The FAA has finally released its study of Part 135 air-taxi operators, mandated by Congress more than four years ago in the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21). Because it took the agency four years to publish the report–in part because of 9/11–the charter industry is questioning the value of the data.
Under an FAA cost-cutting proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids, microwave landing systems and nondirectional beacons at some 25 U.S. airports would no longer be monitored by ATC or FSS due to their low annual activity or because they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed. It will therefore be up to pilots to report signal discrepancies to the FAA.
This year’s AIN FBO Survey questionnaire is now available online, hosted by aviation market analyst Forecast International of Newtown, Conn. Those AIN readers selected to participate in this survey should have received a coded number and a link to the survey Web site by e-mail or fax.
The New York State Assembly didn’t follow the Senate’s lead and pass legislation that would exempt Part 91 aircraft from sales and use taxes. The bill’s sponsors said they intend to reintroduce the measure early this year. “This bill would make New York competitive with other [nearby] states that already exempt sales taxes related to aviation activities,” Sen. Bill Larkin (R-39th District) said.
Sky-Nets, which offers free wireless Internet (WiFi) systems to FBOs, released the results of a survey of FBOs, assessing their level of WiFi adoption. The survey polled 380 U.S. FBOs and found that 73 percent of FBOs at larger airports (more than 30,000 movements) offer WiFi and 45 percent of FBOs at smaller airports offer WiFi.
The aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) advising the FAA about whether airline pilots should be able to fly after reaching the agency’s mandatory retirement age of 60 issued what could only be called a split decision.
In one of its last acts before the 109th Congress ended last month, the Senate approved a House-passed bill that creates a federal Interagency Aerospace Revitalization Task Force. It directs 11 federal agencies, led by the Department of Labor, to form a task force to develop strategies to expand public and private aerospace job-training programs.
In what many observers predicted, the FAA/Industry Age 60 Aviation Rulemaking Committee was unable to reach consensus on whether to raise the mandatory retirement age of 60 for airline pilots. Bloomberg News reported it obtained a copy of the report, which the FAA is studying but has not yet released.
AIN’s 2006 Product Support Survey should have shown Honeywell’s support of the TFE731 turbofan receiving an overall average rating of 7.02, a 3.24-percent increase of its overall average rating from the 2005 survey, and tied with the overall average rating of P&WC. In the chart on page 52 of the September issue, the 2006 overall average rating was incorrectly given as 6.40.
According to published reports supported by on-site witnesses, the Venezuelan National Guard is still holding in custody a Portuguese-registered Citation X seized last October. The anti-drug command reported it found about 880 pounds of cocaine on board the business jet, which reportedly had flown from Mexico and stopped in Caracas for fuel before a planned transatlantic flight to South Africa.