The Transportation Security Administration has partnered with AOPA to set up a nationwide airport-watch system. Key to the system is a 24/7 toll-free hotline for private pilots to report suspicious activity to the TSA. The hotline, which became effective in late November, is (866) 427-3287. Calls to the hotline go to the National Response Center, which already fields emergency calls for 19 other federal agencies.
As a new year begins, AIN’s editors reflect on the past year and the people and events that shaped the industry and filled these pages. Unlike previous years, when new-product announcements took center stage, last year industry issues–such as FAA funding, operational control of charter flights and the environment–garnered the lion’s share of attention and likely will continue to do so in the coming years.
AOPA has proposed that the city of Chicago apply for $41 million in federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to buy Meigs Field from its current owner, the Chicago Park District. AOPA president Phil Boyer said, “The funds will give [the Park District] significant resources to improve existing parks and create a new one on Northerly Island where there’s adequate space for both Meigs and a park to exist.”
In a public debate Tuesday at the Washington Aero Club’s monthly luncheon, AOPA president Phil Boyer and ATA president and CEO James May agreed on many issues related to funding the FAA, with May going so far as to say he would be fine with no user fees. “I’ve never allocated a collection formula,” he said.
Lockheed Martin, which took over operational control of most of the nation’s flight service network last year, is experiencing troubles with consolidation, AOPA asserts. As part of the 10-year, $1.8 billion contract, Lockheed is now in a seven-month consolidation process, during which it will merge 58 flight service stations into 16, along with three hubs.
The FAA proposed today to make permanent the so-called temporary flight restrictions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The restrictions and the current air defense identification zone (ADIZ) would be known as the National Defense Airspace. The Washington ADIZ and another over New York City were established in February 2002, ostensibly as temporary measures, and the New York City ADIZ has since been eliminated.
Thanks primarily to a campaign by AOPA, the FAA has received more than 16,000 comments, the vast majority mostly negative, to the agency's proposal to make permanent the temporary flight restrictions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Comments on the proposal are due tomorrow. The restrictions and the current air defense identification zone (ADIZ) would be known as the National Defense Airspace, if the FAA has its way.
When the national threat level was raised to code orange (high) on December 21, most people in general aviation took it in stride. With New Year’s celebrations just days off, new TFRs were issued for New York City and Las Vegas, followed by one for downtown Chicago, and waivers were suspended for sports stadium overflights and the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone.
The first of two public meetings will be held this Thursday on the FAA’s proposal to make permanent the so-called temporary restrictions and the current air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The meeting, presented by a panel of representatives from the FAA and other government agencies, will be held on January 12 at the Sheraton Columbia Hotel, Columbia, Md.
Tomorrow’s public hearing at Washington Dulles Airport on the FAA’s proposal to make the Washington-Baltimore air defense identification zone (ADIZ) permanent is expected to draw comments from the leaders of at least three general aviation groups.