Legislation that could mandate noise-abatement helicopter routes in the Los Angeles basin was inserted last-minute into the 1,582-page, $1 trillion federal spending bill signed by President Obama late last week. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff, both California Democrats, sponsored a rider that calls on the FAA to develop mandatory helicopter noise-abatement regulations and routes within one year if voluntary measures fail to quell citizen complaints.
A $1.1 trillion spending plan easily passed the House of Representatives yesterday and is awaiting action by the Senate, expected no later than tomorrow. Congress then departs Washington for a week of vacation anchored by Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday.
Cutter Aviation’s Phoenix facility has been selected by Beechcraft as an authorized service center (ASC) for the Beechjet/Hawker 400XP series. Cutter became an ASC for the King Air turboprop line and Beechcraft’s piston-powered Bonanza and Baron earlier this year. Cutter also holds ASC status for the Baron and Bonanza in Addison, Texas, and for the King Airs and piston aircraft at its Albuquerque, N.M. facility. Beechcraft is supporting its jet lines, even though they are out of production.
On Friday, the U.S. government filed a response to a lawsuit filed against it by the city of Santa Monica, which is seeking to establish its right to control future use of the Santa Monica Airport property. The city believes that it did not relinquish title to the airport when it leased the property to the U.S. government during World War II. When the government relinquished the leasehold on Aug. 10, 1948, it stipulated that the property must remain an airport.
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.”