strike on Friday after negotiations between the airline and pilots over early retirement benefits broke down. The Vereinigung Cockpit union representing pilots with Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings said it would continue planning industrial actions “until the point of agreement.”
Cessna Aircraft delivered the 10,000th single-engine aircraft from its Independence, Kan. facility, which opened in June 1996. Liberty University took delivery of this milestone aircraft, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk with a custom paint scheme denoting it as the 10,000th piston single from Independence. “Reaching this milestone is a testament to the quality of the workforce at our Independence facility,” said Independence general manager Lily English.
The U.S. helicopter safety team (USHST) has begun a recruitment drive to convince more helicopter safety experts to join its efforts to reduce accidents and fatalities in the industry. The USHST comprises members from both industry and government focused on safety management, training, maintenance and safety technology.
The FAA’s Airports Office and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) have jointly created a new safety system called Airport Voluntary Reporting System (AVRS) to allow the agency’s employees to report safety hazards more easily without fear of retaliation. The FAA and Natca signed a memorandum of understanding for the 18-month pilot program covering 338 of the 550 Airports Office employees.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) on August 7 said it was pleased to see the transfer of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program (FFDO) by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to the assistant administrator for Training and Workforce Engagement. The FFDO allows qualified airmen to carry sidearms into the cockpit. ALPA president Lee Moak said, “TSA’s decision to bring the program under TWE is positive action to ensure that FFDOs receive the strongest possible training.”
Vilnius, Lithuania-based FL Technics Training has launched an online maintenance training program called Online Training to provide EASA-compliant courses. The platform covers a set of specialized continuing and recurrent courses, supplemented by required examination and, upon successful completion, the issuance of relevant certificates.
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