Aviation and Airport Development Newsletter, July 5, 2010, vol. 2, no. 4

The following is a summary review of articles from all over the nation concerning aviation and airport development law news during the past week.  These were all first posted, in abbreviated form, on http://twitter.com/smtaber.  This Newsletter also appears as a post on our website on our blog, The Aviation and Airport Development News.

AIRPORTS

City Airport plans $8.6M in Projects. – Steve Lynn, The Daily Times, June 27th, 2010
The city of Farmington is planning $8.6 million in projects at the Four Corners Regional Airport during the next five years. The airport is planning 18 projects from 2011 through 2016, said Farmington airport manager Ben Trujillo. The projects range from reconstruction of the plane parking area adjacent to runways to installation of a wildlife fence to development of the airport’s 65-acre north side. The Federal Aviation Administration will almost certainly fund the projects as part of the federal agency’s Airport Improvement Program, Trujillo said.
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Delays at Hartsfield-Jackson Ripple Around the Country. – Kelly Yamanouchi, AJC, June 26th, 2010
Atlanta was responsible for 18.5 percent of the delays in the nation’s air traffic control system, according to a recent federal report. More departure delays at the nation’s major airports were attributed to Hartsfield-Jackson than to any other airport, according to a study completed last month by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest airport.
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Charter Business Lands in Van Nuys. – David Haldane, Los Angeles Business Journal, June 28th, 2010
The recovery may be weak, but it’s had enough lift to get a new charter air business off the ground. Dreamline Aviation LLC received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration this month to begin service at Van Nuys Airport. It’s rising from the ashes of JetDirect Aviation, a Berwyn, Pa., charter company that operated out of Van Nuys but went bankrupt in 2009. The new company is the latest of about 30 charters operating at the airport, where the recession slashed customer traffic as much as 50 percent, said Todd Kunkler, co-founder and marketing vice president of the Hermosa Beach firm.
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Airlines to be charged less to land and rent at Ontario Airport. –  Kimberly Piercall, The Press Enterprise, June 29th, 2010
Reduced expenses at Ontario International Airport will allow officials there to lower landing fees and rental rates for the airlines that land there starting Thursday, according to staff reports from Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that owns and operates Los Angeles International Airport and Ontario airport. Airlines with regular commercial service and air cargo service are charged for every 1,000 pounds of an aircraft that lands at the airport as well as rent for the space in the terminal they use.
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New airport routes may still be noise nuisance. – Mike Reicher, Daily Pilot, June 29th, 2010
When a hospital or a school fails so miserably, officials usually rename it. The stakes in this case may not be life or death, but the Federal Aviation Administration has completely re-named the take-off procedure at John Wayne Airport. Now called STREL, the proposed route could be better received than its predecessors, DUUKE 1 and DUUKE 2. Newport Beach residents complained that those routes resulted in more noisy flights over their homes. Administrators are now back to the drawing board with their satellite-based flight navigation system.
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Fears of Chaos Gone as Rebuilt Kennedy Airport Runway Opens. – Michael M. Grynbaum, The New York Time, June 29th, 2010
Most travelers going through Kennedy International Airport did not really notice that the biggest runway there had been closed for four months of repairs. For the stressed-out officials overseeing the $376 million project, that may have been the biggest accomplishment of all. Runway 13R-31L, which reopened Monday, is a picturesque strip that handles a third of the airport’s air traffic. Before the runway shut down in March, pessimists, and even a few newspapers, predicted a chaos of delays and tarmac traffic jams at one of the nation’s busiest hubs.
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FAA giving Detroit Metro $1.8M for runway project. Associated Press, June 29th, 2010
U.S. Rep John Dingell says the Federal Aviation Administration is allocating $1.8 million for improvements to a runway at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Dingell’s office issued a news release Tuesday saying the money will go toward major work on 550 feet of runway 9L/27R. The Dearborn Democrat says the move is important because it increases safety at the Romulus airport.
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Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Detroit Metropolitan Airport gets $1.8 million from Federal Aviation Administration. – Aaron Foley, MLive.com, June 29, 2010
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has given the Wayne County Airport Authority a $1.8 million grant for upgrades at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. U.S. Rep. John Dingell made the announcement today. With the grant, 550 feet of runway space will receive major improvements. “Investment in Metro Airport comes back to all of us in many ways,” Dingell said in a news release.  “It makes travel in and out of Metro safer, and more importantly, it makes travel to and from Detroit more appealing to businesses.  I appreciate the careful consideration by the FAA and the hard work of the Airport Authority for all the work they do make air travel into Detroit as safe as it can be.”
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Maine Airports Receive Federal Grants. – WABI-TV5, June 30, 2010
Eight Maine airports are receiving a more than 2-million dollar federal boost, according to Senators Snowe and Collins Wednesday. 770-thousand dollars in grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration will go to Hancock County-Bar Harbor airport to update a runway safety area. Nearly 570-thousand will go to Knox County Regional Airport to help pay for a new terminal building. The rest of the funding will go to airports in Millinocket, Pittsfield, Wiscasset, Princeton and northern Maine, for various safety and upgrade measures.
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Hilo airport gets funds to replace passenger loading bridges. The Star Advertiser, June 30, 2010
The state will receive $2.85 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to replace four passenger loading bridges at the Hilo International Airport. The bridges that are in disrepair are 18 years old, according to a press released issued yesterday by U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye. “Maintaining our airports is critical to ensuring that residents and visitors can travel in and out of the state and move safely from island to island,” Inouye said. “These funds will help ensure that a small hub like Hilo is up to date with the latest equipment.”
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Grant to Springfield airport for planning, debt. News-Leader, July 1, 2010
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill announced today the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration will provide Springfield with $1,661,423 in federal grant funding for improvements to Springfield-Branson National Airport. The FAA provides grants to public agencies — and, in some cases, to private owners and entities — for the planning and development of public-use airports. Specifically, $672,478 of the grant will be used to conduct an airport master plan study to adequately assess airport development.  The remaining $988,945 will be used toward the debt for the construction of the terminal.
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Jackson, Gulf Coast, Tunica airports received federal funds. The Associated Press, July 1, 2010
Airport improvement projects at Jackson, Tunica and Gulfport have been approved to receive more than $11.8 million in Federal Aviation Administration funding. The announcement was made Wednesday by Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, both Mississippi Republicans. The FAA awarded $10.4 million for rehabilitation of a runway and apron at the Jackson-Evers International Airport, which will extend the useful life of the pavement. Tunica County and Tunica County Airport Commission will receive $781,524 for work on a terminal building at the Tunica Municipal Airport. The Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport will use $625,000 to fund airport imagery and data collection for the FAA Airports Geographic Information System, which is used to meet evolving airspace requirements and to support the agency’s Next Generation national airspace system.
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FAA eliminates proposed central Idaho airport site. KTRV Fox 12, July 3, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration has eliminated 1 of the three proposed sites as a replacement for Friedman Memorial Airport in the central Idaho city of Hailey. The FAA announced Thursday that a site located east of state Highway 75 and north of U.S. Highway 20 has been discarded. Officials say terrain around the site would prevent making certain types of instrument landing approaches with minimums of 200-foot ceilings and half-mile horizontal visibility. Plans for the airport that will eventually replace Friedman call for an all-weather landing system, something the current airport lacks and that causes flights to be diverted to Twin Falls or Boise. Officials say Friedman must be relocated because it doesn’t meet federal safety standards.
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Geese near JFK airport raise a flap. – Verena Dobnik, Associated Press, July 3, 2010
A year and a half after Canada geese forced an airliner to splash down in the Hudson River, officials are rounding them up in almost every part of the city — but flocks are still free to take off around John F. Kennedy International Airport. The wild birds were at the center of a government versus government battle on Tuesday. A National Park Service official said that, for now, his agency wouldn’t touch the hundreds of birds living in a refuge near JFK’s runways. “Our mission is to protect and preserve wildlife — that’s a law — and it isn’t a given that the removal of the geese is necessary to protect the flying public,” said Dave Avrin, the official at the Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area, which includes the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
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Wichita to re-evaluate airport plan for terminal. – Molly McMillin, The Wichita Eagle, July 3, 2010
A plan to build a $150 million terminal building at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is on hold while the city evaluates the financial projections for the project. “Obviously things have changed with the economy over the last 12 months,” said City Manager Robert Layton. “We want to make sure we’re on firm ground before we move forward.” A re-evaluation of the data is expected to be completed in about 30 days, Layton said. In the meantime, plans to build a parking garage at the airport are moving forward.
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Santa Maria Airport still Operating in the Red. Santa Maria Public Airport District, June 30, 2010
Approved by a 4-1 vote Thursday by the airport district’s board of directors, the budget includes increased spending on maintenance in a move to be proactive, rather than reactive, to upkeep of the facility, Hastert said. Directors Carl Engel, Chuck Adams, Hugh Rafferty and Ted Eckert voted in favor with Charles Damiano dissenting because of items on the capital budget he believed shouldn’t have been there and were not safety related. Also, more money is going toward local marketing of the airport through TV, print, and radio advertising and working with an aviation consulting services firm to attract a new airline to the airport.  The ultimate hope is to draw more passengers and create more revenues, Hastert said. With slower passenger traffic in the terminal because of the recession, rental car revenues to the airport also have dropped.
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FAA approves Evansville Airport’s runway extension plan. Evansville Courier & Press, July 1, 2010
The Evansville Regional Airport has received federal clearance for its planned runway shift, but construction work won’t begin right away. “This is the first milestone,” said Doug Joest, the airport’s finance manager. In order to bring its main runway into compliance with Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations, the airport plans to remove about 2,415 feet of pavement from the runway’s southwest end and rebuild the same amount of pavement on the northeast end. The deadline set by the FAA to complete the project is 2015. Last month, the airport submitted to the FAA an environmental assessment that examined the project’s potential impact on surrounding areas. On Wednesday, the airport announced that the FAA had given clearance to the project — meaning that the federal agency found the project will not produce a significant environmental impact.
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More passengers, more money for Duluth airport. – Peter Passi, Duluth Star Tribune, July 2, 2010
Last week, Duluth International Airport learned it would receive $5 million in federal grants to help pay for its $65 million terminal replacement project. This week, the airport was notified it will receive an additional $1.6 million in entitlement money from the Federal Aviation Administration. The latest slug of money has been buoyed by improved traffic levels through the airport so far this year. More passengers mean more FAA entitlement money. During May, the Duluth airport handled 23 percent more travelers than it did during the same month last year. For the year to date, local air travel is up more than 12 percent from the first five months of 2009.
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Conn. airports receive $2.6 million in federal aid. – The Associated Press, July 4, 2010
Connecticut has received more than $2.6 million in federal money for state airports, including nearly $1.4 million for lighting equipment at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. Money from the Federal Aviation Administration also includes nearly $600,000 for Hartford’s Brainard and Waterbury-Oxford airports to buy snow removal equipment and $400,000 for Brainard to collect information for an FAA safety-related data system. In addition, the state received $190,000 to develop business plans for state-owned airports to become more financially self-sufficient and $66,500 to finance a study of wildlife hazards at Groton-New London Airport and evaluate data for reducing wildlife hazards to aircraft at Bradley.
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Residents battle to keep land state wants for Peotone airport. – Joel Hood, The Chicago Tribune, July 4, 2010
Willis and Vivian Bramstaedt don’t have big plans for retirement; they simply want to live out their remaining years on the land their family has farmed in rural Beecher since the 1950s. But when a letter from the state arrived in April, the Bramstaedts knew their days on the land were numbered. It may be years still before the Federal Aviation Administration gives the final stamp of approval on a controversial airport in south suburban Peotone designed to ease congestion at O’Hare and Midway. But already the Illinois Department of Transportation has quietly begun the process of eminent domain to force families such as the Bramstaedts off their land. Four such condemnation cases are under way in Will County courts, the first in what IDOT officials believe will be a wave of contentious negotiations through the court system. As the state ramps up pressure to buy while property values are low, some landowners are digging in their heels. “Our schools are failing; our health system is falling apart; the state is out of money, and this is what they’re doing?” asked Vivian Bramstaedt, 72. “It’s bewildering. It doesn’t make any sense.”
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FAA

FAA Seeks Tighter Air Control at Long Beach Airport. – Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times, June 27th, 2010
Concerned about a growing potential for midair collisions, especially over neighborhoods, the federal government is considering significant air traffic control changes at Long Beach Airport — a move opposed by some private pilots who say the proposals might create more problems than they solve. The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed establishing so-called Class C airspace at Long Beach, which requires more communication with pilots and a higher level of monitoring by air traffic controllers than now exists. In addition, the proposal would increase by at least a third the area under air traffic control around the airport.
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FAA Asks American to re-inspect 767’s. The Associated Press, June 27th, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration has advised American Airlines to re-inspect 56 of its Boeing 767 jets after cracks were detected on at least two planes. American spokesman Tim Wagner says the cracks were discovered in the pylons that attach the engines to the wings. Wagner says 54 planes had been inspected by Monday. He says the Fort Worth-based airline has sent one of the cracked pylons to an outside company for metallurgy testing. Wagner says the inspections have not caused any major disruption to American’s schedule.
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Federal Aviation Administration has just Announced the Recipients of $125 Million in Research. eComBiz, June 27th, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration has just announced the recipients of $125 million in research contracts, aimed at developing technology to reduce commercial jet fuel consumption and lower emissions. Contracts have been awarded to five companies: Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce-North America. The companies will be researching aircraft and engine technologies, although we probably won’t be seeing anything revolutionary designed from scratch: the tech is expected to be introduced into already-existing aircraft by 2015. The companies will be looking to develop alternative aviation fuels, lighter and more efficient gas turbine engine components, more efficient wing edges, and quicker flight trajectories.
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Fortune in Aviation Accident Misfortune. BlogSDN, June 27th, 2010
Air travel is considered the safest mode of transportation. However, when aviation accident occurs, it often results to fatalities of most, if not all, of the passengers. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declares that air travel is expected to rise over the next 20 years. With the increase in air traffic, the risk of aviation accidents also increases. What is an aviation accident then? An aviation accident is defined as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft in which a person dies or seriously injured or the aircraft sustains damage or structural defects or the aircraft is lost or cannot be located.
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House Expected to Pass another Short Term FAA Extension Today. Helicopter Association International, June 29th, 2010
HAI reports the U.S. House of Representatives will vote today, Tuesday, June 29, on a bill to extend the FAA’s authorization for one month. The bill will be on the floor under suspension of the rules, which bars amendments and requires a two-thirds majority for passage. The current FAA extension expires at the end of this week on July 3. Sources on Capitol Hill have said Congress intends to finally pass a two year FAA Reauthorization Bill by the end of July before the August Congressional Recess. HAI is closely monitoring this issue in Washington and continues to meet with lawmakers and Congressional Committee staff over provisions contained in the Senate version of the bill.
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PROMISES, PROMISES: FAA slow on cockpit fires. – Joan Lowy and Joshua Freed, The Associated Press, June 29th, 2010
Federal aviation officials have known for years that cockpit window heaters in some Boeing planes catch fire. But they haven’t required airlines to fix the problem, even after dozens of incidents that unnerved pilots and, in some cases, forced emergency landings. Pilots have complained about heaters that burned, smoldered or sent electric currents dancing across cockpit windows since at least 2002, according to an Associated Press search of a NASA aviation safety database. Safety investigators have traced the problem to a minor cause: a loose screw.
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FAA Awards Final Set of Major NextGen Engineering Contracts. FAA News Release, June 29th, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that Metron Aviation, Inc., of Dulles, Va., and Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., of McLean, Va., received contracts as the final part of a set of landmark awards to perform engineering work that will help transform and modernize the nation’s airspace into the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). The $1.15 billion contract awarded to Metron Aviation for 10 years is one of the largest ever awarded by the FAA to a small business. The announcement was made at the FAA’s Small Business Conference at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center.
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FAA Proposes Major Changes to Icing Certification Rules. EPA News Release, June 29th, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a significant expansion of its icing certification standards, including a new requirement that manufacturers show airplanes can operate safely in freezing drizzle or freezing rain, conditions that constitute an icing environment known as “supercooled large drops” (SLDs). The proposed regulations would improve safety by mandating that new transport category aircraft most affected by SLD icing conditions meet expanded safety standards, including additional airplane performance and handling qualities. The rule also would require all new transport category designs be able to fly in conditions where supercooled liquid and ice crystals exist.
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FAA Proposes $450,000 Civil Penalty Against Dassault Falcon. – FAA News Release, June 29th, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $450,000 civil penalty against Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. and its completion center in Little Rock, Ark., for improperly plating certain parts and installing them on airplanes.  Installation of improperly plated parts made the aircraft not compliant with Federal Aviation Regulations. The FAA alleges that after receiving a warning notice on this issue in January 2008, Dassault Falcon approved 18 airplanes for return to service between March 2008 and April 2009.  Those aircraft were outfitted with hundreds of parts electroplated by the company or its contractors, but the companies did not have the required FAA rating to perform such work.  The electroplated parts included both decorative pieces and structural parts.
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Statement of Nancy Kalinowski, Vice President for System Operations Services. FAA News Release, June 29th, 2010
Before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Readiness on the Impact of Wind Farms on Military Readiness. Chairman Ortiz, Congressman Forbes, Members of the Subcommittee: Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. My name is Nancy Kalinowski and I am the Vice President of System Operations Services for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In that capacity, I am charged with overseeing the process by which we evaluate the impact of proposed construction on the navigable airspace. Any proposed structure that could potentially interfere with navigable airspace must be evaluated by my office. The evaluation results in an agency finding of whether the proposed structure is a hazard for air navigation. During the evaluation, our Obstruction Evaluation Services office works with the individual or entity that submits the proposal, as well as other interested FAA offices and government agencies, as required. In recent years, as the need for alternative energy has become a major focus of government and industry, the volume of proposed wind turbines submitted to the FAA for review has increased dramatically. As such, it is certainly fitting to discuss how we review these proposals to understand the process and evaluate potential improvements.
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Flying car wins initial FAA approval. – Starr Keshet, TGDaily, June 29th, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted initial approval for a “roadable aircraft” known as the Transition. The flying car – which is manufactured by the Massachusetts-based Terrafugia – received an exemption from the FAA allowing the vehicle to qualify as a light sports aircraft. The rather unusual move will allow the Transition to operate legally with a maximum takeoff weight of 1,430 pounds, or 110 pounds over the standard limit. The extra weight is expected to be used to accommodate airbags, crumple zones, safety-cage structures and other equipment required by federal motor vehicle standards. The $200,000 flying car is slated to touch down in a driveway near you by late 2011.
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Another serious safety problem FAA is doing little about. – Tom Belden, Philly, June 29th, 2010
Over the years I’ve followed airlines and aviation safety, the Federal Aviation Administration has repeatedly shown an unfortunate, no make that scary and at times unconscionable, lack of urgency about long-identified safety issues. Here’s yet another one. It seems that the windows in some Boeing jets occasionally catch fire because of overheated wires. FAA has known about the problem since 2002. No one’s died yet, but one full load of passengers enroute to PHL from San Juan, P.R., in 2008 on an American 757 thought they might when the wiring overheated and smoke filled the cockpit. As the jet approached Palm Beach, Fla., for an emergency landing, passengers were told to prepare to wind up in the ocean or for a rough landing. Read a good AP story about the FAA’s laggardly ways here.
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ASTM Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems Committee to Collaborate with Federal Aviation Administration. AMT, June 29th, 2010
As part of its ongoing work supporting the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a Special Federal Aviation Regulation for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ASTM International Committee F38 on Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems is currently working on a proposed registration and marking standard. ASTM WK27055, Specification for the Registration and Marking of Unmanned Aircraft System, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F38.01 on Airworthiness. The proposed new standard sets up the proper paperwork necessary to assure the FAA that the sUAS has the documentation necessary and submitted to allow the FAA to give the operator a permit. The sUAS operator will then get the necessary documents from the FAA.
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Booz Allen Hamilton Awarded Federal Aviation Administration NextGen Systems Engineering 2020 (SE2020) Contract. PR Newswire, June 29th, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded Booz Allen Hamilton an engineering and program management contract to support the FAA’s implementation of our nation’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).  Under the ten-year contract with an estimated potential value of more than $700 million, Booz Allen will help support the FAA’s evolution to NextGen as part of the agency’s effort to improve safety and bring greater efficiencies to the nation’s airspace system.  The contract, which includes NextGen and legacy National Airspace System (NAS) infrastructure support, calls for the provision of a broad range of systems engineering, investment and business case analysis, planning, forecasting and business/financial/information management support services.
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Terrafugia’s ‘flying car’ gets fed OK. – Thomas Grillo, Boston Herald, July 1, 2010
Terrafugia Inc. landed a key federal approval for its “flying car.” The Federal Aviation Administration granted the Woburn company an exemption from rules that will allow a maximum takeoff weight of 1,430 pounds for its Transition Roadable Aircraft – 110 pounds above the limit for the FAA’s light sport aircraft category. “This is a very significant development for us,” said Anna Mracek Dietrich, Terrafugia’s chief operating officer and co-founder. Terrafugia says the vehicle can fly up to 400 miles on a single tank of gas at a cruising speed of 115 mph and – after it lands and the wings are folded up – it can drive highway speeds on the road.
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FAA fines two India cos. For uranium cargo. – Donna Goodison, Boston Herald, July 1, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration has fined two Indian companies $422,500 for sending a radioactive shipment of depleted uranium as cargo on a passenger-carrying British Airways flight from Mumbai to Logan International Airport in 2008. The FAA alleges that IIS & Allied Services and its freight forwarder, Gallant Freight & Travels, failed to declare the hazardous nature of the shipment, which wasn’t properly packaged or labeled. Radioactive materials are not allowed to be shipped as cargo aboard passenger aircraft, with some exceptions. The depleted uranium was destined for QSA Global Inc. in Burlington.
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FAA proposes fining regional carriers $2.5M. – Joan Lowy, The Associated Press, July 1, 2010
Federal regulators have proposed fines of nearly $2.5 million for safety violations against two regional air carriers that operate commuter flights for United Airlines and US Airways. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Wednesday that it wants to fine sister carriers Trans States Airlines and GoJet Airlines for violating maintenance procedures and operating nine jets on 320 flights when the planes were not in compliance with safety regulations. The carriers are owned by Trans States Holdings of Bridgeton, Mo. They fly commuter flights for United Airlines under the name United Express. Trans States also flies for US Airways under the name US Airways Express.
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FAA proposes aircraft standards for icy weather. – Joan Lowy, Associated Press, June 29th, 2010
Federal officials are proposing that manufacturers be required to show new airliners can fly safely in certain icy weather conditions that have proven deadly. The Federal Aviation Administration officials said Tuesday they want to expand the certification standards for small airliners to include freezing that falls as liquid but freezes instantly when it hits the surface of a plane. The rain can form ice ridges that change the shape of a plane’s wing, making the aircraft difficult to handle.
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Another temporary extension for FAA. – Charles Spence, General Aviation News, June 29th, 2010
Once again the Senate and House could not agree on reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration and the House passed a one-month extension of funding and taxing authority to keep the FAA operating through July. The FAA has been without long-term authority since Sept. 30, 2007. It has been operating on a series of three-month extensions. The existing extension expires July 3. Long-term reauthorization has been passed by the House but action on it has been held up in the Senate over several matters. The most difficult to resolve concerns unionization of Federal Express workers. Staff members have been meeting diligently in this extension period with neither side showing any signs of giving ground.
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Does The Long Beach Airport Need Stricter Safety Regulations? – Ryan ZumMallen, Long Beach Post, June 30, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is seeking stricter air control regulations at the Long Beach Airport over concerns that aircraft are at higher risk of mid-air collision. But incidents at the airport are rare and some pilots say that new regulations will only complicate things. Airlines such as JetBlue are saying that their cockpit collision warning systems are triggered with increased regularity when flying in or out of LGB, so the FAA is proposing that the airport be designated as Class C airspace. This new designation would increase safety by expanding air traffic supervision by one-third. But some pilots say that stricter regulations will complicate flying in the area, creating more paperwork and less actual supervision while also making general aviation more dangerous.
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FAA Proposes $422,500 in Civil Penalties for Radioactive Shipment. FAA News Release, June 30, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing civil penalties totaling $422,500 against two Indian companies for violation of U.S. Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations. The FAA alleged that IIS & Allied Services, and its freight forwarder, Gallant Freight & Travels Private, Limited of Mumbai, India, offered a shipment containing depleted uranium, a radioactive material, to British Airways for air transport from Mumbai to Boston, June 7, 2008, without declaring the hazardous nature of its contents. The shipment flew as cargo on a passenger-carrying flight. British Airways employees at its cargo center in Boston discovered the radioactive material June 16 when the bottom of the outer packaging failed and separated from the rest of the crate.
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FAA Proposes $2.5 Million in Civil Penalties Against Trans States, GoJet. FAA News Release, June 30, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing $2,476,075 in civil penalties against Trans States Airlines and GoJet Airlines of Bridgeton, Mo., for violation of various maintenance procedures and operating nine jets on 320 revenue passenger flights when the aircraft were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. Trans States Airlines and GoJet Airlines are both owned and operated by Trans States Holdings. Trans States Airlines performs maintenance and training on GoJet aircraft. The proposed civil penalties involve seven GoJet+ Canadair Regional Jets and two Trans States Embraer 145 regional jets. The FAA alleges Trans States and GoJet operated aircraft when maintenance had been carried out incorrectly, and that the company failed to complete required maintenance record-keeping.
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2010 Military Airport Program Selections. – FAA News Release, July 1, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Stewart International Airport, in Newburg, NY and Sacramento Mather Field Airport in Sacramento, CA, to participate in the 2010 Military Airport Program (MAP), which uses federal funds to convert former military airports to civilian or joint-use airports. The MAP funding, a set aside of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), provides a boost to civilian aviation capacity by upgrading former military airports. The airports selected this year have participated in the program before and remain committed to ensuring that critical airports projects are completed so their respective airports can operate safely and efficiently as civilian or joint military-civilian use facilities.
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Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS). FAA News Release, July 1, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that commercial airports, regulated under Part 139 safety rules, have a standard Runway Safety Area (RSA) where possible. At most commercial airports the RSA is 500 feet wide and extends 1,000 feet beyond each end of the runway. The FAA has this requirement in the event that an aircraft overruns, undershoots, or veers off the side of the runway. The most dangerous of these incidents are overruns, but since many airports were built before the 1,000-foot RSA length was adopted some 20 years ago, the area beyond the end of the runway is where many airports cannot achieve the full standard RSA. This is due to obstacles such as bodies of water, highways, railroads, and populated areas or severe drop-off of terrain.
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FAA Reauthorization Update. Rotor News, July 1, 2010
On Tuesday the U.S. House or Representatives passed a bill, HR 5611, by voice vote to extend FAA programs for another 30 days while the House and Senate continue to work on a multi-year FAA authorization bill (HR 1586). The Senate is expected to pass the 30 day extension before finishing legislative business on Wednesday, June 30. A measure in the House-passed version of the long-term FAA reauthorization that would shift FedEx Corp.’s ground operations from the jurisdiction of the Railway Labor Act (PL 69-257) to the National Labor Relations Act (PL 74-198) has stalled the legislation. The provision would allow employees to unionize locally whereas now they are only allowed to unionize nationally, and would put them on an even playing field with UPS. FedEx, which is based in Tennessee, has engaged in a strong lobbying effort against the measure and Tennessee GOP Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander have threatened to filibuster any bill that includes such language. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) has pledged to keep the measure in the bill.
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FAA Proposes Major Changes to Icing Certification Rules. Occupational Health & Safety, July 1, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a significant expansion of its icing certification standards, including a new requirement that manufacturers show airplanes can operate safely in freezing drizzle or freezing rain, conditions that constitute an icing environment known as “supercooled large drops” (SLDs). The proposed regulations would improve safety by mandating that new transport category aircraft most affected by SLD icing conditions meet expanded safety standards, including additional airplane performance and handling qualities. The rule also would require all new transport category designs be able to fly in conditions where supercooled liquid and ice crystals exist.
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How safe Indian Aviation Industry is? report by FAA. Blog SDN, July 2, 2010
India has been found to be fully compliant with the international safety standards by an audit done by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States of America. Before permitting a foreign airline to operate in the USA, FAA of US, backed by the US legislation conducts an audit of the concerned country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)/ DGCA to ensure its capability for providing safety certification and continuing oversight on its international carriers. The audit is conducted under an ‘International Aviation Safety Assessment Programme’ (IASA) and focuses on the country’s ability to adhere to standards and recommended practices of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for aircraft operations and maintenance.
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Should clean airspace trump economic development? – Heather Clancy, Smart Planet, July 2, 2010
I’ve been in my current home for something like 8 years now (my husband knows the exact day count), and many things have changed in my community since then. One of the most notable developments, and not for good, is that a couple of years ago two local airports (Newark International and Teterboro, which is for smaller jets) changed their flight paths to buzz directly over my house on certain days of the week. Not so bad in the winter but for a gal who LIVES to have her windows open every day of the year possible, it’s still hard to get used to the noise. I hear that’s because Greenwich, Conn., was richer and more vocal than New Jersey’s Bergen County on this one.
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FAA Orders Cockpit-Door Fixes on Boeing Planes. – Andy Pasztor, The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2010
For the fourth time in as many years, federal aviation regulators have ordered U.S. airlines to fix unspecified defects that could cause fortified cockpit-doors on potentially thousands of jetliners to malfunction. A pair of directives issued Thursday by the Federal Aviation Administration indicates that a certain “feature of the flight deck door is defective” on a wide range of Boeing Co. jetliner models. Without identifying the problem, the FAA documents say failure of this “feature” could jeopardize safety and that element of the doors must be quickly replaced or modified.
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FAA Mulls New Rules For Airport Airspace Control. – Ashleigh Oldland, Gazettes.com, July 2, 2010
To potentially increase the safety of the airspace in Long Beach, the Federal Aviation Administration is considering changing the air traffic control classification of Long Beach Airport.  “Operations at and around LGB (Long Beach Airport) are safe now, but we’re always evaluating procedures all over the country to see if there’s any way to increase the safety margin,” Ian Gregor, FAA spokesman, wrote in an e-mail. The FAA is seeking public comment regarding the proposed change that would establish Class C airspace around LGB. Currently, LGB is within Class D airspace. Gregor said Long Beach Airport is the only airport in the United States that served at least one million passengers in 2008 but is not in Class B or C airspace.  “The goal of the proposed redesign is to better protect all aircraft arriving or departing LGB,” he said. “With Class C airspace, air traffic controllers would know exactly which aircraft are in the airspace and where they are heading.”
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AVIATION & AIRPORT LITIGATION

Judge Allows Transportation Union Rule Change. The Associated Press, June 28th, 2010
A federal court judge is upholding a rule change that will make it easier for unions to organize at Delta and other airlines and railroads. Last month the National Mediation Board said it would recognize a union if a simple majority of workers vote for it. The old rule required a majority of the entire work force, including nonvoters. That meant that people who didn’t vote counted as a vote against the union. Airlines have fought the change. Their trade group, the Air Transport Association, claimed the federal board didn’t have the legal authority to change the rule. It’s especially important for Delta Air Lines Inc., which is mostly nonunion. The Air Transport Association says it has not decided whether to appeal Friday’s ruling.
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AVIATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATION

3 East End Lawmakers Seek Helicopter Rule Changes. – Reid J. Epstein, Newsday, June 27th, 2010
Three East End lawmakers have asked the Federal Aviation Administration to alter its published flight rules for Manhattan-to-Hamptons helicopter traffic, urging the agency to allow more flight path flexibility and higher altitudes. The letter, signed by Assemb. Marc Alessi (D-Wading River), state Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Suffolk Legis. Ed Romaine (R-Shoreham), is one of…
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EU, US Expand airline ‘open skies’ Deal. AFP, June 28th, 2010
Europe and the United States on Thursday signed an expanded airline “open skies” agreement, but the key new goal of removing restrictions on cross ownership of carriers still faces major hurdles. The two sides agreed to let European and American airlines take majority stakes in carriers from each side of the Atlantic, but the change requires the approval of legislatures before it can take effect. “Today we are taking an important step forward in our mutually advantageous relations with the United States in the aviation sector,” European Union Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said in a statement from Luxembourg, where the document was signed.
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FDA Report Reveals Airline Food Could Pose Health Threat. – Garry Stoller, USA Today, June 28th, 2010
Many meals served to passengers on major airlines are prepared in unsanitary and unsafe conditions that could lead to illness, government documents examined by USA TODAY show. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors have cited numerous catering facilities that prepare airline food for suspected health and sanitation violations following inspections of their kitchens this year and last, according to inspection reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
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100LL Comment Period Extended. All Things Aviation, July 1, 2010
On April 28th the EPA released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the phaseout of 100LL. Since then a number of the alphabet groups have joined together to form the Future Avgas Strategy and Transition (FAST) plan to recommend a long-term solution to the problem. Everyone agrees that the transition to a no-lead fuel, but there is no replacement available today. The FAST group has won an extension to the comment period, and is working to buy some time until a replacement fuel can be found. The real problem comes from legacy engines that require high octane avgas in order for their engines to operate properly.
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Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Avgas: Beyond the ‘silver bullet.’ – Sarah Brown, AOPA Online, July 2, 2010
It sounded like the perfect additive. Researchers at the Ethyl corporation, a General Motors subsidiary, discovered in 1921 that adding a small amount of tetraethyl lead to fuel silenced the knock that could cause an engine to tear itself apart during operation. The discovery of lead as a cheap octane-booster paved the way for high-power, high-compression engines and carried the United States automotive industry through 50 years of production. Tetraethyl lead made possible the development of powerful engines for such classic American aircraft as the P-51 Mustang and the B-29 Superfortress, powerhouses that contributed to the Allied victory in World War II. But the performance benefits of the additive came at a cost.
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AVIATION/AIRPORT SAFETY

Ex-employees raise concerns in film about air safety agencies. – Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post, June 30th, 2010
A half-dozen former and current federal employees have turned to the big screen to raise concerns with the nation’s airport security. “Please Remove Your Shoes” uses the experiences of mostly former employees of the Federal Air Marshals, Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration to argue that FAA officials frequently turned a blind eye to significant security threats in the years before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The workers say lawmakers compounded problems by reflexively establishing the TSA. “We took the same organizational template and same counterterrorist template verbatim and reapplied it under a new label and new people and threw some more money at it,” said Fred Gevalt, the film’s producer and a longtime aviation industry observer. “But there are still some fundamental errors.”
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Offshore wind farms bring concerns over radar systems. – Bill Bartel, The Virginian-Pilot, June 30, 2010
The push to develop wind farms off Virginia’s coast and elsewhere is bringing to light concerns about a complex federal approval process and about how the giant turbines might affect air travel and national security, a congressional subcommittee was told Tuesday. Testifying before the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee in Washington, a wind energy executive said the industry has been talking for four years with federal officials about how to develop a more specific process for federal review of the wind farms. “If we don’t have a better system for engaging with federal agencies on radar and airspace issues… then wind projects will continue to be imperiled and we will not be able to meet our nation’s energy goals,” said Stu Webster, who spoke on behalf of the American Wind Energy Association, based in Washington.
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Stowaways That Are Disgusting, Even Deadly. – Christine Negroni, The New York Times, July 1, 2010
What do mice, mosquitoes, scorpions and maggots have in common? They all breeze past airport security, and they do not seem to mind flying coach. Passengers on a US Airways flight were disgusted to find maggots falling on them from an overhead bin on Monday. Pilots declared an emergency and returned to the gate in Atlanta at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The plane was emptied and cleaned before proceeding to Charlotte, N.C.
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AVIATION SECURITY

John Pistole becomes TSA Administrator; Unions to seek collective bargaining. – Joe Davidson, The Washington Post, June 28th, 2010
After three tries, President Obama has an administrator for the Transportation Security Administration. John Pistole, former deputy director of the FBI, was confirmed by the Senate Friday, with a voice vote. Two previous nominees withdrew, leaving the Department of Homeland Security agency without a permanent administrator since Obama took office.
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AIRCRAFT

Boeing Resumed 787 Dreamliner Tests Sunday. The Seattle Times, June 28th, 2010
Boeing resumed flight tests of its 787 Dreamliners Sunday following inspections of the horizontal tails of two jets. Dreamliner No. 3 flew back to Seattle from Arizona, where it had been parked since Tuesday. Dreamliner No. 2, on the ground since Wednesday, flew from Boeing Field to Moses Lake in central Washington and back. Boeing had temporarily grounded both planes pending the inspections after engineers discovered a manufacturing flaw in the tails of some other Dreamliners. The horizontal tails are built by 787 partner Alenia of Italy.
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Dreamliner Chief Says Production Will Slow in September. – Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, June 28th, 2010
Boeing 787 program chief Scott Fancher disclosed Friday that deliveries of completed Dreamliner sections to Everett will be slowed during September. He said the move was caused by a need to push out some early 787 deliveries, but provided no details on the extent of the slowdown. Some airlines “may get an airplane a month or two later” than scheduled, he said.
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ADS-B products hitting the market. – David Jensen, Avionics Intelligence, June 30, 2010
Now that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its final rule outlining performance requirements for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out, avionics  manufacturers can proceed in developing and producing the equipment that aircraft flying in controlled airspace and above 10,000 feet will be required to have installed by 2020. In fact, anticipating the rule, most avionics  manufacturers are well along in developing ADS-B Out equipment to FAA standards, and some are proceeding with the development of software and displays for ADS-B In. Onboard equipage for ADS-B Out uses global positioning system (GPS) navigation to determine an aircraft’s position and then broadcasts it — along with the aircraft’s altitude, speed, heading, call sign, and type — to air traffic control and other aircraft. ADS-B In equipage takes the next step by allowing an aircraft to also receive area traffic information and use it in various applications, such as merging and spacing and surface movement management. With the implementation of full ADS-B capability, aircraft operators are expected to enjoy the following benefits, according to FAA:
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Boeing Finalizes Stretch Dreamliner’s Design. – Peter Sanders, The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2010
Boeing Co. on Thursday said it had finalized the basic design and capabilities of the stretch version of its new 787 Dreamliner airplane. As flight and ground tests continue on the original 787-8 model, which is more than two-and-a-half years behind schedule, Boeing has completed the basic design work on the longer 787-9, which will seat as many as 290 passengers and fly as far as 8,500 nautical miles, about 4% farther than the 787-8.
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Marines to get their own flying car? – Chris Matyszczyk, CNET News, July 3, 2010
With seemingly every car on the road being designed by the same three people, all of whom live in the same subdivision, it seems the only leap forward in auto design is the leap upward. Many hearts, then, were sent soaring at the news that the Federal Aviation Administration is giving the Terrafugia Transition a little light leeway in order to allow it to qualify as a light aircraft rather than a heavy machine. And now the Marines seem to be getting in on the flying Ford Focus act. Logi Aerospace has announced that it has sent a proposal to DARPA for a flying car specifically for the use of the Marines and other military troops. Called the Tyrannos, its principal benefit for soldiers lies in the fact that it can fly above the reach of roadside bombs.
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AIRLINES

‘Noneconomic’ issues are cited in negotiations with United and Continental United seek deal. – Jenalia Moreno, Houston Chronicle, June 28th, 2010
Negotiations between Continental Airlines and United Airlines and their pilots stalled Friday over “non-economic” issues. Hammering out labor agreements with its worker groups is just one of the issues the airlines face before they can merge. The pilots unions, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, and the carriers were in Denver this week negotiating a transition agreement. That agreement is a step in the process to forming a joint collective bargaining agreement and integrating the two pilots’ seniority lists.
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United, Continental Had Exploratory Talks in 2006. Susan Carey, The Wall Street Journal, June 28th, 2010
UAL Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc. engaged in preliminary talks about a merger as early as 2006, the two companies said in a joint proxy statement and prospectus filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday regarding their merger plan agreed to in May. But Northwest Airlines Corp. held a “golden share” of preferred stock in Continental at the time, giving Northwest the ability to block a Continental merger. That golden share “effectively made a transaction…unfeasible at that time,” UAL and Continental said in the filing, without naming Northwest. But once Northwest and Delta Air Lines Inc. agreed to …
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American Airline’s Fast Check-In Arrives at LAX. – Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, June 28th, 2010
At some grocery stores, cashiers open an extra checkout station when the lines get long. Starting this week, when crowds gather at the American Airlines counters at Los Angeles International Airport, staffers may serve the waiting passengers with hand-held devices that print boarding passes and baggage tags. The device, the size of a large cellphone, is attached to a small printer that hangs from the belts of the airline employees. Several airlines already let passengers download an electronic boarding pass to a cellphone or PDA, but American Airlines says it has the only portable device in the U.S. that lets passengers skip the counter altogether even when they have bags to check.
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Union Postpones Strike Ballot After New BA Offer. AFP, June 28th, 2010
The main union involved in the British Airways resting” new offer.strikes said Sunday it would defer a fresh ballot on industrial action planned for next week after the airline made an “interesting” new offer. Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of the Unite union, told Sky News television it would be “suicidal and indeed inexplicable” if members were not consulted on the offer put forward by BA on Friday.
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Cost-cutting measure fuels debate at American Airlines. – Jon Hilkevitch and Julie Johnsson, Chicago Tribune, June 28th, 2010
Hoping to push the needle closer to “E,” American Airlines is aggressively attempting to reduce the amount of fuel remaining on board when a plane lands. But the cost-saving strategy is under fire from pilots who see their decision-making authority being undercut and experts concerned about the impact on passenger safety.
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Is American Airlines’ Eagles Ready to Leave the Nest? – Andrea Ahles, Star-Telegram, June 26th, 2010
New routes, new first-class seats and a new chief executive have all come to American Eagle this year. But is the regional carrier for American Airlines ready to fly on its own? And if it is, can its parent company, Fort Worth-based AMR Corp., find anyone interested in buying an airline with 260 planes that generates around $2.1 billion in revenue? Last month, AMR Chief Financial Officer Tom Horton said the company believes that it makes sense for Eagle to eventually separate from American and will consider such a move in “a more sensible market environment.” A spinoff, public offering or outright sale has been on the table for Eagle in the past.
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Aircell Simplifies In-Flight Internet with Subscriptions. – Roger Yu, USA Today, June 28th, 2010
Tapping into the Internet on a flight is becoming a little cheaper — if you don’t mind being a subscriber. Aircell, a provider of “Gogo” wireless Internet access on domestic flights, is pursuing a broader base of customers with more pricing and payment options, including a subscription model that it recently introduced. The subscription plan, which costs $34.95 a month, provides all-you-can-use access on any of the eight airlines it now serves, including American, Delta, United and US Airways. Customers will pay $19.95 for the first month in a promotion but will see the full price billed automatically on their credit card each month until they cancel.
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Air traffic in May tops pre-crisis levels: IATA. – Christopher Hinton, Market Watch, June 29th, 2010
International air traffic returned to pre-recession levels in May while freight traffic, a leading growth indicator, surged by more than 34% from a year ago, the International Air Transport Association said Tuesday. Scheduled international traffic rose 11.7% in May, the latest data available. “Passenger traffic is now 1% above pre-recession levels, while the freight market is 6% bigger,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general. Seat capacity grew 4.8%, lagging the “strong upturn” in demand, the trade group said. Similarly, the surge in cargo traffic outstripped a capacity increase of 12.3%, pushing load factors to a record high of 55.7%, IATA said.
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American Airlines nixes SFO-Boston nonstops. – Chris McGinnis, San Francisco Chronicle, June 29th, 2010
American Airlines has confirmed to The BAT that it will eliminate its nonstop flights between San Francisco International and Boston-Logan on November 17. Despite American’s departure from the route, frequent travelers can still jump on a nonstop between here and Beantown on Virgin America, JetBlue or United. In fact, the preponderance of other carriers on the route is part of the reason American is bowing out. Nonetheless, the move seemed odd to me, given the fact that American is clearly making a significant investment in SFO’s Terminal 2, which includes a new 10,000 square foot Admirals Club. (See my recent report and hardhat tour video of SFO’s Terminal 2.)
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U.S. airlines collect $769 million in baggage fees in 1Q. – Roger Yu, USA Today, June 29th, 2010
The baggage check fees collected by U.S. airlines shot up 33% in the first quarter this year to $769 million, according to a report  by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics Monday. They also collected $554 million in reservation change fees. Airlines also reported $534 million in revenue from other “ancillary” services, such as frequent flyer program mileage sales and pet transportation fees.
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BA warns cabin crew as ballot nears. – Pilita Clark, Financial Times, June 29th, 2010
British Airways has warned its cabin crew they face the risk of fresh legal action or even dismissal if they go ahead with a strike vote that could see another round of walkouts at the loss-making airline this summer. In a further sign of pressure, BA yesterday revealed 4,500 people have formally registered interest in being hired as Heathrow cabin crew since it started a recruitment drive last week for 1,250 new staff on sharply reduced salaries at its main airport base.
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American Airlines ground workers seek release from contract talks. – Sandra Baker, Star-Telegram, June 29th, 2010
The union that represents thousands of American Airlines ground workers has asked the National Mediation Board to release it from talks with the Fort Worth-based carrier, moving the group a step closer to a possible strike. Unresolved issues that led to the suspension of its contract ratification process less than a month ago have now led to a “complete breakdown” in contract talks, the Transport Workers Union said Monday.
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United-Continental merger means higher fares, less service, passenger lawsuit claims. Chicago Business, June 30th, 2010
The proposed merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. would lessen competition and lead to higher fares, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by a group of customers seeking to block the deal. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, says the planned merger to form the world’s largest airline could result in higher fares and service cuts. “The effect of the announced merger between United and Continental may be to substantially lessen competition or to tend to create a monopoly,” according to the lawsuit, which lists more than 45 individuals plaintiffs.
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Continental Airlines, United Plan FAA Meeting, Hire Consultant. – Doug Cameron, NASDAQ, July 2, 2010
Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL) and United Airlines will meet U.S. regulators next week to review the technical aspects of their planned merger. The airlines said in a filing that they will hold a “kick-off meeting” with the Federal Aviation Administration on July 9 to outline the process for securing a so-called “single operator certificate”, a formal combination targeted for the first quarter of 2012. Continental said a unit of consultant Oliver Wyman has been hired to help manage the technical program, which includes integrating training and maintenance manuals, as well as operating procedures with United, a unit of UAL Corp. (UAUA).
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Frustrated U.S. airlines face new regulation, fees. – John Crawley, Reuters, June 30, 2010
U.S. passenger airlines are exasperated with tougher regulation and fear their nascent recovery could stall as the Obama administration presses consumer, safety and security initiatives. Although frustrated at times with the more business-friendly Bush administration, the industry believes stepped-up action under President Barack Obama has been downright punitive. A series of proposed fees, higher safety fines, new consumer mandates, changes in labor law, and regulatory decisions have amplified industry frustrations. Private grumbling and measured disagreement have given way to blunt public criticism.
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Delta, US Airways drop plan to swap landing slots. – Christopher Hinton, Market Watch, July 2, 2010
Delta Air Lines /quotes/comstock/13*!dal/quotes/nls/dal (DAL 11.03, 0.00, 0.00%) and US Airways /quotes/comstock/13*!lcc/quotes/nls/lcc (LCC 8.19, 0.00, 0.00%) abandoned a proposed swap of landing and takeoff slots at two of the country’s busiest airports after regulators demanded they surrender some of those assets to rivals. In a Friday letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, the airlines said they were seeking judicial review of the FAA decision. US Airways had proposed to swap certain slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport in turn for Delta slots at Ronald Reagan Washington National. The U.S. gave tentative approval for the deal in February, but said the airlines would have to first sell some of those interests to an airline with no or limited service to the airports. Delta shares fell 7% in recent trading to $10.89 amid a broader selloff, while US Airways declined 6% to $8.13.
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US Airways, Delta fight FAA decision. – Dawn Gilbertson, The Arizona Republic, July 2, 2010
USAirways and Delta Air Lines on Friday appealed the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision on its proposed swap of takeoff and landing rights on the East Coast. Regulators earlier this year approved the deal, which is designed to help US Airways grow in Washington, D.C., and Delta to grow in New York. But the approval is conditioned on the airlines selling some of the takeoff and landing rights, or slots. The airlines proposed a compromise involving the sale of fewer slots. It planned to sell them to AirTran, JetBlue, Spirit and WestJet. Southwest Airlines protested. In May, the FAA rejected the airlines’ modified proposal and stuck with its original decision. The airlines had until Friday to notify the FAA if they planned to go ahead with the deal under the conditions attached. In appealing the decision to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the airlines argued that the FAA overstepped its authority. They want the FAA decision set aside.
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