AVwebBiz - Volume 8, Number 19

May 19, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! back to top 
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Third Nominee Named To Head TSA

President Barack Obama has nominated John Pistole to take over as the next head of the Transportation Security Administration, his third effort to fill the long-vacant position. Two other recent nominees failed to win confirmation. Pistole, deputy director at the FBI, has been described as "bullteproof." In announcing his choice, President Obama said: "The talent and knowledge John has acquired in more than two decades of service with the FBI will make him a valuable asset to our administration's efforts to strengthen the security and screening measures at our airports." Pistole helped to lead the investigation of the Egypt Air Flight 990 crash in 1990, and recently was involved with the pursuit of the Times Square bombing suspect. Pistole is expected to attract bipartisan support, according to The New York Times.

Maj. Gen. Robert Harding, a retired Army intelligence officer, withdrew his nomination in March, and Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent and counterterrorism supervisor for the Los Angeles airport police, dropped out in January.

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Bolstering Biz Traffic in the East back to top 
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Japan Welcoming Back Biz Traffic

Normally business-friendly Japan is revamping its rules for business aircraft after realizing the strangely stringent regulations were detouring the world's business elite. The Daily Yomiuri reports that business aircraft traffic at Japan's largest airports, Narita and Haneda, has dropped drastically in recent years and totals just 3,000 operations a year. By contrast, New York airports saw 255,000 business aircraft movements last year. The newspaper quotes unnamed government sources as blaming a lack of facilities for business aircraft and some inconvenient regulations for the almost nonexistent traffic.

For instance, private operators have to book seven days in advance for a landing slot at Haneda and maximum length of stay is five days. At Narita, the parking limit is seven days. The government also intends to smooth customs and immigration processing, which now takes about 20 minutes. It hopes that by relaxing the rules, Japan will start attracting more business conferences and draw more companies looking to expand operations in Asia. It's also hoping the new rules will make it more attractive for well-heeled medical tourists to get procedures done in Japan.

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A380 Gets a Part-Time Job back to top 

Air France Launches A380 Shuttle

Airbus likely didn't envision its super-long-range flagship A380 being used as a shuttle but Air France apparently thinks it can make money hopping across the English Channel with the giant airliner. The airline will begin summer weekend A380 service between London's Heathrow and Paris's Charles de Gaulle airports June 12. There will be one flight a day each way from Saturday to Monday for most of the summer and Friday flights will be added for July. Air France is launching the service with a seat sale and one-way tickets are about $275 on the reservations Web site.

The gate-to-gate flight time is about 75 minutes, most of it spent in climb and descent. Obviously the flight will increase capacity on the already-busy route but Air France also has some internal reasons for the move. The airline currently operates three A380s on traditional long-haul routes like Paris-Johannesburg and Paris-New York and it has nine more super jumbos on order. The London-Paris hop is a good way to introduce large numbers of cabin and flight crew members to the aircraft in a relatively short period of time in advance of the other aircraft deliveries.

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Gauging the Recovery back to top 

Business Up At Gulfstream

Gulfstream says business is up and it's predicting continued slow recovery through the coming year. In a conference call to discuss its first quarter results of parent company General Dynamics, CEO Jay Johnson said Gulfstream, buoyed by 200 orders for its new G650 ultra-fast and ultra-long-range business jet, is in a solid position. "First quarter revenues are up 15 percent over the last quarter of 2009, and the G650 order book remains strong," he was quoted as saying by the Savannah Morning News. "Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul demand is good." Johnson said the company expects to build 77 large and 14 midsized jets in 2010 against an order backlog of $18.5 billion.

The company has not reversed earlier recession-induced cuts and a production slowdown that resulted in the layoff of 1,200 workers but he's optimistic the market will turn. "I think we'll continue to see gradual improvement in the business aviation market this year," he said.

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New on AVweb back to top 

FedEx Issue Stalls FAA Bill

When the Senate OK'd an FAA funding bill back in March, it looked like the agency would finally see an end to a long series of short-term extensions dating back to 2007, but now the bill remains stalled due to a dispute over union rules. The House version of the bill includes a provision that would change the status of some FedEx workers who are now regulated under the Railway Labor Act, which also covers airlines. The House bill would place those workers instead under the National Labor Relations Act, the same rules that govern UPS workers. The Senate version of the bill doesn't include this provision, and the two sides have been unable to reconcile their differences, resulting in a delay in completing the bill so it can go to the White House. The current FAA funding has now been extended to July 3 in the hope that the two sides can work things out by then.

The FedEx dispute seems unlikely to affect the main provisions of the bill, which was welcomed by GA advocacy groups since no new user fees are imposed. However, the bill won't be law until it's reconciled and a final version is signed by the president. FedEx has argued that the railway act, which makes it harder for workers to unionize or to go on strike, applies to its drivers and other workers since their job is to deliver packages to and from the company's airplanes. Supporters of the change, which include UPS and some union groups, say it would level the playing field.

AVweb Insider Blog: AAL2 Emergency — An Overreaction?

That's what controller Jason Wilson says in a guest blog on the AVweb Insider. But whether it was or wasn't, the two useful takeaways for all of us are to be better prepared by listening to the ATIS and to be unmistakably assertive sooner rather than later.

Click here to read Jason's comments and chime in with your own thoughts.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

Aviation Consumer: Tell Us About Your Opinions on Diesel Engines and Alternate Fuels

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting research on attitudes toward replacement strategies for 100LL.

To take the survey, click this link and let us know what you think.

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)

AVweb Insider Blog: Alternate Fuels — Give Us Your Views

Have you taken Aviation Consumer's survey on alternative fuels yet? Consumer Editor-in-Chief Paul Bertorelli hopes you will. He's already learned quite a bit from those who have taken a moment to share their opinions — and he shares some of that knowledge in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Click here to read more.

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

Aviation Consumer's LSA Durability Survey

p>Do you have an LSA at a flight school? Do you rent one? Aviation Consumer needs to hear from you.

Aviation Consumer is looking at the long-term durability of these aircraft when subjected to the rigors of flight training, as well as their cost and ease of repair. Whether you run a flight school with LSAs, own an LSA that you lease back, or just rent them for your flight training, you voice matters.

Click here to participate in our quick LSA durability survey.

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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

Woopy-Fly Inflatable Wing Ultralight Aircraft

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

The Woopy-Fly, a sort of paraglider/trike/ultralight hybrid shown on the world stage at AERO Friedrichshafen this April 2010 in Germany, has a wing that folds for storage like a paraglider — because it's inflatable. Currently, it appears the wing itself is only available from distributors in Switzerland, Russia, and Japan. Those wishing to buy the trike (plus wing) can expect a complete kit cost to run about 13,780 Swiss Francs, which currently is about US$12,400 — plus the legal disclaimer that releases the manufacturer of liability.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

TCM's New Diesel Project

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

TCM said more than a year ago that it wanted to get an aerodiesel into its product line, and now it has one. The company bought diesel technology already developed from a European source and is forging ahead with its own program.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a King Schools Get-It-All Training Kit

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Get-It-All Training Kit from King Schools as we celebrate our 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 May 21, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to David Schieman of Lawrenceville, Georgia, who won Scheyden Dual RX frames and a Scheyden flight gear package in our last drawing! (click here to get your own from Scheyden)

Names Behind the News back to top 

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.

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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