The House aviation subcommittee cleared legislation yesterday that would force the FAA to follow established rulemaking processes before implementing a new requirement that some pilots be screened for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) before receiving a medical certificate. The bill, H.R. 3578, was introduced on November 21 by Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), chairman of the Transportation Committee’s aviation subcommittee.
AOPA, GAMA and NBAA hailed the signing of the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 by President Obama on Wednesday. His signature formally enacts legislation to enhance–and, the industry hopes, to reduce the cost of–the certification process for new general aviation aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds, their avionics and other equipment.
Even though general aviation is gearing up once again to defeat user fees, it has become increasingly apparent that Congress is unlikely to accomplish much of anything in the way of meaningful legislation before 2014 arrives. Many believe that Washington could be mostly done making laws for the year.
According to Politico, a daily newspaper that covers national politics and is distributed free on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., and in Manhattan, top sources in both chambers were doubtful that the final eight weeks of this year would produce any legislative breakthroughs.
The White House released a report on the impact and cost of the October 2013 federal government shutdown, estimating costs anywhere from $2- to $6 billion in lost output for the overall economy.
Among the hardest hit by the 16-day furlough of non-exempt government employees was general aviation. The move closed the FAA Registry office and delayed other certification activities, imposing widespread hardship on general aviation manufacturers. The Registry must approve each certificate of registration that is required for the sale, export and import of an aircraft.
The U.S. State Department said it “generally expects” that U.S. airlines honor notices to airmen (Notams) issued by foreign countries, while Japan has told its airlines to disregard China’s newly declared Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over part of the East China Sea. The conflicting guidance comes as tensions rise over how to address what the U.S., Japan, Taiwan and South Korea agree amounts to illegal territorial assertions on the part of China.
Effective December 1, most general aviation flights in China will enjoy a significantly simpler planning process, with military approval for such civil flights no longer required. The long awaited alleviation of the “regulations on the approval and management of general aviation flight mission” was announced on November 18 by the People’s Liberation Army general staff department and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Yesterday’s tax auction by the Brazilian government of a Bombardier Challenger 300 and Dassault Falcon 900 at Viracopos Airport in Campinas, Brazil, failed to garner the minimum bids of $12.85 million and $5.05 million, respectively. Another auction will be scheduled, possibly by year-end, with lower minimums that have not yet been determined.
Alpha Star Aviation Services signed a distribution agreement with Spectrum Aeromed for exclusive rights to supply all Spectrum aeromedical air ambulance interior solutions and products to customers in Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Its Alpha Star Air Ambulance division has worked with Spectrum Aeromed since it began operations 12 years ago at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Washington, D.C.-based Potomac Solutions entered into a multi-year relationship with Phoenix Heliparts of Mesa, Ariz. The agreement will bring a range of aviation maintenance and repair organization capabilities and technologies to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Potomac Solutions specializes in platform and systems acquisition, modification and integration, third-party logistics and distribution. Phoenix Heliparts, a specialist in MD 500, Bell UH-1, Bell 407 and AH-1 Cobra helicopter maintenance, is expanding its target area to serve clients in the MENA region.
Honeywell Aerospace has signed an avionics dealership agreement with Saudi Arabia-based Arabian Aircraft Services (Arabasco). The agreement is intended to boost installation capability and reduce servicing time for Honeywell avionics-equipped business and general aviation operators across the Middle East. Arabasco is also a Honeywell-approved service center for avionics in Saudi Arabia and can provide retrofits, modifications and upgrades, maintenance and services to operators of Honeywell-equipped aircraft.