NewsWire Complete Issue
By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Reauthorization, Or What's Behind Door #2?...
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) claims an influential congressman is trying to create two new classifications of control towers: Democrat
and Republican. NATCA President John Carr said his organization is outraged by a deal proposed by Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, that would involve guaranteeing the retention of FAA-staffed towers in states represented by Republican senators
who switch their vote and support the FAA Reauthorization Bill in its current form. "He wants to play Monty Hall and Let's Make a Deal (with air safety)," said Carr. Originally, both the House and the
Senate supported provisions in the bill that guaranteed all existing FAA-run towers would remain in government hands. A conference report changed the language to allow 69 so-called VFR towers to
become privatized. It also says the balance of the system is to remain government-run through the end of the bill's authority in 2007. Pre-conference language stipulated that ATC remain a government
function in perpetuity. The political scrap that has ensued has held up the $60 billion bill, which was supposed to have been passed by the end of September, and put a hold on all the capital spending
for airport improvements it contains. A continuing resolution that pays for the day-to-day operation of the agency runs out Oct. 31. Both sides have been beating the political bushes trying to shore
up votes and Mica's towers-for-votes proposal is the latest, and most extreme, example. Mica told Aviation Daily he's willing to remove up to 30 towers from the list of 69 in exchange for support for
the bill from Republican senators who originally voted in favor of the anti-privatization provisions. He said he's targeting Republicans because "we're not getting any Democratic support" for the
reauthorization bill. Mica said he would take it "tower by tower" if necessary to appease anti-privatization Republican senators.
Naturally, privatization opponents are livid with the deal, saying it shows the true attitude of the Republican leadership toward air safety. "[This] tells our citizens that their safety is a
political issue," Carr said in a conference call with reporters. "It's about trading towers for votes. If you live in a nice Republican community, you get an FAA tower, if you live in a Democrat
community you get a contract tower." Carr said this "two-class system of safety" won't fly with the American public and the union is battling it strenuously. Gary Burns, a spokesman for Mica, told
AVweb the issue is holding up the bill and all the benefits it will bring to aviation and there has to be some resolution to the impasse. Burns said the towers-for-votes deal is just one of several
options being considered to get the bill through. He declined to elaborate on the other plans. "Some of these discussions we are having are evolving," he said. He also defended the partisan nature of
the towers proposal, saying the Democrats have their minds made up on the issue. "We have to talk to people who are willing to take part in the process," Burns said. And, according to Burns, the
lobbying and deal-making is having its effect. Mica said he already has the votes he needs in the House and Burns said the issue turns on a very few senators' positions. "We are very, very close," he
said. Originally, 11 Republican senators voted in favor of the bill with the anti-privatization language.
Despite the high-level deal-making, political intrigue and Capitol Hill name-calling the issue has precipitated, the FAA continues to maintain that it has no plans to privatize any of the towers.
Communications Director Greg Martin told AVweb the agency just wants to keep the option open in case operational conditions require it. "The FAA wants to preserve its flexibility to convert VFR,
non-approach towers if circumstances warrant it," Martin said. He said looming retirement of thousands of government controllers and future funding constraints make that flexibility necessary. "They
all add up to how we deploy our resources," he said. Martin also characterized the privatization issue as relatively insignificant compared to all of the measures in the bill that are currently on
hold. "We simply cannot continue to withhold a $60 billion bill to aviation over this issue," he said. "We need to move and we need to pass this bill." Despite the intensity of the debate in recent
weeks, alphabet groups aren't showing much appetite to get involved in the fray. The National Air Transportation Association and AOPA have both said in the
past that the bill should not be held up because of the privatization issue.
Bombardier is streamlining its business jet operations in a series of moves that will
affect 1,150 jobs in the U.S. The Canadian-owned company announced last week it is moving production of the Challenger 300 from its Wichita plant to Montreal, where other models of the Challenger are
made. The Wichita facility will continue to make Learjets. And although 350 jobs will be lost in Wichita, production of the Challenger 300 will be integrated into the existing capacity at the Montreal
plant -- no new jobs are expected. There will, however, be some jobs added in both Montreal and Wichita at the expense of Tucson, Ariz. The company announced it will be closing its finishing plant in
Tucson where all of the company's jets were outfitted with the plush perks of the high office they represent. Instead, the planes will be finished where they are started in Montreal and Wichita. But
although 800 jobs will be lost in Tuscon, the company estimates only about 100 of those employees will be offered positions at the other plants. Bombardier Aerospace CEO Pierre Beaudoin said keeping
the two airplane brands separate and integrating the finishing process with assembly will cut costs (about $25 million a year) and boost efficiency. Although the job losses in Wichita were a blow to a
city that's already lost 12,000 jobs in the current industry slump, officials there are actually breathing a sigh of relief that the plant wasn't closed entirely, as was hinted by company officials
early in the review process.
Of course, the soft market for bizjets gets most of the blame for this latest consolidation. With order books gathering dust, industry analysts say the only way for the companies to survive is to trim
their operations. "They're desperate to cut costs and rightly so," consultant Richard Aboulafia told The Wichita Eagle. Employees at the Wichita plant did their share to help the company. The
Machinists Union allowed its contract to be renegotiated and workers voted to freeze wages, delay pension increases and pay more of their own health-care costs. Agreeing to the concessions may have
saved the plant. "If they hadn't, it could have gone the other way," said Bombardier spokesman Dave Franson. The worst may not be over for the bizjet market, according to Bombardier's chief
competitor. Cessna officials released the company's financial details and market projections for the coming year, and the world's largest bizjet maker is predicting 2004 to be even worse than 2003.
The company actually hit its target of 195 jets for this year but it expects to make at least 20 fewer jets next year. Things start looking better in 2005 when it can start delivering its backlog of
about 200 Mustang mini-jets. The Citation Sovereign will also become available in 2005.
STOP PAYING MORE THAN NON-PILOTS DO FOR THE SAME LIFE INSURANCE POLICY Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) insures more individually underwritten
pilots than anyone in the country. PIC is able to accomplish this because of their pilot-friendly rates. PIC works directly with the Nation's top rated insurance companies and has developed exclusive
underwriting programs designed for pilots. A+ RATED CARRIERS-NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS-Quick and Easy Application Process are reasons to go by AOPA Expo Booth #500, call 1-800-380-8376, or go online at
In what looks like a case of shutting the barn door after the horses have left, Melbourne, Fla., authorities have enacted anti-noise rules for the local airport. You may recall that Melbourne Airport
was (briefly) the headquarters of Aerogroup, an air-combat training company. Aerogroup had a contract to train pilots of the Royal Netherlands Air Force how
to turn and burn in their F-16s. The nightly air shows caused such a ruckus among local residents, the company relocated to Jacksonville. Airport authority officials insist the new rules aren't aimed
specifically at preventing Aerogroup (or anything like it) from returning to Melbourne, but they did include a ban on the use of afterburners. The rules also cover times for maintenance running of
engines, restrict runway use and apply to any aircraft that don't meet current federal noise regulations. They would also apply to the U.S. military. Naturally, the folks who shouted Aerogroup out of
town are delighted. "Obviously, the experience we've had with the F-16s has shown the airport that regulations need to be put in place to prevent that from happening again," Melbourne Village Mayor
Rob Downey told Florida Today. And as one noise issue is seemingly resolved another is rearing its head out West. Neighbors of North Las Vegas Airport are banding together to fight the increasing
traffic and noise from the facility. Although the residents say noise is definitely a factor in their complaints, they claim they're more concerned about safety in the increasingly crowded airspace
over their homes. Stay tuned.
The Transportation Security Administration is hinting it may relax some of the restrictions placed on GA after 9/11. In testimony before a House Aviation Subcommittee hearing that was supposed to deal with airline security, TSA head Adm. James Loy said that GA was not as much of a
threat as originally thought post-9/11. In written comments he said "more in-depth background checks" would assist in
issuing waivers for individuals such as corporate pilots into certain restricted airspace. Loy also said, "We will advise the FAA about whether certain airspace restrictions add real security value
and we will recommend that FAA engage in appropriate rulemaking to permanently codify those security-based airspace restrictions that add real security value." He said, too that the Washington ADIZ
will remain for the time being. Loy's comments came days after the TSA issued an alert to airlines warning them of possible terrorist activity and hours before box cutters found in two aircraft
washrooms prompted a search of all U.S. airliners for possible weapons. Loy's testimony made AOPA President Phil Boyer's day. "We've been vindicated," said Boyer. "Adm. Loy has reinforced what we've
said all along; general aviation is not the threat." Boyer noted that GA has voluntarily adopted increased security measures and new rules on pilots, certification and flight training have also been
enacted. There may also be some relief coming for commercial airline passengers from what Loy calls the "stupid rules" enacted after 9/11. On that list are the ban on beverages at security
checkpoints, the check-in questions and the requirement that passengers remain seated for 30 minutes after takeoff or prior to arrival at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
Baby seats in airplanes may sound like a good idea but they might actually increase the number of babies that die -- in car crashes. A report by a group of pediatricians says a proposed FAA regulation
that would require infant restraint seats for children under the age of two doesn't make practical or economic sense. The suggested logic (flawed or not) is that having to buy a seat for a tot that
can now sit on Mom or Dad's lap for free would push some families to drive instead of fly. The report offers that the family car is a much more perilous environment for a baby than flying commercially
(they haven't discovered stress yet) so the pediatricians want the FAA to put the brakes on the regulation. According to the doctors, the baby-restraint rule would save only about four deaths in 10
years. If only 5 to 10 percent of families chose to drive instead of fly because of the increased cost, more babies would die on the road, the doctors claim. They also point out that if the average
fare for a strapped-in baby was $200, the average cost per life saved would be $1.3 billion. "Many more lives could be saved by spending this money on other safety measures," said Dr. Thomas Newman,
the study's main author.
It's not just Chicago-area pilots who miss Meigs Field. The state of Wisconsin has formally asked the FAA to reopen the Meigs control tower even though the runway is unusable. Wisconsin transportation
officials say the tower did a lot more than regulate the comings and goings at Meigs, before Mayor Richard Daley sent in heavy equipment to destroy it on March 30. They claim the tower helped pilots
from Wisconsin navigate the route along Lake Michigan that small aircraft must use to avoid conflicts with airliners using O'Hare. "It helped people fly through Chicago without having to run into
hurdles," said Gary Dikkens, airspace manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, efforts continue to convince politicians to reopen Meigs. The Friends of Meigs has polished up
a proposal that would create a large area of the park Daley seems to want so badly but still accommodate the airport. In addition to creating at least 100 acres of additional park, the plan calls for
improvements to the airport, including new Civil Air Patrol and Coast Guard Air Auxiliary facilities and an aviation museum. It would also enhance Meigs' role as a reliever airport to handle light
jets and air taxi services. What's more, The Friends of Meigs claims all the funding and more can be obtained through federal grants. The plan was initially proposed months ago and got the cold
shoulder from city hall. The organization hopes people will like what they see and sign an online petition to get city officials to consider the plan.
Staff at some Flight Service Stations will soon be able to provide pilots with up-to-the-minute information on TFRs and special-use airspace thanks to new software being developed for the Operation and Supportability Implementation System (OASIS). Jeff Barnes, the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists' expert on OASIS, said the new
operating system will accommodate overlays of TFRs and also give graphic depictions of active, pending and past special use airspace. Barnes said NOTAMs are also getting a makeover to make them
clearer to FSS briefers, who, presumably, will pass that clarity on to pilots. Unfortunately, OASIS has only been installed at 13 FSS facilities so far with 12 more on the way next year. Barnes hopes
to have a mock-up of the system running at AOPA Expo at the end of the month, as one of hundreds of exhibitors at the huge convention. Expo, being held
this year from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 in Philadelphia, is shaping up to be the biggest ever. Officials had to start a waiting list for static-display exhibitors wanting to join the show and more than 80
seminars are being offered. There will also be general open sessions featuring speakers like FAA Administrator Marion Blakey offering their thoughts on the future of GA. If you're looking for the
latest in products for your airplane, more than 500 companies have registered in the exhibition hall. AVweb will be there, too, keeping you informed about what's going on at this important aviation
Next time you board an Air India or Indian Airlines flight, you might want to hope for a frumpy flight attendant. At least then you'll know that he or she was hired based on competence, not looks. As
hard as it may be to believe, the Indian government has told the country's biggest airlines to set hiring standards that would land virtually any other carrier in front of a human-rights panel. "Being
answerable to Parliament and based on the feedback we get from the market, I have suggested that presentability and physical appearance of a candidate be looked into first and academics later," Rajiv
Pratap Rudy, the country's Minister of State for Civil Aviation, told The Indian Express. Rudy, who apparently doesn't realize that flight attendants do more than hand out peanuts and sell warm beer,
said other airlines put their best face(s) forward so Indian carriers should also. The airlines say there is a massive logistical problem in implementing the hiring standards. More than 35,000
applications were received for 200 openings the last time Indian Airlines hired flight attendants and it just wasn't possible to have a look at each candidate. They were shortlisted based on a battery
of written tests administered by the Indian Institute of Psychometry, which does this sort of selection for other Indian enterprises. Well, the minister agrees that it would be quite a chore to view
each and every candidate so he's suggesting that at least one in 10 get a "physical assessment." Rudy says he's just making a suggestion and doesn't know if his edict is binding on the airlines. His
critics say he should turn his attention to revitalizing and modernizing the country's air transportation system, which they claim is badly in need of a makeover.
E-OX: LOW COST, HIGH QUALITY, PORTABLE OXYGEN SYSTEMS FROM AEROMEDIX.COM Join the hundreds of pilots who have realized you don't need to
spend $600 or more to get a high quality portable oxygen system. With prices starting under $200, E-Ox is an ideal choice for pilots who don't do enough high-altitude flying to justify the expense and
hassle of a full-blown portable oxygen system, or who want a solid back-up for their aircraft's built-in system. E-Ox uses 100% medical-grade components. It's light, compact and slips easily into your
flight bag or briefcase. For the ultimate in endurance, add our new REACT electronic oxygen conserver and your tanks will last six times longer! Call 1-888-362-7123, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi
The definitive exhibit of the Wright Brothers' contribution to aviation opened last week at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. "The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial
Age" includes 170 artifacts, including the actual aircraft that flew for the first time on Dec. 17, 1903. The Wright Flyer will be displayed at eye level so patrons can have a good look at its design
ADs have been finalized for Cessna 208 and Univair Aircraft Corporation aircraft. For the Cessnas, owners must inspect the right inboard flap bell crank for
cracks, deformation and missing or incomplete welds. On Univair
planes, inspection plates must be installed on outer wing panels to allow inspection for corrosion...
Eric R. Byer has been named to a new post with the National Air Transportation Association. He's been legislative affairs manager for five years and is now its director of government and
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Gabe Longwell this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Rules and information are at
As the Beacon Turns #69: Monday Morning Quarterbacking
How you learn from your flying experiences (and those of others) determines your attitude toward the safety of flying itself. AVweb's Michael Maya Charles concludes his analysis of an off-airport
helicopter landing with some lessons learned.
ATTENTION IFR PILOTS! YOUR FULL MOTION SIMULATOR HAS ARRIVED! Flight Level Aviation offers the only full-motion flight simulator available
for insurance approved recurrent training to piston single-engine IFR pilots. Flight Level Aviation's instruction is customized in one-or two-person classes. There are no pre-set syllabus or
audiotapes. Your individual needs are met with training in the simulator, ground school and in flight. SPECIAL AVWEB OFFER: Mention this AVflash to save $25 when two pilots sign up for simulator
training as a pair. Complete details at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flav
Overheard on the Mexico City ground control freq....
F-100: Ground control, F-100 ready to taxi.
Ground: F-100 clear to taxi to Runway 5 left. Follow the 767 ahead of you.
F-100: Where is the '67 going?
Ground: To Madrid ... but you just follow him till before the runway!!!
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
FOR AVWEB SUBSCRIBERS ONLY! SPECIAL SAVINGS ON FIRST FLIGHT GEAR! Shop for First Flight Centennial apparel and collectibles online, by
entering promotional code "AVWEB" for a 10% discount on everything. While there enter the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes. The lucky winner will be a part of the Kitty Hawk activities on December
17. Other prizes include commemorative watches and more. Order, enter the sweepstakes, and secure VIP events seating at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/100g
COMM 1 IS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR ALL PILOTS ON YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING
LIST Comm 1 Radio Simulator contains comprehensive tutorials, and fully interactive two-way radio exchanges with ATC, from the safety and privacy of your computer. Build skills and confidence
on the ground while saving money and aggravation. NEW: Interactive Navigation and VOR/NDB Simulator training programs, high quality headsets and more. See all Comm 1's products at AOPA Expo Booth
#648. HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Comm 1 will pay the U.S. domestic shipping with each order through December 15, and a complimentary multimedia headset with every order through December 31 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1
AVIATION CONSUMER'S USED AIRCRAFT GUIDE What's
the best plane for you to buy? You'll find out in Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide. The ninth edition of Aviation Consumer's famed and trusted Used Aircraft Guide will result in savings of
thousands when you buy and thousands more when you sell. Order it today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avconsumer/acuag
UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF YOUR AVIONICS WITH A SPECIAL EFS 10% DISCOUNT! Train at your own pace with ElectronicFlight Solutions' CompleteLearning(tm)
Avionics Software Library including Garmin GNS 530/430, Goodrich SkyWatch & Stormscope, Bendix/King IHAS Traffic and Terrain, S-TEC 55X and Bendix/King KAP 140 / KFC 225 Autopilots. Self-paced, media
rich, interactive, FAA Wings Accepted CD-ROM training. To take advantage of this special till October 31 and more information go by AOPA Expo Booth #637 or online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/efs
DISCOVER THE MYSTERY MAN BEHIND LINDBERGH'S HISTORIC FLIGHT TO PARIS Nova Hall, grandson of Donald Hall the engineer behind the design
of the famous Spirit of St. Louis aircraft, has published "Spirit and Creator". This book showcases a collection of never before seen documents and designs that inspired the "Spirit" team to triumph.
Don't delay, this book is a keeper for both aviation and history buffs with a great story with fabulous pictures. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/safegoods
GOING TO AOPA EXPO? GO BY & THANK THOSE WHO BRING YOU
NO-COST AVFLASH! AVflash sponsors appreciate knowing you are a subscriber. Print out the sponsors list at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopalist
NOVEMBER'S ISSUE OF AVIATION SAFETY HIGHLIGHTS:
PC Proficiency, don't expect miracles; Max Maneuvers, five high-performance tricks for emergencies and daily flying; Heart of Dark, stakes go up when the sun goes down; DUI Surprise, don't
assume your record is clear; Skip the Checklist, pick the right time; Short But Sour, taking bad skies too lightly; plus accident reports, maintenance issues and real-life learning experiences. Order
your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avsafe
EVERYWHERE, AND ENDLESS WAYS TO ENJOY IT THIS FALL Pilot Getaways Magazine readers can splash into two adventures in Clear Lake, California, a wilderness lake, and Lake Texoma, Texas, a
coastal bay. From coast-to-coast Pilot Getaways brings Fall flying destinations to your mailbox. Get your no-cost copy of Pilot Getaways at AOPA Expo Booth #926 or subscribe online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways
COME BY AND SAY "HELLO" TO AVWEB AT AOPA EXPO AVweb
personnel will be at Booth #502 during the AOPA Expo, October 29-November 1, in Philadelphia. And don't forget to tell friends and colleagues about no-cost AVweb/AVflash subscription. They can sign up
online at http://www.avweb.com/profile _____________________________________
We Welcome Your Feedback!
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service.
Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be
sent to mailto:email@example.com. Have a comment or question? Send
it to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.
Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on
marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:email@example.com.
Let's all be careful out there, okay?
AVflash is now available in optional easier-to-read graphic format, which includes some photos and illustrations. If you prefer, you can continue to receive AVflash in text-only format. Simply follow
these instructions and AVflash will continue to arrive as it always has, in text format.