…aiREPORT is a weekly collection of notes and links to news items relevant to aviation impacts and FAA reform. It is provided as a research tool…
Third Quarter, Week #6: August 4 — August 10, 2013
8-10-2013MSU to FAA: All university money is ‘public money’
Lansing State Journal has been investigating use of the state aircraft fleet, to establish whether money is being well-spent or wasted. The state has two Beech King Airs and two Beech Barons, three of which are based at Lansing. When an MSU athletic official goes on a recruiting trip, he/she may submit purchase orders and fly on the state’s aircraft. This article summarizes a FOIA response in which the reporter asked the state to produce a copy of a letter they had to send to FAA, to explain what appeared to be a state-run airline service for state employees. The article includes a link to a 189-page PDF showing the trips flown in late 2012 and early 2013. FAA concerns developed in January, when the state began offering a flat-rate $450 roundtrip for any officials wanting to travel between Lansing (the capitol, on the Lower Peninsula) and Marquette (on the Upper Peninsula). The airlines offer indirect routings with plane changes in Detroit and/or Chicago, priced at $1,200 to $2,400 roundtrip. Related past articles at:  
8-10-2013General aviation on the upswing in Tri-Cities
A business writer for a paper in northeast Tennessee offers an article about the economic stimulus brought by general aviation. He cites FAA studies and material produced by NBAA.
8-9-2013Local airports benefit From FAA grants
Plumas County announces that FAA is awarding $230K for projects at three remote airstrips. Each averages 10-20 takeoffs per day.
8-9-2013Experts say stricter FAA rules for pilots too costly, won’t improve safety
The new rules were prompted by the Colgan crash at Buffalo in 2009. The article offers opinions from flight academy officials, veteran pilots, and others. It claims that pilots earn $250K yearly, yet the pilots at Buffalo were earning very little (the co-pilot earned $17K). The article also casts a fear that air service at smaller towns will be the first casualty of this new rule.
8-9-2013China’s Silly New Policy Shows It Can’t Handle Its Booming Aviation Market
China’s passenger airlines are seeing a 20% annual growth rate (in passenger counts) and the twenty most delayed airports in Asia are all in China. Passengers are even fighting. So, authorities have adopted an ‘unrestricted takeoff’ policy to get flights in the air, regardless of the likelihood of delays enroute or at the arrival airport.
8-8-2013FAA restricts Charlotte Douglas runway over safety concerns
Citing safety concerns, FAA is restricting use of the cross runway, RY05/23, which has been used for noise abatement during operations between 11PM and 7AM. The current airport information advertises departures RY23 and arrivals RY05 as the preferred runway usages during the dark hours.
8-8-2013Aviation manufacturing taking off again
GA orders are up substantially from a year ago, and leaders such as Pete Bunce at GAMA are encouraged, but still concerned about the lag behind other aviation sectors. In terms of money, orders are now back to 2008 levels.
8-6-2013Air Traffic Control Newsletter #105
Bob Poole discusses the 7/17 congressional hearings (and has links to both the DoT-IG Scovell and FAA Adminstrator Huerta written statements). He also discusses how the sequester threat is stirring new perspectives, and a growing sense that the status quo is failing.
8-6-2013Passenger Defiance of FAA Rules Boon to Accident Investigators
Christine Negroni reports on how airline passengers using their personal electronic devices are capturing images and other data, and how helpful this is proving to NTSB investigators. What passengers record is revealing the details behind accidents like the Southwest nose-gear crash at LaGuardia.
8-4-201310 Maine airports get FAA grants
The aiReport …a link to the full report…