Are the new Department of Labor (DOL) “Fair Pay Rules,” which became effective August 23 and changed the overtime pay rules for workers earning less than $23,660 per year, or $455 per week, in danger of extinction? By a vote of 223 to 193 last month, the House tacked an amendment on to the $142.5 billion measure funding education, worker training and health programs that would block the DOL rules.
“The DOT would rather let an F-16 shoot down a hijacked airplane than let pilots carry guns in the cockpit,” was The Wall Street Journal’s response to Transportation Security Administration director John Magaw’s declaration “that I will not authorize firearms in the cockpit.” His decision overrides the wishes of airline pilots, who have been campaigning since September 11 to be allowed to carry guns as a barrier of last resort against terroris
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) is asking Congress to appropriate $10.9 million for the FAA to “field weather, communications and surveillance equipment” to support low-level helicopter operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Congress passed legislation last year reauthorizing the FAA to fund such equipment, but the funds have yet to be appropriated.
NASA’s longest serving administrator, Dan Goldin, will resign from the space agency November 17 after being in that position for 10 years. He accepted an interim position as senior fellow for the Washington-based Council on Competitiveness, an organization that works to establish U.S. economic competitiveness and leadership in world markets.
In the fallout from September 11, the FAA has placed tight travel restrictions on Part 91 operators flying from the U.S. to overseas destinations, while simultaneously prohibiting most foreign-registered private airplanes from landing at U.S. airports without first gaining clearance from the White House.
The World Trade Organization ruled that $1.13 billion in low-interest loans issued through Canada’s Export Development Corp. to support the sale of 51 Canadair Regional Jets to Appleton, Wis.-based Air Wisconsin constitutes an illegal government subsidy. An interim WTO report, issued last month in response to a formal protest by the government of Brazil, calls for the withdrawal of the loans.
While machinations continue on future funding of the FAA, the House and Senate last week approved a six-week extension of the current law. The House passed its version of FAA reauthorization legislation on September 20, but the Senate version has not yet been debated on the floor.
Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the Transportation Security Administration David Stone and Washington journalist Fred Barnes will be the featured opening general session keynote speakers for the NBAA Convention, October 12 to 14 in Las Vegas. Stone had served as acting administrator of the TSA since December 4 last year and had been deputy chief of staff at TSA since August last year.
Aviation security collided with politics last month on Capitol Hill, when a Senate bill that would have created–among other provisions–a new force of federal employees to screen airline passengers and their baggage encountered stubborn resistance in the House.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded two $45 million contracts for further research into shoulder-launched-missile protection systems for commercial aircraft. BAE Systems, based in Nashua, N.H., and Northrop Grumman each got the nod to take its program to the Phase II level–a time period covering the 18 months from August this year through January 2006.