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TURNS UP FUNDING RHETORIC
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey is
painting a bleak picture of the future of air travel if her
controversial formula to fund the agency isn't adopted. In a speech delivered during the Joint Planning and
Development Office (JPDO) Day on the Hill late last week, Blakey told
members of Congress that air traffic gridlock is on the horizon and the
high-tech solution to the problem needs the funding that her
user-pay-based proposal would provide. "If we're unable to have a
financing reform bill in place by September 30, when the current set of
taxes expire, the delays and the missed connections and the headlines
are only going to get worse -- much worse," she said. "Without a
reliable funding stream, the NextGen program will start to slow down,
and when the bow wave of delays hits, it'll be too late." Others,
including the Government Accountability Office, have questioned that
view. (Click here to listen to the Reason Foundation's
Robert Poole on why aviation user fees would be good for airspace
TRAFFIC CONTROLLER TALKS TO RESUME?
John Carr, the former
president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, says
high-level talks are under way to get NATCA and the FAA back to the
bargaining table with the aim of hammering out a negotiated settlement.
In his blog last week he wrote that a tentative agreement
has been reached to return to the table in July to settle outstanding
issues. Anything that cant be resolved will go to binding
arbitration, Carr said. NATCA spokesman Doug Church said FAA
Administrator Marion Blakey and the new NATCA president Pat Forrey have
been discussing a return to the bargaining table since last August, but
perhaps to no avail. "Nothing has changed," Church said in an e-mail to
AVweb. The FAA did not respond to our request for comment.
RESEARCH BILL MOVING THROUGH
While the bills to reauthorize
funding for the FAA have grabbed a lot of attention recently because of
the attempt by the Bush Administration to impose user fees on general
aviation, theres another FAA money bill making the rounds that may
not be as controversial, but it will have some effects on GA. The Federal Aviation Research and Development
Reauthorization Act of 2007 was introduced in the House on Thursday
and earmarks $1.8 billion within the overall FAA budget to kick-start
modernization efforts over the next four years. Rep. Mark Udall,
D-Colo., chairman of the House Committee on Science and
Technologys Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, said in a news release that the airspace system must be
modernized. It is simply incapable, as currently designed, of
handling large increases in traffic, he said. The bill
before us takes several important steps to address this issue.
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mentioning this AVwebFlash
AD IN WORKS FOR ECLIPSE 500
The FAA this week is expected to
issue the first Airworthiness Directive (AD) for the Eclipse 500 that
will temporarily limit all flights in the very light jets to day visual
flight rules to ensure flight conditions that do not allow the moisture
in the pitot/AOA system to freeze. Eclipse says it has developed a solution to the problem but doesn't expect it to be
certified by the FAA until the middle of next month. The fix includes
changes to the internal pitot tubing routing to "provide positive
drainage to a low point in the system," and Eclipse plans to begin
retrofitting the entire fleet immediately after certification via a
Service Bulletin. More...
REVIEW OF FAA SOUGHT
Kentucky Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler
has presented a bill calling for an independent review of the FAAs
progress on safety programs. Chandler suggested that the agency is
dragging its heels on safety programs and he wants the National Research
Council to find out what the real progress is on things such as runway
safety, air traffic control staffing and other safety-related concerns.
We simply cannot afford to wait any longer for the FAA to
act, Chandler told the Lexington Courier-Journal. The FAA must be
held accountable on their promises to bring added safety measures and
equipment to airports across the nation. More...
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NOW OPERATIONAL IN ALASKA
The FAA declared Automatic
Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) to be fully operational in
Alaska on May 31, and now it's working on the rest of the country.
Following "extensive technical analysis," the agency determined that
ADS-B is a far more accurate way to keep airplanes from banging into
each other. "The evaluation found that over 96 percent of ADS-B data had
at least 10 times better accuracy and integrity than the minimum
required to support today's separation standards," the FAAs Air Traffic Organization said Thursday.
COMING TO COLORADO SKI AIRPORTS
Deployment of Automatic
Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Wide Area Multilateration
around Yampa Valley and Garfield County Airports in Colorado is expected
to make it safer and more convenient for skiers flocking to the area's
ski resorts. Sensis Corp., which was awarded the contract to install the
systems, says the implementation will also save millions of dollars
worth of fuel used in holding patterns and the indirect routing that the
topography of the area dictates with ground-based radar systems.
AVIATION MAKES GAINS IN GAINESVILLE
On Friday, Eclipse
Aviation officially opened its Southeast Eclipse Service Center at the
Gainesville-Alachua County Regional Airport in Florida. The 61,000-sq-ft
complex, which is Part 145 compliant and fully operational, is the
second Eclipse maintenance center to come online but is the first one
outside of the company's headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M. "Today is a
great day for Eclipse Aviation, the City of Gainesville and our
customers in the Southeast," Eclipse COO Peg Billson noted during the
ribbon-cutting ceremony. "The enthusiasm for the Eclipse 500 in this
region has been incredible
[and] it is also an honor to be a part
of the state of Florida's ongoing efforts to build a progressive
aviation infrastructure that generates economic development and business
growth for its communities." More...
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AIR RESUMES SCHEDULE
Three days after Hyannis-based Cape Air
grounded most of its fleet of Cessna 402 aircraft, the airline was
expecting to operate an almost normal schedule this weekend. Now the big
question is what is causing crankshaft counterweights to wear out
prematurely in the big Continental engines that power the aircraft.
According to the Cape Cod Times, theres been speculation that a
directive to pilots to reduce power settings to save fuel might have
something to do with it, but the airline says the engines are being
operated within limits and that that part of the engine shouldnt
be affected by power settings. "We have parts on an aircraft engine that
wore faster than we would have expected," Cape Air CEO Dan Wolf said.
"It could mean anything." More...
PRESSURED ON AIRPORT CLOSURE
Doctors who work for University
of North Carolina's Area Health Education Center (AHEC) say they've been
pressured to not oppose the university's plan to close the on-campus
airport that allows them quick deployment to far-flung areas of the
state. The university wants to close Horace Williams Airport to make way
for a new research center, but the doctors say moving the airplanes they
use for their medical outreach programs to Raleigh-Durham International
will take up valuable time. AOPA paraphrased one doctor as telling a
state legislative committee that supporting the airport could negatively
affect his career. More...
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SPORT AIRCRAFT TYPE CLUB LAUNCHED
The light sport aircraft
(LSA) segment might have reached another milestone in the last few
weeks. It appears the first type club (the first we've heard of, anyway)
has been formed for owners of Flight Design CT aircraft and is doing all
the things that type clubs do, including hosting fly-ins, holding
seminars and generally gathering like-minded souls together. Flight
Design has sold more than 200 aircraft in the U.S., the most of any LSA
manufacturer. The first national CT fly-in was held in May in
McMinnville, Ore. There were 13 aircraft flown to the event and other
owners, from as far away as New York and Texas, took commercial flights.
BEHAVIOR" FEARED AS CANADA ADOPTS NO-FLY LIST
At least one
Canadian airline is concerned that a measure intended to make flying
safer could actually spark some security problems in the terminal. A
no-fly list of unknown length, but containing a lot of very common
names, will be used to screen airline passengers in Canada starting
today, and Air Canadas security chief is concerned about the
reactions of customers who will inevitably be unjustly flagged by the
measure. Yves Duguay told a Parliamentary commission looking into the
1986 Air India bombing that hes concerned about "unruly behavior"
from passengers who have the same names as the known terror suspects and
violent criminals that are included. "The situation could be very tense,
and we need to have an authority figure in place to defuse that
situation. So we want to make sure that we have a police presence," Canadian Press quoted him as saying.
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Letting go never felt so good. For more great reasons,
DayJet's fleet to include seven Eclipse 500s by end
of this week...
Brig. Gen Robin Olds dies at 84...
New FBO to open
Record-setting glider at AirVenture. More...
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AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll hear SATSair's Sheldon Early talk about how his
company proved the air-taxi model using Cirrus SR22s. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews
with Epic Aircraft's Rick Schrameck; AOPA's Randy Kenagy; Eclipse
Aviation's Vern Raburn; Xwind's Brad Whitsitt; BoGo Light's Mark Bent;
DayJet's Ed Iacobucci; Pogo Jet's Cameron Burr; Teal Group's Richard
Aboulafia; Air Journey's Thierry Pouille; Epic Aircraft's Rick
Schrameck; Cessna's Jack Pelton; Embraer's Ernest Edwards; LAMA's Dan
Johnson; Piper's Jim Bass; AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim
Schuster; and Avfuel's Craig Sincock. In today's
podcast, hear Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation explain why
aviation user fees would be good for airspace users. Remember: In
AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
Attention, LSA Builders & ROTAX 912 Engine
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specific concepts important to maintaining the ROTAX 912.
Go online for complete details and bonus
OF THE WEEK: VAIL VALLEY JET CENTER
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Vail Valley Jet Center at KEGE in Gypsum,
AVweb reader Snorri Snorrason said the FBO is tops in
"Great setup with remarkable pilot accommodations. A
lobby that makes your grandma feel comfy, and staff so helpful it feels
like a five-star hotel. We had to stay the night for maintenance, which
was taken care of promptly as soon as our part came in. We took the
courtesy Hummer to town for dinner, and while the FBO closed down we
were allowed to use the recliners and TV till the next morning. A
brilliant experience with top-notch staff. They are the number-one FBO
in my book."
those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
OF THE WEEK: THEIR WAR, OUR WORLD, YOUR VIDEOS THE TRANSFORMING
What's summer without a few big-budget,
special-effects-heavy, totally-unbelievable blockbuster movies? In the
spirit that brings us films like Fantastic Four and Die
Hard and, most especially, Transformers, which opens
in two weeks we think it's time to bring you something totally
off-beat and just darn cool. Presenting, from the Japanese film The
Returners (and thanks to a tip from AVweb reader Gerald
Avella), a transforming 747. (Click through to
Betting starts now on how many AVweb readers
will ask Boeing staff at AirVenture when the new transforming jet goes
into production! More...
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
Dallas/Fort Worth Clearance Delivery: Nine Eight Two
Sierra Yankee stand by to copy clearance.
N982SY: Nine Eight
Two Sierra Yankee ready to copy.
Clearance Delivery: Nine
Eight Two Sierra Yankee is cleared direct Rockport, after departure fly
runway heading at or below 2,000 expect 10,000 in 10 minutes, contact
Dallas Forth Worth Departure 125.2, squawk 2351.
Eight Two Sierra Yankee fly runway -- hey, if you guys dont hold
still and be quiet, your mother and I will be flying to the Bahamas
without you for spring break next week and youll be in Dallas with
the babysitter. Am I clear?
Clearance Delivery: Oh no. Can I
please go too, daddy?
N9880Y: Sure, come on. Guess I forgot to
turn loose of the transmit button. Sorry.
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly
summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events
featured on AVweb, the internet's
aviation magazine and news service.
Today's issue was written by
Contributing Editor Russ
and Editor In Chief Chad
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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