Archive for the ‘Daily Departures’ Category

  • Patrick Smith has some thoughts on the Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009. He finds good, unnecessary, and controversial in the bill. [Salon]
  • The FAA and NATCA have a newly mediated contract; it now goes to the controllers for ratification. [FAA, NATCA]
  • Richard Branson will be testifying before a House panel on September 16. Looks like a good show. [Aviation Week]
  • Burt Rutan, climatologist? [Aero-News.Net]

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Photo op gone wrong, and more

  • A thorough account of an ill-thought-out idea. [WSJ]
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation will make its decision on antitrust immunity for core Oneworld partners American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia by November. [ATW Daily News]
  • “Rarely have I ever seen a former ranking official use that credential in more irresponsible ways than has [Mary] Schiavo since she left office. Having her comment on this will only undermine public understanding, but we have come to expect irresponsibility from her.” Ouch. [Airport Check-In]
  • The Midway Airport deal fell through, and now BAA is receiving smaller than expected bids for London’s Gatwick Airport. Too bad for BAA and good for the bidder; Gatwick is a valuable property that will be solid long-term investment, like most sparse infrastructure components. [FT]
  • Taiwan continues to expand bilateral aviation ties with mainland China. [ATW Daily News]
  • How to make the TSA even less accountable. [ANN]

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I recently found on my computer this photo taken during a trip to Gibraltar in 2005:


This is the barrier where the sole road into Gibraltar crosses the airport’s runway. (The airport terminal is in the background in this photo.) The road and walkway are closed during the few times a day when a plane is landing or taking off. I case you can’t see clearly, the signs say:

Pedestrians are to keep within the white lines.
Please cross quickly.

Litter can cause aircraft accidents.
Put your litter in the red bins.
Keep the runway clear.

It’s a bit surreal walking across an active runway. Gibraltar is a great aviation destination. Below the fold are a few photos from the terminal, through which my traveling companion and I departed the Mediterranean coast and returned to London.


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I’ve done several off-blog items on the subject of international airline alliances lately. Here they are:

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  • The FAA is attempting to temper the effects on passengers of its safety oversight, especially after last year’s regulatory overkill. [Aero-News.Net]
  • Southwest announces its first service into a slot-constrained airport: LaGuardia. Big step for the airline. [Nuts about Southwest]
  • The rush is on to hire more air traffic controllers as waves of them retire, but the controllers’ union says there are still too few being hired and that many of those that have been hired recently are of “low caliber.” [Today in the Sky]
  • How American is Virgin America? Oberstar asks. [ATW Daily News]
  • The privatization of Midway Airport is stalled as investors have trouble rounding up the necessary funds. There’s not a lot of capital for private-sector infrastructure projects right now. [Middle Seat Terminal]

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A few items for your attention today:

  • In an interesting test case for private airport development, the Malaysian government has blocked the construction of an airport to compete with Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Fascinating story. [WSJ]
  • The Conservative Party took a blow on the expansion of London’s Heathrow Airport. Well-deserved. [FT]
  • Adrian Schofield at Aviation Week has been bringing us all the latest gossip on Obama’s not-expected-anytime-soon FAA choice. The latest scuttlebutt? Minneapolis airport chief Jeffrey Hamiel. [Things with Wings]
  • The Government Accountability Office has a new report out on “actions needed to improve management of air sovereignty alert operations to protect U.S. airspace.” [GAO]
  • All-knowing political analyst Michael Barone writes about the politics of the Ray LaHood selection at DOT in the context of Chicago airport expansion. [USNews]
  • Finally, a former professor of mine, now a dean at Penn State, was directed by police not to take photographs at Charleston International Airport in South Carolina. He records his chilling conversation. [Targuman]

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  • Transportation Secretary nominee Ray LaHood has already weighed in on a matter under DOT review: whether to grant antitrust immunity to an American Airlines-British Airways-& co. transatlantic alliance. He’s in favor, but will likely have to recuse himself from any involvement. [WSJ Middle Seat Terminal, Things with Wings]
  • Acting FAA administrator Robert Sturgell will step down on January 16, replaced by new deputy administrator Lynne Osmus, who will also remain on board as acting administrator until Obama’s next appointment. [Things with Wings] Editorial comment: you can now see the congressional Democrats’ savvy in stonewalling the Sturgell nomination for the past year. The FAA administrator has a five-year term, so the Dems knew that if they delayed long enough, they could get their own person nominated in due course. Never mind the effect of a leadership vacuum. . . .
  • On that note, Rob Mark has some thoughts on the caliber of leadership needed at the FAA. [Jetwhine]
  • The TSA now wants to include private aircraft over 12,500 pounds in security screening procedures. [New York Times]
  • U.S. airlines have not (yet) partaken in the bailout-o-rama, but Chinese airlines have been lining up for aid. [ATW Daily News]
  • There are a few new papers worth a look on liberalizing international aviation services agreements. [Macilree’s Weblog]
  • Dan Webb takes issue with the airline lobby’s claim that its Stop Oil Speculation Now campaign helped bring down the price of oil last fall. [Things in the Sky]

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Merry Christmas, folks! I’ve got some loose ends I want to tie up here before heading off to Memphis for Christmas with my family.

  • US Airways’ pilots have joined American’s in leaving the FAA’s voluntary Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). The pilots union is concerned that there are not enough protections for pilots who self-report. Are union officials using ASAP participation as a bargaining chip? [Cranky Flier]
  • After a year’s wait, Sean O’Neill takes a look at the files the Department of Homeland Security maintains on him. What kind of records do they have for you? [This Just In]
  • Criticize the Kremlin? Then don’t expect them to be forthcoming with bailout cash. Which serves, in the end, to consolidate state control of Aeroflot. [FT]
  • Compagnia Aerea Italia (CAI), the new owner of Alitalia, is filing to assume Alitalia’s U.S. foreign air carrier permit under the name CAI Alitalia. [Daily Airline Filings]
  • BA and Qantas have lost the urge to merge. They couldn’t agree on which airline would be less equal than the other. [FT]
  • Continental jet veers off a runway at Denver and ends up in a ditch; plane burns but all escape. [WSJ]
  • Former FAA chief Marion Blakey tries to scare us into pursuing manned moon exploration again. Isn’t it interesting that the industry she now lobbies for would stand to gain much from such an exploration program? Hmmm. [Aero-News.Net]
  • Attempting to mend its ways, Indonesia passes a new air safety bill. [Aviation Safety Network]
  • John R. Byerly, deputy assistant secretary of state for transportation affairs, offers a perspective on how the United States negotiates international air services agreeements. [via Macilree]

Oh, and confidential to all who’ve inquired about this: I did indeed finish, 50,000 words between November 1 and 30. There are actually several scenes involving aviation. (Write what you know, huh?) Now on to the editing process!

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Global deregulation? And more

  • IATA, the global airline trade group, wants “the industry to be freed from the shackles that prevent airlines being run as normal businesses. In particular, [it] wants an end to the archaic rules governing market access and the restrictions on foreign capital that limit the ability of airlines to raise equity from international capital markets and inhibit cross-border mergers.” [The Economist]
  • The EU’s “third package” of aviation regulations became law over the weekend. “The regulation lays down rules for the granting of operating licenses, control of airlines and market access. It also requires carriers to include all taxes and charges in published ticket prices and bans price discrimination based on place of residence.” [ATW Daily News]
  • James May, head of the U.S. airline lobby, says that including aviation in the EU’s emissions trading scheme is “contrary to international law,” and he calls for allowing airlines the profitability to reinvest in more fuel-efficient technology (hint, hint), air traffic control system upgrades, and government spending for alternative fuel development. [Aero-News.Net]
  • How can the FAA claim the ability to auction slots at New York-area airports? It can’t. [Aviation and Airport Development Law Blog 1, 2]
  • Did TSA tip off screeners about “random” inspections in advance? [USA Today]
  • Could the Boeing strike cause the aerospace giant to move future manufacturing facilities (or even its current ones) to right-to-work states? Such a move would erode Washington state’s industrial base. [Aero-News.Net]
  • Finally, a personal remembrance of Berlin’s now-closed Tempelhof Airport. [Jetwhine]

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Lots in the news today. . . .

  • Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, wants to build a new London airport on an island and in the frickin’ North Sea. Seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I love BoJo, but this is taking a perennial white elephant and turning it into white whale. Or something like that. [Independent, Towers and Tarmacs]
  • ACI-NA president Greg Principato comments on how the presidential candidates will think about aviation if elected. [Airport Check-In]
  • Benet Wilson has a podcast with Alfred Kahn, who chaired the Civil Aeronautics Board during airline deregulation thirty years ago. [Things with Wings]
  • Speak of the devil, why do we care about airline deregulation at all now? Adrian Schofield writes that we’re in no danger of reregulating the industry. Well, one reason to debate it is to set the record straight. [Things with Wings]
  • The international airline trade group has just concluded a meeting promoting international deregulation multilateral aviation treaties. [finchannel.com]
  • Nicholas Sabatini, the top safety official at the FAA, is being replaced by Peggy Gilligan in 2009. [Things with Wings]
  • Here’s a “cranky” take on the announcement that the TSA will deploy “Secure Flight” next year. [The Cranky Flier]
  • Aviation is set to be included in the European emissions trading scheme starting in 2012. [ATW Daily News]
  • And finally, the U.S. has completed open skies agreements with Armenia, Laos, and Vietnam. So, who’ll be the first to fly the popular LAX-Vientiane run? What about Dulles-Yerevan? Anyone? [John Macilree’s Weblog]

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