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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EAA strikes deal with FAA over AirVenture controllers

The Experimental Aircraft Association and the FAA have signed two agreements — a Settlement Agreement and a nine-year Reimbursable Agreement — that provide EAA with assurance of air traffic control services on a consistent basis through 2022 for the AirVenture Oshkosh convention.

This ends the uncertainty that began with the FAA’s sudden assessment of ATC fees for the 2013 event and the potential that air traffic support might not be provided this year or in the future unless those fees were paid, according to EAA officials.

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NextGen at Snoopy’s Airport

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The FAA has posted several NextGen Performance Snapshots, including one about Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in California that agency officials thought our readers would find interesting. So, what do the names Woodstock, Lucy and Pigpen bring to mind? For pilots flying into STS, those are the waypoints that guide them along the NextGen approach to runway 32.

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Judge denies more time to FAA in SMO lawsuit

A federal judge has denied the FAA’s request for more time to respond to a lawsuit filed by the city of Santa Monica to close Santa Monica Municipal Airport. According to a report in the Santa Monica Lookout, Judge John F. Walter denied the FAA’s request for an additional 44 days to respond to a lawsuit that claims the city has the right to close down at least part of the 227-acre parcel that has operated as an airport for nearly a century. The ruling says that the FAA had “failed to demonstrate good cause for the requested extension,” especially given the “time-sensitive nature of this action.”