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The integration of drones into the National Airspace System will accelerate with a pilot program directed by the FAA, the Transportation Department announced on Wednesday. The initiative will implement a directive signed by President Donald Trump this week that aims to develop a regulatory framework to allow more complex low-altitude operations; balance local and national interests; improve communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions; address security and privacy risks; and accelerate the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations. Read More
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Flight-path changes implemented due to NextGen have resulted in noise complaints in neighborhoods across the country, but due to the way the NextGen technology works, it may be difficult to address those conflicts, according to an Associated Press story published this week. David Grizzle, a former FAA chief operating officer, said it’s not possible to redesign procedures to fix the problems without losing out on NextGen’s advantages. Read More
NASA researchers are testing new technologies that should lead to wing designs that are lighter, more efficient, quieter and safer than today’s wings, the agency said this week. The Passive Aeroelastic Tailored, or PAT, wing is expected to arrive later this year at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. The uniquely designed composite wing is more flexible than conventional wings, said Larry Hudson, chief test engineer at Armstrong Flight Loads Laboratory. Read More
Emirates Airline and a consortium of industry partners have launched an effort to build the “world’s first sector-wide [Aviation] Experimental (X) Lab to co-create the next era of human transportation,” the airline announced on Wednesday. The Aviation X-Lab, based at a Dubai think tank called Area 2071, will bring together airlines, manufacturers, engineers, academics and startups under a single roof to envision a “new transportation paradigm,” the airline said. Read More
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Airlander, the British company that has been test-flying a hybrid lighter-than-air ship intended for remote cargo operations, said this week they are now working to develop a tourism version of the unique aircraft. The company said they have partnered with Henry Cookson Adventures to launch a trial “expeditionary journey” next year as a sort of shakedown cruise to try the airship out in the luxury and adventure-travel market. Read More
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Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something the flying world might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via e-mail here. (Or send them direct to Newstips at AVweb.com.)

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This week, we’re launching a new periodic column called “Healthy Pilot.” While BasicMed has simplified the medical authorization needed to fly, it introduces its own challenges in that now you have to self-certify for fitness to fly for much longer periods. Read More
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Low flying is a blast but there are rules, thanks to Icon. Read More
You don't expect to see Stinsons and WACOs at an NBAA-BACE, but they were there last week in Las Vegas. In this AVweb video, Ben Redman of RARE tells us why the biz jet crowd is a target-rich environment for selling restored vintage aircraft. Read More
Electronics 
International 'Aviation Alert! Short video on how EI saved this pilot's 
life
Picture 
of the Week
Full disclosure: The editor has a Cessna 140 and is a sucker for images of this family but this really was the best of the bunch this week. Thanks to Andy Zink for a nice shot. Read More
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Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke.

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AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

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Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

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Russ Niles

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Geoff Rapoport

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