GA groups generally welcomed the Senate confirmation of Judge Michael Chertoff to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, replacing Tom Ridge, who resigned. But his positions on general aviation are still unknown.
On October 29, more than four out of every five of the unionized pilots at fractional provider NetJets voted to reject a tentative agreement (TA) reached in late August (see AIN November, page 4), sending a strong message to their now former master executive council (MEC) members, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 284 and the company itself.
Contrary to FAA-recommended national standards, a housing contractor was successful in changing zoning regulations in Oxford, Conn., and will be allowed to build within Waterbury-Oxford Airport’s 65-decibel noise contour. With its ILS-equipped 5,000- by 100-foot runway and contract-operated control tower, Waterbury-Oxford (OXC) has gained increasing favor as a business aircraft base and is home to a growing number of business jets.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), N.C., held a dedication ceremony on December 17 (the anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight) for its new $4 million general aviation terminal, which includes a restaurant and information center. Though not yet open, the municipally owned terminal is now complete and includes conference rooms, flight-planning facilities and snooze areas.
Hopes for a first-quarter launch of US Airways’ MidAtlantic division dimmed to a flicker last month as pilots continued their dispute over payscales for new Embraer 170 positions and management took steps to sell off assets to meet minimum federal loan requirements.
The Challenger crash at Teterboro on February 2 brought out the usual airport opponents. For many years, local officials, activists and residents in areas around the airport have been trying to restrain airport growth. Only 12 miles from Manhattan, TEB is one of the country’s busiest general aviation airports, with 202,720 operations last year.
AOPA supports proposed changes to streamline the process of awarding airport improvement program grant assurances, but also told the FAA that it must “maintain its authority to enforce grant obligations in order to protect the nation’s general aviation airports.” The pilot association made clear that it “would oppose any changes that would divert general aviation airport funds to uses other than maintenance and infrastructure improvement.” The
When Congress passed the FAA reauthorization bill late last year, it opened the path for the Jackson Hole, Wyo. airport authority to impose a ban on Stage 2 aircraft (less than 75,000 pounds) without the need for an FAR Part 161 study. Last month the airport issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for its Stage 2 ban.
Some international business jet flights bound for three New York-area satellite airports were diverted to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to clear customs during the recent Orange-level security alert period.
Beginning in mid-February, Congress took a couple of weeks off and returned to business in early March. Nevertheless, there has been no slowdown in the introduction of bills and, at press time, there were 1,133 bills introduced in the House and 533 in the Senate. A number of bills that failed to make the grade in the 108th Congress were reintroduced with the expectation that some could be enacted into law this go-around.