I am so relieved that the U.S. presidential election is finally over. The past year—and especially recent months—have been marked by an undercurrent of anxiety, with otherwise-loving families having cocktail-soaked dinner wars and old friends severing Facebook ties over national policy issues. Perhaps now we can all stop bickering and get down to business.
Politics of the United States
International air travelers still pass through a relatively small number of “metropolitan gateways” or areas in the U.S., which over the last two decades have supported a dramatic increase in the number of passengers entering or leaving the country. But federal aviation policies “do not prioritize these metro areas,” according to a Brookings Institution report.
NBAA Convention attendees interested in next Tuesday’s Presidential election in the U.S. received insightful thoughts on the outcome during this morning’s second-day general session from James Carville and his wife (and political polar opposite) Mary Matalin.
Two aviation-prominent U.S. representatives are not happy with acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta’s implementing the mandatory North Shore VFR helicopter route over Long Island. In a letter to Huerta, Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Tom Petri (R-Wisc.), the chairmen of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its aviation subcommittee, respectively, accuse him of bending to “outside pressures, including political ones” while failing to address “troubling safety concerns” the route creates, mainly because a considerable portion of it is over water.
Washington, D.C.–President Obama missed a major fundraising event yesterday due to cancellation of his JetBlue flight.
In a deft political maneuver that capitalizes on the perceived need of Congress to deliver election-year public works spending, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) attached an amendment today imposing helicopter flight restrictions in Long Island and Los Angeles to the $52 billion federal highway bill (S.1813). This amendment would mandate offshore routes for helicopters transiting the North and South sections of Long Island and require the FAA to develop more restrictive flight paths for civil helicopters operating over the Los Angeles basin.
During my journalism career, I’ve interviewed everyone from Bruce Springsteen (back when he could walk down the street unrecognized) to a Ku Klux Klan leader (who was arrested on kidnapping and weapons charges soon after we met). But none of my interviews have been more fascinating than the ones I’ve conducted with prominent bizav users at Business Jet Traveler, AIN’s sister publication.
Although House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said last week that “significant progress” was being made in FAA reauthorization talks between House and Senate conferees, both his committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have introduced legislation to provide the 19th short-term extension of FAA funding and programs.
Two U.S. Senators have inserted language into the FAA Reauthorization bill that circumvents the normal channels governing airspace regulation for specific areas in their home states.
Former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez has joined the board of directors of Military Parts Exchange (MPX) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a global supplier of nonmunition