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.”
Although the current FAA reauthorization and federal aviation programs do not expire until September 2015, follow-on legislation is already on the radar screens of government and the aviation industry. In a House aviation subcommittee hearing last week on the state of American aviation, chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), whose district includes the FAA’s technical center in Atlantic City, noted that it took five years and 23 short-term extensions to pass the current reauthorization bill.
Duncan Aviation named Scott Heath manager of Duncan Aviation Sacramento and Duncan Aviation Hayward avionics satellites, located at Sacramento Mather and Hayward Executive airports. Heath has been with Duncan Aviation since 1998, most recently serving as an avionics team leader over the last 10 years for both the Fort Worth and Dallas avionics satellites. Before that, he worked as an avionics installation technician at the Duncan Aviation MRO facility in Lincoln, Neb.
Flight tests of the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile on a Eurofighter Typhoon began on November 27. A week later, the four-nation industrial consortium delivered the 400th aircraft. The first Tranche 3 Eurofighter flew on December 2 from Warton.
Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated Bell Helicopter’s claims against Iran for manufacturing and selling knock-offs of the JetRanger. Iran has been manufacturing a look-a-like helicopter without authorization since 2002 under various names. Federal Judge Judith Rogers ruled there was a “lack of evidence that Iran’s commercial activity caused a ‘direct effect’ in the United States.”