The FAA selected a preferred alternative in late March for the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia airspace redesign project after 10 years of studies, meetings, legal wrangling and a bit of mud slinging. The Integrated Airspace Alternative (IAA) calls for entirely new concepts in airspace management and routing that the agency feels will greatly reduce delays in the busy northeast corridor.
Next Generation Air Transportation System
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey continued her pitch for a new revenue stream for her agency during a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce early last month, comparing a Gulfstream IV flying from Teterboro Airport (TEB) to the Tampa, Fla. area to an airliner operating between New York La Guardia Airport and Miami. The FAA’s own N1–in which the Administrator often travels–is a GIV.
Like two punch-drunk prizefighters locked in a clinch, general aviation and the airlines continue to rain body blows on each other over the pending FAA reauthorization proposal that would shift much of the cost of funding the ATC system from airline passengers to GA operators.
General aviation trade groups based in the Washington, D.C. area have joined with a disparate group of mostly rural communities, organizations and the volunteer-pilot Air Care Alliance in battling the Bush Administration’s plan to hike fuel taxes and institute a series of user fees to help fund the FAA and the NextGen ATC system.
Hoping to stave off aviation gridlock this summer, the FAA last month summoned 60 participants from major and regional airlines, pilot and employee representatives, industry associations and other organizations to develop a strategy to reduce system delays.
The investigation report of the October 2001 runway collision between a taxiing Citation CJ2 and a Scandinavian Airlines MD-87 taking off at the Linate Airport at Milan, Italy, is quite revealing.
Bombardier Flexjet has become the first nonscheduled operator to successfully transmit real-time flight-intent data to the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) near Washington Dulles International Airport. This data gives the agency more predictable information with which to make traffic-flow-management decisions each day. The fractional aircraft company operates a fleet of more than 100 aircraft.
The business and corporate side of general aviation should continue to benefit from a growing market for new microjets over the next 14 fiscal years, and the FAA expects business use of GA aircraft to expand at a more rapid pace than that for personal and sport use.
Unilaterally imposed work rules and the FAA reauthorization process are among the issues Pat Forrey, new president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), plans to address during his first year in office. Forrey took over the association’s reins in September after he defeated two-term incumbent John Carr.
As Congress began hearings last month on the Bush Administration’s plan to fund the FAA, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey attempted to do what one lawmaker called “defending the indefensible.”
Early indications from Capitol Hill signaled that the White House proposal for increased taxes and user fees to provide the necessary money to run the FAA and modernize the ATC system would have rough sledding in Congress.