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
aopa — Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn. hires Craig Spence to fill the newly created position of VP of aviation security. A long-time general aviation pilot, Spence was program manager for Geospatial and Aerospace Systems in the DHS’s Office of Operations Coordination.
arinc managed services, llc — a provider of airport IT services based in Annapolis, MD, enters an agreement to provide on-site warranty service and maintenance for a major installation of Samsung Electronics displays at a major North American airport. Agreement covers more than a thousand Samsung monitors at the airport and off-site locations.
asig — based in Orlando, is awarded ground handling services for LAN’s 19 weekly flights at JFK Int’l Airport.
blue sky network — a global provider of mobile asset management and fleet management solutions using GPS tracking and based in LaJolla, CA, receives a Supplemental Type Certificate from FAA for installation of its D1000C and ACH1000 kits on Bombardier DHC-8-201 aircraft.
bob hope airport — in Burbank, CA reports that the revenue it contributes to Southern California businesses has increased by more than $3 billion since 1993, according to the airport’s first economic study in 12 years. The airport brought $3.9 billion in revenue to regional businesses in 2006, up from $875 million in 1993.
caribbean airlines — introduces an additional flight to Toronto from Port of Spain effective July 11, increasing to eleven weekly flights.
castle & cooke aviation — opens its new fixed base operation at Honolulu Int’l Airport, capping a $5 million renovation following the acquisition of Circle Rainbow; company also has FBO locations at Van Nuys (CA) and Everett (WA).
cirrus design corp. — of Duluth, MN offers simulator training for the new Perspective avionics. Frasca International, Inc. Urbana, IL, has upgraded its existing Frasca Cirrus Flight Training Device (FTD) with new Perspective avionics from Garmin.
continental airlines — will pull out of Oakland Int’l Airport, dropping its three daily flights between OAK and Houston starting Sept. 3. Oakland is one of 15 small and medium-sized cities that Continental is dropping from its schedule; carrier plans to cut 3,000 jobs and ground 67 aircraft.
• Continental Airlines also plans to cut 3,000 jobs and retire 67 Boeing aircraft through 2009, with 27 removed in September and the rest by the end of 2009. Carrier will continue to take deliveries of new, more fuel-efficient Boeing 737s; net reduction in its fleet will be 31 planes.
cutter aviation — is designated as the Preferred FBO by Bombardier FlexJet at its locations at the PHX, DVT, ABQ, ELP, RBD, and TKI airports.
dfw int’l airport — reports that the grounding of American Airlines’ MD-80 fleet in April cost the airport some $800,000 in fees.
dtn/meteorlogix — of Minneapolis releases its MxVision AviationSentry® Online to help airline pilots, helicopters, FBOs, and corporate flight departments track current and developing weather conditions, current flight restrictions, and improve airport ramp operations safety; www.dtnmeteorlogix.com.
era training center llc — opens its new 7,694-sq.ft. facility located in Lake Charles (LA), in proximity to Era Helicopters’ headquarters, which features two Frasca flight training devices (AS350B2 and EC135 CPDS P2+), classrooms, and administrative offices. The center will offer training for corporate aircraft owners, medical flight services, airborne law enforcement personnel, and rotorcraft professionals.
faa — issues an Airworthiness Directive for the Eclipse 500® fleet of aircraft manufactured by Eclipse Aviation, following an emergency landing on June 5 at Chicago Midway. Subsequently, all fleet operators using the Eclipse 500 complied with the AD inspection requirement, and their aircraft returned to service. AD requires a pilot inspection of the thrust quadrant assembly.
• FAA will allow caps put in place in 2004 at Chicago O’Hare Int’l to expire on October 31 in conjunction with the airport’s scheduled completion of the extension of Runway 10 two months ahead of schedule. The new runway, 9L/27R, and the new north control tower are set for commissioning on November 20.
• FAA Northwest Mountain Regional Runway Safety Summit will be held July 23-24 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Seattle, WA.
gama — General Aviation Manufacturers Assn. establishes an Environment Committee to represent the GA manufacturing industry’s environmental policy and coordinate with other aerospace industry stakeholders and government entities. Committee will work to build support for more research and technology to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint.
• GAMA also participates in the signing ceremony in Brussels for the US-European Community Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement to enhance air safety while reducing regulatory burdens and costs for manufacturers, operators, and aviation authorities in the U.S. and Europe. This Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) provides for technical cooperation between FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency in a variety of areas including aircraft certification, environmental approvals, and maintenance.
gerald r. ford int’l airport — at Grand Rapids, in a move hearing assistance advocates are calling “a world of difference,” becomes the first U.S. airport to install a hearing loop system that allows people with telecoil-equipped hearing aids to hear public address announcements more clearly, transmitted through their hearing aids. The user can flip a switch or use a remote-control device to activate the telecoil. The airport used $137,000 of general revenue to buy and install the system, and it is available on both airport concourses; Grand Rapids-based AsCom Inc. installed the system.
heritage flight — of Bur-lington, VT, adds a Canadair Challenger 604 to its fleet.
hondajet midwest — officially inks plans for its aircraft support facility at the Aurora (IL) Municipal Airport.
horizon air — will offer nonstop service between Prescott, AZ and Los Angeles Int’l Airport daily starting Sept. 8; flight from Prescott will originate in Flagstaff. Starting June 23, Horizon will offer two nonstop flights between Flagstaff and LAX.
hudson group — of East Rutherford, NJ enters a joint venture partnership that wins a competitive bid to provide all retail concessions (ten stores in total) at Cleveland Hopkins Int’l Airport. The contract, awarded by landlord BAA USA, Inc. on behalf of the airport, is for seven years. Joint venture includes United Concessions Group, Inc. and English Concessions, and will initially operate seven Hudson News newsstands, a Discover Cleveland gift store, a Hudson Booksellers bookstore, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame store.
ifboa — Independent Fixed Base Operators Assn., based in Bedford, MA, announces that the group has formed a relationship with The Harmonie Group, a network of 57 independent law firms located throughout the U.S.
iata — International Air Transport Assn., which represents 240 carriers, projects that soaring fuel prices would cause the industry to lose $2.3 billion in 2008.
• IATA also calls on the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament to put aside their single-minded focus on emissions trading and deliver real progress in reducing aviation emissions with a Single European Sky.
l-3 security & detection systems — a division of L-3 Communications and based in Woburn, MA, reports that its VIS-HR™ high-resolution automated explosives detection system is approved by the Service Technique de l’Aviation Civile (STAC) for compliance with the European Union Commission Regulation (EC) No 1448/2006–Standard 2.
lee county (FL) port authority — is awarded an FAA grant totaling over $6.1 million for construction of a new aircraft parking apron that will serve as a new terminal building at Page Field General Aviation Airport; total project budget is $7.3 million.
los angeles int’l airport — opens an $83 million midfield taxiway, 10,000 x 75 feet, which is expected to help reduce runway incursions in recent years.
los angeles mayor — Anto-nio Villaraigosa calls a proposed curfew at Bob Hope Airport counterproductive and improper, despite support for the ban that heavily outweighed opposition to the proposal during a public comment period. If the ban is enacted, more than 30 flights reportedly will be rerouted to Van Nuys Airport and five flights to LAX; others will be directed to Ontario, Long Beach, Camarillo, and Pacoima.
mge architects — of Coral Gables, FL receives a 2008 Merit Award of Excellence from the Florida Assn. of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for its design work on Concourse J at Miami Int’l Airport.
milwaukee mitchell int’l airport — starts a marketing campaign to attract Northern Illinois travelers; “Skymailme” campaign gives visitors to its new website the chance to send personalized skywritten e-greetings to friends and family. Once in the virtual cockpit, visitors can upload an image of themselves as the pilot of a plane that skywrites their message over a view of Lake Michigan flanked by city skylines; www.flyMKE.com.
nata — National Air Transportation Assn. releases an Action Call to members requesting immediate action in contacting members of Congress regarding Part 135 enforcement. Over the last 24 months, FAA has issued or threatened to issue numerous emergency suspensions or revocation orders to Part 135 carriers due to inconsistent regulations within the agency, says NATA. Some emergency orders have resulted in the loss of certificates for the operators involved.
national parking assn. — hosts its 57th Annual Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas, September 15-18, and plans an agenda catering to airport parking systems; www.npapark.org.
nav canada — proposes to maintain a 1 percent reduction in its service charges that was implemented on a temporary basis on August 1, 2007 and was set to expire on August 31, 2008. Lower rates would save customers an estimated $13 million in fiscal 2009.
ntsb — National Transportation Safety Board recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration: Require 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, 135, and Part 91 subpart K operators to include, in their initial, upgrade, transition, and recurrent simulator training for turbojet airplanes, 1) decisionmaking for rejected landings below 50 feet along with a rapid reduction in visual cues; and 2) practice in executing this maneuver.
ottawa int’l airport — cuts airline fees 5 percent as of July 1 in an attempt to offset the skyrocketing cost of fuel and the weakened economies in Canada and the U.S.
sharp details — of Dulles, VA now offers its full line of aircraft cleaning services at Landmark Aviation and TAC Air in Raleigh, NC (RDU); www.sharpdetails.com.
southwest florida int’l airport — announces that Air Berlin, which recently acquired LTU, resumes its twice-weekly nonstop service to Munich, with a third weekly nonstop flight to Düsseldorf.
send word now — a provider of on-demand alerting and response services, introduces WeatherBlast, a proprietary rapid severe weather alerting and response service that can send notifications via voice and/or text devices, including landlines, cell phones, pagers, PDAs, e-mail, and BlackBerry® PIN; www.sendwordnow.com.
spirit airlines — begins daily non-stop service from its Ft. Lauderdale home to Bogota, Colombia.
standard aero — a Dubai Aerospace Enterprise company receives European Aviation Safety Agency Part 145 approval for Pratt & Whitney Canada PW600-series turbine-engine maintenance at its Tilburg facility in the Netherlands. Specific engine models covered are the PW610 for the Eclipse 500 and the PW615 for the Cessna Mustang.
state of arizona — passes a state law that could beef up security for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s sole source of jet fuel, calling for an annual security assessment for a key fuel farm in west Phoenix and the 12-mile jet fuel pipeline that runs from the tank farm to Sky Harbor. Pipeline delivers some 180,000 barrels of jet fuel a week.
texas aviation services — of Ft. Worth delivers an Electronic News Gathering American Eurocopter AS350B2 to KTVK TV 3 in Phoenix. TAS worked with Geneva Aviation, a division of DART Helicopter Services, to provide an advanced configuration television news helicopter.
tsa — Transportation Security Administration names Long Island MacArthur Airport as the newest gateway airport for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
und aerospace — at the University of North Dakota enters a three-year agreement with Bharati Vidyapeeth University (BVU) in Pune, India to provide a one-year pilot training program for the BVU Aviation program.
united airlines — reports it will reduce its fleet by 100 planes by 2009 and will cut 1,400 to 1,600 jobs to offset losses due to fuel costs. Carrier is taking six B747s and its fleet of 94 B737s out of service.
u.s. and brazil — conclude an agreement that will provide for a nearly 50 percent increase in passenger flights between the two countries as well as eliminate restrictions on the number of airlines that can provide U.S./Brazil air service. Agreement, in four stages between July 2008 and October 2010, permits an increase in the number of weekly U.S./Brazil passenger flights from 105 to 154 for each country’s carriers, and allows cargo charter flights to increase from 750 per year to 1,000 immediately.
u.s. dept. of homeland security — Secretary Michael Chertoff seeks to adopt novel Israeli methods, like behavior-detection technologies, to better secure America’s airports. Chertoff, at a conference in Jerusalem for security ministers from around the world, signs an agreement with Israel to share technology and information on methods to improve homeland security.
u.s. dot inspector general — will examine traffic controllers at LAX and at the Terminal Radar Approach Control in San Diego and Sacramento at the request of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who charges that the country’s air traffic control towers could be short-handed. FAA projects that more than half of its roughly 14,800 air traffic controllers are expected to retire by 2017.
u.s. dot — criminal investigators reportedly are looking into potential irregularities involving subcontractors on a $44 million runway restoration project at Detroit Metro Airport. Two lawsuits filed in Wayne County Circuit Court by John Carlo Inc., the general contractor rebuilding one of Metro’s four parallel runways, say in court papers that two of its subcontractors conspired to mislead it about minority participation.
• DOT Secretary Mary E. Peters announces a new rule to make it more difficult for transportation workers to cheat on drug tests by requiring drug testing labs to analyze every test for tampering. Under the terms of the rule, labs would no longer have the option of testing urine samples for signs of cheating, but instead would be required to test every specimen for possible adulterants and urine substitutes.
visalia (CA) municipal airport — explores passenger flights to Ontario Int’l Airport via a proposal by Wyoming-based Great Lakes Airlines to offer flights to both Ontario and McCarran Int’l airports. Visalia has been without service since Mesa Air Group’s bankrupt Air Midwest pulled out May 31.
wayman aviation service, inc. — of Miami is the first flight training center in Florida to make the Frasca MENTOR Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) available to general aviation pilots and students. Based on the GARMIN G1000 glass system, MENTOR is suited for glass cockpit initial training, glass-transition training, or recurrent training.
zoom airlines — launches service between San Diego Int’l Airport and London’s Gatwick Airport, with twice weekly direct flights.