The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is preparing to reduce its staff by 20 percent in the face of government budget cuts. Safety inspectors, mostly based in Canberra, make up just over half of the 110 personnel who might be let go. The union representing the safety inspectors is fighting the planned cuts.
An administrative law judge with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dismissed the $10,000 fine the FAA levied against Raphael Pirker for flying a small unmanned aircraft, casting doubt on the agency’s ability to regulate their commercial use.
Aviation interests are pleased with a decision issued late Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that halts an effort by the city of Santa Monica to close its airport (SMO).
Yesterday, U.S. District Court judge John Walter dismissed the city of Santa Monica, Calif.’s complaint against the U.S. government, in which the city sought to clarify its rights to do what it wishes with the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) property.
As the aviation world awaits U.S. District Court Judge John Walker’s ruling in a case involving the city of Santa Monica’s attempts to close Santa Monica Airport, AOPA and NBAA filed an amicus curiae (friends of the court) brief to support the FAA’s motion to dismiss the city’s complaint.
Another Wall Street firm is entering the increasingly crowded helicopter leasing market. Perella Weinberg’s $2.1 billion Asset Based Value Strategy unit is teaming with Hawke Aerospace to form Infinity Helicopter Leasing. Infinity said it will focus on the light end of the market–singles and light twins–that service the onshore EMS, law enforcement and utility markets in the U.S. and Canada. Previous helicopter leasing market entrants, such as Milestone Aviation, have focused on the lucrative offshore market for medium and heavy twin-engine helicopters.
Three people (the pilot and two passengers) aboard a Bell 206 died January 27 near Silt, Colo., when their power line patrol helicopter crashed after striking a wire at about 11:20 a.m. Rifle, Colo.-based DBS Helicopters operated the aircraft.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned the findings in a controversial security-based trial that initially found Air Wisconsin guilty of defamation after one of its managers in 2004 reported a pilot as unstable. The pilot claimed his ability to work in the aviation industry had been ruined based on the airline’s action.
The rarefied deepwater oil and gas market has spawned new players and big deals in the helicopter operating leasing market, but to date these transactions have largely been confined to medium and large helicopters. What will be the impact of leasing on the industry as a whole, especially for smaller operators with light helicopters in the non-oil-and-gas segments, and will it ever become as predominant as it is for airlines, where approximately one-third of the fleet is leased?
The U.S. Supreme Court last Monday overturned a lower court decision to award $1.2 million to former Air Wisconsin pilot William Hoeper for defamation, ruling that the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) ensures that airlines enjoy immunity from liability in reporting security concerns about an individual to the Transportation Security Administration as long as they do not knowingly disclose false, inaccurate or misleading information.