Aviation and Airport Law Newsletter, July 19, 2010, vol. 2, no. 6

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

Airport Check-in: JFK airport works on cutting flight delays. – Roger Yu, USA Today, July 12, 2010
A trial for a new jet-queuing system at New York JFK, designed to cut down on lengthy tarmac delays, has been extended after it showed signs of success, says the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which runs the airport. The “departure management system,” which had previously been used only by the airport during winter storms and the recent closure of a runway, will be continued until the end of the year at one of the busiest air traffic choke points in the country.
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Smaller Airports, Better Deals. – Jennifer Waters, The Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2010
The residents of Bellingham, Wash., may not realize it, but flying out of the international airport there is the cheapest route to almost anywhere in the U.S. Cheapflights.com has compiled a list of the top 101 airports ranked by affordability and then compared flights out of alternative airports—Bellingham International versus Seattle-Tacoma International, for example—to help consumers determine what makes for a real deal. “If consumers can drive a little further, maybe they can save on flights,” says Andrea Mooney, site editor for Cheapflights.com. “We wanted to give them the ability to recognize a deal when they saw it.”
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Broome airport upgrade near start. – Jennifer Micale, Press Connects, July 9, 2010
Starting in August, the airport will start repaving the terminal apron, which is at the end of its useful life. The planned project has led to the cancellation of the annual air show, which takes place at the Town of Maine  facility. The airport is receiving nearly $3.9 million from the Federal Aviation Administration for the project, Rep. Michael A. Arcuri, D-Utica, announced Friday. That’s 95 percent of the project’s funding, with the other 5 percent evenly split between state grants and airport revenues, according to David Hickling, Broome County’s deputy commissioner of aviation. No local taxpayer dollars are being used for the project. The work is being split into two phases — each addressing half of the apron — so as not to inconvenience travelers, Hickling said. The first phase will run from the beginning of August through the end of this year’s construction season. Work will resume in the spring and the project should be completed in July 2011, he said.
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Westover announces $1.09 million makover plan to attract commercial airlines. – Jim Kinney, Mass Live, July 12, 2010
The taxiway and aircraft-parking apron Westover Metropolitan Airport is getting a $1.09 million makeover that should help the airport attract another airline. “Airlines are looking for a reliable airport,” said Allan W. Blair, president and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts which runs the civilian side of the airport. “They want some place that is going to be safe and efficient for their needs and there is starting to be more interest.” Skybus stopped flying from Westover in March 2008 after bringing the first regularly-scheduled passenger service to the airport in more than 20 years to the airport in July 2007. The carrier was done in by a spike in fuel prices and subsequently filed for bankruptcy and went out of business.
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FAA explains Green runway decision. – Audrey Washington, Turn to 10, July 12, 2010
There were a few options on the table, including one that would extend Runway 5 slightly to the northeast and another that wouldn’t expand it at all. The government said extending Runway 5 about 1,600 feet to the south makes the most economic and environmental sense. Outlined in a draft environmental impact statement, the FAA made its findings clear. In its opinion, the best way to help make T.F. Green Airport more competitive and efficient is to improve safety measures and expand the airport’s main runway to 8,700 feet. “The goal is to meet the demand today and the demand in the future,” said Carol Lurie, an airport planner for Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. The main runway currently sits at about 7,100 feet, making it too short for planes loaded with enough fuel for transcontinental flights. “It doesn’t make sense long term for people to get in their cars and drive to Boston and use an already congested airport in Boston,” said Richard Doucette of the FAA. The FAA argued that T.F. Green should be able to serve its surrounding market better, saying a longer runway will attract more airlines.
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8,700-foot runway gets 1st clearance. – John Howel, Warwick Beacon, July 13, 2010
After a decade of on-again, off-again proposals to lengthen runways at Green Airport that ranged from two 7,500-foot runways to a 9,500-foot plan that would have either required the relocation of Airport Road or to have Main Avenue tunnel under the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration has announced its preferred alternative for a 8,700-foot runway extending to the south. Friday’s release of a draft environmental statement, which sets the clock ticking for a public hearing on Aug. 17 at the Knight Campus of CCRI at 6 p.m. and a comment period ending Aug. 30 followed by a final EIS and record of decision next year hardly comes as a surprise.
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Myrtle Beach airport gets grant funding for terminal expansion.The Sun News, July 13, 2010
Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Tuesday that more than $10 million in grants for airport improvements are slated for South Carolina, including more than $3 million for the terminal expansion at the Myrtle Beach International Airport. Horry County will receive a $3,027,059 grant for a terminal expansion project at the Myrtle Beach International Airport. Other counties receiving grant money include in Anderson, Charleston, Chesterfield, Darlington, Greenville, Laurens, Lexington, and Sumter counties.
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Work on DFW Airport runway may lead to more airplane noise. – Andrea Ahles and Michael Sakelaris, The Star-Telegram, July 14, 2010
Southlake officials are telling residents that they may notice more airplane noise this summer as Dallas/Fort Worth Airport spends $3.1 million improving a runway. On Monday, the airport shut down Runway 18R/36L, the westernmost north/south runway used for incoming flights, and began diverting traffic to other runways. One runway handling additional traffic is the diagonal 13R/31L, which has a final approach over Southlake. It handles about 150 daily flights. The project, partly funded by $2.3 million from the federal stimulus package passed last year, includes surface and subsurface concrete work.
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Silver Springs Airport receives drainage study grant from FAA.Reno Gazette journal, July 14, 2010
The Silver Springs and Fallon airports will receive improvements thanks to grants from the Federal Aviation Administration. A release from Nevada Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign indicated that the FAA has granted the Silver Springs Airport an $80,750 grant to “conduct an airport drainage study to provide an analysis of alternative solutions to divert storm water and to allow development on the north side of the airport,” and the Fallon Municipal Airport will receive a $1,511,351 grant to rehabilitate its runway and runway lighting.
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EPA Wants Airport to Help Clean Groundwater. – Mark Modler, San Fernando Valley Business Journal, July 14, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to help pay to clean up polluted groundwater left behind by decades of aircraft manufacturing. The EPA notified the authority, owner and operator of the Bob Hope Airport, it was being designated a “potentially responsible party” for the cleanup. The letter did not give details for the reasoning behind the designation, the authority said. The $108 million cleanup is on property that used to be owned by Lockheed Corp., which for decades manufactured aircraft. The authority acquired the airport property in 1978 and later purchased other parcels from Lockheed. The authority is disappointed in the EPA’s designation and does not believe the airport contributed to the contamination of the groundwater, said airport Executive Director Dan Feger. “The costs of this cleanup that the Airport may be forced to pay could result in increased parking rates, increased concession fees, and increased rents that will ultimately be shouldered by the travelling public,” Feger said. A lawsuit is pending in federal court to have Lockheed honor a contractual obligation to defend and indemnify the airport authority from any damages the aerospace company caused to the property.
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Airport officials want cleanup costs covered. – Bill Kisliuk, Glendate News Press, July 14, 2010
Bob Hope Airport officials are fighting an U.S. EPA order to share in the $108-million tab to clean up contaminated groundwater created by former aerospace manufacturing at the site. Airport officials have asked a federal judge to order Lockheed Corp., also listed in the order, to cover the airport’s portion of the cleanup costs. The legal maneuver follows a July 6 letter in which the EPA named the Burbank airport as a “potentially responsible party” for the decades-old ground contamination. Officials with the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority say the contamination — including groundwater contaminated by chromium, dioxane and volatile organic compounds — occurred when Lockheed manufactured planes and equipment on the site acquired by the airport authority in 1978.
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Lancaster Airport must do animal study to determine risk of collisions with planes. – Patrick Burns, Lancaster Online, July 15, 2010
Marvin Miller remembers the days when workers chased cows off the runway at the Lancaster Airport. “Those days are long gone,” said Miller, Lancaster Airport Authority chairman. But not quite. On Monday the authority announced it will solicit bids from environmental companies to assess wildlife hazards to air traffic at the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration added the new safety requirement in response to the 2009 splashdown of a US Airways passenger flight in the Hudson River in New York after Canada geese flew into the engines, Airport Manager David Eberly said at the authority’s meeting Monday. Eberly said the FAA requires a year-long study to sample and track wildlife at Lancaster Airport, both on the ground and in the air, within a 5-mile radius of the airport.
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New appraisal ordered for proposed St. Marys airport site . – Gordon Jackson, The Florida Times Union, July 15, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring a new property appraisal that would take into account wetlands that were omitted when appraisers set a value on a 480-acre tract where a relocated St. Marys Airport would be built. City Manager Bill Shanahan had instructed Cantrell Real Estate in Jacksonville to conduct the most recent appraisal with the assumption that the entire tract was usable land. With the wetlands included, the new appraised value is likely to be lower than the $9.6 million set in a May appraisal. City Councilman Greg Bird said the tract, donated by Sea Island Co., has little value because it has 220 acres of wetlands. The value of the donated land is critical because St. Marys had intended to use it to offset its share of the cost of the proposed relocation of the airport to the site near Woodbine. The FAA will pay most of the construction cost but is requiring St. Marys to pay $10.5 million of the total.
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FAA

FAA tells airlines to fix cockpit window heaters. – Joan Lowy, Associated Press, July 9, 2010
Airlines will have to inspect the cockpit window heaters on 1,212 Boeing airliners and perhaps replace the windows under a safety order the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it plans to issue next week. The window heaters have been tied to dozens of incidents involving in-flight fires, smoke, open streams of electricity known as electrical arcing, and shattered windshields in Boeing planes. In many cases, pilots have made emergency landings. The source of the problem was identified in 2004 as a simple loose screw that chafes power wires where they connect to heating wires in the windows.
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Space Florida receives license from FAA for Space Launch Complex 46. – Jason Rhian, Examiner, July 11, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved a Launch Site Operator’s License for Space Florida to conduct commercial launches from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 46. The license became effective at the beginning of this month. Space Florida can now seek out customers for the launch site and is expecting to have a customer using the site within the year. SLC-46 has not been used since 1999 when an Athena rocket launched the RocSat-1 into orbit. Earlier this year Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) announced their plans for the re-release of the Athena rocket. Given that Florida is one of four potential launch sites for the rocket – it would not be surprising if SLC-46 would be used to launch Athena rockets again. However, Space Florida is looking into other customers to utilize the site.
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FAA Orders Massive Inspection of Cockpit Windows. – Carl Unger, Smarter Travel, July 12, 2010
The Associated Press (AP) reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered airlines to inspect the cockpit window heaters on some 1,212 Boeing aircraft, and possibly replace the windows as well. The order comes after a lengthy investigation into numerous incidents, ranging from cockpit fires to shattered windshields to a form of electrical discharge know as arcing. Several of these incidents have resulted in emergency landings. The AP reports that the source of the problem, a loose screw that chafed the window heaters’ wiring, was first noted in 2004. Since then, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been urging the FAA to order airlines to replace the windows with a new design that uses pins instead of screws. The FAA order actually falls short of that request by only requiring inspections initially, with replacement to follow if defects are discovered. Airlines also have the option of replacing faulty windows with a design similar to the current version, rather than the new version that uses pins, if the airline agrees to inspect the window at regular intervals.
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Faulty Heaters, Bad Air Cited In Jet Cockpits. – Mary Grady, AVWeb, July 12, 2010
Pilots train for years to earn themselves a seat in a jet cockpit, but concerns about air quality and faulty cockpit window heaters suggest it may not be the healthiest work environment. The FAA plans to issue an airworthiness directive this week that will require operators to either inspect or replace some windows in the cockpits of Boeing 757, 767 and 777 aircraft, in an effort to prevent smoke, fire or cracking of the windows caused by faulty electrical connections. In the last 20 years, 11 fires have been reported, the most recent in May. Also this week, a former Qantas pilot said he suffered symptoms including difficulty concentrating, regular bouts of bronchitis and gastric illnesses, and even an episode of partial paralysis due to toxic gasses in the cabin airflow. A report on cabin air quality by the U.K. government is three months overdue, fueling speculation that information is being suppressed, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
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Statement of Nancy Kalinowski, Vice President for System Operations Services.FAA News Release, July 15, 2010
Before the House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism on the Role of Unmanned Aerial Systems on Border Security. Chairman Cuellar, Congresswoman Miller, Members of the Subcommittee: Thank you for inviting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to this hearing. We are Nancy Kalinowski, Vice President of System Operations Services in the Air Traffic Organization (ATO), and John Allen, Director of the Flight Standards Service in the Office of Aviation Safety at the FAA. Together, we have distinct yet related duties in carrying out the FAA’s mission to ensure the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS). Mr. Allen’s organization is charged with setting and enforcing the safety standards for air operators and airmen. Ms. Kalinowski’s role is to provide overall guidance for air traffic procedures and airspace issues and her office is the focal point for daily ATO interface with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding air transportation security issues.
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FAA Inspector Urged Gulfstream Be Grounded for Rules Violations. – John Hughes, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, July 16, 2010
A U.S. aviation inspector recommended grounding regional airline Gulfstream International Group Inc. in 2008 for violations including giving pilots too little rest, deferring plane maintenance and falsifying records. The Federal Aviation Administration inspector’s recommendation, which hasn’t previously been disclosed, was rejected by FAA attorneys who concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to warrant the sanction, agency spokeswoman Laura Brown said. The FAA instead sought a $1.3 million fine and accepted $550,000 under a settlement announced by Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Gulfstream this week.
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Inspector who wanted to ground Gulfstream Airlines was overruled by FAA. – Alison Grant, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 16, 2010
An internal Federal Aviation Administration report obtained by Bloomberg News recommended grounding the planes of regional carrier Gulfstream International Airlines, which flies out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The FAA inspector’s report was overruled by FAA attorneys, who decided there was not enough evidence to support the inspector’s most serious findings, spokeswoman Alison Duquette told the Plain Dealer. The FAA instead proposed a $1.3 million civil penalty against Gulfstream, saying it overworked pilots and broke aircraft maintenance rules. In a settlement announced this week, the FAA agreed to accept $550,000, to be paid over five years.
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FAA Proposes Civil Penalties Against Five Companies. FAA News Release, July 16, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to assess civil penalties ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 against five companies for alleged violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations or Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations. $50,000 against Spirit Airlines, Inc., Miramar, Fla., for returning an aircraft to service, and then operating that aircraft on revenue passenger flights when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The FAA alleged that Spirit failed to replace a faulty elevator aileron computer (ELAC) after the aircraft experienced an uncommanded pitch down of the nose while operating between Orlando, Fla. and San Juan, Puerto Rico on Aug. 21, 2009. Although Spirit’s maintenance program required replacement of the ELAC computer, the airline did not do so before flying the A321 on a revenue passenger flight the next day from San Juan to Fort Lauderdale, when the aircraft experienced another uncommanded pitch down.
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FAA Proposes Civil Penalties for 5 Companies for Violations of DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations. – Steven M. Taber, Aviation and Airport Development Law News, July 16, 2010
Today, July 16, 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed to assess civil penalties ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 against five companies for alleged violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations or Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations. First, the FAA is proposing to fine Spirit Airlines, Inc. of Miramar, Florida, $50,000 for returning an aircraft to service, and then operating that aircraft on revenue passenger flights when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The FAA alleged that Spirit failed to replace a faulty elevator aileron computer (ELAC) after the aircraft experienced an uncommanded pitch down of the nose while operating between Orlando, Fla. and San Juan, Puerto Rico on Aug. 21, 2009. Although Spirit’s maintenance program required replacement of the ELAC computer, the airline did not do so before flying the A321 on a revenue passenger flight the next day from San Juan to Fort Lauderdale, when the aircraft experienced another uncommanded pitch down.
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FAA: Pilot numbers on downward trend. Wichita Business Journal, July 16, 2010
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the number of student pilot certificates in 2009 was estimated at about 72,000 — a 23 percent decline from 2000. The number of student pilots is expected to continue declining, and won’t again reach 2009’s level until 2013, according to an FAA 20-year forecast. “It’s a phenomenon that has kind of snuck up on us,” says Jack Pelton, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Co. And it poses a problem to the industry, he says, because fewer people flying means lower demand for the products his industry builds.
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AVIATION & AIRPORT LITIGATION

Court backs U.S. in fee fight with airlines. WXEL, July 7, 2010
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday upheld a Transportation Department policy that would allow airports to charge airlines higher landing fees during congested periods of the day. In doing so, the court rejected arguments from the leading U.S. airline trade group, the Air Transport Association, which had argued the fees were arbitrary and outside the scope of regulatory authority. “So long as it complies with the applicable statutes, its creativity should be welcomed on its merits, not spurned for its novelty,” wrote Judge Douglas Ginsburg. Airport groups supported the policy, imposed in 2008, as a way for them to force airlines to more efficiently schedule their flights by trimming their schedules or using bigger planes. The Federal Aviation Administration for years has been grappling with the industry over reducing flight delays, a chronic problem at crowded airports, including three major ones in the New York area.
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Gulfstream settles federal safety complaint, agrees to pay $550,000. – Jaclyn Giovis, Sun Sentinel, July 13, 2010
Gulfstream International Airlines Inc., a Fort Lauderdale-based regional airline, said Tuesday that it has settled a complaint from the Federal Aviation Administration about its record-keeping and safety practices. The carrier, which mostly flies 19-seat aircraft in Florida and the Bahamas, agreed to pay $550,000 over a five-year period to settle the dispute. That was negotiated down from the $1.3 million penalty the government agency had initially proposed, though it was significantly more than the $12,500 the company had suggested was fair. The FAA cited Gulfstream in May 2009 for hundreds of discrepancies between its computer records and manual flight log times for pilot scheduling. The discrepancies were part of a June 2008 inspection of company records in which the FAA said it also found problems with dispatcher scheduling and aircraft maintenance.
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Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., of Wichita, Kan., to Pay $132,500 Civil Penalty to Settle Issues Involving Hazardous Waste Management.EPA News Release, July 14, 2010
A Wichita, Kan., aircraft component company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $132,500 to the United States to settle a series of alleged violations of federal hazardous waste management regulations at its manufacturing facility. Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., manufactures fuselages, under-wing components, composites, wings and spare parts for large jet engine aircraft at its facility at 3810 S. Oliver in Wichita, which was formerly part of Boeing Commercial Airlines. According to a consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kan., EPA Region 7 staff conducted an inspection of the Wichita plant in July 2006 and noted a series of violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which regulates the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, disposal and management of hazardous wastes.
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Spirit disagrees with EPA allegations. KSN-TV.com, July 15, 2010
Spirit AeroSystems has agreed to pay a fine to the Environmental Protection Agency for hazardous waste violations. The $132,000 penalty was ordered after inspectors found problems with the way Spirit transported waste, the way the company stored and disposed of hazardous waste and failing to provide documented hazardous waste training for employees. Spirit, however, disagrees with the EPA’s findings and released the following statement:
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AVIATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATION

New aviation deputy commissioner lays out challenges. – Sean Manget, Associated Press, July 11, 2010
Although he’s only been on the job for a month, Marc Luiken was primed to face questions from state legislators at a state Senate Transportation Committee aviation overview June 29. Luiken is the new deputy commissioner for aviation of the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and “has hit the ground running,” said state DOT Commissioner Leo von Scheben. Luiken previously served in the U.S. Air Force for 29 years before retiring June 1. There, he oversaw missions flying for two wings, and served as Vice Commander of the 11th Air Force.
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In battle, FedEx, UPS pull out stops. – Dan Eggen, Longview News-Journal, July 11, 2010
For more than a year, FedEx and its shipping rival, United Parcel Service, have been engaged in one of the fiercest lobbying battles in recent memory, with millions of dollars spent on advertising, websites, grass-roots organizing and other tactics more commonly seen in political campaigns. The reason for all the excitement? An obscure, 230-word provision that would require FedEx Express to comply with the same labor laws as UPS, making it easier for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and other unions to organize.
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Pilots warn wind farms may blow in trouble. – Duncan Adams, The Roanoke Times, July 13, 2010
A pilots club in Southwest Virginia warned Monday that towering windmills proposed for a ridgeline in Roanoke County would create hazards for pilots and passengers and lead to increased delays or diversions during bad weather of flights trying to land at Roanoke Regional Airport. “This is a very big deal,” said Matthew Broughton, a pilot who is an aviation lawyer for a Roanoke-based firm and president of the IFR Pilots Club. In mid-May, Chicago-based Invenergy applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for a “hazard determination” related to the company’s quest to erect 18 windmills atop Poor Mountain, which already hosts telecommunications towers and related infrastructure. The company hopes to generate power and sell it to a utility.
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GAO Says Airlines’ Fee Disclosures Lack Needed Information For Consumers. Daily Markets, July 13, 2010
U.S. airlines may require to more broadly and transparently disclose baggage and other fees to consumers after a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office or GAO found that airlines’ disclosures are inadequate and consumers lack information needed to shop for better deals among carriers. In the report submitted before the Subcommittee on Aviation, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the House of Representatives, Gerald Dillingham, Director, Physical Infrastructure Team, stated that better information about airline-imposed fees and the refundability of government-imposed taxes and fees could benefit consumers. According to the report, airlines are increasingly charging fees for optional passenger services, notably for checked and carry-on bags, meals, blankets, early boarding, and seat selection. Many of these optional fees are not subject to a 7.5% excise tax, which funds the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to help fund the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA.
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Airlines Fees Should Be More Widely Disclosed in U.S., GAO Says. – John Hughes, Bloomberg News, July 14, 2010
Airlines don’t include the fees in the route and fare data they provide to travel agents, who sell 60 percent of all tickets, either online or through independent or corporate travel services, the Government Accountability Office said today in the report. “Making complete, clear and uniform information on airline fees available through travel agents and airline websites, would enable passengers to make fully informed choices,” the GAO, the U.S. Congress’s investigative arm, said. Carriers have been adding charges, such as fees for baggage and reservation changes, to boost revenue beyond airfares. The GAO’s finding may bolster prospects that Congress or Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will force airlines to make the data more widely available.
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Federal panel ponders airline regulation. – Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, July 14, 2010
The panel made a stop in Atlanta Wednesday, holding a lightly attended meeting at the Federal Aviation Administration’s regional office in College Park. The committee’s discussion was more philosophical than specific, with member Severin Borenstein musing whether the airline industry — which was deregulated in 1978 — should be treated as a “public utility.” “If it is the case that it is a public utility, then we generally see the government as  actually managing the industry for the sake of its stakeholders,” said Borenstein, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “If it’s not a public utility, we generally don’t see that as the role of the government.”
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EPA may ban lead gas that fuels aircraft. – Sam Friedman, Kodiak Daily Mirror, July 14, 2010
The aviation gas that powers most of the Kodiak’s aircraft is receiving scrutiny this summer in Washington for its lead content.  Long ago phased out of automobile fuel, the lead additive faces new regulations and maybe a complete ban by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Kingfisher Aviation pilot Glen Eaton said potential federal regulation of leaded gas is a serious issue, but a perennial one for Kodiak aviators. In Kodiak piston-engine planes make up the charter fleet and the commercial fleet that serves the villages and remote sites. “They’ve been trying to do this since the 1960s,” Eaton said. “It comes up every new administration. They get focused on it, but it doesn’t happen because it would decimate the aviation industry in Alaska. I honestly don’t believe it will pass, because every time it gets brought up Alaska representatives come out against it.”
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Alaska’s senators oppose EPA’s proposed ban on avgas. – Andrew Rubenstein, The Alaska Dispatch, July 14, 2010
A proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to outlaw leaded aviation gas (avgas) has met with opposition from Alaska’s congressional delegation. The agency has waged a war against lead ingredients in many substances over the past 30 years. Its newest target, leaded aviation gas, fuels planes that have piston engines. In an attempt to move toward unleaded aviation gas, the EPA plans on banning or increasing regulation of leaded gas used in piston engine aircraft. Planes using leaded aviation gas emit neurotoxins that interfere with brain development in children, according to research supported by the EPA. Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are both in favor of transitioning away from avgas, but recognize that an immediate ban on the substance would greatly undermine Alaska’s transportation economy. To that end, the senators are requesting that prior to outlawing the substance, the EPA or Federal Aviation Administration develop an unleaded fuel suitable for piston engines.
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D.C. Airport Proposal Hangs Up FAA Reauthorization.CQ Politics News, July 16, 2010
As lawmakers scramble to finish an agreement on a major aviation bill, a Republican proposal to expand long-distance flights at Washington’s closest airport is proving to be a significant speed bump. The Virginia and Maryland delegations in the Senate are pushing back against a proposal Republicans have floated that calls for an additional 10 long-distance slots at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, plus four additional flights to Texas. Western lawmakers in particular often seek to expand this number because National is a quick four miles from the Capitol complex.
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Germany to levy up to $33 per flight. – Jurgen Baetz, The Associated Press, July 16, 2010
Germany plans to levy up to euro26 ($33) for each passenger on flights under a plan aimed at taxing air traffic’s impact on the environment and bolstering government finances. A draft bill obtained by The Associated Press Thursday says airlines will have to pay euro13 per passenger on flights of up to 1,553 miles (2,500 kilometers) — which includes the whole European Union — and euro26 for longer-haul flights taking off in Germany. Passengers only transiting Germany and children under age 2 will be excluded. The measure is aimed at encouraging people to prefer other, more environmental friendly methods of transportation, such as trains, where possible. The government expects the tax — first announced last month as part of a plan to save euro80 billion through 2014 — to bring in an annual euro1 billion starting next year. Its bill says it aims to provide “incentives for environmentally friendly behavior.” Once air traffic is included in a wider carbon trading scheme, the tax may be lowered, it says.
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AVIATION/AIRPORT SAFETY

Safety a big target in letting unmanned aircraft in national airspace. – Michael Cooney, Network World, July 16, 2010
There is a push by a variety of proponents to give unmanned aircraft more free reign in the nation’s airspace but safety is a  major hitch in that effort. The Federal Aviation Administration said this week that data from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, which flies unmanned systems on border patrols shows a total of 5,688 flight hours from Fiscal Year 2006 to July 13, 2010. The CBP accident rate is 52.7 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. This accident rate is more than seven times the general aviation accident rate (7.11 accidents/100,000 flight hours) and 353 times the commercial aviation accident rate (0.149 accidents/100,000 flight hours). Those kinds of numbers – while a small batch indeed – are guaranteed to keep unmanned aircraft out of the general airspace for a long time.
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AVIATION SECURITY

Probe Into Missing Guns Shifts to Los Angeles%.The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2010
The focus of the investigation of four guns that went missing after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security team checked its luggage at John F. Kennedy Airport Sunday has shifted to Los Angeles International Airport, according an official with knowledge of the investigation. On Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu’s security detail flew into John F. Kennedy Airport in advance of the prime minister’s arrival to the U.S. this past week. Two hard carrying cases, containing a total of seven Glock handguns, went through a Transportation Safety Administration screening point. One of the cases with four handguns in it was opened by the TSA agents, the official said.
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AIRCRAFT

Boeing to display 787 at Farnborough air show.Puget Sound Business Journal, July 9, 2010
Boeing Co. said it will show off its new 787 at the Farnborough International Airshow in England next week. The Chicago aerospace giant (NYSE: BA) said the ZA003 test 787 will be open for tours July 19-20 at the air show, one of the world’s largest aerospace events where airplane manufacturers typically announce their biggest deals of the year. Boeing will also show off many of its other products at Farnborough, including its 737-based Peace Eagle airborne early warning and control platform and its 777-300 extended range airplane being used by Qatar Airlines. The 737 is built in Renton and the 777 and 787 are being built in Everett.
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Boeing’s Corpulent Hydrogen-Powered Spy Plane Will Fly at 65,000 Feet For Four Days. Techweet, July 12, 2010
The future of spycraft looks heavy, if this Boeing plane is any indication. Adding to today’s parade of pretty new planes, Boeing unveiled a hydrogen-powered unmanned aircraft system Monday that will stay aloft at 65,000 feet for four days. The Phantom Eye is not exactly sleek, but it’s one of the greenest aircraft out there – its only byproduct is water.
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Aviation Biofuel Advancements To Be Showcased At International Air Show. – Daniel Baxter, AvStop.com, July 14, 2010
The Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) will host an exhibit, the United Alternative Aviation Fuels (UAAF) display at the Farnborough International Air Show, England (FIAS) 2010, featuring recent advances in aviation biofuel development and deployment. Aviation’s share of the greenhouse gas emissions is poised to grow, as air travel increases and ground vehicles use more alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. There are estimates that biofuels could reduce flight-related greenhouse-gas emissions by 60 to 80 percent. The CAAFI FIAS display and personnel representing the initiative will be on hand throughout the show to discuss the great strides that companies and agencies are making in developing and designing critically needed alternative aviation fuels.
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787 delivery may slide into next year. – Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, July 15, 2010
Boeing warned Thursday that delays in the 787 Dreamliner flight-test program may push the first delivery of the new jet into next year. “Our plan remains to deliver the airplane by the end of the year,” said Scott Fancher, head of the 787 program in a teleconference call. “As a cautionary note, we could see it move a few weeks into the New Year.” The widely anticipated Dreamliner is already two and a half years late. The main factor in the potential additional delay is that fitting out flight-test planes with new test instrumentation as they move from one block of tests to another is taking longer than planned, Fancher said. As a result, the test airplanes have sometimes been on the ground between tests for weeks at a time as flight-test monitoring devices and wiring have been installed.
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Boeing: Airlines to need $3.6 trillion in planes. – George Tibbits, Associated Press, July 15, 2010
The global airline industry is making a robust economic recovery and will need $3.6 trillion in new aircraft over the next 20 years, Boeing Co. said Thursday in its annual long-range forecast. In all, airlines will need 30,900 new jets between now and 2029, with more than two-thirds of the demand for smaller single-aisle jets such as Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’ A320, the company said in its 2010 Current Market Outlook. Airlines have seen a rebound in passenger and freight traffic this year and should return to profitability in 2011, Boeing officials say. “For passenger traffic in 2010 we’re expecting to see a 5-6 percent improvement over where we were last year; in terms of cargo, somewhere around 14 percent or more,” Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president for marketing, said in a recent briefing in advance of next week’s Farnborough International Airshow in Britain.
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Challenger to Boeing and Airbus Seeks Bragging Rights at Air Show. – Caroline Van Hasselt and Phred Dvorak, The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2010
Canada’s Bombardier Inc., long known as a maker of small planes for short hauls, will soon face a key test as it takes on Boeing Co. and Airbus in the market for midsized jets. Bombardier is expected to announce as early as Sunday, before next week’s Farnborough International Air Show in England, additional orders for its coming CSeries jet. The plane can seat up to 150 passengers and make international flights, pitting Bombardier for the first time against the Boeing-Airbus duopoly that dominates the commercial-airplane business. Bombardier Aerospace President Guy Hachey said last month that the company was close to …
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What About Air Safety? – Editorial, The New York Times, July 15, 2010
Last year’s crash of a commuter plane near Buffalo, which killed 50 people, highlighted the need for more stringent pilot training and tougher rules about how long pilots can fly before they are required to rest. Those reforms have been irresponsibly sidetracked by one of Capitol Hill’s nastiest and most expensive lobbying fights over the unrelated issue of unionization rules at the rival delivery companies, FedEx and United Parcel Service. The complex bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration would require more hours in training for commercial pilots and a closer watch on their flight schedules. The House and Senate have passed versions of the reauthorization with the sensible new safety rules. But the legislation has stalled as the two corporations and their hugely well-paid lobbyists battle over whether the unionization standards for U.P.S. package deliverers should also be applied to FedEx’s ground workers.
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AIRLINES

Cathay Pacific June Passengers Up 27.5% On Year At 2.22 Mln.The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2010
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK) said Monday it carried 27.5% more passengers in June than in the same month last year, as international air traffic continued to rise in tandem with the global economic recovery. …
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American Airlines flight diverted to U.S. military airbase in Alaska after fire alarm goes off.Island Crisis, July 12, 2010
An American Airlines flight from the United States to Japan was diverted to a military airbase in Alaska on Sunday after a fire alarm went off during the flight, officials said on early Monday. American Airlines flight 175, a Boeing 777-200, departed Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas on Sunday morning and was scheduled to land at Narita International Airport later on Monday until it was diverted over the Bering Sea at approximately 3.52 p.m. local time. “There was a fire indication light,” said Andrea Huguely, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, who said the decision was made to land at Eareckson Air Station on the island of Shemya, in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. “[It] was the closest airport to land the aircraft,” she added.
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JetBlue June Traffic Up Nearly 11%; Key Revenue Metric Up 19%.The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2010
JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) said its June traffic climbed nearly 11% from a year earlier as the sector continues to rebound. Most U.S. airlines are reporting increases in traffic …
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U.S. Airlines May Be Forced to Widen Fee Disclosure. – John Hughes, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 14, 2010
Airlines flying in the U.S. may be required to more broadly disclose baggage and other fees after a government report found that consumers lack information needed to comparison shop among carriers. Airlines don’t include such charges in route and fare data they provide travel agents who sell 60 percent of tickets either online or through independent or corporate travel services, the Government Accountability Office said today in the report. “The fees are not very transparent,” Gerald Dillingham, author of the GAO report, told a congressional panel. “We do not think it would be a tremendous burden on the airlines” to provide the information to travel agents, he said. The report may encourage the Transportation Department to enact regulations that would require carriers to provide fee data in route and fare schedules supplied to travel agents. U.S. lawmakers are also considering fee-disclosure legislation.
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Airlines getting billions of Dollars from new fees, House panel hears.CNN, July 14, 2010
U.S. airlines make billions of dollars in fees for check-on luggage, refreshments and other services formerly included in ticket prices, but consumers have a hard time figuring out how much they’ll pay in total to fly, a congressional committee heard Wednesday. The House subcommittee on aviation held the sometimes contentious hearing to consider a U.S. Government Accountability Office report on the fees airlines have charged in recent years on unbundled services that once were considered part of the ticket price. “Fees for optional services … are not fully disclosed to passengers at the time of booking,” said a summary of the report, which noted that airlines reported revenue of $7.9 billion from baggage fees and reservation change and cancellation fees in calendar years 2008 and 2009.
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XOJet expands in New York, Los Angeles. Bloomberg Businessweek, July 15, 2010
XOJet Inc. plans to expand service in New York and Los Angeles, the private jet operator said Thursday. The company will open a regional office in New York this fall and will expand flight operations at Van Nuys airport in the Los Angeles area. XOJet, based in California, was founded in 2006 and offers private jet ownership, membership and charter flights. The company has 100 full-time pilots who last year logged 8.5 million miles in travel last year.
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First two airlines to land at San Bernardino International Airport get a better deal. – Kimberley Pierceall, The Press Enterprise, July 15, 2010
When San Bernardino International Airport offered incentives to the first four airlines that brought a schedule of flights with them, none wanted to be the first when they could be the third or fourth instead, said airport executive director Don Rogers. Having offered up to $1 million annually for two years plus $500,000 in marketing and startup costs since September and not getting any takers, airport officials decided to make their offer more exclusive. Members of the Inland Valley Development Agency, which funds airport activities and improvements, agreed unanimously to amend the incentive offer at their regular bimonthly meeting Wednesday. Officials will now reward up to $2 million annually for two years and $1 million in startup and marketing costs to just the first two airlines to offer at least 12 flights a week.
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Founder of ILFC starts another aircraft lessor. – Joshua Freed, Associated Press, July 15, 2010
Steven Udvar-Hazy already started one big aircraft leasing company. Now he’s looking to do it again. Udvar-Hazy retired from International Lease Finance Corp. in February. On Thursday he said he’s forming a new company, to be called Air Lease Corp. He said he’s lined up $1.3 billion in equity and plans to have 100 aircraft in his fleet by next spring. Udvar-Hazy is considered the father of the airline leasing business. He was a founder of ILFC 37 years ago. The insurer AIG bought it in 1990, but Udvar-Hazy continued to run it. He tried to buy it back from AIG, but the deal never happened.
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US Airlines Fullest On Record In April; Traffic Up 0.2%. The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2010
U.S. airlines’ reported planes in April were more full than ever recorded, as traffic rose from a year earlier by two tenths of a percent, the Department of Transportation said Thursday. …
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Timing American and Delta flights at Tokyo Haneda. – Terry Maxon, The Dallas Morning News, July 15, 2010
We’ve been looking at the departure and arrival times that American Airlines and Delta Air Lines  have secured for their new flights to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport. We’re not sure who the winner is. * American’s flight from New York and Delta’s from Detroit leave the U.S. airports at civilized times in early evening. Delta’s Los Angeles departure isn’t until 12:10 a.m., and who wants to start a trip after midnight? * But the flights from New York and Detroit arrive at Haneda late in the evening, meaning travelers will be be arriving very late at their hotels. On the other hand, that Delta flight from Los Angeles arrives at Haneda at 5 a.m. Many business people prefer the early morning arrival so they can get off the airplane and work a full day.
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