Government officials continue to shine a spotlight on general aviation security. Testifying last week before the House Committee on Homeland Security, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department would soon unveil a plan to tighten security standards for general aviation aircraft (read: business airplanes) entering the country from overseas.
The Russian government has halved the import tax on larger business jets from 20 to 10 percent, according to the country’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. This reduction initially will apply to aircraft weighing between 15 and 20 metric tons (33,069 to 44,092 pounds), though Russian officials have indicated they intend to extend the tax break to smaller business aircraft and eventually scrap the import duty altogether.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will become president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) when her term as head of the agency ends September 13. AIA is an Arlington, Va.-based trade association representing the nation’s manufacturers of civil and military aerospace products.
In an unusual display of harmony, leaders of 18 aviation associations signed a letter to President Bush asking that he appoint a new FAA Administrator to the normal five-year term instead of a recess appointment that the Senate might not approve by the end of the next session. “Our nation cannot afford a recess appointee as we face the time-critical challenge of modernizing our nation’s aviation infrastructure,” the letter stated.
Sikorsky Aircraft has successfully ground tested fly-by-wire (FBW) technology that will debut on 28 H-92s slated for delivery in 2009 to Canadian military forces. The H-92 is the military variant of the S-92. Sikorsky partnered with BAE Systems to develop the FBW system.
• Pushing hard to wrap up business before they took their customary August break, lawmakers devoted a good deal of time to deciding what to do about the Iraq war and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
An appropriations bill approved by the House of Representatives shortly before Congress adjourned for its summer recess contains increases for NASA aeronautics research, along with hikes for exploration and earth and space sciences.
In an unusual display of harmony, leaders of 18 aviation associations signed a letter to President Bush asking that he appoint a new FAA Administrator to the normal five-year term instead of a recess appointment that might not be approved by the Senate by the end of the next session. “Our nation cannot afford a recess appointee as we face the time-critical challenge of modernizing our nation’s aviation infrastructure,” the letter stated.
As part of what they called their duty to the American people, Congressional democrats were able to pass S.1, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, before they went on recess last week. The bill calls for increased disclosure on the lobbying process and, more important, a provision restricting the use of private aircraft for senators and representatives.
The future of the Defence Export Services Organisation is under review by the new UK government. The agency promotes British arms sales abroad, and has administered the ongoing but controversial Al-Yamamah contracts through which the UK sold the Royal Saudi Air Force 120 Tornado combat jets, 50 Hawk and 50 PC-9 trainers, all supplied and supported by BAE Systems.