22. December 2011 14:27
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Released by NBAA on December 21, 2011
NBAA Opposes European Court's Ruling on Applicability of EU-ETS
Washington, DC, December 21, 2011 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today expressed strong opposition to a European court's ruling that a new plan by European regulators to tax carbon emissions from aircraft should apply to all aircraft operators across the international aviation community, including those based in the U.S.
In a decision announced today, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said European authorities are authorized to obligate all operators, including the airlines and general aviation, to comply with the program, known as the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). The court's ruling was made in response to a legal challenge questioning the applicability of EU-ETS to owners and operators of aircraft based in the U.S. NBAA is a party to the lawsuit.
"The court's ruling goes against established policy and long-standing practice when it comes to aviation regulations," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "It appears to set aside the principle, established in the Chicago Convention, that because aviation is a global industry, aviation policies should be developed and implemented on a global basis. Any new standards should be developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO], the United Nations body established to set policies for the industry, and in fact, ICAO has been working to develop such standards for aviation emissions. The parties to the lawsuit believe the challenge to the EU-ETS is still warranted, and options are being considered for appealing the court's ruling."
Bolen noted that the court's decision also appears to ignore the 1944 ICAO pact giving nations sovereignty over their own skies. The plan would tax flights from their point of origin rather than from the point they enter European airspace, in effect, taxing flights in airspace outside the EU.
Today's decision from the European court comes as government and industry voices are increasingly raising alarm over the potential for EU regulators' actions to set a damaging precedent.
This month, legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate prohibiting operators of U.S. aircraft from participating in the EU-ETS. That legislation was met with strong support from a coalition of groups, including NBAA, representing nearly all aviation segments. A bill similar to the one introduced in the Senate was passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives in October.
Representatives from the international aviation community have also spoken out against the EU-ETS plan. On November 2, ICAO issued a non-binding statement, approved by 26 of the international body's 36 member states, including the U.S., urging the EU not to include flights by non-EU operators in the ETS.
Although aviation emissions account for just a tiny percentage of carbon emissions from transportation worldwide, the industry has a record of continuous improvement in reducing emissions, and has established goals for increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing emissions in the years to come.
While NBAA will continue to seek a global approach to environmental issues, in the interim, operators should continue complying with EU-ETS-related monitoring, reporting and verification requirements.
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
21. December 2011 14:00
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MERIDIAN FOUNDER CELEBRATES MILESTONES
Teterboro, NJ, December 20, 2011 – J. Kenneth Forester, an early pioneer of private aviation services at Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey, celebrated his 90th birthday on December 1, 2011. Coincidently, this milestone year also marks the 65th anniversary of his arrival at TEB, the place where Mr. Forester first began his legacy in aviation.
Forester started his aviation career in 1941 when he volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) two weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Shortly after graduating from P-38 school in 1943, he was selected for test pilot duty. From 1943 to 1946, he flew most types of US military aircraft, including fighters, bombers, and transports. Of special interest, he flew the first American-made jet (P-59 Airacomet), and the first fighter jet used operationally by the USAAF (P-80 Shooting Star).
After Forester was discharged from service in 1946, he opened an executive hangar at Teterboro Airport, the first of several business endeavors at TEB that would evolve over the decades into today’s Meridian, a full service private aviation company. In 2002, Forester was honored with the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award by the FAA, which recognizes aviation maintenance professionals with at least 50 years of experience. In 2008, he was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame in recognition of his many contributions to the aviation industry.
Today, Meridian is still family-owned and led by Forester’s son, Kenneth C. Forester, making Meridian the longest continuously operating aviation services company in the New York Metropolitan Area, and the last family-owned business at Teterboro Airport. The legacy of the Forester family is one of love of country and aviation. Following in his father’s footsteps, his son graduated from the USAF Academy and flew the F-102 Delta Dagger during the Vietnam War.
Meridian is a full-service, private aviation company based in Teterboro, NJ, located just minutes from New York City. The company has earned numerous industry awards and accolades for its outstanding service and state-of-the-art facility. Meridian owns and operates businesses that include Aircraft Management, Aircraft Maintenance, Air Charter, and a world-class Executive Terminal / FBO that was completed in 2006.
For more information, please visit our website at www.meridian.aero or call us at 201-288-5040.
20. December 2011 16:11
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2011
Cutter Aviation Completes STC for Aircell In-Flight WiFi System on Beechjet 400A / Hawker 400XP
Cutter Aviation Awarded Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP STC for High-Speed Wireless Internet Using Aircell Gogo Biz System.
PHOENIX, AZ. — Cutter Aviation is proud to announce the completion of the first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for in-flight, high-speed wireless connectivity for the Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP family for Aircell Gogo Biz in-flight broadband. Cutter Aviation avionics engineers in Phoenix, AZ developed the STC in partnership with Aircell, a leader in in-flight connectivity solutions, utilizing the Aircell ATG 4000 and ATG 5000 systems for installation in the Beechjet airframe. The STC was awarded on December 19, 2011 after nearly a year of development and is now available for purchase and installation on all Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP light business jet aircraft.
“In-flight wireless internet access is no longer just an ‘extra’ for business aviation aircraft… it has become a requirement for peak in-flight productivity in the digital age” said David Lohmeyer, Director of R&D for Aircraft Avionics and Services at Cutter Aviation. “Beechjet and Hawker 400XP operators have been waiting for a light, cost-effective in-flight WiFi solution for their aircraft and Cutter Aviation stepped up to meet their needs with the Aircell STC package.”
With the Aircell in-flight WiFi STC by Cutter Aviation, Beechjet operators may now enjoy Internet access in the air just like what they find at home, in the office, or at public “hotspots” like their local coffee shop. Laptops, tablets and smartphones connect in-flight with ease just like a normal WiFi connection. In-flight users connect at speeds up to 3.1 megabites per second (mbps) and network coverage extends nationwide. Unlike the heavy and expensive equipment used in many first-generation in-flight phone and internet systems found on other aircraft, the equipment and antennas developed by Aircell are light and compact enough for easy installation on a light jet like the Beechjet and more affordable than ever.
Various monthly data packages through the Aircell Gogo
Biz provide internet access for a wide range of budgets, from basic connectivity through unlimited data plans.
With more than 10,000 systems shipped worldwide, Aircell is the undisputed leader in global airborne communications. Already flying on thousands of aircraft, Aircell’s voice, data and broadband systems are the choice of every major business aircraft manufacturer as well as the world’s largest airlines. Cutter Aviation is proud to be a dealer for Aircell throughout the Southwestern United States and a developer of new STC solutions using Aircell technology.
For more information on Aircell In-Flight WiFi systems on the Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP by Cutter Aviation, please visit http://www.cutteraviation.com/BeechjetWiFi or contact Cutter Aviation Avionics at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) at 602-267-4070.
About Cutter Aviation
Founded in 1928 by William P. Cutter, Cutter Aviation is a full-service aviation company, offering aircraft fuel/line services, maintenance and avionics solutions, aircraft charter and aircraft sales and management. Cutter Aviation operates from eight major airports in five states within the Southwestern United States including: Arizona (Phoenix-Deer Valley and Phoenix-Sky Harbor), New Mexico (Albuquerque), Colorado (Colorado Springs), California (Carlsbad) and Texas (Dallas-McKinney, El Paso and San Antonio). The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). Cutter Aviation is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated FBO (Fixed Base Operator) in the United States with over 83 years of serving the General & Business Aviation industry. For more information about Cutter Aviation, please visit www.cutteraviation.com.
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20. December 2011 15:44
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ONLINE ADVANCE PURCHASE TICKETING NOW OPEN FOR EAA AIRVENTURE 2012
Admission tickets, camping for all dates, and aircraft rides available
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (Dec. 20, 2011) — Advance purchase admission tickets and camping are now available for the 60th annual edition of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, providing greater convenience for those travelling to “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.” The week-long 2012 event will be held July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
Advance admission ticketing is made possible through support from Jeppesen.
Both EAA members and non-members can purchase tickets in advance via a secure website, allowing ticket holders to speed through the admissions process. Daily and weekly admissions are available, as is the ability to join EAA and immediately receive the best possible admission prices available only to EAA members. Discounts are available to those who pre-purchase AirVenture tickets online before June 15, 2012, including $2 on daily adult admissions and $5 on weekly adult admissions.
New for 2012, EAA member spouse and guest admissions have been streamlined into the adult EAA member rates. In addition, all EAA member spouse tickets will include a $15 merchandise credit for a weekly ticket and $2 merchandise credit for a daily ticket. This credit can be used at any official EAA merchandise location during AirVenture 2012.
“With its variety of attractions and entertainment options, EAA AirVenture remains one of the great family-friendly destinations at an affordable price,” said Rick Larsen, EAA vice president of marketing. “We continue to look for ways to streamline and improve the purchasing and admission process, enabling attendees to get the most out of AirVenture every year.”
Advance purchase camping for Camp Scholler, which opens on June 22, 2012, provides the convenience of express registration at the campground entrance, including specially designated lines on peak arrival dates.
Additionally, attendees are able to pre-purchase flights on EAA’s historic B-17 Aluminum Overcast or a vintage Ford Tri-Motor, two of AirVenture’s more popular attractions. Passengers can avoid the lines and get more out of their AirVenture experience before embarking on a mission flight back in time on a World War II bomber or taking a ride in the first mass-produced airliner.
To access the advance ticketing area, visit www.airventure.org and click on the “Buy Tickets” link. Simply make your selections, pay by credit card, and print your tickets at home. Full instructions and answers to frequently asked questions are available at that site. Advance purchase AirVenture tickets are scanned and exchanged for an appropriate wristband at all AirVenture gates in a quick and easy process.
Advance purchase EAA AirVenture tickets also make great Christmas and holiday gifts, and allow recipients to enjoy many months of anticipation prior to their own Oshkosh experience. The advance purchase option is also a unique gift idea for aviation enthusiasts. While buying admission tickets and camping, online purchasers can also select from limited edition AirVenture merchandise.
About EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.
4. December 2011 22:40
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As you may know, the Obama administration's latest budget proposes a new $100 per flight user fee for the privilege of using air traffic control services. The operators flying in controlled airspace would be required to pay the fee to the FAA. However, certain operations would be exempt from the fee including military aircraft, public aircraft, recreational piston aircraft, air ambulances, aircraft operating outside of controlled airspace, and Canada-to-Canada flights.
However, what has been missing from the discussion of the proposed user fee are a whole variety of practical, and legal, questions that remain unanswered:
The FAA as collector? If the FAA collects the fees, will this require formation of an additional level of bureaucracy to deal with collection and enforcement? Alternatively, would the FAA's regional counsel's offices be tasked with collection of unpaid fees? If so, how would that impact their current civil penalty and certificate action enforcement caseload? Or perhaps the FAA would handle collections out of its chief counsel's office.
In any event, more bureaucracy is very rarely a good thing. As an example, just look at the creation and unprecedented growth of the Transportation Safety Administration bureaucracy. And how would that additional bureaucracy be funded? Seems like a "catch-22" waiting to happen.
How will the user fee be assessed? Will the fee be assessed against the pilot, against the aircraft or, perhaps, against the aircraft owner? If the fee is assessed against the aircraft owner, what if the aircraft owner didn't authorize the activity for which the fee was charged? Would assessment of a fee against an aircraft owner under these circumstances violate due process?
How will the user fees be collected? Will the fees be charged at the point of sale (e.g. when you obtain file a flight plan or request a clearance) or will an account be established upon which an invoice or bill will later be sent requesting payment? If the former, would ATC demand a credit card number from a pilot prior to delivering a clearance or accepting a flight plan? If the latter, will the account be for the pilot, the aircraft, the aircraft owner or all of the above?
What happens if a user disputes a fee? For example, what if the fees are assessed against the wrong party or the amount assessed is incorrect? Will the innocent/aggrieved party have the opportunity/ability to contest or object to imposition of the fee? Who will decide the dispute? Will the dispute resolution process be fair and provide due process? Will the user have the right to appeal?
What happens if they are not paid? Will the government aggressively collect unpaid fees? Could unpaid fees become liens against aircraft or, worse yet, the equivalent of tax liens against the pilot or aircraft owner? If the unpaid fees are assessed against a certificate holder (e.g. pilot or air carrier) could the certificate holder's certificate(s) be at risk for failure to pay?
As you can see, aside from the political arguments as to whether user fees are an appropriate funding source for the FAA, the logistics of implementing a user fee system present equally formidable challenges that have yet to be addressed. Rather than simply looking at the potential revenue that user fees may generate, the administration will also need to offset that revenue with the costs of implementing and managing the necessary collection and enforcement mechanisms.
Additionally, the FAA would likely need to promulgate rules to address, and answer, all of these questions, and more. This would take time and cost more money. At the end of the day, an honest analysis will likely reveal that aviation user fees are simply not worth it.