Huerta approved as FAA administrator

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington aviation groups were quick to announce their approvals for the Senate confirmation of Michael F. Huerta as FAA administrator.

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What should GA expect in 2013?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — What can general aviation expect in the coming year?

That question has aviation-focused personnel in Washington wondering. Uncertainty is not limited to aviation. The grim financial situation of near $17 trillion debt and political debates on what to do about it bring uncertainty to a point where “but what if” is tempering speculation.

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NextGen months behind schedule, fiscal cliff could push it even farther

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is months behind schedule and FAA management faces many challenges before the massive project completes its movement from the planning stages to implementation.

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NATCA warns against sequestration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — General aviation will feel the heavy impact of the mandated 8.2% sequestration funding cut for the FAA if Congress doesn’t act to avert the across-the-board cuts.

A report from National Air Traffic Control Association (NATCA) says the cut would cause furloughing between 2,000 and 2,200 air traffic controllers. This is about 12% of the workforce.

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Nation’s money woes put GA in hot seat

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Money is the name of the game as the President and Congress wrestle over what to do with the massive debt the nation has accumulated and to consider a budget for the coming year.

The Democratic-controlled Senate hasn’t passed a budget for three years. The Republican-controlled House has failed to convince the Senate to even discuss settling on a budget. While the battles continue over whether to tax more or cut expenses, general aviation has a number of issues to look out for in the President’s proposal for fiscal year 2013.

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Beware the 3 Rs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pilots — as well as everyone else in the United States — can expect political turbulence over the next months and longer. In fact, what this lame-duck Congress can and will do in the weeks before the inauguration may give hints as to what the next four years will bring to general aviation.

One thing we already know: General aviation will have to look out for the three Rs. No, it’s not reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic — it’s rules, restrictions, and rates.

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GA continues on NTSB most wanted list

WASHINGTON, D.C. — General aviation continues on the ‘‘10 most wanted” list issued by the National Transportation Safety Board, but GA organizations point out strides made in advancing the safety rate.

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Learning to fly in a Cub

As a student pilot flying a Piper J-3 Cub, on any beautiful Sunday afternoon it was not unusual to be 8th to 10th on downwind at Zahn’s Airport at Amityville on New York’s Long Island.

The year was 1954. Finally, I was able to take flying lessons, having been transferred from my position on a newspaper in San Francisco to New York City, working for publications owned by the Hearst Corporation.

This was at the height of the general aviation flying boom following World War II. [Read more...]

Experiences in other nations raise concerns about proposed user fee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress and the president have big taxation problems to resolve before the end of this year, so there will no doubt be a lot of discussion about aviation user fees. On Dec. 31, all the “Bush” tax cuts will expire, the debt limit will need to be increased, and payroll tax cuts will expire. On the next day, sequestration cuts are set to kick in.

But opposition to the proposed user fee continues, with many general aviation advocates pointing to experiences in other nations as cautionary tales of the effect of user fees. And while much of general aviation in the United States is exempt from the proposed user fees, GA advocates warn that an expansion of the fees to all flights is a possibility.

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Bringing the cost of flying down

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Manufacturers of general aviation airplanes, users of those airplanes, and the FAA are taking steps to reduce the costs, complexity, and time involved in certification in an effort to reduce prices and stem the decline in general aviation flying.

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