Reducing the incidence of damage to aircraft on the ramp is the aim of the ground accident prevention (GAP) initiative now under way by the Flight Safety Foundation.
If anyone went to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s annual review and outlook hoping to see light at the end of the economic tunnel, they had to be disappointed. “This may not be the deepest trough in modern times,” said GAMA chairman Bill Boisture, “but it is certainly one of the longest.”
Previously this column has addressed efforts within the federal government to transform our nation’s air transportation system. Policy leaders believe that the business model of traditional airlines has reached its limit and simply is incapable of meeting the need for efficient travel.
Fractional aircraft ownership operations, as well as charter operations, would be regulated under FAR Part 121, if the Airline Dispatcher Federation (ADF) has its way. The Washington trade group, which represents about 1,100 airline dispatchers, lamented that the notice of proposed rulemaking establishing fractional-ownership operations under Part 91 doesn’t require dispatchers.
Still unable to comprehend the monstrous scale of the September 11 terrorist assault on the U.S., the international air transport industry got a swift taste of the disruption and chronic uncertainty that undoubtedly lie ahead. Business aviation–which some are now saying will become increasingly important as companies look for a safe and convenient alternative to airline travel–faced serious restrictions in the week following the attack.
Smaller regional airlines will be required to provide substantially more air traffic activity statistics to the DOT, if a notice of proposed rulemaking is adopted. Existing rules exempt carriers operating only airplanes of fewer than 60 seats from the current detailed reporting requirements.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has demanded a “balanced approach” to environmental controls in the European Union transport industry following the publication of its new study on the noise performance of the continent’s regional airline fleet. The “Growing Quieter” report concluded that the noise generated by the average regional aircraft is about half what it was in the early 1970s.
Given one last chance to agree to pay cuts or risk the death of their airline, the pilots of CCAir finally blinked on April 29, when 72 percent of the Charlotte, N.C.-based airline’s remaining 108 active pilots voted in favor of a new five-year labor deal fashioned by parent company Mesa Air Group.
One of Aer Arann’s busiest areas must be its personnel department: “We have experienced huge growth in the past two years, particularly in flight crew and operations. Given our current rate of growth, flight crew [numbers] have grown above 30 percent per year and will continue at 15 to 20 percent,” according to head of operations John Halpin.
After more than two years of declines, uncertainty and just plain hanging on, ground support equipment manufacturers are finally seeing their industry gaining strength and sales slowly increasing. Has the economic upturn they have all been waiting for quietly arrived?
Perhaps, but company leaders are not ready to celebrate just yet.