Jim Coon, executive vice president of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), announced he will be leaving the organization after little more than a year to become senior vice president of government affairs and advocacy for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Before his NATA stint, Coon served as chief of staff for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and majority professional staff member for the House Aviation Subcommittee.
NBAA welcomed a bipartisan U.S. budget agreement approved yesterday by Congress that averts another near-term government shutdown. The Senate yesterday passed the budget measure, which sets funding for all federal agencies. The House approved the same budget package last week. “Avoiding another government shutdown is a key concern for NBAA and the business aviation community,” the association said. “Because business aviation is more regulated than other industries, the most recent shutdown [in October] had a far more dire impact on business aviation than on other industries.”
Although the current FAA reauthorization and federal aviation programs do not expire until September 2015, follow-on legislation is already on the radar screens of government and the aviation industry. In a House aviation subcommittee hearing last week on the state of American aviation, chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), whose district includes the FAA’s technical center in Atlantic City, noted that it took five years and 23 short-term extensions to pass the current reauthorization bill.
Duncan Aviation named Scott Heath manager of Duncan Aviation Sacramento and Duncan Aviation Hayward avionics satellites, located at Sacramento Mather and Hayward Executive airports. Heath has been with Duncan Aviation since 1998, most recently serving as an avionics team leader over the last 10 years for both the Fort Worth and Dallas avionics satellites. Before that, he worked as an avionics installation technician at the Duncan Aviation MRO facility in Lincoln, Neb.
Flight tests of the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile on a Eurofighter Typhoon began on November 27. A week later, the four-nation industrial consortium delivered the 400th aircraft. The first Tranche 3 Eurofighter flew on December 2 from Warton.
Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated Bell Helicopter’s claims against Iran for manufacturing and selling knock-offs of the JetRanger. Iran has been manufacturing a look-a-like helicopter without authorization since 2002 under various names. Federal Judge Judith Rogers ruled there was a “lack of evidence that Iran’s commercial activity caused a ‘direct effect’ in the United States.”
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.