The effects of the U.S. government budget cuts that started on March 1 will not likely be felt until April but they could be significant for airlines and their passengers. The Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency will absorb the mandated spending cuts known as the “sequester” in part by furloughing employees, or requiring them to take several days of unpaid leave.
Economy of the United States
Whenever the non-aviation media gets hold of a story that involves aircraft certification issues, such as the recent Boeing 787 lithium-ion battery problems, an enterprising reporter “discovers” that the FAA applied “special conditions” to the certification of the product in question. These stories seem to imply that the manufacturer was given some sort of special dispensation, a way to get around the regulations to obtain the FAA’s stamp of approval.
The major deficit-reduction mechanism that the U.S. government adopted as law more than a year ago but never really intended to use, will nevertheless take effect on March 1 after political parties failed to reach agreement on cutting costs. “Sequestration” forces the Department of Defense to slash $46 billion from its budget through the end of the fiscal year in September, and some $500 billion over the next decade.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner met with Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Akihiro Ota in Tokyo on Thursday to discuss the company’s proposal to return the Boeing 787 to service.
Boeing and Elbit Systems signed a memorandum of understanding to offer Elbit’s directed infrared counter measure (DIRCM) system for international customers of Boeing fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
Members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) returned a split decision on Boeing’s offer for a new four-year contract. Engineers agreed to accept the offer by a count of 6,483 to 5,514, but technical workers voted to reject by a tally of 3,203 to 2,868.
Miami, Florida-based Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) received the world’s first supplemental type certificate (STC) from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for the MD-80SF passenger-to-freighter conversion, the company announced last week. The STC allows for conversions of the passenger-configured MD-81, MD-82, MD-83 and MD-88, of which McDonnell Douglas built 779.
Boeing 787 prototype ZA005 on Monday took to the air for the second time since the FAA cleared the company to fly the airplane on test missions over unpopulated areas.
India’s defense minister AK Antony has confirmed that military spending will be cut in the budget for the next fiscal year (April 2013 through March 2014). “The [Indian] government is passing through a difficult phase; the recession is affecting us,” said Antony in response to a question from AIN during a packed press conference at Aero India today.
XOJet announced today that it is promoting Bradley Stewart to company CEO, effective February 7. Stewart, who has been president of the fixed-price aircraft charter firm since 2010, was previously an executive with Parthenon Capital Partners and McKinsey. Current CEO Blair LaCorte will remain active with the charter company as a member of the board of directors. LaCorte will also retain his role as senior advisor to XOJet’s owner, TPG Portfolio, with which he has been affiliated since 2005.