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.”
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.
Quick-hitting news notes this morning in what should be a busy Friday for us here at GlobalAir.com (will post more about that later if time permits).
The big story coming into the day was the announcement yesterday of a committee to advise the federal Transportation Department in a concerted attempt to strengthen the economy within the aviation industry. Links are posted in the blog entry below this one. Other news tidbits:
- Aviation Week follows up on Chevron’s recent announcement that it will end the branding of its and Texaco fuels at 200 FBOs in 27 states by this fall. Benet Wilson reports that many FBOs first learned of the move from other fuel providers trying to win them over.
- An ATC tower will open for business at the Ocala (Fla.) International Airport (OCF) on May 17. Controllers will direct traffic with visual observation.
- Russian Helicopters plans to roll out a fifth-generation helicopter for combat that would be invisible to radar and able to attack fighter jets. The company needs a government contract before it can move forward.
Finally, the AP reports that 9-year-old Ruben Van Assouw, survivor of the Airbus crash this week in Libya, may soon return home. His parents and brother are thought to be among the 103 killed.
Members will include representatives from aircraft manufacturing, airport, and airline industries among others. Read more from the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press.
Weigh in on our comments section. Do you think they can groupthink into being the next TSA chair? What gains or setbacks could come out of this? Discuss.