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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Helping general aviation take off

General aviation is a homegrown American industry that is responsible for 1.2 million jobs and pumps more than $150 billion into our nation’s economy. But it’s also an industry that’s being held back by an antiquated regulatory system that is painfully unresponsive and out of touch, according to U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), who is also a pilot. In an editorial on AOPA.org, he argues that outdated FAA regulations have contributed to a dramatic reduction in the number of aviators, and a corresponding increase in the cost of flying. Read the full post here.

Safety focus of international conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Each year representatives from the FAA and other nations gather for an international aviation safety conference. This year the meeting will be held in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of the nation’s capital.

The importance of the meetings is expressed by the FAA in its statement on this year’s meeting: “In a rapidly changing aviation industry, we can never be complacent.”

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Questions surround NextGen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The FAA reported earlier this month that it had completed nationwide equipment installation for the NextGen aircraft tracking system.

The announcement — like others in the past and probably those in the future — raises more questions than it provides answers, particularly for general aviation.

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