Aviation and Airport Development Newsletter, August 30, 2010, vol. 2, no. 10

Vol. 2, No. 10, August 30, 2010

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.  For more information about the Taber Law Group, please visit our website:  http://taberlaw.com.

AIRPORTS

Tires of plane catch fire during landing in Calif. – Robin Hindery, The Associated Press, August 27, 2010
The tires of a JetBlue airplane caught fire Thursday during a hard landing in Sacramento that left 15 people with minor injuries and sent passengers down emergency slides to escape the aircraft. Passenger Michelle McDuffie said people onboard felt a thud when the plane touched down at about 12:50 p.m. after a flight from Long Beach, but nobody thought there was an emergency until the crew shouted for everyone to exit on the inflatable slides. McDuffie saw the burning tires when she was on the ground. “I thought, Oh I wish I had gotten my bag off. But I was just happy that I wasn’t hurt,” said McDuffie, 33, of Mission Viejo. The plane appeared to experience trouble with its brakes, and four tires blew out during the landing, airline spokeswoman Sharon Jones said.
Click Here

JWA eyes $24 million modernization. – Jeff Overly, Orange County Register, August 25, 2010
In the latest example of John Wayne Airport‘s modernization, officials are set to approve a nearly $24 million project to install new ticket counters, speed up passenger check-in and give airlines flexibility to move quickly among gates and ticket counters. Some of the more conspicuous elements of the plan would create a uniform appearance at ticket counters, which now vary significantly by airline, and swap out airline-specific self-serve kiosks for ones standardized for all carriers. It would also replace the electronic screens at baggage claims as well as the monitors that travelers scan for information on arrivals and departures. The goal is a “sleeker, more modern and streamlined appearance,” according to a county summary.
Click Here

FAA gives $5.5M to airport. –The St. Augustine Record, August 24, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved a $5.5 million award to St. Augustine’s Northeast Florida Regional Airport for the construction of a runway safety area. U.S. Rep. John L. Mica, R-Fla., announced the award Monday. “This funding will increase the technical length of the runway to allow the (airport) to accommodate larger aircraft,” he said. “These safety improvements will be beneficial to both the airport’s biggest co-tenant, Northrop Grumman, and any future private and commercial service.” These funds, distributed by the FAA, are not part of the stimulus bill that passed earlier this year, according to the news release. They are part of a program that directs user fees to airport improvement projects on a competitive basis.
Click Here

Facing Budget Gaps, Cities Sell Parking, Airports, Zoo. – Ianthe, Jeanne Dugan, The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2010
Cities and states across the nation are selling and leasing everything from airports to zoos—a fire sale that could help plug budget holes now but worsen their financial woes over the long run. California is looking to shed state office buildings. Milwaukee has proposed selling its water supply; in Chicago and New Haven, Conn., it’s parking meters. In Louisiana and Georgia, airports are up for grabs. About 35 deals now are in the pipeline in the U.S., according to research by Royal Bank of Scotland’s RBS Global Banking & Markets. Those assets have a market value of about $45 billion—more than ten times the $4 billion or so two years ago, estimates Dana Levenson, head of infrastructure banking at RBS. Hundreds more deals are being considered, analysts say.
Click Here

Passenger counts drop 1.1 percent at McCarran International Airport Allegiant Air reaches McCarran’s top five carrier list for first time. – Howard Stutz, Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 23, 2010
Passenger counts at McCarran International Airport declined for the sixth straight month in July while airline upheaval helped Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air crack the airport’s top five air carrier list for the first time. According to figures released Monday by the Clark County Department of Aviation, 3,518,217 passengers came through the airport during July, a 1.1 percent decline compared with 3,557,509 passengers who used McCarran in July 2009. For the first seven months of 2010, more than 23.1 million passengers traveled through McCarran, a decline of 2.7 percent compared with almost 23.8 million passengers who came through the airport in the same time frame in 2009. Wall Street has been watching the passenger numbers out of McCarran for the past year, analyzing how declines could impact visitation into Las Vegas.
Click Here

Mayor names Atlanta airport chief finalists. – Kelly Yamanouchi and Ernie Suggs, Atlanta Jurnal Constitution, August 23, 2010
Nearly two months after the departure of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s general manager, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed has selected three finalists in the search for a successor. John D. Clark III, executive director and CEO of the Indianapolis Airport Authority; Louis Miller, former executive director and CEO of Tampa International Airport; and Lester Robinson, former CEO of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, bring different backgrounds in airport management. None come from one of the nation’s 10 largest airports, but they bring some experience in dealing with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines as well as background in other key areas.
Click Here

How to Fix LAX By Bringing Alliance Partners Together. – Brett Snyder, BNET, August 20, 2010
When it comes to global airports, Los Angeles International (LAX) usually comes near the bottom in satisfaction. The terminals are cramped, the traffic flows are terrible, and connections between airlines can be painful at best. The airport is in the middle of spending billions on refreshing only one terminal, and that’s already going to raise costs to airlines significantly. For LA World Airports (LAWA), the body that runs LAX, creativity should rule the day. There are ways to make the experience far better with minimal additional cost. It has long been rumored that Alaska Airlines would move terminals at LAX, and now it is official. The airline will move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 6. This allows Alaska to have international and domestic flights operate from the same terminal (unlike today) and it puts the airline connected behind security to Delta, its strongest codeshare partner. This is good news, but I actually think that in the long run, Alaska would be better off in Terminal 3. A few recent moves by LAWA makes a long term vision possible.
Click Here

Dubuque airport to receive $2.3 million. – Telegraph Herald, August 23, 2010
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has awarded two grants totaling $5,384,232 to airports in Dubuque and Mason City. The Dubuque Regional Airport will receive $2,384,232 for terminal building construction. Mason City Municipal will receive $3 million for construction of an aircraft rescue and fire fighting building. “This funding is intended to increase the safety and efficiency of these airports, as well as help provide economic development opportunities in these communities,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who announced the grants on Monday.
Click Here

FAA awards $59 million to projects in Alaska airports. – BNO News, August 24, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday awarded $59 million to airports and programs across Alaska, KTUU television reported. Randy Babbitt, the FAA administrator, announced that the federal agency will provide aviation safety grants and airport improvement programs. The investment will create jobs and will certainly improve aviation safety and efficiency in Alaska. The grants will upgrade airports in Sitka, Chefornak, Deadhorse, the North Slope Borough, and Soldotna and will fund aviation planning efforts and snow removal equipment for airports in rural Alaska. In addition, the $59 million investment will fund noise studies at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Alaska is a state that depends heavily on the aviation as it’s a lifeline for the local people. Recent accidents highlighted the need for a better support for Alaska airports and pilots. Alaska has six times more pilots and 16 times more planes per capita than the rest of the nation.
Click Here

Hagerstown Airport gets new fire station. – The Associated Press, August 24, 2010
Hagerstown Regional Airport has opened its new aircraft rescue and firefighting station. The facility will hold the airport’s two crash rescue vehicles and one of Washington County’s mass casualty trailers. It also has dormitories for the people who staff the crash trucks overnight. The Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting company has 14 firefighters. The facility is about 9,000 square feet. It has a kitchen and lounge that convert to a dormitory, and a conference room also coverts to a dorm. Most of the money for the $2.7 million project came from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Click Here

Airports generate $10.4 billion for Kansas. – Daniel McCoy, Wichita Business Journal, August 25, 2010
A study released Wednesday by the Kansas Department of Transportation shows airports in the state generate $10.4 billion in economic activity, including $2.3 billion in payroll. The study, which was funded by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, was the first of its kind since 1997, says Ed Young, director of aviation with KDOT. At that time, he says, the study showed a $2 billion economic impact. One aspect Young says the state found surprising is that airports accounted for more than half of the $20 billion the aviation industry in the state generates as a whole. The new numbers will help KDOT show the added economic impact around airports that have been improved over the years when the state goes to seek local support for future projects, Young says. In addition to the study, 25 new airport improvement projects — all receiving state grants — were announced. A total of $1.3 million was awarded for the projects. One Wichita airport, the Riverside Airport on North Hoover Road, got $47,500 for a feasibility study, Young says.  Les Eck, the Wichita auto dealer who bought the airport at auction in June, did not return calls for comment.
Click Here

Abilene Regional gets $1.2M grant for upgrades. – Jaime Adame, Abilene Reporter-News, August 25, 2010
Federal grant money totaling nearly $1.2 million will be used to pay for a replacement control system for airfield lighting and an airfield beacon, along with design work for taxiway repairs, said Don Green, Abilene’s director of aviation. Abilene Regional Airport gets funds yearly from money set aside for airports. Money is distributed by the Federal Aviation Administration to airports with air carrier service and comes in part from taxes and fees paid for by airline passengers. The FAA also is funding construction of a new control tower at the airport, a $9.24 million project. “The new tower will be complete by late 2011,” Green said. The airport beacon is a “metal pole tower, basically” that sits on top of the control tower. With plans to raze the old control tower, a new beacon was needed, Green explained. Green said the most costly project will be the new airfield lighting control system, estimating that about half of the grant money will be used for the new controls. The grant award was announced by the office of Sen. John Cornyn. The fate of another grant remains uncertain. In 2006, the FAA announced Abilene had been selected to receive $465,100 if the money could be used to attract westbound airline service. Currently, the airport only offers eastbound carrier service to Dallas. While the FAA has in the past extended the deadline to use the funds, the grant is set to expire this month. “We are waiting to hear if we have been granted another extension,” Green said.
Click Here

Oakland, San Jose airports see frequent laser hits. – The Associated Press, August 26, 2010
Oakland International and Mineta San Jose International airports rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the number of reported laser strikes on aircraft—which put the lives of pilots and passengers at risk. Federal Aviation Administration data show those two California airports rank below only Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles and Phoenix in terms of the frequency of laser strikes on airplanes and helicopters. The Federal Aviation Administration says they have received more than 1,500 reports of laser events through Aug. 19 of this year. On Tuesday, a green laser struck a San Jose police pilot and a Santa Clara County sheriff’s aerial spotter during a routine helicopter patrol. One San Jose officer says most people who shine laser pointers at aircraft aren’t terrorists, but the devices blind pilots just the same.
Click Here

Time to book a seat on the airport bandwagon. – Leavenworth Times, August 25, 2010
As the folks in Leavenworth County debate whether to move forward with a new county airport, proponents got a major boost Wednesday. The Kansas Aviation Economic Impact Study was released and reported that airports in Kansas support more than 73,000 jobs, $2.7 billion in payroll and produce $10.4 billion in economic activity. The study, funded by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, assessed the impact of the state’s eight commercial airports and 132 general aviation airports. Leavenworth County commissioners debated the airport issue Monday. One of the principal questions locally is what kind of economic impact the airport would generate. Basically, would it be worth it to spend the money on a new airport?
Click Here

Central Coast Airports Receive Funds To Improve Safety. – KSBW.com, August 27, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced several grants that will be awarded to Central Coast airports. “A smooth transportation system is vital to our economic growth, and these grants improve and extend the life of our local airports,” Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, said. The grants include $2,361,413 in funds to improve runway safety, including building a retaining wall and access road, at the Monterey Peninsula Airport. The Salinas Municipal Airport will receive $2,115,000 to reconstruct a taxiway. The Mesa Del Rey Airport will receive $484,750, while the Watsonville Municipal Airport will receive $52,250 and the Hollister Municipal Airport $30,000.
Click Here

FAA considering less-invasive Sky Harbor options. – Lisa Baumann, Duluth News Tribune, August 27, 2010
The number of Park Point pine trees on the chopping block because of Federal Aviation Administration concerns may have been greatly reduced. Christine Penney, chairwoman for the city’s Tree Commission said that was good news as she presented an update at the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday night. She told city councilors and about 100 people who attended the meeting that FAA officials weighed in again two days ago, saying trees in the “transition” area of the flight path at the Sky Harbor Airport — which includes hundreds of trees — might not need to be touched. “We still want to be assured of this,” she said. “Removal/topping in the transitional zone would require the removal/topping of 834 trees and 707 trees, respectively, and would most certainly destroy the Park Point pine forest.” The FAA has repeatedly voiced concerns about trees encroaching into the flight path at the airport. As part of an $873,000 study funded by the FAA and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, researchers have been weighing options that could bring the airport back into the feds’ good graces. That study has narrowed 13 options down to two, both of which previously had involved cutting hundreds of trees in a neighboring old-growth forest.
Click Here

Study to monitor airport noise levels before and after tree work. – Tom Barton, The Island Packet, August 28, 2010
Bob Richardson was giving a speech in April during a rally opposing tree-cutting at the Hilton Head Island Airport when he was drowned out by the roar of an aircraft soaring overhead. “It will make a bad situation intolerable,” Richardson, president of the Palmetto Hall Plantation Property Owners Association, said of work slated to begin in October to remove and trim more than 1,000 trees on the north end of the runway. Richardson and other neighboring property owners, including a historic church congregation, say tree trimming and removal will eliminate a natural sound barrier, leading to increased noise from airport traffic. The result, he fears, will lower quality of life and property values for those living near the runway. To help allay those fears, Beaufort County and the Town of Hilton Head Island have agreed to pay for a $50,000 noise study in the area. Noise levels will be recorded Sept. 11, 12 and 13 prior to the tree trimming and removal. Additional noise levels will be recorded after work has been completed, said county airports manager Paul Andres. A public meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Hilton Head library, 11 Beach City Road, to explain the study.
Click Here

New control tower could boost business at Frederick airport. – Patti S. Borda, The Federick News-Post, August 28, 2010
A long-planned control tower at Frederick Municipal Airport could have a positive impact on the city and the safety of the president of the United States. Kevin Daugherty, airport manager, said Thursday the Federal Aviation Administration selected the city for a grant to pay for the 100-foot tower. Mayor Randy McClement said Friday he had not had a chance to look over the FAA agreement, but hoped it would be finalized early next week.
Click Here

Lasers force two Coast Guard helicopters to land at LAX. – Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2010
Two Coast Guard helicopters were forced to land at Los Angeles International Airport in the last week after being flashed with laser beams, the latest of 63 such incidents reported near the airport so far this year, and part of a growing problem nationwide. Someone flashed a laser at a Coast Guard helicopter flying over Cabrillo Beach about 9 p.m. Thursday, forcing the crew to make a precautionary landing at LAX, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Adam Eggers. Another Coast Guard helicopter was flashed with a laser late Tuesday afternoon while flying over Torrance. It also had to land. In both incidents, crew members were grounded until a doctor cleared them to fly again. Aiming laser beams in pilots’ eyes is illegal and can cause temporary blindness. Coast Guard helicopters are usually flashed with the high-powered beams about once a month, and crews have noticed it often happens when they fly over Torrance, Eggers said.
Click Here

Aviation group may be able to help reduce Torrance helicopter noise. – Nick Green, The Daily Breeze, August 27, 2010
A little-known aviation group has emerged as the best hope for South Bay residents seeking relief from what they perceive as excessive helicopter noise. Pat Carey, co-chairman of the Southern California Air Space Users Working Group, which works with the Federal Aviation Administration to design safer air space, pledged to take a look at helicopter issues in and around Torrance Municipal Airport. The independent organization is in the process of revising flight charts used by helicopter pilots, something that’s done only every six years or so. Carey made the commitment Thursday evening at a second roundtable discussion hosted by the city of Torrance intended to find solutions to noise issues that have frustrated some residents who live around the airport. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association, the group he represented at Thursday’s meeting.
Click Here

Fayetteville airport still seeking service to D.C. – Nick Needham, The Fayetteville Observer, August 30, 2010
Landing nonstop service to Washington, D.C., is still the top priority for the Fayetteville Regional Airport. Director Brad Whited said the airport on Thursday applied for a small community air service development grant through the Federal Aviation Administration. The grant would provide $300,000 in advertising dollars to promote new service to the nation’s capital when a carrier agrees to provide it. Whited would not say if the airport commission had been in talks with any airlines that may be interested in the route, but he said efforts to land the nonstop service continue.
Click Here

FAA

Virginia Beach says radar’s blocking Oceanfront overhaul. – Deidre Fernandes, The Virginian Pilot, August 22, 2010
Along the Oceanfront strip, 15th Street and 34th Street aren’t that different. But what developers may build at those locations are worlds apart because of a radar used to protect the country’s coastline. The Federal Aviation Administration earlier this month told a Richmond developer that he couldn’t construct a building taller than 110 feet on 15th Street, at the fishing pier, without blocking the radar and causing, “an unacceptable risk to the overall air defense mission.”  The developer, Steve Becker, had asked permission to build a 165-foot hotel – about 15 stories. That notice came seven months after the FAA cleared Virginia Beach hotelier Gold Key/PHR Hotels and Resorts for a 200-foot building on 34th Street. The decisions are unfair, Becker said.
Click Here

FAA Grants Nigeria Its Highest Air Safety Rating. – John Gambrell, Associated Press, August 23, 2010
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration granted Nigeria its top air-safety rating Monday, a decision that allows Nigerian airlines to fly directly to the United States but does not address the nation’s porous airport security. The FAA decision to grant Nigeria category 1 status comes as body scanners at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport purchased after the alleged Christmas Day bomber began his journey at the chaotic airfield still go unused. However, the decision to put Nigeria at a higher rating than even Mexico came down to whether the civil aviation authority in Africa’s most populous nation could properly oversee its airlines, FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette said. “It’s the crux of what we looked at,” Duquette said. The decision, based on a July examination by FAA authorities, allows Nigerian air carriers to apply to send flights to the U.S. with their own aircraft.
Click Here

FAA Starts Planning Commercial Space Travel Rules. – Daily Empowered News, August 29, 2010
Commercial space travel is predicted to take off in the next few years, and government aviation industry officials are planning to lay out the rules such as keeping a space rocket and airline jets from colliding, how to prepare patients before a flight, and other operational considerations. Those challenges are to be addressed by a partnership between the Federal Aviation Administration and universities, as well as industry associations. “If the plans of people like Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic are accurate, in the next three to five years there will be very frequent space tourism launches,” said Scott Hubbard, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University. “That means you’ve got to clear the air space and if it’s very frequent you’ve got to be sure to manage that together with airplanes going by,” Hubbard said. The federal agency picked New Mexico State University to head the new unit called Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation.
Click Here

FAA Set to Plumb Mid-Air Incidents. – Andy Pasztor, The Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2010
Responding to a spate of midair near-collisions in recent months, the Federal Aviation Administration wants to bring pilots and air-traffic controllers together to voluntarily share information after such events. The goal of the initiative is to obtain a more complete picture of what led up to such dangerous incidents and how to prevent them. UAL Corp.’s United Airlines is likely to be the initial participating carrier. The model program is intended to “more accurately identify potential hazards and develop more robust mitigation strategies” without seeking to punish either controllers or pilots, according to agency documents. “Merging the perspectives” of both groups and jointly analyzing data about mistakes, according to the FAA, may help “enhance the understanding” of the incidents.
Click Here

FAA Grants Nigeria Its Highest Air Safety Rating. – John Gambrell, The Associated Press, August 23, 2010
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration granted Nigeria its top air-safety rating Monday, a decision that allows Nigerian airlines to fly directly to the United States but does not address the nation’s porous airport security. The FAA decision to grant Nigeria category 1 status comes as body scanners at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport purchased after the alleged Christmas Day bomber began his journey at the chaotic airfield still go unused. However, the decision to put Nigeria at a higher rating than even Mexico came down to whether the civil aviation authority in Africa’s most populous nation could properly oversee its airlines, FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette said. “It’s the crux of what we looked at,” Duquette said. The decision, based on a July examination by FAA authorities, allows Nigerian air carriers to apply to send flights to the U.S. with their own aircraft.
Click Here

Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Nigerian airlines can now apply to fly directly to the United States. – Nigeria Exchange News, August 24, 2010
The United States of America Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Nigeria a category 1 status rating, its top air-safety rating, and this now allows Nigerian airlines to fly directly to the USA and with Nigerian crew too. Nigeria had never been rated before by the FAA and with a category 1 status, Nigeria’s air safety rating is currently higher than Mexico’s.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Robin Sanders, presented the certification to the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, in Abuja and said, “This achievement is an important milestone for Nigeria and the US-Nigeria bilateral relations. It is only fitting that this coveted Category 1 rating comes at the dawn of the nation’s year of golden jubilee. The US Mission, NCAA and FAA have worked together as a team in the true spirit of bilateral partnership over the last two years to achieve this goal. Hats off to everyone for a job well-done and rating well-deserved.”
Click Here

Premium air routes aim to put jets in faster lanes. – Julie JOhnsson and Jon Hulkevitch, Chicago Tribune, August 28, 2010
The equivalent of “Lexus lanes” are being created in the skies above Chicago that should help reduce traffic jams that often block arrivals to a vital runway at Midway Airport. Southwest Airlines plans to start flying the new lanes in January at Midway and 21 other airports, hoping shorter, more direct landing approaches will save fuel, lower carbon emissions and speed passengers to their destinations. Like premium lanes on some highways accessible only to drivers who pay fees, the new air routes are reserved for planes equipped with the latest navigation technology that allows surgically precise maneuvers in and out of busy airports. The routes are part of a broad Federal Aviation Administration effort to redesign an outmoded air-traffic system in which one out of every five flights is delayed.
Click Here

AVIATION & AIRPORT LITIGATION

Northwest Airlines Union Sues Delta. – The Associated Press, August 26, 2010
The union for Northwest Airlines flight attendants has sued Delta Air Lines Inc., saying their new managers are breaking the contract with the union. The federal lawsuit filed in Washington claims Delta is violating rules about scheduling and other issues. For instance, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA says its members are supposed to get more than two days off after a long international flight — but Delta is giving them only 11 hours. The union also claimed that Delta is meeting with flight attendant groups that it chose without inviting the union, and that it is not resolving grievances brought by the union. Delta bought Northwest in late 2008 and they mostly operate as a single airline. Delta flight attendants were nonunion, but those who came from Northwest are still in the union. An election is expected to resolve whether Delta flight attendants will be unionized.
Click Here

Press Release – FAA Proposes Civil Penalty Against American Airlines. – FAA News Release, August 26, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $24.2 million civil penalty against American Airlines Inc. for failing to correctly follow an Airworthiness Directive involving the maintenance of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft. This civil penalty is the largest ever proposed by the FAA. “We put rules and regulations in place to keep the flying public safe,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We expect operators to perform inspections and conduct regular and required maintenance in order to prevent safety issues. There can be no compromises when it comes to safety.” The FAA alleges American did not follow steps outlined in a 2006 Airworthiness Directive requiring operators to inspect wire bundles located in the wheel wells of MD-80 aircraft. The Airworthiness Directive, AD 2006-15-15, required a one-time general visual inspection by March 5, 2008 for chafing or signs of arcing of the wire bundle for the auxiliary hydraulic pump. It also required operators to perform corrective actions in accordance with the instructions of the applicable manufacturer’s Service Bulletin.
Click Here

Other Articles on the Same Topic:

American Airlines to fight record $24.2M FAA fine. – Terry Maxon and Barry Torbenson, The Dallas Morning News, August 27, 2010
Hit Thursday with the largest fine ever levied by the Federal Aviation Administration, American Airlines Inc. executives said they would fight the penalty and work to smooth a fractured relationship with the safety regulator. The $24.2 million whopper – more than double the previous biggest penalty – slams the carrier for how it failed to properly repair wiring harnesses on its 300 McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 jets. “These events happened more than two years ago, and we believe this action is unwarranted,” American said in a prepared statement. “We plan to follow the FAA’s process and will challenge any proposed civil penalty. We are confident we have a strong case and the facts will bear this out.”
Click Here

FAA: Failure to Follow Airworthiness Directive Will Cost American Airlines A Record $24.2 Million. – Steven M. Taber, Aviation and Airport News, August 26, 2010
On August 26, 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has proposed a $24.2 million civil penalty against American Airlines Inc. for failing to correctly follow an Airworthiness Directive involving the maintenance of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft. This civil penalty is the largest ever proposed by the FAA.  The FAA alleges American: [D]id not follow steps outlined in a 2006 Airworthiness Directive requiring operators to inspect wire bundles located in the wheel wells of MD-80 aircraft. The Airworthiness Directive, AD 2006-15-15, required a one-time general visual inspection by March 5, 2008 for chafing or signs of arcing of the wire bundle for the auxiliary hydraulic pump. It also required operators to perform corrective actions in accordance with the instructions of the applicable manufacturer’s Service Bulletin.
Click Here

Feds fine Ore. Mercy Flights over personal pronoun. – The Associated Press, August 27, 2010
One three-letter word has cost one of the nation’s oldest air ambulance operators $30,000. The word is “our” – a possessive personal pronoun meaning it belongs to us. But the U.S. Department of Transportation says that was the wrong word for Mercy Flights of Oregon to describe a helicopter with a Federal Aviation Administration certificate owned by another company. The Mail Tribune reported that federal officials ruled there is no “our” when it comes to the helicopter purchased for the exclusive use of Mercy Flights because a separate company was formed for the deal back in 1998 and has ownership – on paper. The nonprofit Mercy Flights was fined $30,000 as a result. It will only have to pay half if it avoids more pronoun violations for a year.
Click Here

AVIATION/AIRPORT SAFETY

Jumble of Air Safety Rules. – Susan Stellin, The New York Times, August 23, 2010
Aviation officials often cite the industry’s low accident rate after a plane crash, and statistics back up their assertions: last year, there were about 2.5 accidents for every one million commercial flights worldwide. But that is still about 90 accidents, 18 of them involving nearly 700 fatalities, and safety standards can vary widely among airlines. Yet passengers and companies responsible for employee travel have little information to evaluate a carrier’s safety standards, or judge a particular country’s commitment to safety, given the patchwork of organizations monitoring safety and the limits on what details are made public. That issue has been in the spotlight ever since the Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Mexico from a category 1 rating to category 2 on July 30, meaning it does not comply with safety standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency that the United States and other countries rely on for guidelines.
Click Here

Over half of fliers would limit where kids can sit on planes. – Gary Stoller, USA Today, August 26, 2010
Most consumers would like a families-only section on flights, according to a poll released Tuesday by a travel website. Nearly 60% of more than 2,000 travelers polled by Skyscanner, a fare-comparison website, say they want airlines to create such a section. In addition, nearly 20% said they’d prefer child-free flights. Skyscanner posted the poll on its site Aug. 11-23, after a confidential settlement last month between Qantas and a 67-year-old American passenger who sued the Australian airline after a 3-year-old screamed on her flight last year. The woman complained of excruciating pain in her ears and was taken to a hospital before the Darwin-bound flight departed from Alice Springs. Most poll respondents in favor of creating a families-only section said they don’t have young children and “want to sit as far away as possible” from them.
Click Here

Passengers shocked by new touchy-feely TSA screening. – Donna Goodison, Boston Herald, August 24, 2010
Airline passengers from coast to coast are decrying the Transportation Security Administration’s more aggressive body searches, calling screeners’ new front-of-the-hand, slide-down technique not only invasive but an example of Big Brother run amok. Rob Webster said he was subjected to a head-to-toe body search that “did not miss an inch” and even included a “probing and pushing” of his genital area when flying home from Las Vegas to Seattle last week. “If anybody ever groped me like that in real life, I would have punched them in their nose,” the 50-year-old said. “It was extremely invasive. This was a very probing-type touching – not just patting over all your areas, but actually probing and pushing and seeing if I was concealing something in my genital area.”
Click Here

American Flight Uses a Firm’s Satellite-Based Landing System. – Christine Negroni, The New York Times, August 26, 2010
Portable global positioning system devices that let travelers know precisely where they are and, more important, direct them to where they want to go, have been around for years. But airline pilots in the United States often must still rely on antiquated ground-based radio and radar equipment to land at airports. So when American Airlines Flight 1916 followed a satellite-based approach to Bradley International Airport near Hartford on Thursday afternoon, it was a momentous occasion, at least according to the pilot. “This is really good stuff,” Capt. Brian Will told a small group gathered at the terminal to celebrate the flight, which originated in Dallas. Before departing, Captain Will was so excited about flying the approach, he briefed his passengers on the technology even while doubting they would understand it.
Click Here

Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Bradley Moves Into Next Generation Of Flight. – Brad Kane, Hartford Business, August 30, 2010
Aviation history landed Thursday at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. When American Airlines flight 1916 from Dallas landed at 12:13 p.m., Bradley became the first airport in the country to receive an aircraft flown along a public flight pattern. It’s part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, designed to make flying smoother, faster, more efficient and flexible. “It was absolutely perfect. It put the plane in the direct right spot above the runway,” said Capt. Brian Will, American Airlines director of airspace modernization and advanced technologies, who flew flight 1916. NextGen moves the United States from an air traffic control system based upon ground transmitters to more cost-effective satellites and technology in the planes, such as GPS. Decisions in commercial flying will shift from the ground to the cockpit.
Click Here

FAA: JetBlue will likely take lead in blown tires investigation. – George Warren, News 10 KXTV, August 27, 2010
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said JetBlue will likely be allowed to take the lead role in investigating the circumstances that led to four blown tires and an emergency evacuation from an Airbus A320 at Sacramento International Airport. FAA spokesman Mike Fergus said the National Transportation Safety Board has primary jurisdiction over accident scenes, but because there were no serious injuries or catastrophic damage, the NTSB would probably not get involved. “We will be doing an investigation in concert with the airline,” Fergus said. “We’re going to give them the first chance to determine the cause while we’re looking over their shoulder.” Fergus said the first step in the process would be to determine if there were any violations of operational or maintenance procedures. “We’re going to ask [JetBlue] why doesn’t this happen all the time?”
Click Here

AVIATION/AIRPORT SECURITY

Amputees worry about airport security screening. – Gary Stoller, USA Today, August 25, 2010
Eileen Casey doesn’t want to travel by air anymore, because security personnel at some airports require her to be screened by an X-ray device for passengers with prosthetic limbs. Casey, a former competitive swimmer, says she lost her right leg from radiation treatments for a skin condition in the 1970s before the dangers of the treatment were understood. “It’s ironic to lose my leg to a radiation overdose, and now, if I want to travel, I have to expose myself to more radiation,” says the Burlington, Vt., resident.
Click Here

AIRCRAFT

Boeing again delays first deliveries of 787. – Samantha Bomkamp, The Associated Press, August 27, 2010
Boeing Co. again postponed the delivery of its first 787 to the middle of the 2011 first quarter, compounding a string of delays for the jetliner that is already more than two years past its original scheduled debut. The latest delay is the result of engine delivery problems, Boeing said in a statement early Friday. The Chicago company said in July it expected to deliver the plane late this year, but it warned that might not happen. It had said at that time that a series of problems, including supplier work related to parts of the tail and instrument issues that might push the first delivery “a few weeks into 2011.” The 787’s first customer, Japan’s All Nippon Airways, said in a statement the delay is regrettable especially “given the success of the flight test program so far.” “However, we trust that the time will be used to deliver the best possible aircraft in the shortest possible time frame.”
Click Here

Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Boeing Has New Delay for Dreamliner. – Peter Sanders, The Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2010
Of the many problems that have dogged Boeing Co.’s new 787 Dreamliner development in the past three years, the wide-body jet’s new engines haven’t been among them—until now. On Friday, Boeing said it would delay delivery of the first production Dreamliner until at least the middle of the first quarter of 2011, citing problems obtaining a new engine from supplier Rolls-Royce Group PLC. Rolls-Royce and General Electric Co. are providing engines for the new carbon-fiber composite commercial jet, which is already two and a half years behind its original schedule. Neither Boeing nor Rolls-Royce would detail the new requirements for …
Click Here

FAA Tighten Boeing 737 Inspections. – Andy Pasztor, The Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2010
U.S. aviation regulators, concerned about potentially dangerous vibrations and possible structural problems, are ratcheting up and expanding mandated inspections for more than 1,000 of Boeing Co.’s latest 737 jet models. A Federal Aviation Administration safety directive expected to be issued Wednesday will require U.S. airlines such as AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc., and Southwest Airlines Co., to conduct enhanced inspections of the tail sections of certain Boeing 737-600 and newer models. Mechanics will seek to identify and replace loose or suspect parts that control the movement of elevators, movable surfaces on the tail that …
Click Here

Other Articles on the Same Topic:

FAA expands inspections of Boeing 737s. – Aubrey Cohen, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 24, 2010
Airlines must inspect Boeing Next-Generation 737 airliners for problems that can cause severe elevator vibration and possible loss of structural integrity and aircraft control, under a directive the Federal Aviation Administration issued Wednesday. The directive applies to all U.S. 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER jets and is set to take effect Sept. 9. It adopts actions Boeing called for in a revised service bulletin last month. The directive stems from two incidents in March and April, where Next-Generation 737s experienced vibrations, spokeswoman Julie O’Donnell said. “Both of those airplanes diverted and landed safely. There were no injuries.” After the incidents, Boeing issued a service bulletin and the FAA put out a directive requiring inspections (one-time in some cases, repetitive in others) of the inboard and outboard aft attach lugs of the left and right elevator tab control mechanisms and replacement of mechanisms with discrepancies, such as loose bearings. It allowed airlines to stop doing repetitive inspections if they replaced the mechanism with a new Boeing-built one.
Click Here

Boeing 747-8 Gets Off the Ground. – Peter Sanders, The Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2010
As part of the ongoing test flight program of its latest version of the iconic 747, Boeing Co. engineers decided to see if the company’s newest cargo plane could weigh more than one million pounds and still get airborne. To their great relief it could and did. Last week, at a desert airfield in Victorville, Calif., that boasts a 15,000-foot runway, a 747-8 freighter, weighed down by dozens of steel pallets and a heavy load of fuel, lumbered into the air and logged the heaviest takeoff by a Boeing jet in company history. The test is one of hundreds of …
Click Here

Boeing to showcase Dreamliner simulator. – Kent German, CNET News, August 25, 2010
Boeing will open its 787 Dreamliner simulator to journalists Thursday and provide an update on when the delay-plagued airplane will finally enter service. This CNET reporter will be lucky enough to take a virtual ride and visit the company’s Customer Experience Center in Renton, Wash., where airline buyers can view cabin mockups, design aircraft interiors, and receive maintenance and flight training. For the 787, which Boeing first announced six years ago, the demonstration, and the recent Federal Aviation Administration approval to begin pilot training, are more milestones in the aircraft’s long development. The first major airliner to be built of carbon fiber composite materials, the Dreamliner took off and landed on its first flight last December.
Click Here

Boeing managers shift positions. – Michelle Dunlop, The Herald, August 28, 2010
The Boeing Co. shuffled its commercial airplane managers Friday as the company tries to get key programs on schedule. Boeing is aiming to deliver its first 747-8 cargo jet later this year, though officials have acknowledged that delivery might slip into 2011. In a letter to employees, Pat Shanahan, vice president of airplane programs, wrote that he will take a greater role in the 747 program beginning Monday. Mo Yahyavi, who had served as the 747 leader, has been reassigned to a special assignment. Shanahan didn’t elaborate on Yahyavi’s new assignment. Boeing’s 747-8 freighter is in flight testing, working toward certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. The company has begun final assembly of the passenger version of the updated jumbo jet.
Click Here

AIRLINES

Airlines err; passengers, agents suffer. – Steve Stephens, The Columbus Dispatch, August 23, 2010
The most difficult task air travelers face these days might be keeping their wits about them and their tempers in check. The same apparently applies to flight attendants and other airline employees. Earlier this month, a flight attendant snapped, telling off the passengers before fleeing the plane via emergency slide while clutching a couple of beers. I understand how he felt, but I think he told off the wrong people. The relationship between passengers and front-line airline employees is growing more tense all the time. But the increased friction is the fault of neither. The airline companies must take much of the blame (although the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the airports deserve a fair share, too).  Airlines that cut back on customer service, encourage passengers to schlep aboard tons of carry-on luggage, fail to answer even the simplest questions about delays and cancellations, overbook and underplan are, quite simply, driving their customers a bit crazy. Who bears the brunt of that crazy? Flight attendants and gate agents.
Click Here

Japan Airlines to launch budget carrier: report. – AFP, August 27, 2010
Crisis-hit flag carrier Japan Airlines, which is undergoing government-backed rehabilitation, is considering establishing a low-cost carrier to boost its earnings, a report said Friday. The ailing flagship carrier will incorporate the idea in its long-awaited corporate turnaround plan, which it will submit to the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday, the Daily Yomiuri said. The envisioned budget carrier would be operated under its own brand name, rather than under the JAL brand, the report said, adding that it has yet to be decided what routes the service would provide. JAL’s move came after rival All Nippon Airways (ANA) in June expressed plans to establish a no-frills airline, the Yomiuri said.
Click Here

Air NZ looks to spread wings next year. – Owen Hembry, NZ Herald News, August 27, 2010
Air New Zealand is shrugging off the gloom of the global financial crisis and amid signs of recovery is talking up expansion plans. Chief executive Rob Fyfe said that from the end of next year the airline had the capacity to look at developing new routes but at the moment the focus was more on consolidating current ones. “We’re taking bookings now and getting quite a clear view of what the latter half of this year is looking like and we’re certainly seeing quite consistent year-on-year growth in our booking profiles now through all months through to the end of the calendar year,” Fyfe said.
Click Here

Lufthansa exec says summer developed very well. – Maria Sheahan, Reuters, August 25, 2010
Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) has seen business develop very well in recent months, with all its carriers meeting or exceeding its expectations, management board member Stefan Lauer said. “If this continues in the coming months, we can be confident we will fulfil our expectations,” he told reporters at an annual event late on Tuesday. Global airlines body International Air Transport Association (IATA) said earlier international passenger traffic growth continued in July, driven by recovering demand in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.
Click Here

Global Airline Sector Recovery Set To Slow – IATA. – Edna Curran, The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2010
International air-passenger traffic in July rose 9.2% on year, though the quick pace of recovery in the aviation sector is set to slow as consumer demand remains weak, the International Air Transport Association said Wednesday. Fragile economic growth in North America and Europe is holding back growth in the aviation sector hurting both spending on leisure and freight traffic. The airline industry has enjoyed fast growth so far this year from lows struck …
Click Here

Investors Buy Time For Mexicana. – Andrew Compart, Aviation Weekly, August 24, 2010
It appears that the next 100 days will be critical for Mexicana following its “possible rescue” by a group of investors who initially provided $50 million to acquire the struggling carrier’s holding company. A new investor group called Tenedora K, which includes Grupo Industrial Omega and Grupo Arizan, acquired 95% of Nuevo Grupo Aeronautico, the holding company for Mexicana, Mexicana Click and Mexicana Link. The pilots union retained the 5% stake it previously held, according to information from the pilots union and a statement issued Aug. 20 by Advent International, which helped broker the deal but is not a shareholder. Also, there were media reports that Mexicana CEO Manuel Borja stepped down Aug. 20.
Click Here

Other Articles on the Same Topic

Mexican group buys stake in airline Mexicana-Advent. – Michael O’Boyle, Reuters, August 21, 2010
A consortium of Mexican businessmen has bought a 95 percent stake in the holding company that controls troubled Mexican airline Mexicana de Aviacion, a spokesman for private equity group Advent International said on Saturday. Advent International helped put the deal together, but the U.S. private equity firm is not participating as a shareholder in the consortium, called Tenedora K, according to a statement obtained from Advent’s Mexican public relations office. Mexicana, one of Mexico‘s two major airlines, has halted more than a dozen international routes and stopped selling tickets after requesting creditor protection earlier this month under Mexico’s insolvency law. The consortium bought 95 percent of Nuevo Grupo Aeronautico, which controls Mexicana as well as domestic airlines Mexicana Click and Mexicana Link, the statement said.
Click Here

Airline workers want pay, benefits restored. – Dan Reed, USA Today, August 25, 2010
U.S. airlines workers, who have gone through pay and benefit cuts, layoffs, bankruptcies and rising workloads in recent years, are looking to capitalize on the return to profits this year of most big U.S. carriers. The push for better deals by workers, who’ve seen ranks thinned 25% since 2000, is creating an increasingly tense relations climate in the industry. “Labor is going to want to walk away with something. They have to,” says consultant Michael Boyd of Boyd Group International, whose clients have included airline unions. “Airline labor has been on hold for the last seven years.” Currently on the table: •Votes were being counted late Tuesday on whether mechanics and related workers at American Airlines will take a deal that’s short of their goals but would end three years of talks — or authorize a strike. •American’s three years of talks with flight attendants, ramp workers and pilots are nearing a decision point this fall. •Delta flight attendants and ground workers are gearing up for union representation elections this fall. Those had been non-union jobs at Delta, but former Northwest Airlines workers, who came with the 2008 merger, were strong unionists who want the top world carrier fully union.

American Airlines Mechanics Authorize Strike, Reject Contract. – Mary Schlagenstein, Bloomberg, August 25, 2010
American Airlines’ mechanics gave union leaders authority to call a strike at the second-largest U.S. carrier as their labor group rejected a three-year contract that would have boosted members’ pay. About 64 percent of the votes cast were against the proposed accord, said the Transport Workers Union, which represents 11,500 American mechanics. Also turning down the accord were 1,200 stock clerks, with 54 percent opposed. A third TWU group, 90 technical specialists, ratified the deal. The defeat extends labor tension at AMR Corp.’s American, where flight attendants and ramp workers are asking the National Mediation Board to be released from further negotiations and allowed to walk out. American is trying to contain the U.S. industry’s highest labor costs and return to profit.
Click Here

Air fares seen higher this fall. – Kyle Peterson, Reuters, August 23, 2010
Travelers on U.S. airlines can look forward to higher fares and higher fees this fall as demand recovers from the 2009 economic recession, a top fare expert said on Monday. Fares for domestic flights are 16 percent to 20 percent higher than they were a year ago, said Rick Seaney, chief executive of Farecompare.com. He said, however, that lingering concerns about the economic recovery has made carriers more cautious. So fare increases in the post-summer travel season will be restrained, Seaney said. “Demand is going to be pretty good this year for holiday travel because a lot of people forewent their trip last year,” he said. “(But) with the economy the way it is and so uncertain, the airlines are just going to stand pat right now and see how things go,” he said. The U.S. airline industry has been battered in the last two years by an economic downturn that drained travel demand.
Click Here

Horizon Air Changes Business Model. – Andrew Compart, Aviation Week, August 23, 2010
Regional service provider Horizon Airlines is making a big change in its business model that will turn over decision-making for all of its routes—and the responsibility and risk for marketing and selling seats for them—to sister company Alaska Airlines. The decision comes with benefits for Horizon but also is generating some questions about its future direction, some of which cannot be immediately answered. What is definitive is that as of Jan. 1, all of Horizon’s capacity will operate under capacity purchase agreements (CPA) with Alaska. That compares to about 45% of its capacity right now. Under the CPA—as with CPAs between independent regional airlines and their airline partners—Alaska keeps the ticket revenue, pays a fixed fee to Horizon and covers Horizon’s fuel costs and other operating costs.
Click Here

Southwest attendants: We have no interest in obstructing order for bigger jets. – Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today, August 23, 2010
The flight attendants’ union at Southwest Airlines has no interest in obstructing the carrier’s possible decision to add larger jets to its fleet. That’s according to union president Thom McDaniel, responding to an opinion piece that suggested the union may look to take a tough negotiating stance if Southwest opts to add the Boeing 737-800 to its fleet. The column that was critical of the union also was cited here in the Today in the Sky blog. If Southwest moves ahead with plans for Boeing’s 737-800 model aircraft, it would become the largest version of the jet in Southwest’s all-Boeing 737 fleet. But McDaniel emphatically denies the column’s assertion that the union is looking to exploit the possibility of Southwest buying larger jets. The column in question cited a union letter that said “it will be necessary to negotiate new rates of pay, rules, and working conditions.” To that topic, McDaniel tells Today in the Sky that “our labor agreement requires that if we acquire any aircraft in addition to the 737-300, 500, 600, or 700 or implement meal or international service, our contract will be reopened to negotiate rates of pay, rules and working conditions.”
Click Here

ANA Plans Quick 787 Ramp-Up. – Jens Flottau, Aviation Week, August 23, 2010
Boeing 787 launch customer All Nippon Airways plans to quickly ramp up its fleet of the type; it wants to introduce its first 787-8s before the end of March 2011, President and CEO Shinichiro Ito told AviationWeek in an interview. The airline will take delivery of another 12 aircraft until the end of its fiscal year 2011 (March 2012). Ito says Boeing has given ANA the same information that has been made public—that margins in the flight test program have been eaten up. But ANA still expects to get its first 787 before the end of this year, around two and a half years later than planned.
Click Here

American moves three executives into new posts. – Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram, August 20, 2010
The company said Kurt Stache, vice president and general sales manager, will become vice president-international, be based in London, and assume responsibility for the Atlantic and Pacific regions. Derek DeCross, who has been with American since 1996, will replace Stache and be responsible for leading American’s sales team and developing sales policy. Maya Leibman, who has been with American since 1994, will take over as president of AAdvantage, American’s frequent flier program. Stache will report to American President Tom Horton. DeCross and Leibman will report to Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer.
Click Here

American Airlines mechanics counting votes; results expected out Tuesday. – Andrea Ahles, Star-Telegram, August 23, 2010
Will American Airlines mechanics sign a new contract or opt for a possible strike? The results of contract ratification votes for the Fort Worth-based carrier’s mechanics, maintenance technicians and stock clerks are expected to be announced on Tuesday.Aug. 24. The tentative agreements between the airline and the Transport Workers Union, which represents the three groups, include signing bonuses, wage increases and holiday pay. However, they reduce retiree medical benefits for employees under age 49 and make the Tulsa and Alliance Fort Worth maintenance bases 24-hour, 7-day a week operations. More than 13,000 workers have had 30 days to submit their paper ballots which were due to the union at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. The ballots gave members two choices: “I vote to accept” or “I vote to reject and authorize the negotiating team to take whatever action necessary up to and including a strike.”
Click Here

US Airways spent $430,000 lobbying in 2Q. – Bloomberg BusinessWeek, August 20, 2010
US Airways Group Inc. spent $430,000 in the second quarter lobbying on airline issues including flying near Reagan National Airport in Washington, fuel prices and energy issues. The airline also lobbied on the swap of takeoff and landing rights it had proposed with Delta Air Lines Inc. The government approved a swap, but with restrictions so tight that the two airlines said on July 2 they would drop it rather than accept the government’s conditions. They appealed in court instead. US Airways lobbied Congress on opening up flight rules around Reagan National, which is a key airport for the Tempe, Ariz.-based airline.
Click Here

United Airlines spent $660,000 lobbying in 2Q. – The Associated Press, August 20, 2010
United Airlines spent $660,000 in the second quarter lobbying the federal government on a wide variety of airline issues, including proposals to increase training for flight attendants serving alcohol, disclosures on airline tickets and air traffic control. Dozens of aviation-related issues have been discussed in Congress or by regulators this year, including pilot fatigue rules, rules for dealing with stranded passengers, and restrictions on personal electronics in the cockpit. Congress has also been debating a reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration, which has drawn the attention of airlines including United.
Click Here

Airline stocks decline as demand falters. – Christopher Hinton, Market Watch, August 20, 2010
A high-flying travel season has become leaden with worrisome economic reports and early evidence of decelerating revenue growth, pressuring airline stocks ahead of the traditionally weaker autumn and winter months. “The airlines have seen some very heady [unit revenue] increases through the first half of the year,” said Majestic Research analyst Matt Jacob, in an interview Friday. “But there is some concern that the sweet spot of the cycle may be coming to an end.” Jacob pointed specifically to investor anxiety over the industry’s tendency to add seat capacity when times get good, which would limit airfare increases and moderate revenue gains. But a slew of economic reports this week also backed concern of slowing economic growth. Unemployment claims rose to a nine-month high last week, and there’s been evidence that manufacturing sector — a bulwark against an otherwise bleak outlook — is also beginning to stumble.
Click Here

Some feel blue as United, Continental wedding mixes old, new. – Julie Johnsson, Chicago Tribune, August 22, 2010
United and Continental airlines aren’t yet officially hitched, but some are already grumbling about the monogram they’ve selected for their china. The backlash is a reaction to one of the first compromises reached by the carriers’ CEOs during their April courtship: an agreement to stamp Continental’s stylized globe logo and blue-and-gold color scheme on all jets operated by the new United, which will be one of the world’s largest carriers. United’s name and its Chicago headquarters will survive the tie-up, but not the “tulip,” the giant Saul Bass-designed “U” that has graced United’s jets for nearly 40 years.
Click Here

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Aircraft, Airlines, Airport, Aviation, FAA, Litigation, Regulatory and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s