Industry News

March 8, 2003


General aviation representatives, most notably the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn., are expressing concern about "direct final rules" published in late January by the Transportation Security Administration and FAA that permit TSA to revoke or refuse an airman certificate to anyone it deems as a threat to transportation security. The rules, which include an appeal process, were immediately put into effect.


Funding for the FAA and TSA for FY2002 was finally approved by Congress in late February, targeting $13.6 billion for FAA and $5.2 billion for TSA’s civil aviation services. The Airport Improvement Program will receive $3.4 billion for the year, a $100 million increase. The funding for ’02 had been handled through continuing resolutions until passage of the omnibus spending bill.

The aviation industry, meanwhile, is gearing up for a new authorization process to begin in FY2003, with the intent of securing more than a one-year package.


Despite finally having an aviation and TSA funding bill passed for the rest of FY2002, questions and concerns remain among industry groups about how airport security is going to be funded. It is projected that TSA will face as much as a $3 billion shortfall and aviation reps worry that the AIP fund will be forced to make up the difference. Also in question will be how the recent transfer of TSA from DOT to the new Department of Homeland Security will impact funding. Passenger security fees are expected to generate only $1.7 billion in 2003 and 2004, according to DOT Inspector General Kenneth Mead.



Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport recently unveiled its $53 million "electronic" concourse, host to nine state of the art gates, five occupied by South-west. It features large plasma screen televisions, aquariums, and artwork designed to reflect the flavor of South Florida. Videos feature Ever-glades and oceanic wildlife, while airplane sculptures hang from the 30-foot ceiling. The concourse is part of a $1.2 billion, 20-year expansion program, much of which will be overseen by URS Corporation.


Houston-based Air Security International offers tips for personnel that travel internationally and who may be out of country if war breaks out in Iraq. ASI says countries of concern include Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Egypt. Companies are advised to relocate personnel from these areas if war breaks out.

Says ASI, "Regardless of the region, the nationality and religion of an employee should be taken into consideration."

For details, visit


Officials of Barnstable, MA, are reportedly considering a proposal by Buzzmarketing to sell naming rights for the city-owned airport, Barnstable Municipal. The marketing firm has reportedly told city officials that naming rights could net as much as $1 million. Barnstable Municipal is where former President George Bush learned to fly with the U.S. Navy.


Charles ’Chuck’ Peacock, 87, the founder of the Aircraft Electronics Association, based in Independence, MO, passed away in December. In 1956, Peacock coordinated the founding of AEA at a meeting of the Airline Electronic Engineering Committee in Minneapolis.


AAAE–American Assn. of Airport Executives names Tom Greer, A.A.E., assistant GM of the Monterey Penin-sula (CA) Airport District, to fill the unexpired term of Jerry Olson as chair of the association ... AAAE also establishes the Jerry Olson Scholarships in memory of the Cheyenne, WY, director, who died Jan. 19. Meanwhile, AAAE and ACI-NA charge TSA with diverting some $500 million of $738 million targeted by Congress for explosives detection system modifications at airports; groups charge money was paid to Boeing for other services.

AVCRAFT AVIATION–based in Germany, completes its acquisition of Fairchild’s 328JET division and reports it will restart production in mid-2003.

DCA SLOTS–are awarded to Cor-porate Airlines and AirTran; Corpor-ate will use its two slots for service to North Carolina; AirTran has four slots for service to Florida from Washington Reagan National.

DELTA AIRLINES–announces it will form a low-fare carrier, Song, to serve leisure markets.

ECLIPSE AVIATION–announces that the Pratt & Whitney PW610F turbofan will be used to power the Eclipse 500 personal jet now under development.

FAA–establishes a new aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to include industry groups for a comprehensive review of Parts 125 and 135; NATA, named as a participant, is expressing concern that Part 135 not be folded into Part 121. FAA is also seeking comments through mid-April on the privatization of New Orleans Lakefront Airport, the second airport in its pilot privatization program; under the current agreement, American Airports of Santa Monica, CA, would operate Lakefront under a 50-year lease.

GAO–General Accounting Office ( releases various industry-related reports:

• Commercial Aviation - Factors Affecting Efforts to Improve Air Service at Small Community Airports;

• Homeland Security - Manage-ment Challenges Facing Leadership

• Aviation Infrastructure - Chal-lenges Related to Building Runways and Actions to Address Them.

INT’L AVIATION SNOW SYMPOSIUM–slated for May 3-6 in Buffalo, NY, seeks nominations by April 1 for its annual Balchen/Post Award recognizing excellence in snow and ice control/removal; contact AAAE or NBAA.

JET AVIATION–based in Zurich, Switzerland, announces that current shareholders have withdrawn plans to sell the international FBO/charter firm. Meanwhile, Jet Aviation partners with CharterX to provide online estimates for U.S. charter trips.

MERCURY AIR GROUP–reports that a shareholder lawsuit filed in Decem-ber alleging board member misdeeds is dropped.

NATA–National Air Transportation Assn. re-ports that its Airline Services Council has formed a bankruptcy committee to help companies deal with airline bankruptcies and their contractual responsibilities. NATA is also opposing reintroduction of legislation by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) that would expand existing requirements for background checks to foreign pilots seeking training at U.S. flight schools.

NATCA–National Air Traffic Controllers Assn. issues a study, Pitfalls of Air Traffic Control Privatization, which suggests privatization of ATC could jeopardize safety and security.

PORT COLUMBUS (OH) INT’L AIRPORT–reports that America West will begin phasing out its hub operations there.

PRESIDENT BUSH–nominates Ellen G. Engle-man, current administrator of DOT’s Research and Special Programs Admin-istration, to become head of the NTSB.

REGIONAL AVIATION PARTNERS–an advocacy group, cautions against funding cuts to the Essential Air Service program, and charges that the Administration plans to reduce EAS funding from $115 million to $50 million in 2004.

SAFIRE AIRCRAFT–of West Palm Beach, FL, selects the Williams Int’l FJ33 turbofan to power its personal jet now under development.

TSA–extends until April 1 its deadline for compliance for security and screening under the 12-5 and "private charter" regulations.

TURNER CONSTRUCTION CO.–of New York will oversee $450 million of work for the new Midfield Terminal at Indianapolis Int’l Airport.

UNITED AIRLINES–plans to re-enter the low-fare carrier market with a new start-up, code named Starfish, to serve U.S. markets.

US AIRWAYS–will discontinue air service to Worcester (MA) Regional Airport, leaving the airport with no scheduled service.

AS3 + GSE Expo = An Expanded SuperShow

The Aviation Services & Suppli-ers Supershow (AS3) and GSE Inter-national Expo are being combined for the first time to offer the commercial and general aviation services industry a one-stop exhibiting event May 13-15 in Las Vegas. The event is sponsored by Cygnus Expositions, based in Burnsville, MN.

The exhibit hall will be centered around the annual conventions of the National Air Transpor-tation Association and the Profes-sional Aviation Maintenance Asso-ciation; seminars for the ground support sector will also be held.

Among the sessions featured: a keynote address by Harley-David-son chairman Jeffrey Bleustein; management and security sessions; a U.S. Department of Defense panel on aviation support equipment; and, various technical seminars that qualify for IA renewal.

Cygnus Expositions is a subsidiary of Cygnus Business Media, Inc., parent company of AIRPORT BUSINESS, Aircraft Maintenance Technology, and Ground Support (formerly GSE Today) magazines.

For information, contact (800) 827-8009