“The DOT would rather let an F-16 shoot down a hijacked airplane than let pilots carry guns in the cockpit,” was The Wall Street Journal’s response to Transportation Security Administration director John Magaw’s declaration “that I will not authorize firearms in the cockpit.” His decision overrides the wishes of airline pilots, who have been campaigning since September 11 to be allowed to carry guns as a barrier of last resort against terrori
The FAA extended to November 16 the comment period on its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to regulate fractional aircraft ownership operations. Just before the original comment period was about to close on October 16, NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association requested a 30-day extension.
The Senate Commerce Committee approved and sent to the full Senate a bill that would give the FAA six months to issue pilot certificates that include photo identification. AOPA has long advocated such a move but believes that the six-month time frame for implementation is unrealistic. The legislation would require the photo ID for pilots to include biometric data or other unique identifiers.
Lawmakers had much to think about when they returned from their summer break at the end of August. A Gallup poll revealed that the job approval rating for the Democrat-led Congress had dropped to 18 percent, the lowest rating since Gallup began tracking public opinion in 1974. When the Democrats took control of Congress in January the job approval rating was 35 percent.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is developing rules governing inbound international flights of business jets. At a forum at NBAA’07 yesterday, Rob Rottman, deputy director, transportation and infrastructure in the DHS Office of Policy Development, briefed attendees on the agency’s advance passenger information system (APIS) proposal and requested NBAA members provide comment.
Last year the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) filed a lawsuit challenging a new FAA rule that substantially expanded the FAA’s drug and alcohol testing requirements.
The rule extended the testing requirements to employees at subcontractor companies (and to subcontractors of subcontractors at any tier) that repair stations rely on for specialized services.
Robert Sturgell, deputy FAA administrator since March 2003, has become acting FAA Administrator following the end of Marion Blakey’s five-year term on September 13.
He has also been acting as COO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization since the departure of Russell Chew while the agency conducted a search for Chew’s successor. The agency announced that former United Airlines pilot Henry Krakowski will fill that position.
Government officials continue to shine a spotlight on general aviation security. Testifying last week before the House Committee on Homeland Security, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department would soon unveil a plan to tighten security standards for general aviation aircraft (read: business airplanes) entering the country from overseas.
Bell 206L-3 LongRanger, Simiti, Bolivar, Colombia, June 5, 2007 – The pilot and copilot were killed and four passengers seriously injured when the Colombian-registered Long-Ranger crashed in unknown circumstances in a mountainous area of “hostile rebel activity.” Colombia’s Unidad Administrativa Especial de Aeronáutica Civil is investigating the accident.
Although Congress is in recess until September 4, one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise given the continued rhetoric on both sides of the FAA funding issue.