As a percentage of a $200 airline ticket, taxes and fees more than tripled between 1972 and 2004 thanks to inflation, a decline in the real cost of airline travel and, more recently, increased security charges, as the government struggles to keep pace with the cost of providing the infrastructure necessary to support airline flights.
NTSB recommendations issued last month call on the FAA to step up its oversight of Part 135 operators to ensure that improper record-keeping practices are identified and corrected “before accidents occur.” Additionally, the FAA should establish “specific criteria” regarding the number of accidents or incidents that would trigger increased FAA oversight of a particular operator.
• In view of the enormous funds allocated for hurricane relief ($62 billion to date with more to come) and a mounting budget deficit, President Bush and legislators in both houses of Congress have been pushing programs that would reduce federal spending.
A disgruntled pilot reports that he ad visited a well known FBO at a busy, major-market airport recently and found binder openly displayed on the counter with tail numbers, itineraries and other information of incoming flights, including his. He said the customer service representative explained that the notebook was there for the convenience of limo drivers so they could monitor the ETAs of their incoming customers.
Eclipse Aviation has chosen Albany International Airport as the site for its new northeast factory service center. The company plans to have seven domestic factory service centers and has previously nounced locations in Albuquerque, N.M., and Gainesville, Fla.
A jury decided in favor of Cessna in a lawsuit arising from the Oct. 10, 2001, crash of a PenAir Caravan near Dillingham, Alaska. The plaintiffs, survivors of the 10 people killed in the crash, claimed the Caravan has design defects that make it dangerous to fly in icing conditions, but the jury found “no defects” contributed to the accident.
— Following tradition, Congress escaped Washington’s heat and humidity by taking its customary recess in August. Left pending was President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts Jr., to replace Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired. That gave the Democrats time to take potshots at the nominee’s previous court records and opinions and the press time to dig into his past as part of the media vetting process.
Noting that about two-thirds of all general aviation accidents that occur in IMC are fatal, the NTSB recently completed a study to better understand the risk factors associated with such accidents.
The Board used “case control methodology,” which compared a group of accident flights to a matching group of nonaccident flights to identify patterns of variables that distinguished the two groups from each other.
Gregory Campbell, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission, has high hopes for the airport-operated Avitat FBO. Though he asked visitors to “pardon my dust” during the current renovation, he expects the airport to become an even more popular business aviation destination.
Signature Flight Support has acquired the former PrivatAir terminal at Paris Le Bourget Airport and has broken ground on a major refurbishment of its Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) facility. In Paris, the company will begin refurbishment project to renovate the facility, and the new terminal will replace Signature’s existing terminal as the point of entry for incoming aircraft.