The Transportation Security Administration began random security checks of airline and airport employees in Florida and Puerto Rico last month after authorities arrested two Comair employees for smuggling weapons and drugs aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Orlando to San Juan.
President Bush has named Kerry Long, a self-described “aviation enthusiast” with nearly three decades of experience in aviation law, to serve as chief counsel for the FAA.
Investigation continues into an explosive device found on April 7 in a men’s lavatory outside a secure area in the atrium at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. According to Air Security International, a bomb squad detonated the device. The FBI described the device as “similar to a military trip flare containing a highly flammable substance” capable of causing “very serious injury to anyone handling or tampering with it.”
Citing insufficient evidence, an NTSB law judge dismissed FAA allegations that charter operator Air East did not comply with several ADs and that some personnel were not properly qualified. The charges precipitated an emergency revocation of Air East’s Part 135 certificate on March 8, grounding the Farmingdale, N.Y. charter operator.
The family of the late Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan–who died in the October 2000 crash of a Cessna 335 along with an aide and his son, Randy, who was at the controls–has asked that a trial be held to consider punitive damages. A jury previously ordered the manufacturer of the aircraft’s vacuum pumps to pay the family $4 million, but the judge reduced the amount to $2.4 million.
Mach 1, a Southern California aircraft broker, and two of its principals, Brian Doherty and John Mouyos, plan to appeal a jury’s decision that they are liable for fraud, according to their attorney. A Southern California Superior Court jury recently ordered the defendants to pay more than $30 million in damages to Jet Source, an FBO and aircraft sales firm at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, Calif.
An ongoing racketeering and corruption investigation by the Florida state attorney’s office has produced indictments of 19 suspects and seven companies for alleged theft of jet fuel and contract manipulations at Miami International Airport (MIA) dating back to 1999. Estimates of how much fuel was stolen or other money misappropriated add up to as much as $5.3 million.
Transport Canada found no violations of Federal Aviation Regulations during a special-purpose audit of Georgian Express, and on January 27 returned the operator certificate to the Toronto-based airline. The certificate was suspended on January 22, five days after a fatal crash of one of the company’s Cessna 208B Caravans in which the pilot and all nine passengers were killed.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit in late January asking a federal court to order the Federal Service Impasses Panel to resolve a bargaining issue between NATCA and the FAA that affects employees at 11 facilities. NATCA also named the Federal Labor Relations Authority in its suit.
HAI’s first-responder database is up and running with more than 250 helicopters registered since it became operational last July. The association formed the database in response to communications gaps that came to light after 9/11 and rescue missions flown in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.