As federal agencies scramble to cope with looming federal budget cuts, GA advocacy groups are pressing to minimize the impact on flight operations. NBAA President Ed Bolen this week asked FAA officials to consider more factors than simply the total number of operations at an airport in deciding which towers will close. For example, Tracon staffers would have to handle IFR traffic into those airports, adding to their workload, Bolen said. The shutdown of 173 control towers (PDF) is expected on April 7, with 16 more to close on Sept. 30. The FAA said it won't take any more industry input on its tower-closure plan after today, and will announce a final decision on Monday, March 18.
Popular aviation charts vendor Air Chart Systems has sent a notice to its subscribers that it's ceasing publication of the spiral-bound paper atlases that were its signature product for more than 50 years. In a note attached to the March 7 electronic update of en route charts and approach plates the company suggests it's out of the paper charts business. "Due to adverse business conditions and the increasing use of electronic charts, we will not be publishing our atlases or renewing next cycle," the note reads. The company says it will no longer mail hard copy updates either. The company has not responded to our repeated attempts to contact them for clarification of the note.
Flight training syllabi for the Private Pilot, Instrument Rating, Instrument Instructor Refresher, Crew Resource Management, and Part 135 Initial and Recurrent online training courses are the among new courses announced this week by King Schools. The company says its Part 135 training courses are crafted to fit smoothly into operators' own pre-existing training packages. And its syllabus programs are designed to sharpen the learning curve by clearly defining common goals shared by both instructor and student. Together the new products push the company toward a new landmark for products created.
The IMC Club, a nonprofit project based in Norwood, Mass., to help instrument pilots maintain their efficiency, continues to grow and develop, co-founder Radek Wyrzykowski told AVweb at EAA AirVenture this week. "Our motto is essentially that currency is not enough," said Wyrzykowski. "You might be legal, but that doesn't mean you're proficient." The clubs bring instrument pilots together to share their experiences and learn from each other. Local chapters are found across the country, and each group can decide for itself how often it wants to meet and in what format, Wyrzykowski said. A side benefit of these groups is that they help to create friendships and grow more powerful local aviation communities.
Stabilized approaches aren't just for the Jet-A club. AVweb's Thomas P. Turner suggests ways to make them work for piston-pounders.