EAA petitions federal court on ATC charges

The Experimental Aircraft Association(EAA) filed a petition July 3 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, asking the court to review and provide relief from payments demanded by the FAA in relation to air traffic control services at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

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EAA vs. FAA: It’s complicated

To be honest, I’m a bit conflicted about all that’s been going on with the Experimental Aircraft Association and the FAA’s demand that the association cover some of the costs of air traffic control at this month’s AirVenture.

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Contract towers included in FAA funding bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Funding for contract towers started its long process through government when a subcommittee of the House of Representatives included it as part of the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Transportation, which has the FAA and other agencies.

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Make your voice heard

Each year, the FAA surveys the flying population seeking information on aviation activity and safety. The general aviation and professional flyer community responds but often recreational aviation details are sparse. You can help change that.

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The show must go on

GUEST EDITORIAL By PHILIP HANDLEMAN

Sequestration is forcing the Pentagon to slash $41 billion this year on top of the $487 billion reduction in defense spending already mandated over the next 10 years. Resultantly, a cruel triage within the Defense Department has taken hold. Communities across America are waking to the reality that their scheduled airshows will not feature military air demonstration teams or that, in the absence of the teams, the shows themselves are being scrubbed altogether.

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Is FAA demand double taxation?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Each year the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture Oshkosh attracts more aircraft, pilots, and aviation enthusiasts than any other aviation gathering in the United States, but this year EAA is facing paying the FAA an estimated $500,000 for doing its job.

Payment is necessary, say FAA officials, because sequester has cut off necessary funds.

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Assessment outlines risks if BTL tower closed

A safety risk assessment (SRA) has identified potential hazards for aircraft using W.K. Kellogg Airport (BTL) in Battle Creek, Mich., if the airport’s control tower had been closed by the FAA because of sequestration.

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FAA administrator calls for more action on GA safety

As the busy summer flying season approaches, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta recently met with leaders from the general aviation community to agree on actions to enhance safety and reduce accidents.

The general aviation fatal accident rate has remained flat over the past five years and 149 fatal accidents already have occurred so far this fiscal year, killing 262 people, FAA officials note.

“We cannot become complacent about safety,” Huerta said. “Together, we must improve the safety culture to drive the GA fatal accident rate lower.”

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EAA asked to cover some costs for AirVenture controllers

Even after the Congress enacted legislation that enabled the FAA to fully fund air traffic services, the agency is asking the Experimental Aircraft Association to cover some of the costs for its AirVenture operations, including air traffic controllers’ travel, per diems, and overtime, which had traditionally been covered by the FAA.

“This issue is significantly bigger than AirVenture,” said EAA Chairman Jack J. Pelton. [Read more...]

FAA slowing drone use to fight wildfires

Fire fighters hoping to use drones to “map a fire’s size and speed, and identify hot spots,” are running up against FAA regulation. A New York Times story notes a drone is precluded, “from operating out of sight of a ground-based pilot. If distance or the smoke of a wildfire obscures a drone from observers on the ground, a piloted aircraft must be sent aloft to keep an eye on it.” Fire fighting is but one of many facets of drone use the FAA, federal government and U.S. citizens are debating.