AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 03a Monday, Feb. 16, 2003
This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by
PILOT LightSPEED Aviation, makers of the world's
best-selling ANR headsets, at: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed.
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated
News Coverage At http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_08a/complete/182813-1.html.
FAA ON PRIVATIZATION: NO, NO AND AGAIN, NO...
In the face of growing legislative and publicity campaigns to prevent such a move, the FAA continues to insist there are no plans to privatize air traffic control. "We have absolutely no plans or desire to expand or increase contracting out of air traffic services," FAA spokesman Greg Martin told AVweb. Martin's comments came after the Office of Management and Budget's formal announcement that air traffic control is now on its list of "commercial activities" instead of being "inherently governmental." Martin said the decision, which was announced two months ago but only formally applied last week, is based purely on semantics. More...
...ANTI-PRIVATIZATION BILL INTRODUCED, ANYWAY...
Leading the charge to stop from ever happening what purportedly won't happen anytime soon, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) now has the backing of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) who introduced a bill (S. 338) that would enshrine air traffic control as a government responsibility. NATCA spokesman Doug Church said the bill already has won the support of at least six Republican senators and representatives. The FAA's Martin told AVweb that FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has personally assured both Lautenberg and NATCA President John Carr that ATC will not be privatized. "The answer is an emphatic 'No,'" said Martin. More...
...FLIGHT SERVICE STAFF HITCH A RIDE
All the attention to tower controllers has had a welcome spinoff for flight service station personnel. Wally Pike, president of the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS), met with Lautenberg Thursday and the senator agreed to include FSS personnel in his anti-privatization bill. FSS services such as pilot briefings and weather advisories have been considered a commercial activity for several years and there is now a review (an A76 study) being done to see what parts of that system can be safely and economically turned over to private enterprise. More...
AN ADIZ FOR A TOWN NEAR YOU...
While the D.C.-area air defense identification zone (ADIZ) doesn't affect most of us, pilots throughout the country are on notice that it could happen to them at any time. The FAA told the alphabets that if intelligence sources become aware of a threat anywhere else in the country, an ADIZ would be the preferred method of securing the skies. Given current tensions, it wouldn't hurt any of us to study the ADIZ requirements and go over the national security provisions, interception procedures and intercept signals outlined in the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual section six, chapter five. Certainly it would hurt less than a stinger up the exhaust pipe. More...
...AS D.C.'S GETS TWEAKED
The FAA continues to adjust provisions of the ADIZ imposed on the Washington and Baltimore areas last week and there may be more changes to come. For starters, pilots operating in the traffic pattern of non-towered airports within the ADIZ will again be able to communicate with other pilots doing same (originally, pilots had to be in constant contact with air traffic control). AOPA and EAA continue to lobby for more concessions to accommodate aircraft not so easily made compliant. More...
FAA GETS REAUTHORIZATION DEADLINE
The FAA has been given until May to outline its needs and wants for the next four years. In hearings last week, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain told FAA Administrator Marion Blakey that if Congress doesn't have the agency's reauthorization proposal by then, the politicians would themselves set the FAA's course. ATM Global obtained an early draft of the proposal and reported it calls for $57 billion in funding -- 2001's three-year AIR-21 began life with $40 billion in authorized funding for federal aviation programs. More...
TRIPPING OVER STARS
As AVweb reported earlier, deployment of the controversial Standard Terminal Automated Replacement System (STARS) has been pared back to seven installations this year from a scheduled 18 because of budget constraints. The FAA is putting the best possible spin on the delay. "It's not that we're cutting back the deployment," FAA spokeswoman Rebecca Trexler told Federal Computer Week. "We're spreading it out over more years than we had hoped." John Carr, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, was somewhat less delicate. "It will be obsolete by the time the last systems are deployed," he told a meeting of the Aviation Safety Alliance last week. More...
SEEING THE WIND
While the FAA struggles with STARS, there's a steady stream of innovation helping pilots get the job done more safely and efficiently. A wake-turbulence detector and a collision-avoidance system for small aircraft are under development and a wind-shear detector has already been installed in New York, not far from where American Flight 587 last year crashed after a possible wake turbulence encounter. Also, those visiting the site of the first sustained three-axis controlled powered flight at Kitty Hawk will be able to use the latest in point-click-and-drag weather information for the flight home from Kill Devil Hills. More...
CHANGES MAY COME FOR TSA'S REVOCATION RULE
Word is finally trickling out to the politicians about the unprecedented powers granted to the TSA in unilaterally suspending airmen's certificates, revoking them and then reviewing their appeal. When FAA Administrator Marion Blakey appeared before a Commerce Committee hearing last week, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) noted that evidence supporting a revocation could be kept secret for security reasons. "This looks like an impossible situation if you can't face your accuser," Burns told the committee. "This flies in the face of the American judicial system." More...
DOJ SETS FOREIGN STUDENT STANDARDS (FINALLY)
The world is now open to U.S. flight schools, 16 months after security concerns closed a significant part of their business. The Department of Justice Thursday announced that as of March 17 it would allow non-U.S. citizens to take first-time type training in aircraft weighing more than 12,500 lbs. Foreign nationals with current certificates have been able to take recurrent and other training. The ban applied only to those applying for the first time to fly larger aircraft. The ban has cost flight schools and airlines millions of dollars. U.S. flight training is coveted in most countries and many flight schools had a significant percentage of foreign students before 9/11. More...
GAMA PUTS ON BRAVE FACE
In case you haven't heard, it was a bad year for GA aircraft sales -- that fact, courtesy of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's year-end roundup of red ink for 2002. In the midst of all the minus signs (like a $2 billion reduction in industry billings) GAMA CEO Ed Bolen did manage to find something nice to say: "However, on a positive note, business jet flight activity increased last year [and] we set a new safety record." Unfortunately, shipments of all types of aircraft were down. More...
BELL CEO ... AND THE POWER OF THE PEN
Somehow, in the Feb. 13 edition of AVflash, we managed to re-name the CEO of Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Our apologies to John Murphey, as his family, friends and colleagues at Bell know him. Sorry, John.
ON THE FLY...
EAA Air Academy announced 2003 summer schedule...
IFR approach height increased to accommodate Oakland cranes...
Paris Air Show boycott proposed by congressmen...
Delta pilot was acquitted of drunk flying charge.
Last week's short final made me think of our local GA airport, which features the following sign in the men's room:
"Pilots with a short pitot tube and low manifold pressure are advised to taxi up close..."
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to John Cisco, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
email@example.com. Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
CEO of the Cockpit #16: And Now, Something Completely Different ... Stupid (Airline) Pilot Tricks!
The cockpit of a modern airliner: An efficient, smooth-running front office where professionals work hard and treat each other with respect (maybe rant a little bit, but only above 10,000 feet). Not! AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit tells of some wacky events that have happened in his office.
Heli-Expo 2003 Tops Prior Two Years -- In Only Two Days
Reports of the death of helicopter aviation have been greatly exaggerated -- witness the plethora of visitors and sales at Heli-Expo 2003 in Dallas. As AVweb's Dave Higdon reports, sales are strong but new restrictions could threaten a recovery.
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about GPS jamming, missile jamming, D.C-area
pilot jamming and more.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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PLANE & PILOT ANNOUNCES THE 2003 READER'S CHOICE AWARDS.
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"UMC HAS TOP-NOTCH SIMULATORS AND EQUIPMENT!" SAYS FORMER STUDENT
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IFR REFRESHER IS MUST READ FOR ANY IFR PILOT WHO WANTS TO STAY INFORMED!
These topics are covered in IFR Refresher's March issue: Looking for trouble using a handheld GPS as primary navigation on an IFR flight; Tips for getting back your IFR skills; Forcing your Garmin 530/430 to take an extra turn without reprogramming the sequence; Pilot math to set up a stabilized approach; A quiz to see the value of working the surface analysis chart into your routine WX briefing; and The benefit of using a light touch on the controls. Order your subscription online today.
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ONE STOP SHOPPING AT AVWEB'S SHOPPING DIRECTORY.
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AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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Let's all be careful out there, okay?
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