Bombardier’s popular Safety Standdown program will return to Asia for its third edition in conjunction with next week’s Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE). The seminar, to be held on April 15 at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel Hongqiao, is free to all participants but advance registration is required at www.safetystanddown.com. Topics to be examined include pilot fatigue and health, safety management system integration, safety culture, and criminalization in aviation. Among this year’s presenters will be U.S.
Airport perimeters are the weak links in the nation’s aviation security efforts, warns former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, now a vice chairman with Hill & Knowlton Strategies.
The ease with which anyone can penetrate an airport perimeter may shock those familiar with today’s elaborate security inside terminals, Mineta wrote recently in an op-ed article for The Washington Post. In Philadelphia last year, a driver crashed through a gate and onto a runway. There were similar “near-catastrophes” in Miami and Dallas, he said.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has changed the rules and as of April 25 will allow small blades and sports implements such as golf clubs and lacrosse sticks to be carried on board by airline passengers. The rules would allow passengers to carry knives with blades shorter than 2.36 inches and narrower than half an inch, as long as they don’t have lockable blades. The existing rules prohibit most sharp objects, with the exception of scissors that are four or fewer inches in length, and also sports equipment. The TSA wants the rule change to harmonize U.S. security practices with those of other countries, which would make security screening more efficient. I’m not so sure about that.
Helicopter Association International (HAI) president Matt Zuccaro fired back at the White House following its late February call for an end to the alternate depreciation tax plan for corporate aircraft. The tax plan allows buyers of general aviation aircraft to depreciate their purchases over five years rather than the seven-year depreciation mandated for commercial aviation.
Helicopter appraisal firm HeliValue$ has laid bare the market so that visitors to this year’s Heli-Expo can get an idea of what is actually going on in the market, based on prices. “At HeliValue$, our most-asked question of the past quarter has been ‘What’s going on with the helicopter market?’” said Sharon Desfor, president of the Wauconda, Ill.-based company.
A working group that counted 16 representatives from general aviation organizations, including NBAA, submitted a list of proposed revisions late last week to the Transportation Security Administration’s security guidance for GA airports. The document, originally published by the agency in 2004, contains voluntary guidelines and recommendations for GA airport owners, operators and users to address aviation security concepts, technology and enhancements.
The International Civil Aviation Organization approved a temporary ban on carrying lithium-ion batteries as standard cargo on passenger aircraft last week. An interim amendment approved on February 13 rescinded ICAO’s earlier exemption that allowed lithium-ion batteries weighing up to 35 kg (77 pounds) to be carried. Batteries weighing approximately 66 pounds were responsible for two recent fires aboard the now-grounded Boeing 787 airliner.
The FAA issued a much-anticipated screening information request (SIR) that seeks proposals from public entities including state and local governments and universities to operate six test ranges for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
For flight department managers, the work necessary to locate the best qualified temporary pilots, flight attendants or maintenance technicians has become easier over the past decade, thanks in part to the communications technology of the Internet. However, for the handful of staffing companies that actually serve as the go-between for employers and employees, the job has become considerably tougher as those companies assume much more of the risk than before.
ExecuJet Africa has partnered with international risk management company MS Risk to offer emergency response plans for clients with staff based at remote locations in Africa. Under the new Urgent Response Plan (URP) service, ExecuJet and MS Risk will work with clients’ human resources and safety managers to develop evacuation plans for those companies that do not currently have one in place or integrate services into an existing program. The URP will also include intelligence reporting, remote site visits, ground and air service options and logistics coordination.