In a letter to two members of the European Parliament, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) welcomed the members’ inquiries to the European Commission “concerning anti-competitive practices negatively impacting the aviation maintenance industry.” Arsa reiterated its ongoing concerns about design approval holders withholding instructions for continued airworthiness (ICAs).
U.S. Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick has proposed new legislation [H.R. 1775] to require secondary cockpit safety barriers on Part 121 airliners. The metal barrier would be lowered between the first row of seats and the existing hardened cockpit door whenever a pilot leaves the flight deck.
The extra-barrier idea evolved from a study conducted by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) at the request of the FAA, the Air Line Pilots Association and other industry stakeholders to provide more specific guidance on securing the flight deck.
Boeing Defense presented the first F-15SA destined for Saudi Arabia in a ceremony at its St. Louis headquarters on April 30. The latest F-15 variant is the centerpiece of the largest foreign military sale in U.S. history, worth $29.4 billion. It also figured prominently in recent U.S. negotiations to improve the military capabilities of Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia simultaneously.
Britain’s skies are filled not so much with aircraft noise as with the sound of grinding axes, as regional airports vie for audibility during the latest UK government reconsideration of aviation strategy. Forever perceiving themselves as poor relations to major London-area facilities, some of Britain’s local airports (especially in central and southwestern regions) have taken to denigrating competitors, all the while proclaiming their respective “connectivity” to airline networks.
Despite two previous rejections by lawmakers of the $100-per-flight user fee proposed by President Obama, the White House once again has called for the unpopular levy to be included in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which was released on April 10.
President Obama nominated Charlotte, N.C. mayor Anthony Foxx yesterday to be the next Secretary of Transportation. He will succeed current Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who announced in January he would leave the post once a successor is chosen. Under Foxx, Charlotte has developed a facility connecting freight from the city to global ports, along with a third parallel runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.
In a last-ditch effort to stop the FAA’s furloughing of air traffic controllers to meet government-wide budget reductions, the House and Senate passed legislation late last week to transfer money from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to pay controllers’ salaries and prevent the closure of some privately operated control towers. Congress quickly moved to relieve the FAA of its need to furlough controllers after just five days of prolonged flight delays at major airports last week.
After less than a week of massive air traffic delays across the U.S., the Senate and the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly last week to give the FAA the flexibility to move money around its budget from lower-priority items to more necessary areas like funding that returns all of the nation’s air traffic controllers to duty. The legislation is also expected to return funding to the agency’s contract tower program through the end of September. The Senate vote on the legislation was unanimous, while in the House the vote was 361 for and 41 against.
Following Israeli requests for advanced defense equipment, the U.S. has agreed “an unprecedented release of capabilities,” according to a senior Pentagon official. Israel will receive Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors; KC-135 tankers; AESA radar retrofits for its F-15 and F-16 fighters; and anti-radiation missiles. The new approvals were made public during U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s visit to Israel and other countries in the Middle East this week.
The United Arab Emirates Air Force has decided to buy another 25 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60 fighters. The deal is worth $4 to $5 billion, according to a senior Pentagon official who briefed reporters in Washington. The UAE, together with Saudi Arabia, will also be receiving unspecified “advanced standoff weapons” for its fighters, added the same official. The sales have not yet been formally notified to the U.S. Congress, although the Pentagon had consulted with key legislators there, according to the official.