Four members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have introduced a bill to prevent foreign air carriers who are operating under a flag of convenience from receiving a U.S. Foreign Carrier Permit to operate in the United States. The bill has strong backing from the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA): “We look forward to competing in the international marketplace but will not stand by and watch foreign competitors decimate our industry through flags of convenience schemes or unfair government subsidies.” Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Drew Ferguson (R-GA) are the bill’s initial sponsors.
A federal judge in Los Angeles accepted the plea bargain of Arnold (“Arnie”) Gerald Leto III on Monday, sentencing him to 10 months in jail for flying paying passengers without a pilot’s certificate—at least one flight in a Dassault Falcon 10 and at least one flight in a Cessna Citation II. Leto lost his certificate in early 2016 for flying paying passengers in the Cessna Citation II without possessing the required type rating and without a second pilot—as is required by that aircraft’s type certificate.
Uber drew lots of attention this week with their three-day Elevate conference about how to create an urban network of flying taxis by 2020, but as ambitious as their goals are, John Langford, the CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences, says they are “do-able.” The vision won’t come to pass, though, he told AVweb in an interview from the conference, unless there’s a deadline. “It’s a little bit like going to Mars — it’s certainly possible, but it’s always 20 years away,” he said.