Despite comments on a variety of subjects regarding the FAA’s proposed Special FAR mandating training for Mitsubishi MU-2 pilots, the agency has made changes to only one part of the proposal. Yesterday, it issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, redefining pilot experience requirements.
After becoming the longest-serving Transportation Secretary in the department’s history, Norman Mineta tendered his resignation to President Bush in June. The lone Democrat in the Cabinet, he said it was time to move on to other challenges and joined New York public relations firm Hill & Knowlton as vice chairman.
The New York State Assembly didn’t follow the Senate’s lead and pass legislation that would exempt Part 91 aircraft from sales and use taxes. The bill’s sponsors said they intend to reintroduce the measure early this year. “This bill would make New York competitive with other [nearby] states that already exempt sales taxes related to aviation activities,” Sen. Bill Larkin (R-39th District) said.
The FAA has released an NPRM for FAR Part 145 repair stations that proposes revising the established rating system to eliminate the current class system in lieu of more general ratings such as “airplane.” In addition, it would require all Part 145 repair stations to implement an expanded quality- assurance program, citing its criticality to “maintaining safety.” The FAA estimates that developing the program at a small repair station would cost
In lieu of a passport, U.S. citizens have been permitted to present a variety of documents to establish their identity and citizenship and right to enter the U.S. But soon a driver’s license or birth certificate will not be sufficient identification for certain travel. Beginning January 23, all U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens from Canada, Bermuda and Mexico entering or reentering the U.S.
New Advisory Circular AC 120-87A updates guidance on the use of child restraint seats (CRS) on aircraft. Recently, the FAA revised its regulations to allow for use of a wider selection of CRS products on commercial and private aircraft.
In the continuing legal saga involving hundreds of helicopter pilots employed by Lafayette, La.-based PHI, a spokesperson for the pilots’ union told AIN on December 12 that the parties have agreed to court-supervised mediation in an attempt to resolve their differences and get the pilots back to work.
• Congress took a three-week break on November 16 to allow lawmakers to ponder the results of the election. On December 5 lame-duck lawmakers limped back into session but ran like race horses on the way to the finish line and ended the business of the 109th Congress four days later.
Beginning January 23 all U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens from Canada, Bermuda and Mexico entering the U.S. from within the Western Hemisphere at airports-of-entry will be required to present a valid passport. In lieu of a passport, U.S. citizens have been permitted to present a variety of documents to establish their identity and citizenship and right to enter the U.S.
• Election Day results delivered a knockout blow to Republican hopes of retaining the majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The first blow came as Democrats gained control of the House by the end of the day. Two days later, the last punch came as Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia, considered a shoo-in for reelection, conceded the election to Democrat James Webb, one time Secretary of the Navy.