FAA reauthorization struggles begin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FAA reauthorization is up for renewal next September and an indication of upcoming struggles over it was highlighted in a House of Representatives committee hearing in late November.

A major disagreement will be over air traffic control (ATC). The airline industry is urging swift action to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), a satellite-based system to replace the ground stations that requires aircraft owners to equip with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment. Many in general aviation consider the cost too high for the ADS-B equipment and are concerned about its reliability.

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Sequestration dangers national airspace system

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sequestration is a danger to the National Airspace System (NAS). That is the message National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi delivered Tuesday to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, for its hearing examining the upcoming FAA reauthorization and issues in modernizing and operating the nation’s airspace.

Rinaldi emphasized the urgent need for funding certainty, to ensure everything from effective NextGen implementation to adequate staffing of air traffic controllers.

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Plans to accelerate NextGen benefits unveiled

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FAA and the aviation community sent a plan to Congress last week to show how the FAA will accelerate the benefits of key NextGen initiatives over the next three years.

The agreement is the result of several months of collaboration between the agency and the NextGen Advisory Committee, which includes officials from the airlines, airports, general aviation, pilots, labor unions and safety specialists, manufacturers, international aviation, environmentalists and the Department of Defense.

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AOPA lobbies for more flexibility when it comes to hangars

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is pressing the FAA to offer pilots and aircraft owners more flexibility when it comes to the use of hangars at airports that have received federal funding.

In formal comments filed Sept. 18, AOPA urges the FAA to expand its definition of “aeronautical use” and to give the owners of private hangars more freedom to use hangars as they wish.

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New FAA hangar policy causing confusion

Two weeks after the FAA unveiled its draft policy for allowed uses in hangars at airports that receive federal grant funding, much confusion has emerged regarding the overall effect of the policy and what it means for hangar tenants. That’s particularly true for homebuilders, who have heard conflicting stories about what it means for building an aircraft in an airport hangar, according to officials with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).

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Why hasn’t FAA acted on ADS-B loan guarantee for GA?

Graves

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Why has the FAA not taken action on implementing a loan guarantee program for general aviation to prepare for the mandate for ADS-B equipment three years after Congress passed a law approving it? That is a question Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), who chairs the Committee on Small Business, asked in a recent letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

During a hearing in June before the committee, Huerta said lack of appropriations was a reason for the failure.

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