Has Zulu Changed Your Mind?
If so, we'd sure like to hear your story. Just go to the Zulu Change Your Mind web site and fill us in between now and the end of May, and we may post it on our web site. Plus We'll give you
another possible way to share your Zulu experience: All stories will be entered in a drawing for a free headset. Win, and you could make a passenger very happy. For the details, go to
A collective agreement covering the FAA's air traffic controllers could be in place in early June. The National Association of Air Traffic
Controllers announced Tuesday that formal mediated talks between the union and the agency began Monday. Former FAA Administrator Jane Garvey will lead the mediation panel, which also includes Richard
Bloch and George Cohen, both experienced mediators. "One of my highest priorities, since coming to DOT, has been to resolve this issue," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said when he announced
Garvey's appointment. An agreement will be reached one way or another because the mediation panel has been directed by both sides to make binding recommendations on any issues not settled in
negotiations. A media blackout has been imposed for the duration of the talks.
Controllers have been working under conditions imposed when contract talks reached an impasse three years ago. The imposed rules were met with bitter resentment by many experienced controllers who
opted for early retirement. But as the last federal election drew nearer and the winds of political change were felt, the situation calmed and the associated rhetoric also dropped off.
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The Aeronautical Repair Station Association has issued a call to members to get on the phone, fax machine and e-mail to press their congressional representatives for a change in the FAA reauthorization bill that could affect U.S. repair stations that work on
European aircraft. According to ARSA, the bill "will severely damage the competitive balance enjoyed by domestic repair stations that work on European registered aircraft." The current version of the
bill would require foreign repair stations that work on U.S. airplanes to submit to twice-a-year inspections by the FAA using FAA rules. ARSA says the European Union has already said that if the
measure passes it will retaliate and that likely means an end to the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) that is now in force. "Under the BASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and
individual E.U. member states conduct oversight inspections of FAA certificated facilities in Europe according to FAA guidelines and the FAA conducts oversight inspections of EASA certificated repair
stations in the U.S. according to EASA guidelines," ARSA says. "The agreement was signed after years of assessments regarding the aviation safety requirements and capabilities of the aviation
authorities in Europe and the effectiveness and proven performance of three individual agreements on repair stations that the U.S. currently has in place with France, Ireland, and Germany." If that
deal collapses it means Europe will send inspectors to the U.S. to conduct its own inspections under European rules and the delays, paperwork and general nuisance will likely mean lost business on
both sides of the pond. ARSA says a fix is simple.
The legislation requires a single line affirming that international agreements will be upheld. Adding that line will not affect the intent of the rule, which is to ensure proper oversight of
foreign repair stations whose standards might not be up to FAA standards. More than 50 member of Congress have signed on to make the fix but that's far from a majority and ARSA says more need to be on
board. It says the groundswell of support is needed by Wednesday to have an impact.
Business Aviation Will Help Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis
To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that
surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for all.
Airports of Thailand (AOT) has given the go ahead for Bangkok-based ASA Group to develop Thailand's first world-class fixed base operation
at Phuket International Airport. The move is a clear indication that the country has overcome its recent troubles when demonstrators seized control of Bangkok's International Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Flights were suspended, leaving at least 3,000 passengers stranded. The state-of-the-art terminal and business center will accommodate the swelling ranks of VIP visitors to Thailand each year and is
expected to be operational by the end of summer. "We handle so many private flights into both Bangkok and Phuket and it is apparent that the time is right to cater for our growing client base of VIP
visitors, who presently have nowhere in the airport to go once they disembark," said ASA CEO Simon Wagstaff.
ASA also recently opened an office in Dubai. "We have several Middle East clients who regularly fly into Thailand and they are used to high standards of service. We are delighted to be able to
offer this to them going forward," he said. The FBO will offer aircraft operators, their passengers and aircrew a range of professional FBO services for business and private flights, including
tailored solutions for VIP, diplomatic and large-aircraft operations. Phuket International Airport is the most important gateway to Thailand's premier tourist region. Last year AOT announced that it
would inject 5 billion baht into the expansion of Phuket to bring its capacity up to 11.5 million passengers by the year 2016 an increase of 77% over current capacity. ASA will also offer VIP
security services, non-scheduled business aircraft charter services, concierge services, over-flight and landing clearances, in-flight catering, aircraft marshalling, parking, fuel, aircraft valet,
hangarage, security, customs and immigration, passenger and baggage handling, limousine transfers and hotel accommodation.
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ATR launched ATR Corporate at EBACE. According to sales director Milco Rappuoli the company is still working on a name for the new aircraft.
The move came about because several airlines are already using the regional turboprop as a convertible from VIP to shuttle or medevac. Last year the OEM sold a VIP variant to a customer in
According to the company, the turboprop has terrain advantages over jets. "We can reach 25% more airports compared to a corporate jet," Rappuoli said. The EADS and Alenia joint venture has already
proved popular with the Thai air force, which is using it as a head-of-state aircraft. The VIP version costs $17 million. "It makes economic sense," said Rappuoli. "Because of the airframe it can be
converted back to a passenger or cargo aircraft for relatively little cost to meet the particular needs of the customer, so the asset value remains high."
Austria's Tyrolean Jet Services (TJS) announced at EBACE that it has joined forces with Lebanese company Clear Sky to offer executive
air services in the Middle East. The new company will be called Clearsky Tyrolean Jet Services CTS) and operate out of Beirut. CTS will offer charter and aircraft management services and plans to open
an FBO at a later date. CTS will base a 14-seat Dornier 328 jet in Beirut from June 2009 and aims to expand its fleet throughout the Middle East.
Basil Al-Rahim, founder of MerchantBridge, which owns Clear Sky, says: "The Middle East executive market is still in its infancy when compared to developed markets and notwithstanding the current
challenging global and regional environment, offers important growth opportunities in the medium term. We are pleased to have teamed up with TJS to better serve this market."
Put AeroExpo Europe - Prague and AeroExpo Europe - London on Your Show Schedule AeroExpo Europe - Prague (May 22-24, 2009) will showcase everything from ultralights to helicopters to business aircraft in the heart of Europe, marketing to the European and emerging Eastern
European and Russian markets. AeroExpo Europe - London (June 12-14, 2009) includes aircraft from light aircraft, pistons, and turboprops through to VLJs (very light jets) and all parts and
services for these general aviation aircraft.
Go online for
exhibitor and attendee details.
The FAA is not making good use of the benefits that could be provided by the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), according to a report by the Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General that
was released this week. "ASAP, as currently implemented, is a missed opportunity for FAA to enhance the national margin of safety," the OIG report says. The program allows airline employees to report
safety violations to their employers and to the FAA without fear of reprisal. To realize the full benefits of ASAP, the FAA needs to clarify which incidents should be excluded from the program and
emphasize to employees that ASAP is not an amnesty program, the OIG said. The agency also should develop a central database of ASAP reports and use it for trend analysis. "While ASAP is a potentially
valuable safety tool, we found that FAA's ineffective implementation and inadequate guidance have allowed inconsistent use and potential abuse of the program," the report says.
Currently, 73 airlines participate in ASAP, which has been a thorny issue between airlines and pilot unions. American and Delta dropped out of the program last year after union leaders complained that pilots who voluntarily disclosed
problems were unfairly punished. Comair, which had also dropped out, rejoined last week. "Reinstating this important program reaffirms Comair's commitment to continue developing a strong safety culture," said
Comair President John Bendoraitis. "Programs such as ASAP are designed to help provide a safe and reliable work environment for our employees and travel experience for our passengers."
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There's nothing like a little barnstorming to revive the aviator's soul, and when it involves a vintage DC-3 we can't think of a better way to pass the time. Watch AVweb starting May 25 for
daily video blogs from Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles as he goes low and slow with Dan Gryder in the fabulous 1938 Herpa Douglas DC-3 for an unscripted tour of America. We know we'll be in Huntsville,
Ala. (3M5 - a 2,100-foot grass strip) on the evening of May 23 and at Gaston's White River Resort (3M0) in northern Arkansas for the weekend of May 30. All are invited.
In between those dates, we could be anywhere including your home airport!
Join Russ, Dan, champion fiddler Jeff Pritchard, and the DC-3 crew as they rumble in and play bluegrass music at unsuspecting GA airports during the 2,500 nm journey. Watch for reports at www.AVweb.com and for instructions on how you can follow along, chat with the DC-3 crew live in flight (courtesy of Verizon Wireless), and
join the fun!
The NTSB hearing into the crash of a Colgan Air Dash-8 Q400 in Buffalo in February has raised a lot of questions for
AVweb editor Mary Grady, specifically with regard to the readiness of cockpit staff in regional airliners. If a faulty process is to blame, could the Colgan crash be a forerunner for more to
come? Read more in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog.
Our sister publication, IFR magazine, talks a lot about GPS and position awareness, but IFR Editor-in-Chief Jeff Van West admits there's another aspect they don't talk about so much.
Jeff calls it "position confidence," and over on the AVweb Insider blog, he explains how doubt in the cockpit can cause confusion and delay, but removing the doubt can open the door to a whole
new way of dealing with ATC.
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Almost. In this post-Sun 'n Fun video, AVweb reports that the Mustang's control forces and basic systems are so close to those of a heavy single or light twin that any
moderately experienced pilot should be able to check out in it without breaking a sweat. And at 340 knots for 1,100 miles, we could get used to it, thanks.
Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results AVweb Delivers Results
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appointment, with a nice recent photo, and we'll do our best to include it in our new section, "Who's Where." The items will be permanently archived on AVweb for future reference,
Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety Factor When Flying IFR
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AVwebBiz is a weekly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.
The AVwebBiz team is:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn Pew
Features Editor Kevin Lane-Cummings
Webmaster Scott Simmons
Contributors Jeff van West
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