The aiREPORT: [2013Q3, week-9]

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 #9: August 25 — August 31, 2013

summary:

Top AvNews story: the DoT-IG report, connecting controller fatigue to FAA staffing practices. Also, there is still lots of posturing by FAA and elected officials, to win support from taxpayers by announcing recipients of this years rounds of billions of AIP dollars…

QUICKlooks:

  • 8/26/13: NBAA, AOPA and other alphabet groups commended the Governor of South Carolina for her recent declaration of  ‘South Carolina Aviation Week’.
  • The state of Pennsylvania announced that $5.4M in mostly Federal funds will be invested in fifteen small airports across the state. Much of the money will go for obstruction removal and/or studies to studies and designs related to future obstruction removal.
  • 8/27/13: GA News reports that Cessna made their first test-flight of their newest bizjet, the Citation M2, being produced in Independence, MO
  • A GA News article reports: Arkansas Governor, and a few Arkansas mayors, declare August is ‘GA Appreciation Month’.
  • 8/28/13: Some American Pilots Make A Measly $20 Per Hour. A BusinessInsider article that lays out how much pilots are paid for the various regional/commuter lines, and the major airlines too. It breaks down pay at first year, after five years, ten years, etc.
  • 8/30/13: The President of the National Air Transportation Association, Tom Hendricks, spoke at a town hall sponsored by the Napa Air Center, at [KAPC]. An article in the Napa Valley Register covers some aviation lobby concerns.

Airports in the News:

  • Moline, IL (Quad City Airport [KMLI]): Elliott Aviation has petitioned the courts to be allowed to intervene in a lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed after the state granted a property tax exemption to the company leasing facilities at the airport. The tax exemption effectively reduces tax revenues for local schools by $150K.
  • Mobile, AL (Mobile Downtown Airport [KBFM]): Airbus is making progress on development of its first U.S. production facility, intended to do final assembly of the A320 model. The plant has a planned opening of 2015 and will hire 1,000 workers.

Links to Articles:

8-29-2013FAA takes up Hudson County complaints about low-flying tourist helicopters
Elected officials continue to pressure FAA to clean up the noise problem created by helicopters in the New York City area. In this story, the lead advocates are Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Albio Sires.
8-29-2013Quiet Air-Traffic Towers Should Be Closed Nights: Report
A Bloomberg article by Alan Levin, summarizing the DoT-IG report issued on 8/27/13, discussing controller fatigue and the potential to close down some towers during the very slow overnight hours.
8-29-2013New FAA Rule Gives Embry-Riddle Students Advantage for Airline Jobs
Embry-Riddle announced that FAA granted their students special status, so that they may promote into airline pilot jobs at 1,000 hours, instead of the new minimum 1,500 hours. Prior to these new minimums, pilots with only 250 hours were eligible. One consequence of these new rules is that flight training will tend to become more concentrated at those 4-year aviation institutions with intensive training programs. Embry-Riddle has major campuses at Daytona Beach, FL and Prescott, AZ.
8-28-2013Op-Ed: Why We Need a National Airline Policy
A short opinion article by Sean Kennedy, a Senior VP at Airlines for America (A4A). He notes that ten major airlines reported $1.6Billion in profits during the first half of the year, and these funds are being reinvested. But, he warns, the rate of taxation in the U.S. commercial aviation system is too high, and needs to be reduced. The comments lean against Mr. Kennedy, but the article is well worth reading in that it provides all sides of the larger debate.
8-27-2013FAA Investigates After Drone Crashes In Virginia
Three spectators at the Virginia Motor Sports center are injured when a hexacopter drone used for capturing video images crashes, after losing its battery power. FAA has been aggressively shutting down university programs and drone aerial photographers, while giving oil companies approval to use drones in Alaska. Oddly, riskier activities near crowds have been ignored until accidents happen. Q: since drones operate so low to the ground, should the authority to manage their use be taken away from FAA, and given to a different agency, perhaps one more focused on public safety?
8-25-2013Remembering Paul Poberezny
A tribute piece by Kent Misegades, at GA News. Mr. Poberezny passed away on  8/22/13, at age 91. He founded the Experimental Aircraft Association in 1953 and was a legendary advocate (as well as respected father figure) for those interested in building their own airplane.

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