The aiREPORT: [2013Q3, week-8]

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 #8: August 18 — August 24, 2013

summary:

…just a slow week, as if everyone is away on their late Summer vacations…

QUICKlooks:

  • 8/20/13: AOPA announced that the new AOPA President is Mark Baker. He replaces Craig Fuller, who announced his decision to leave earlier this year.
  • Years of noise complaints are prompting San Francisco’s Supervisors to consider an ordinance to ban aerial advertising. The article mentions AWP Counsel Naomi Tsuda, and note FAA’s chronic opposition to such local control.
  • NBAA complained that FAA’s required ‘disclaimers’ are discouraging pilots from wanting to use data contained in Safety NOTAM’s; FAA assures they are repairing the excessive disclaimers.
  • 8/22/13: American Petroleum Institute (API) reports that 18.9 million barrels per day of petroleum products were delivered in the U.S. in July, up 1.7 percent from last year, and the highest level for July in three years. Jet fuel was up 2.3%, to 1.5 million barrels/day.

Airports in the News:

  • Casa Grande, AZ ([KCGZ]) has said no to paying FAA money for controllers at their annual Fly-In, on October 24-26. Just as they did for other large GA events this year, FAA is demanding funds to cover overtime, lodging, etc.
  • Columbus, OH (Port Columbus International Airport [KCMH]) will inaugurate a new south runway this week and FAA Administrator Huerta will visit. The article also notes an $80M project to overhaul the terminal building.
  • Le Mars, IA (Le Mars Municipal Airport [KLRJ]) is home to 19 single-props, one jet,  and five ultralights, using a single 4,650′ runway. The community must cease construction of a 140′ tall water tower, because FAA says it is too high and creates an airport hazard. The airport averages 15 takeoffs per day, and is 27-miles north of the Sioux City airport.

Links to Articles:

8-23-2013AMR, US Airways Seeking Trial in U.S. Antitrust Lawsuit
The Department of Justice is challenging the proposed airline merger, and is pushing for a February hearing. The airlines and their unions want to move that up to November, as the merger is considered a critical element of American’s strategy for exiting their current bankruptcy.
8-22-2013Proposed AD could have devastating effect on GA
The Airworthiness Directive relates to cylinders installed on more than 6,000 Continental engines. Sometimes it looks like FAA imposes strong regulations against GA, to look effective overall, while ignoring larger, real problems in commercial aviation (e.g., the cargo pilot fatigue issue). EXCERPT: Officials with all of GA’s alphabet groups want more information before filing their formal comments. The FAA needs to be more forthcoming with information, says Hackman. EAA and AOPA are exploring avenues for getting more information, including asking for public hearings. Another is to ask for an extension on the date comments are due to the FAA. Currently, Oct. 11, 2013, is the deadline for comments.
8-21-2013Consultancy ‘Won’t Interfere’ With New President’s Job: AOPA
AOPA assures that their newly appointed President, Mark Baker, will serve AOPA fulltime, and not be distracted by some occasional consulting work related to his previous job. He was CEO at Orchard Hardware Supply, with 79 stores in California. The company is wrapping up a $205 Million bankruptcy and simultaneous sale to Lowes, and the package before a Bankruptcy Judge includes bonuses paid to the top five executives. Forty percent of the bonuses went to Baker, who “…pocketed more than $800,000 in bonuses for his part in steering the bankruptcy sale to a successful conclusion.” (Hmmm; is there really such a thing  as a successful bankruptcy, and should the management be rewarded? this seems very much like the too-big-to-fail banks and finance debacles of recent years). According to the Federal attorney opposed to the bonuses, all Baker and others had to do to collect was show up for work.
8-20-2013FAA Grants Restrictive Young Eagles Exemption
In response to a petition filed by EAA in the spring of 2012, the FAA recently granted a partial exemption from sections of 14 CFR 61.113, allowing pilots to receive compensation for flights under the EAA Eagle Flight and Young Eagles programs. While the petition included sport and recreational pilots, the FAA exemption applies only to pilots holding private pilot certificates or higher. Allowable compensation will include the cost of fuel during documented quasi-commercial flights, including the fuel used for transportation to such events.
8-19-2013No one injured in small plane crash on Marion Lake
A Cessna C172 flying over the Oregon Cascade Mountains loses power. The 28-yr-old pilot makes a forced landing onto shallow Marion Lake. He and a 47-yr-old male, plus two children ages 12 and 13, swim to shore as the aircraft sinks below the water surface.

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