The problematic use of “drones” to prosecute the U.S. war on terror is very much in the news again. On February 7, during a hearing that was repeatedly interrupted by protesters, senators questioned John Brennan, President Obama’s CIA director-designate, about the administration’s heavy reliance on “targeted killings” by unmanned aircraft.
While many people breathed a sigh of relief when Congress pulled the nation back from the so-called “fiscal cliff” at the beginning of the new year, most of those who were following the contretemps didn’t realize it was mainly political theater.
“While we are pleased Congress made some headway on tax elements to avert the fiscal cliff, we are concerned that they could not agree to a long-term solution to fix a problem no serious person wants: sequestration,” said Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO Marion Blakey.
Northrop Grumman and EADS Cassidian conducted the first signals intelligence (Sigint) sensor test flight of the Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) on January 11. The aircraft flew for more than six hours and climbed to 54,000 feet in military-controlled airspace before returning to Manching Air Base in Germany, north of Munich. Bernhard Gerwert, Cassidian CEO, said the payload “showed excellent performance within the perfect interplay of the overall system.”
Rockwell Collins introduced enhancements to its Flight Manager web-based application today at the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The changes to the program, which is part of the Iowa-based company’s Ascend flight information solutions, include dynamic graphical flight tracking and an electronic advance passenger information system (APIS) reporting tool for Part 91 operators.
NBAA has joined more than 50 groups and organizations in petitioning the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that President Obama’s budget request includes adequate funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffing at U.S. ports of entry. In a joint letter sent on Thursday to OMB acting director Jeffrey Zients, the signatories–which include the U.S.
The House of Representatives passed the “Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2013” last month, requiring the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to permanently establish an Aviation Security Advisory Committee (Asac), a government/industry group that collaborates on security policies.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin testing and evaluating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) this month near Lawton, Oklahoma, under a federal and state initiative to study UAS applications for emergency response. The DHS is also considering the use of small UAS by its constituent organizations: the Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency.
In the wake of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showing that foreign flight students can be cleared for flying lessons earlier than they would be cleared to fly commercially on U.S. airlines, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee has filed a bill to close a loophole in the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP).
“The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) has been quite clear…it does not see the need for security rules at contract repair stations,” Edward Wytkind, president of U.S. trade union the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, wrote in a letter to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The New York Police Department took delivery of its fourth Bell 412 last month. The new ship will be used for counter-terrorism missions. NYPD Capt. James Coan said the city’s extensive air assets are “a force multiplier for patrol, gathering intelligence, counter-terrorism and the detective bureau.” The new 412 will be equipped with radiation-detection equipment that is effective from an altitude of 200 feet.