Attendees at this year’s Aviation Services and Suppliers’ SuperShow (AS3) were acutely aware that this was their first such get-together since September 11. AS3 is a joint trade show held during the concurrent conventions of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA).
In the first quarter of this year, the U.S.-registered Part 91 and 135 business jet and turboprop fleet experienced 22 total accidents, five of which killed a total of 15 people, according to safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla.
“Targeted guidelines” and “tough enforcement” are two key elements of a comprehensive voluntary plan from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “to dramatically reduce ergonomic injuries,” according to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. “This plan is a major improvement over the rejected old rule because it will prevent ergonomics injuries before they occur and reach a much larger number of at-risk workers.”
While promising to be “balanced and reasonable,” FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told those attending the recent AOPA Expo that the nation and her agency are caught between two imperatives–national security and preventing terrorists from using aviation for mass murder.
In a letter to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, 31 members of Congress have urged the agency to take immediate action to update pilot flight- and duty-time regulations.
Last month’s annual meeting of the Association of Air Medical Services was its usual low-key success as some 2,500 aeromedical professionals, a record number, assembled in the Kansas City (Mo.) Convention Center for three days of conferences and trade show exhibition.
Some operators are concerned about possible coordination problems that might arise between the FAA and Transportation Security Administration once the TSA moves from being part of the DOT, as is the FAA, to the new Homeland Security Department (HSD).
On November 5, U.S. voters will determine whether Republicans or Democrats have the majority in the House and Senate, and how this pans out has obvious importance to the Bush Administration. In the Senate, where the Democrats enjoy a one-vote majority, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who may have aspirations to run for president in 2004, has been a constant thorn in the side of President Bush by holding up progress on a number of bills.
Although the bill is called the Aviation Industry and Reform Act and is designed to give more financial relief to the airline industry, H.R.5506 also contains provisions
to reform some parts of the FAA and exempts some foreign pilots who come to the
U.S. for recurrent training from undergoing Justice Department background checks.
Declaring that “this meeting is not designed to ask for a bailout of the American airline industry,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue said last month at the chamber’s second annual national aviation summit that “we’re simply asking government not to require the airline industry to absorb more than its fair share of the costs associated with the war on terrorism and defense of our homeland.”