A helicopter service connecting Manhattan with New York City airports is due to start this month. On March 13 US Helicopter will introduce an eight-minute S-76B flight between the Wall Street Heliport and JFK Airport. The company will add services linking La Guardia and Newark Liberty International to Wall Street and the East 34th and 30th Street Heliports later this year.
Transportation in the United States
Perhaps one of the least appreciated benefits of corporate aviation is that its pilots and their passengers don’t have to endure the security procedures of crowded airport terminals. But the security hassles at the airport are the least of the concerns afflicting the senior managers at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The application deadline for $125,000 in scholarship money for Women in Aviation International (WAI) members has been extended to December 10. The scholarships include type ratings from Bombardier Business Aviation Services, ExpressJet and Horizon Air, and a separate scholarship from Bombardier for Learjet maintenance training. ICAO, Garmin and Telex are also offering scholarships.
Although the Transportation Security Administration’s general aviation airport security guidelines working group was unable to reach a consensus on how to categorize public- and private-use GA airports for security purposes, last month it urged the TSA not to “isolate” general aviation with more stringent security procedures than those being adopted as “best practices” by other modes of transportation such as maritime, rail or highways.
The Transportation Security Administration plans soon to release changes to the voluntary general aviation security guidelines, and is looking at ways to “positively identify” pilots before and in flight. To find out more about what the TSA is doing, and how it views GA security in general, AIN spoke with Michal Morgan, the TSA’s general manager for general aviation.
“After May 1 operators not meeting the full requirements of the [twelve-five and private charter security] rules will be considered to be in noncompliance,” the Transportation Security Administration said in a notice last month. The TSA delayed the April 1 enforcement date after it conceded that some operators were having undue difficulty meeting the fingerprint requirement of the criminal-history record checks for their flight crews.
More than 615 comments–the great majority negative–were submitted on rules adopted in January that permit the FAA to immediately suspend or revoke the airman certificate of any pilot or mechanic the Transportation Security Administration has “determined to pose a security threat.” The rules establish procedures to appeal the action to the TSA; however, they cannot be appealed to a third party such as the NTSB.
General aviation interests expressed consternation over a May 1 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advisory warning the GA community against planned Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks using “light aircraft,” issued even as new TFRs covering a peripatetic President Bush continue to disrupt day-to-day operations.
By the middle of last month, both houses of Congress had given preliminary approval to separate legislation that would reauthorize appropriations for the FAA. The House version is titled the Flight 100–Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Flight 100-CARA) and covers the next four fiscal years, while the Senate version is named the Aviation Investment and Revitalization Vision Act (AIR-V) and would be for three years.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has raised its estimates of budget deficits. Earlier this year, the prediction was for a deficit of $46 billion for the current fiscal year. However, individual tax receipts were recently projected to run some $40 billion below expectations, and that has caused experts to guess that the deficit could go upwards of $70 billion.