General aviation interests are encouraged by the appointment of Michal Morgan as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) general manager for general aviation. She previously served as the manager of general aviation for the Office of Operations Policy and the director of special operations for the TSA.
A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and testimony from the DOT Inspector General released last week show that some agencies of the government remain mixed on the necessity of user fees and how or if they should be implemented.
As Congress began hearings last month on the Bush Administration’s plan to fund the FAA, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey attempted to do what one lawmaker called “defending the indefensible.”
Early indications from Capitol Hill signaled that the White House proposal for increased taxes and user fees to provide the necessary money to run the FAA and modernize the ATC system would have rough sledding in Congress.
Earmark or pork amendments were banned as the 110th Congress passed its Continuing Resolution (H.J.Res.20) to fund the nine 2007 appropriations bills that the 109th Congress neglected to complete last year. However, the funding for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security did not escape earmarking.
President Bush has named Kerry Long, a self-described “aviation enthusiast” with nearly three decades of experience in aviation law, to serve as chief counsel for the FAA.
The U.S. Senate has passed a legislation package addressing many of the 9/11 Commission’s aviation security recommendations that have not yet found their way into law. Notably, the proposed rules would give the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) one year to develop a threat assessment program for general aviation airports, as well as conduct a study on the feasibility of providing grants to these airports for security upgrades.
• Congress dodged the dog days of August by taking a six-week recess beginning July 22, but not before legislators increased their bills introduced count to 2,772 in the Senate and 5,001 in the House of Representatives.
The first “A” in NASA stands for “aeronautics,” a fact often overlooked in day-to-day discussions of and references to what most people regard solely as the “space” agency.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association urged the Senate appropriations transportation subcommittee to ask FAA Administrator Marion Blakey what the agency plans to do about “the looming air traffic control staffing crisis.” The association anticipates a personnel shortage of up to 50 percent in the next 10 years. “This is of particular concern because it takes up to five years to train a controller,” said NATCA president John Carr.
Richard Doubrava has joined NBAA in the new role of director of security. He is responsible for coordinating programs in the areas of business aviation security, particularly NBAA’s new Secure Access program. Doubrava, introduced to NBAA by Shelley Longmuir before she departed the presidency, was previously with Carmen Group, a Washington, D.C.-based federal lobbying and government-relations firm.