In Europe, reaction to September 11 included shock, outrage, empathy and resolve. Terrorism and the threat of violence have been staples of the European consciousness for decades. Whether it’s the Irish Republican Army in the UK or radical Islamic militants in Germany, Europeans have had to be far more conscious than Americans of the terror threat.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport directors are being assigned to 450 of the busiest U.S. airports used by the airlines. These officials are responsible for TSA employees at those airports as well as for airport security provisions. Business aviation and other general aviation associations are encouraging their members to develop
a rapport with their TSA airport directors, so as to increase their understanding of
Security comes from a combination of policy, procedure and technology–nuts and bolts. All three have received their fair share of attention since September 11, but the demand for security hardware is the most tangible manifestation of how aviation has changed. Pre-existing examples of technology–from sophisticated electronic surveillance systems to simple wheel locks–have been improved.
The new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) came almost silently to life last month–as if echoing the muted expectations that many in the aviation industry have of the organization. To optimists, the new body is Europe’s answer to the FAA, promising a new regime of clear, consistent and harmonized regulations and standards.
The FAA presented Elliott Aviation’s Moline, Ill., and Omaha, Neb. service facilities with the Diamond Award of Excellence for aviation maintenance training for the fifth consecutive year. The honor, which is part of the Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) awards program and is the highest achievement of its kind, recognizes technicians and maintenance facilities for excellence in maintenance training.
A few days after last September 11 it became apparent that the FAA and even the Department of Transportation did not have much say in aviation security matters. Both FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta admitted as much in congressional hearings one week later.
The days following the unprecedented shutdown of the National Airspace System caused massive grumping and anguish in the corporate and general aviation community, exacerbated when the federal government allowed only “commercial” aircraft to resume flying.
Thomas McSweeny is delaying his planned departure from the FAA at the request of the agency. McSweeny agreed to continue serving as associate administrator for regulation and certification through at least this month. He is preparing to join Boeing as director of international safety and regulatory affairs (see page 24).
The 24 deadly seconds of the Sept. 14, 1999, Dassault Falcon 900 in-flight upset are under scrutiny by the Athens First Degree Court. The trial, which started May 13, was expected to last several days and was still ongoing at press time. The court has been asked to decide if the accident was due to pilot error, a technical malfunction or a combination of the two.
The Portuguese government is investigating the September 12 fatal accident of a 1977 King Air 200 in which the British pilot and all eight Spanish passengers were killed. The twin turboprop crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after taking off on a planned commercial flight from Portugal’s Madeira Islands. The airplane, N600BV, was registered to Willis Lease Finance in Sausalito, Calif.