Inside the Fence
Impressions from the road, and from reports coming across an editor's desk ...
John Infanger, Editorial Director
That creaking noise one hears must be from the Aviation Trust Fund coffers as they are pried open for the much-anticipated industry raid. The hum created by that noise could be heard in Reno in April, as consultants met to talk about airport planning and engineering.
What they wanted to talk about was money — and an almost unheard of challenge of utilizing the billions coming down the pike to build the infrastructure for which they consult.
Alas, there is a concern. It seems there is a consultant shortage. The forthcoming deluge of projects will only compound the problem. More of this is touched on in an interview on page 42. Consider it the beginning of a long dialog on where and why and how to spend.
* * *
We first met Dan Bitton (DB Aviation, Waukegan, IL) about ten years ago — did a story on him in the mid-'90s. With growth approaching 400 percent since that time, and a redefinition of the business, it merited another look (page 22). Waukegan is also a focal point right now for the contract tower program, and it has hit on a very personal level for Bitton and the community there.
While DB Aviation's
numbers are impressive, it is Bitton's outlook that is the focus of our
article. Bitton makes common sense and maverick seem synonomous. Straightforward
has served his company well. To wit ...
• All of DB's charter/managed aircraft carry heart defibrillators.
• Bitton believes it might serve industry best if Part 121, 91, and 135 pilots all flew to the same standard when it comes to flight & duty regs.
• He's taking a Part 139 airport certification course to better understand why his airport operates as it does. And, in a pitch to the AAAE recruiter, he says, "I'm surprised I've never received an invitation to join AAAE in 15 years."
* * *
The DOT Inspector General released the results of its audit of FAA and the Contract Tower Program. In essence, it thinks the program works well and should be expanded. The IG doesn't agree with an FAA study that suggests future expansion won't save money. It will, says the IG.
* * *
For those seeking
information on aviation's impact on the environment, the U.S. General
Accounting Office released a report (GAO-RCED-00-57 at gao.gov) that was
compiled for Rep. James Oberstar. Two items ...
• Efficiences are coming in air traffic control that will help reduce aircraft emissions. However, delays on the ground could offset gains.
• Of greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. sources, aviation accounted for 3 percent; other transportation 23 percent; and other industry 41 percent.
* * *
A couple of other
... Salt Lake City Int'l Airport, too, sees the value of defibrillators, installing nine units in its terminals.
... And, congratulations to Dean "fuel man" Stagers of Byerly Aviation, Peoria, IL — named recently to the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame. Many in industry have learned from Dean's efforts to train about safety and fuel. Too few like him get such deserved recognition.
Thanks for reading.
DB aviation What began as a small charter firm is today a major Midwest player By John F. Infanger, Editorial Director May 2000 WAUKEGAN, IL — In 1987, at a time when the...
Contract Towers Chair of USCTA talks about the program, following a favorable government report By John F. Infanger, Editorial Director July 2000 MOSINEE, WI — James...
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