Philip Spayd, Northeast regional director for U.S. Customs, has high hopes for the success of the sweeping new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He recently told the Connecticut Business Aviation Group, “Keep your eye on it. It’s going to move fast and it is going to affect you.”
The structure of the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will undergo a major overhaul as Minister for Transport and Regional Development John Anderson, who reports to the Parliament for its administration, responds to constant pressure from the aviation industry to improve the agency. However, the Australian industry is waiting to be convinced the new CASA structure will make it more efficient and accountable.
A new Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) requirement for the electronic transmission of passenger and crew manifests for both inbound and outbound flights on commercial aircraft was to have gone into effect on January 1. But the INS has delayed imposing fines for not complying with the advance passenger information system (APIS) to give the agency and U.S.
Gulfstream Aerospace agreed to pay $2.1 million to 61 former employees–none of them company pilots–in an age-bias settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but denied that it “engaged in any discrimination based on age, or committed any other violation.” In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged the Savannah, Ga. manufacturer targeted employees 40 years of age or older during a spate of layoffs in 2000.
As a result of the Congressional elections in November, the 108th Congress, due to convene early this month, will enjoy a Republican majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), whom many Washington pundits regarded as an obstructionist when it came to moving legislation through that body, gave way as majority to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
King Mswati III of the African country of Swaziland reportedly will proceed with buying a $45 million business jet despite objections by his own government, and a threat by the U.S. that he would not be able to land the aircraft on U.S. soil.
The FAA has started its promised comprehensive review of Part 135 and Part 125. This review will also encompass related portions of Parts 91 and 119 (certification of air carriers and commercial operators). The intent of the review is to resolve current issues affecting this segment of the industry, update regulations and to address international regulatory harmonization.
• Congress enjoyed a recess for the Thanksgiving holiday period, but not all members of the Senate availed themselves of the break. The Constitution gives a President authority to make appointments to top federal positions without Senate approval if that chamber is adjourned for more than three days without reconvening on the fourth.
Wondering if the 108th Congress has been busy? By early last month, the Senate saw 2,505 bills introduced and the House of Representatives, 4,520. Those figures are impressive and would indicate positive legislative activity.
By March 1, the Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Transportation Security Administration and Secret Service, must provide a report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations on the status of restoring access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The order is part of the FY 2005 DHS appropriations measure Congress approved last month.