Air East filed an appeal with the NTSB over the emergency revocation of its Part 135 certificate on March 8, grounding the Farmingdale, N.Y. charter operator. The action followed a 34-day FAA investigation of the company prompted by a fatal crash last August 4 of one of its Learjets in Groton, Conn.
April 16 is the comment deadline for two FAA proposals. The agency wants to amend digital flight data recorder (DFDR) regulations of Parts 121 and 135 to prohibit “filtering” of signals. During several accident investigations, the NTSB found that some DFDRs were filtering signals before they were recorded.
Within 6 Months
March 30, 2007: Mode-S Elementary (ELS) and Enhanced (EHS) Surveillance
Mode-S elementary (ELS) and enhanced (EHS) surveillance, including eight data downlinks, is scheduled for mandatory phasing in in European airspace by March 30, 2007, starting first in France, Germany and the UK (www.eurocontrol.int/mode_s/).
Lack of critical single-engine speed and distance data from manufacturers makes the FAA’s proposal to establish extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) thresholds for Part 135 operators unworkable, according to comments submitted by NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association.
Starting on June 1, the FAA will no longer accept aircraft registration applications (AC Form 8050-1) that do not contain the printed or typed name of the signer in the signature block. The application form already asks for the typed or printed name below the signature, but the agency has previously not rejected applications solely on this omission.
No fatal accident involving Part 121 or 135 scheduled carriers occurred in 2002, versus three last year in which 24 people died, according to NTSB data. The crash of an Air Midwest Beech 1900 in Charlotte, N.C., accounted for 21 of those fatalities. More serious crashes by air-taxi operations raised their total and fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours from 2.03 to 2.61, and 0.62 to 0.64, respectively, in 2002 and 2003.
Can and should Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) be opened to general aviation and charter aircraft? That was the principal topic during an unusual March 16 field hearing, called for by House aviation subcommittee chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), at the vacant Signature Flight Support hangar at DCA.
Following its investigation of the Jan. 24, 2003 fatal crash of a Beech 95 Travel Air in Upland, Calif., the NTSB recommended last month that the FAA prohibit individuals who have been associated with a previously revoked repair station certificate from operating a new repair station in a different FAA region. It expressed concern that the FAA currently has no mechanism in place for preventing such an occurrence.
The FAA is reviewing proposed noise-compatibility programs submitted for Little Rock National Airport/Adams Field (LIT), Ark., and Toledo Express Airport (TOL), Ohio. The agency plans to make a decision on the proposed program for the Arkansas field by July 21. Public comments are due by March 23, and should be submitted to Tim Tandy, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76139-0630; telephone (817) 222-5635.
A new final rule issued by the FAA last month will subject airports hosting scheduled flights in aircraft designed to hold between 10 and 30 passenger seats to standards now reserved for larger airports under FAR Part 139. The rule would reclassify U.S. airports into four categories, based on service type.