The FAA has been under intense pressure from the U.S. Congress of late, and some believe that the reaction to Congressional pressure to tighten up FAA oversight of the aviation industry is a direct cause of the thousands of airline groundings last month.
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During a House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing last month, Air Transport Association (ATA) president and CEO James May claimed that airline jets are five to six times more fuel efficient than corporate jets. “Carrying 200 people and cargo across the country in a single airplane burns a lot less fuel than 33 separate corporate jets, each flying six people,” May testified. He added that U.S.
Air Transport Association (ATA) president and CEO James May used a hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming last month as a bully pulpit to bash corporate jets and promote the airlines’ tax agenda.
The events of September 11 and the subsequent economic fallout have tested the competitive mettle of airlines worldwide. Thankfully for those that escaped the fate suffered by the now bankrupt Swissair and Sabena, the hundreds of smaller carriers that comprise the often overlooked regional airline sector have supplied a source of relative strength.
New York City-based ShAirForce LLC continues to move forward with its plan to become the world’s first fractional operator to offer its clients premium-class-only aircraft with daily nonstop service between high-demand domestic and international city pairs. The company recently released its Web site address (www.ShAirForce.com) and toll-free number, (866) Go-ShAir.
The number of pilots hired from January through May by the six major fractional operators (559 pilots) is outpacing hiring by the major airlines (302) and regional jet operators (402), according to statistics compiled by AIR Inc. of Atlanta. Only hiring by national airlines (649) surpassed fractionals (total hired in all categories was 2,509). AIR also reported that 7,257 of 94,571 active airline pilots are on furlough in the U.S.
Boeing will delay first flight of the 787, this time by as much as six more months, as it continues to grapple with slower-than-expected completion of work originally meant for suppliers, the company said today. It now expects to fly the first airplane some time during this year’s fourth quarter–at least 14 months later than originally planned.
In response to increasing demand for services from general and corporate aviation customers, Arinc Direct has expanded and relocated its Scottsdale, Ariz. aircraft service and maintenance operations.
The U.S. air transportation system lost one more source of “essential” service last month when Big Sky Airlines officially went out of business. Billings, Mont.-based Big Sky flew its last Beech 1900 service on March 8, leaving another seven communities isolated from the nation’s scheduled airline network.
Federal agents last month arrested six Venezuelan pilots and two ramp workers accused of using false immigration papers to obtain employment in the U.S. Two of the pilots, Pedro Agusti and Luis Garmendia, flew for American Airlines regional subsidiary American Eagle. Another pilot, Pedro Bottome, flew as a Citation X captain for Executive Jet Aviation.