While the U.S. Senate has yet to introduce its version of an FAA reauthorization bill, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 915).
In a survey of members who own or operate aircraft hangars, the National Air Transportation Association asked how new National Fire Protection Association 409 foam fire-suppression requirements would affect their businesses. According to NATA, “Forty-four percent of respondents claim that they have cancelled plans to build a hangar or have reduced hangar size because of the cost of compliance with NFPA 409.
Continuing a shuffle of executive positions in the agency’s aviation safety organization, which began with the retirement of Nick Sabatini and others, acting FAA Administrator Lynne Osmus officially named Peggy Gilligan associate administrator for aviation safety, succeeding Sabatini.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has sharply criticized the interference of prosecutors in ongoing accident investigations in Italy and France, warning that such interference hampers efforts to improve aviation safety and prevent similar accidents in the future.
Examination of wreckage from the March 12 crash of a Cougar Helicopters S-92 prompted manufacturer Sikorsky to recommend the grounding of all S-92s last Friday unless their titanium main gearbox oil bowl mounting studs had already been replaced with steel ones.
The TSA has established a stakeholder liaison position dedicated to addressing concerns about recent security measures, including the Large Aircraft Security Program proposal, a security directive that would require additional screenings for general aviation pilots at commercial airports and “Operation Playbook.” Juan Barnes has been tapped to fill the new role.
Acting FAA administrator Lynne Osmus has appointed new personnel following last year’s departure of associate administrator for aviation safety Nicolas Sabatini and director of Flight Standards Service James Ballough. Osmus appointed Peggy Gilligan the new associate administrator for aviation safety and moved John Allen from deputy director to director of Flight Standards Service.
The FAA published a revised Airworthiness Directive today for Boeing 777-200s and -300s equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. The new AD adds further procedures to prevent ice buildup that can clog fuel lines.
The FAA yesterday reached a settlement with Southwest Airlines that reduces the civil penalty it proposed to levy against the carrier on March 6 last year from $10.2 million to $7.5 million. The agency proposed the penalty after it found that Southwest operated 46 airplanes on 59,791 flights without performing mandatory inspections for fuselage fatigue cracking.
A trio of helicopter trade associations–the Association of Air Medical Services, the Helicopter Association International and the Air Medical Operators Association–is recommending the FAA mandate night vision goggles, enhanced vision systems, or IFR-only operations for all night flights of EMS helicopters. The recommendations overlap many key advisories the NTSB made in 2006.