Former Top Gun instructor-pilot Robert Sturgell, who took over the FAA as acting administrator when Marion Blakey completed her five-year term on September 13, has been nominated by President Bush to run the agency for the next five years.
• At press time, appropriations for the 12 government agencies were still in the holding pattern. As of the middle of last month it seemed unlikely that new bills would be approved by November 16, the last day of a Continuing Resolution that allowed agencies to continue doing business at the same spending level as last year.
Despite internal FAA reforms in 1998 designed to speed rulemaking, the median times that the agency took to complete both the proposed rule phase and the final rule phase increased in the three-year period after the reforms were instituted, even though it published fewer rules then it did during the three years before the reforms.
Aviation is an industry where the various factions often have nothing in common beyond the air in which they travel. But there is something that operators of Cessna 152s, Learjets and Boeing 747s have in common–maintenance. When the FAA announced an update of Part 145 repair stations was in the offing, the industry turned out in full force, filing hundreds of comments about the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
When Congress returned from its August recess, both houses set about to debate what to do about the declining budget surplus and what to do about spending.
The FAA last month issued a notice of proposed rulemaking requesting comments to identify regulations currently in effect that should be amended, removed or simplified. “Getting public comments is a necessary element to make our regulations more effective and less burdensome,” the agency said.
Homeland security experts are considering new measures to tighten security for general aviation operators as part of an ongoing attempt to prepare for unknown threats, according to Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The FAA today issued a notice of proposed rulemaking requesting comments to identify regulations currently in effect that should be amended, removed or simplified. “Getting public comments is a necessary element of our effort to make our regulations more effective and less burdensome,” the agency said.
“The nightmare scenario that we talk about is the possibility of a weapon of mass destruction being detonated in a city,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said at yesterday’s NATA Aviation Business Roundtable in Washington, D.C. “It’s obvious that general aviation is another place we have to look.
• By a vote of 404 to 14, the House of Representatives passed a stopgap funding bill that would keep government agencies running until November 16. Included were the various aviation-related taxes that fund FAA operations. The new budget year started October 1 and, at that time, none of the 12 appropriations bills funding government agencies had been signed into law.