The Bush Administration has proposed a $14 billion reauthorization budget for the FAA for fiscal year 2004, taking a bigger bite from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund but calling for no new user fees. The FAA spending plan is part of the overall Transportation Department budget package, and is up slightly from the $13.6 billion requested for FY 2003.
Federal legislation introduced last month would require surface-to-air missile (SAM) protection, similar to that now used on military transport aircraft, on all of the nearly 7,000 U.S.-registered jet airliners. The bill, coauthored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), directs that installations begin by the end of the year.
By June 1 Gulfstream is expected to start offering the BAE Systems Matador infrared surface-to-air missile countermeasures system for the GV and GV-SPs, and on their new derivatives, the G500 and G550. FAA approval for the approximately $3 million option was pending at press time. Gulfstream said the Matador has been installed on one GIV and six GIV-SPs since it was certified for the GIV series two years ago.
Gulfstream now offers the FAA-approved BAE Systems Matador infrared surface-to-air missile countermeasure system for the G500, G550 and GV. The $3 million system was approved for the G400 and G300 at last year’s NBAA Convention and has already been installed on one GIV and six GIV-SPs since it was certified for the GIV series more than two years ago.
• Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J) introduced legislation that would require ATC to remain a government function. The bill, S.338, is in response to President Bush’s recent executive order stripping ATC of its “inherently governmental” status and designating it a “commercial” activity, allowing it to be outsourced. Lautenberg argues that ATC privatization in other countries has increased costs and jeopardized safety.
By the middle of last month, both houses of Congress had given preliminary approval to separate legislation that would reauthorize appropriations for the FAA. The House version is titled the Flight 100–Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Flight 100-CARA) and covers the next four fiscal years, while the Senate version is named the Aviation Investment and Revitalization Vision Act (AIR-V) and would be for three years.
• Even though the Senate and the House of Representatives did not sit in session during August, a multitude of committee and subcommittee meetings convened during this period to look into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the aftermath and how to avoid such events in the future.
Aircraft noise activists in the UK are welcoming a judicial award of $1.42 million compensation to a country landowner for noise pollution. The award by an English High Court was made against the Ministry of Defence, although the activists see it as a landmark judgment opening the way to similar action against civil airfield operators.
The Brazilian Departamento de Aviacao Civil (DAC) recently awarded Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Mich. facility repair station certification. The certificate allows the company to work on aircraft registered in Brazil. Duncan Aviation Battle Creek also has approvals from Europe’s JAA and Venezuela. Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Neb., facility has approvals from Brazil, Bermuda, Venezuela, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, China and the JAA.
President Bush planned to sign legislation that will increase from 30 percent to 50 percent the first-year depreciation allowance for capital goods, including aircraft. The provision, part of the Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003 passed by Congress late last month, “should be a big boost to general aviation,” said General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Ed Bolen. “This is a real financial incentive to buy airplanes now.”