GUNFIGHT AT THE ATLANTA CORRAL
In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed an individual’s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment; a week later, Georgia House Bill 89 went into effect allowing licensed firearms to be carried as concealed weapons in various public places. Activists took their cause to the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where general manager Ben DeCosta and other city officials vowed not to allow guns to be brought into the airport pre-security. Both AAAE and ACI-NA came out in support of the airport.
At press time the issue had yet to be resolved; however, Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin is calling on Washington to come up with a national solution, and suggests a requirement that facilities accepting federal monies agree to maintaining a gun-free zone.
HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSES DHS FUNDING BILL
In early July a U.S. House committee unanimously approved a FY2009 Homeland Security spending bill, allocating $39.9 billion in discretionary spending to the department, approximately $2.3 billion above President Bush’s request. The bill provides $4.6 billion for TSA and $544 million to be used to purchase explosives detection systems for baggage; $110 million for air cargo security; $400 million for specialized screening programs; and $52 million for response teams, inspectors, regulations, and new activities. Also, $382 million was provided for Customs and Border Protection for Secure Freight Initiative pilot and overseas programs.
AOPA’S PHIL BOYER TO RETIRE AT END OF 2008
Phil Boyer will retire from his post as president of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association at the end of 2008 and will be succeeded by Craig L. Fuller, a lifetime general aviation pilot and one-time chief of staff for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush. Fuller has also worked with international affairs organizations, the Philip Morris Companies, and as CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. He is currently executive VP with APCO Worldwide, a strategic communications company based in Washington.
Boyer has been at the AOPA helm 18 years and is credited with increasing the association’s membership some 40 percent (currently 597,000 pilots).
aci-na — Airports Council Inter-national-North America’s Board of Directors selects the former director of the Tucson Airport Authority, Walter A. Burg, as winner of its William E. Downes Jr. Award, presented to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting the cause of airports and aviation. Burg was employed by the Tucson Airport Authority for 36 years, first as a fireman and finally as the Authority’s third airport manager.
• ACI-NA also expresses support for legislation introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to prohibit the U.S. DOT from imposing a slot auction scheme at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The legislation is supported by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Air Transportation Assn., the Regional Airline Assn., and the Int’l Air Transport Assn.
air france — sues the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the Canadian government, and Nav Canada for the crash involving Flight 358 in 2005, claiming the runway the plane slid off lacks proper safety margins and doesn’t meet international standards. Carrier seeks $180 million in damages; the Airbus A340 touched down on August 2 amid a violent thunderstorm, running off the airfield and into a ravine, where it broke apart and caught fire. All 297 passengers and 12 crewmember survived the crash. Air France’s statement of claim, filed with Ontario Superior Court, claims the “GTAA failed to provide a safe environment for the conduct of civil air operations.”
air one — an Italian air carrier, announces service to Boston Logan and Chicago O’Hare from Milan.
aircraftlogs — of Columbus, OH, opens a location in Ft. Lauderdale in the Banyan Air Service complex; company provides digital aircraft management systems and related recordkeeping services; www.aircraftlogs.com
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Executive Director Carol Snapp said construction of a five-story-tall control tower and resurfacing of the 6,500-foot runway has been going smoothly.