This page offers a quick compilation of short news items, reference links, and potential article leads. Five color-codes are used to mark the date: Airports, ATC, Environment, Whistleblowers, & Other.
NTRA Still Waiting On Response From FAA On Control Tower Funding. A municipally funded control tower at the airport in Sherman, TX, awaits FAA action on their string of applications, seeking funding under the FCT program. The airport averages 130 ops/day; they hope to get as much as $550K/year in FAA support. The article notes a claim that each student pilot at the airport puts approximately $80K/yr into the local economy.


A Rare Whistleblower Win at MSPB. A USFS employee suffers retaliation after speaking up about improper actions by a superior. She is soon fired, based on trivial charges. She goes to MSPB, represented by Margaret J. Wilson, of Eugene, Oregon. The case is decided on 5/10/13, by AJ Benjamin Gutman, who found Appellant had established an affirmative defense of whistleblower retaliation. The AJ reversed the agency removal. A fear-driven work culture at USFS, hostile to Whistleblowers, is highlighted in this news article. A copy of the 5/10/13 reversal decision has been posted by MSPBWatch.

TAGS:..MSPB, WB-Retaliation, usfs

Airline Warns Pilots About Runway After UPS Crash. An ABC news article notes that roughly one month after the fatal UPS crash last August,  the largest U.S. regional airline service, Atlanta-based ExpressJet Airlines, circulated an internal memo expressing concerns. It cited the non-standard flight path to the shorter accident runway, and “…found that two ExpressJet planes that were only a few feet below an ideal flight path came within 65 feet of a hilltop….” It sounds like FAA needs to take a closer look at the approach they have approved. [link to discussion at AirNation.net]


Yellowstone Begins 2014 Wild Bison Slaughter.  Article about the periodic bison culls conducted by National Park Service. Includes photos showing use of helicopters to herd the docile bison. Lengthy discussion by readers, focusing on the need to stop governmental subsidy of the beef industry.

TAGS:..helos, National.Parks

Comair Flight 5191: The story continues. Article and news video about the widow of Comair 5191 pilot Jeffrey Clay. “(FOX19) – Amy Clay doesn’t like to be called a crusader, even though she has spent nearly the past eight years of her life on a crusade of sorts, one she never set out for….” Also discusses recent ‘Sole Survivor’ documentary on CNN.

TAGS:..Comair, KLEX

Southwest looks to grow where rivals downsize. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline that has not been restructured in bankruptcy. The airline sees many expansion opportunities at airports like KCLE and KMEM, where hubs are being abandoned.


50,000 Wind Energy Supporters Call on Incoming Senate Committee Leader to Extend Tax Credit. Rob Hogg, an Iowa state senator, created a Climate Parents petition to send to the new leader of the Senate Finance Committee, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, requesting he prioritize the renewal of the wind production tax credit (PTC).

TAGS:..Environment, Sen.Wyden, TaxCredits

Despite $93 Billion in Profits, Big Oil Demands Continued Tax Breaks. The big five oil companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell — reportedly earned a combined total of $93 billion in 2013. Their lobbyists are still working hard to preserve tax breaks worth $2.4 Billion per year.

TAGS:.. BigOil, Environment, TaxCredits

In The Hill’s Congress Blog, Robert Newton is critical of FAA’s failures in their  Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution (ATCOTS) program. He cites two DoT-IG reports, one in September 2010, and the other on 12/13/13, and notes that despite the precise DoT-IG critique, FAA failed to resolve problems. ATCOTS is intended to train new air traffic controllers.


U.S. airlines cut fuel consumption. Reuters column by analyst John Kemp. Thin on data, but a closer analysis is viewable at http://aireform.com/u-s-airlines-fuel-consumption-in-decline/. More importantly, the December numbers are due to be announced by RITA on 2/11.


Virgin Atlantic drops flights to Australia. Airline to cease flights from Britain to Sydney in May, leaving BA as the only UK carrier to operate a direct service. [article]

TAGS: :..AirlineSchedules, R.Branson

Airline mergers and changing economies have reduced airport operations at Bradley, thus reducing noise impacts on airport neighbors. [article]