AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 8, Number 12

March 24, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Airbus Had Advantages, Says WTO back to top 
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WTO Rules Airbus Subsidies Illegal

The World Trade Organization is now saying what Boeing and U.S. trade officials have been saying for decades: Airbus was illegally subsidized to develop new products that competed directly with Boeing products. "Today's final ruling puts any doubts to rest - launch aid is an illegal subsidy that has cost America jobs, hurt our ability to compete and damaged our overall economy," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said. The ruling went beyond determining the legality of start-up money. It said that Airbus would not have been able to overtake Boeing as the biggest aircraft maker in the world without the subsidies and that they cost U.S. jobs. Although the ruling seems unequivocal, what it means in practical terms is far less clear.

Airbus is appealing the decision and how long that appeal could drag on is not known. If, at the end of it all, the ruling sticks, the question of how to penalize Airbus will become the issue. Assuming Airbus continues to maintain its innocence, the only option left might be for the U.S. to impose trade sanctions on the company, which, until a week ago, was bidding to supply $30 billion worth of tankers for the U.S. Air Force. Boeing said the ruling might make other countries think twice about funding airliner development from the public purse. "Markets, not parliaments, should pick the winners in the global aerospace market," Boeing said in a statement.

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The Other Big Bill That Passed Through Congress back to top 

Senate Passes FAA Funding Bill

The Senate on Monday passed a bill to provide funding for the FAA and modernize the air traffic control system by 2020. The $34.5 billion three-year budget is expected to jump-start the agency's long slow transition to NextGen. The bill also features changes to FAA rules prompted mainly by last year's Colgan Air crash. Relatives of those who died lobbied hard for several safety measures that have made it into the final version of the Senate bill: first officers on commercial passenger flights must have at least 800 hours total time; the FAA must establish new safety standards for flight-crew training; an Aviation Safety Whistleblower Investigation Office will be established within the FAA; and pilots are banned from using electronic devices in the cockpit. Taxes on jet fuel for general aviation would rise from 22 cents per gallon to 36 cents. The bill is far from final, however -- it now goes to a conference committee where the House and Senate versions of the legislation will be merged, then both houses will have to vote on the final bill again before it goes to the White House for approval. GA advocacy groups were jubilant about the bill's passage, especially the lack of new user fees.

AOPA President Craig Fuller said he is pleased the bill doesn't impose user fees, while giving the FAA "the guidance and the long-term support it needs to move forward with the crucial work of modernizing our air traffic control system." National Air Transportation Association President James Coyne also was happy with the bill. "I would like to congratulate the U.S. Senate for approving a [bill] that is void of user fees and that provides a fair jet-fuel tax increase," he said. He added that he hopes the conference committee will be convened soon to keep the process moving along. GAMA President Pete Bunce was also upbeat. "We are extremely pleased with the passage of this bill, which takes a number of critical steps needed for the acceleration of NextGen," he said. National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi said the Senate vote is a sign of progress. "This bill ... addresses key issues regarding the stability of the air traffic controller workforce, the inclusion of controllers as key stakeholders in the system and the realignment of FAA facilities." Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, said the bill is a "good step" toward modernization of the national aviation system. "Importantly, the legislation builds on the fuel tax to help pay for modernization, instead of resorting to user fees," he said. "This approach is the one uniformly supported by general aviation to help pay for Next Gen." The FAA has been funded by short-term extensions, without a comprehensive reauthorization bill, since 2007.

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BizJet Escorts: Think 'Security,' Not 'Valet Parking' back to top 

Access Charges For 'Security'

The folks who run Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport say new fees charged for access to business aircraft are all about security. On March 8, the airport stopped aircraft owners from being able to drive to their aircraft in their own vehicles. They must now pay 10,000 Indian rupees (about $220) for a 160-yard ride from the airport gate in a Mercedes. It's only $180 in a Toyota Camry. The bizjet owners have also been hit with a $110 minimum fee to hang out in the VIP lounge and $55 an hour after the first two hours. Mint quoted an unnamed spokesman for Çelebi NAS Airport Services India Pvt. Ltd as saying the fees address security concerns. "In the general aviation area, we are addressing some non-compliances and introducing processes to ensure standardization and enhance airside safety in line with Directorate General of Civil Aviation guidelines," the spokesperson is quoted as saying.

Not surprisingly, the people who keep their planes aren't buying that argument. "The new norms are just to make money," an unnamed source reportedly from one of the companies using the airport is quoted as saying. The publication reported that the drivers and vehicles used by executives to get to their planes had already passed security clearances and the new process is not only inconvenient, it threatens the security of the private conversations conducted by the execs.

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AsBAA Show Comes to China back to top 

Major Biz Show In Macau

Perhaps further evidence of the growing importance of business aviation in China, another major exhibition is being planned for June in Macau. Reed Exhibitions says Asian Business Aviation in Macau is being supported by the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), which is urging its members to attend and holding a one-day forum to follow up on topics raised by industry leaders at Asian Aerospace in Hong Kong last year. "ABA in Macau will provide a valuable face to face networking platform this year in the absence of other dedicated business aviation events in this region," said AsBAA President Chuck Woods. "We welcome Reed Exhibitions' initiative in recognising this opportunity."

The event will be held at the Macau Business Aviation Center at Macau International Airport. All the major players are expected to attend with indoor exhibitions, static displays and information sessions.

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Enough Blame to Go Around, Says NTSB back to top 

NTSB Finds Communications Breakdown In Northwest Overflight

The NTSB has completed its investigation into last year's errant Northwest Airlines flight, finding the crew at fault for failing to monitor their position, but also concluding that air traffic control should do a better job of reacting to NORDO (no radio communications) events. The two pilots overflew their destination airport of Minneapolis by more than 100 miles and failed to maintain radio communications because they were distracted by a conversation about crew scheduling. However, the safety board said this incident and a fatal accident involving a Pilatus PC-12/45 that crashed in Montana on March 22, 2009, revealed problems with ATC procedures. In its safety recommendations, the board said the FAA should address the lack of standard procedures for identifying flight crew-ATC communications in ATC facilities that use automated flight tracking systems, and the lack of standard phraseology for identifying the emergency nature of emergency ATC radio transmissions.

The NTSB found that the lack of national requirements for recording ATC instructions when using automated flight tracking systems, such as directing an aircraft to switch frequencies or to indicate that an aircraft has checked in on an assigned frequency, was a factor in the controllers' delay in performing necessary actions and notifications required by lost communications procedures. In addition, because NORDO events of a short duration are not uncommon, the safety board found that controllers and managers may have become complacent in their response. Click here for the NTSB's probable-cause report, or click here for the safety recommendation letter (PDF). Recent accidents and incidents such as the midair collision over the Hudson River last August, Colgan Air Flight 3407, and the Northwest pilots' overflight of the Minnesota airport have demonstrated the clear hazards to aviation safety when pilots and air traffic controllers depart from standard operating procedures and established best practices, the NTSB said. To follow up on those concerns, the board will convene a three-day public forum, May 18-20, on professionalism in aviation to address methods for ensuring excellence in pilot and air traffic controller performance. The forum will promote an open discussion between the NTSB and invited panelists drawn from industry, labor, academia, and government.

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Who's Where back to top 

Hayden Promoted at Aspen

Brad Hayden

Brad Hayden has been named vice president of marketing for Aspen Avionics. Hayden has been with the company almost since its inception and has extensive experience in Web-based marketing.

Van de Laar New at NATA

Dennis van de Laar has been named the National Air Transportation Association's manager of regulatory affairs. He was previously at the Southern Illinois Airport Authority as a graduate assistant while completing his master's degree in public administration.

Who's Where? You Tell Us

Get a promotion or a new job? Your colleagues want to know about it, and AVwebBiz can get the word out. Drop us a line about the staff 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, too.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

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Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Aviation Reporting — Good and Bad

Why do reporters so often mangle the facts on aviation stories? Is it because they're all liberal arts weenies with no technical chops? Sometimes. But, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog, sometimes they're just too lazy to explain things or they think readers are too dumb to understand.

Click here to read Paul's comments and add your own.

AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Finessing the Rudder (An Exercise from Aviation Safety Magazine)

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Aviation Safety is continuing its series on basic flying technique. We've looked at the aerodynamics of coordinated turns. In this video, Paul Bertorelli follows up with a simple rudder exercise that he can't seem to master — but you'll have no trouble with it.

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Exclusive Video: Legend's New Amphib Floatplane

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

American Legend has made a name for itself in the LSA market with well-made Cub clones. At U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring in January, it showed a new amphib LSA that attracted lots of eyeballs. Last week, AVweb flew the amphib, and here's our video report on this new product. It's not just fun to fly; it's insanely fun to fly.

If you enjoy this video, be sure to check out our sister publication, Aviation Consumer magazine.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a WxWorx XM WX Satellite Weather Receiver

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win an XM WX Satellite Weather receiver from WxWorx as we continue the celebration of AVweb's 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time April 9, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Colleen Keller of San Diego, California, who won a Garmin 510 aera handheld GPS in our last drawing! (click here to get your own Garmin aera)

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebBiz Team

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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West

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