AVmail: March 2, 2009
Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.
Letter of the Week: Lake Placid Runway Closure
In response to Steve Comer:
I believe that when an airport manager closes the entire airport, any state or federal aid is cut off for the duration of the closure. This occurs frequently during winter hours when runways are being plowed. If it is a solo runway, many times, the airport manager will close the runway but leave the airport open. Technically, helicopter traffic can still land at the airport, thus the airport is not closed.
I assume that maintenance run-ups can also still be performed. I do agree that the ball was dropped on this incident/accident, but the ball was dropped by the FAA when they contracted out and closed 95% of the Flight Service Stations and allowed an ill-prepared company to take over the system. Congress promised to monitor this contract, but it appears they too have dropped the ball.
Eclipse a Symptom
I am not sure what preconceived thoughts you have about what Eclipse was, but just in the interest of being fully informed, I will attempt to shed some light. The passing of Eclipse, aside from the fact that it left several hundred of the most dedicated and talented people in the industry jobless, shows an underlying problem in the U.S. We no longer make anything. Here's a breakdown of U.S. employment:
|services:||79.2% (2008 est.)|
We missed a real chance to get something right here. I worked there for about five years and was proud to be a part of developing what I still consider to be an excellent aircraft. There were many bad decisions on the business plan and how to market the jet, but if you had the ability to devoid the management from the product, you would feel the sense of loss that I do for not only the industry, but the country as well.
Name Withheld by Request
Badging No Secret
What's the "secret"? Here at KSNA (Orange County, CA), the airport operators have been processing a batch of forms from all GA operators and users based on the field, with a "required by" date of March 1st. It seems that isn't going to happen, and it also appears that the airfield management is being sensible about allowing old credentials to get us airside until the new ID badges are fully deployed, but Big Brother is everywhere with little real gain for a lot of baggage.
How much hassle will this casue for visiting GA pilots? And, now that I've seen this article and the suggestion that TSA's plan is "secret," I'm wondering what compatability there will be for SNA-issued IDs to be used elsewhere. Come to think of it, if one has such an ID, why can that not be used to fast-track through commercial security channels (at least at SNA!) when we GA-ers have that much access already?
When we said the plan was secret, we meant that details of the program are confidential — not that the initiative itself is a secret.