A panel of experts at an aviation safety forum this week issued a scary scenario for the sky in future commercial aviation. They told the NTSB that future pilots at airlines could be, in general, less experienced and ethical amidst an industry in which the workers will be in high demand as airlines begin hiring again.
The Associated Press reports in its coverage of the forum that the hardest hit will be regional airlines, which employ pilots with less experience at lower salaries. Fewer college students and military pilots are looking for work at airlines, as 42,000 pilots will need to be hired over the next 10 years. Flights will still need to be made, and some fear that this could compromise qualifications.
In other news, the FAA says widespread NexGen upgrades will come a little more quickly than initially anticipated. Quoted in the Dallas Morning News, Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt told the American Association of Airport Executives that the bulk of improvements will have occurred by 2016 rather than the forecasted 2018, as airlines rush to be competitive with advanced gear as the transition snowballs.
The first-ever International Learn to Fly Day (website) appears to have been a smashing success, as 40,000 people attended 450 events nationwide, according to the EAA. Check out coverage of events in Gainesville, Fla., Austin, Minn., and Fitchburg, Mass., where a flying car drew a crowd.
Perhaps programs like this will help ensure the next generation of pilots are, in fact, experienced and ethical.
Photo courtesy of Jaunted.com, widely distributed on the Web
One of the biggest stories in aviation today is the third nomination of a potential TSA chief from the Obama administration. We run down links to various outlets’ coverage here.
In what has to be one of the coolest technological feats in aviation recently, tornado chasers from the University of Colorado flew an unmanned aircraft into a super-cell thunderstorm. The byproduct of this will hopefully be better research of how life-threatening storms are formed without putting researchers into harm’s way.
Part of the reason folks chase such storms has to be the thrill of it. Yet controlling a UAV through massive downbursts has its own enticements, too.
In a sad piece of aviation news, two dogs owned by actor and pilot John Travolta were killed last week by a service vehicle at Bangor International Airport (BGR). Travolta owns a home off the Maine coast.
In the world of business aviation, Benet Wilson of Aviation Week runs through an intriguing list of news tidbits, noting that NATA and others are not happy with GA having only one representative on the DOT aviation panel. Read that, along with news from Hawker Beechcraft, Korean Aerospace and GE Aviation here.
Boeing patted itself on the back this week for reducing CO2 emissions at U.S. facilities by 31 percent since 2002. The company seeks to add to this number with the deployment of its 787s and 747-8 series.
Finally, our friends at Duncan Aviation look further into the complicated quandary known as WAAS, expanding on why LPV approaches with the system require two FMSs and two GPS receivers. Check it out at this link.
The Obama administration announced Monday its third nomination to head the Transportation Security Administration.
Deputy FBI Director John Pistole becomes the third person selected for the job after former Los Angeles airport police executive Errol Southers and retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Harding stepped aside amongst possible hang-ups in congressional confirmation hearings.
“John’s national security and counterterrorism expertise will be a great asset to the Department in our efforts to enhance the security of our vital transportation systems,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “Strong and effective transportation security requires proactive measures and a strong understanding of the evolving threat picture. John’s significant experience and expertise in this field—which I have seen firsthand over the last 16 months—will serve both TSA and the traveling public well.”
Moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, seen by the administration as a key dealmaker in Congress, showed early support for Pistole, as she initially did for the two prior nominees. However, consensus seems more positive this time around.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman says the White House sees Pitole’s nomination as “bulletproof.”
Our offices sit below the control tower at historic Bowman Field (LOU) in Louisville, Ky.
Its historical society cheered 90 years of history at the airport over the weekend. Local news coverage of the event, including video, can be found here.
To read deeper into what once was the busiest GA airport in the country, check out a brief history of the facility here.
Later in the week, we will post a deeper look at the history of amphibious naval aircraft in the area.
The news comes quickly, albeit delayed, to begin the workweek / close out Monday:
Both Gulfstream and Cirrus Aircraft reported positive news in first-quarter earnings reports. Gulfstream CEO Jay Johnson said its 2010 revenues through March finished 15 percent higher than during the pervious quarter, which closed out 2009.
Meanwhile, Cirrus said via the General Aviation Manufacturers Association that it delivered 53 aircraft in the first quarter, a 36 percent boost from a year ago.
The U.S. Department of Transportation released more details about its “Future of Aviation Advisory Committee.” An initial meeting will take place May 25. Executives from Cessna, JetBlue, Goodrich Corporation and Boeing are among those appointed to the panel.
Finally, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) recently touted being named among the most efficient of the largest American airports. It comes as no surprise that part of the success is attributed to the generally fair weather experienced in the area.