The government of Cyprus plans to reorganize its civil aviation department by privatizing the air traffic control function. The Mediterranean island will create a new self-funded ATC organization for the Nicosia flight information region. Eurocontrol provided strategic assistance to Cyprus in creating the new structure, which the government has labeled, “an independent, state-owned, private [ATC] company.”
With national elections looming in India, speculation is growing that contracts for the long-delayed Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), as well as the Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), could soon be signed.
The U.S. government said this week that it will expedite foreign military sales (FMS) to Iraq, including deliveries of small UAVs and Hellfire missiles, to help stem spiraling violence in Anbar Province. The weaponry is part of a “holistic” strategy the U.S. and Iraqi governments are pursuing to dislodge al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, officials said.
The European Commission last month issued its updated list of airlines banned from European Union airspace for safety concerns. New to the list are carriers from Nepal. Some progress on safety improvements was noted in the Philippines, Sudan and Zambia.
The U.S. Congress authorized defense spending of $625 billion in Fiscal Year 2014, but calls for an independent review of the software being developed for the Pentagon’s largest weapons program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. A separate, two-year budget law the Congress passed reduces the more than $100 billion in automatic “sequestration” budget cuts the Pentagon faced over the next two years by about one third.
A recent New York Times article described a Russian request to the State Department to approve U.S. locations for one or more terrestrial signal monitors for Russia’s Glonass satellite navigation system, similar to America’s GPS, suggesting the request could have worrisome consequences.
According to the article, “The CIA and other American spy agencies, as well as the Pentagon, suspect that the monitor stations would give the Russians a foothold on American territory that would sharpen the accuracy of Moscow’s satellite-steered weapons.”
Aviall has earned recognition as a 2014 Military Friendly Employer by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines. This marks the second consecutive year Aviall has earned this recognition. Companies competed for the title in a survey of more than 5,000 employers. The resulting survey data was independently tested by Ernst & Young based on methodology established by Victory Media.
Stratford, Conn.-based Volo Aviation has been awarded the contract to manage the FBO at MidCoast Regional Airport at Wright Army Airfield in Hinesville, Ga. The dual-use public/military airport 35 miles southwest of Savannah features a pair of 5,000-foot runways. In 2007 the local authorities partnered to construct a new 13,825-sq-ft terminal to house the airport’s military and civil operations. The aviation services provider operates four other bases in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida.
Jim Coon, executive vice president of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), announced he will be leaving the organization after little more than a year to become senior vice president of government affairs and advocacy for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Before his NATA stint, Coon served as chief of staff for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and majority professional staff member for the House Aviation Subcommittee.
NBAA welcomed a bipartisan U.S. budget agreement approved yesterday by Congress that averts another near-term government shutdown. The Senate yesterday passed the budget measure, which sets funding for all federal agencies. The House approved the same budget package last week. “Avoiding another government shutdown is a key concern for NBAA and the business aviation community,” the association said. “Because business aviation is more regulated than other industries, the most recent shutdown [in October] had a far more dire impact on business aviation than on other industries.”