| Departments |
Airport Support Network
| Restoring GA |
| FEDS FREE FIRST OF 41,000 STRANDED AIRPLANES |
Most VFR pilots near five major cities were able to take to the air last Monday morning, following the release of a notam late Saturday night. Five more cities were opened Tuesday and an additional five on Wednesday. "AOPA's staff has been working almost 24 hours a day to achieve this first goal," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The efforts of AOPA members, along with other general aviation organizations, have helped to free the first of the GA 41,000.” A special edition of ePilot was sent early Sunday to pilots in and near the affected areas. AOPA's staff will be focusing now on restoring flight privileges in the remaining 15 enhanced Class B areas and the Washington and New York temporary flight restriction areas (TFRs). AOPA is also working toward gaining approval for news and traffic reporting, banner towing, and sightseeing operations to resume operations in enhanced Class B (ECB) airspace.
FAA PUTS ONUS ON NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
An FAA representative told the House aviation subcommittee Wednesday that while the agency is working on plans to reopen the 15 remaining ECB areas, they can’t do so without concurrence from the National Security Council and the Department of Defense. This clarifies the much disputed question as to who is making the decisions regarding the reopening of ECB to VFR traffic. Steve Brown, FAA associate administrator of air traffic services, received pointed questions from members of the committee. He said that the FAA has been working hard with members of the general aviation industry, such as AOPA, to remove the restrictions. But committee members believe the lifting of such restrictions should have come long ago. North Carolina congressman and AOPA member Robin Hayes said to Brown, "Just fix the problem, will ya?"
NSC CONSIDERS PROPOSALS
The National Security Council met Thursday to consider FAA plans for restoring operations in the remaining 15 ECB areas. The FAA's presentation considered recommendations made by a coalition of general aviation groups for easing restrictions on VFR flying. AOPA, EAA, GAMA, HAI, NATA, NBAA, and NASAO developed consensus recommendations addressing aircraft and airport security and airspace operations.
AOPA ASKS CONGRESS FOR HELP
AOPA again Wednesday reminded Congress that the airspace around 15 major cities remains closed to VFR pilots. "The problem is not yet solved. With each day that passes, some 65,000 pilots and nearly 21,000 aircraft at 132 airports, and the businesses that support them, continue to be affected in 15 areas. These VFR operations must be restored," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs, testifying before the House aviation subcommittee. In addition to the business losses caused by the continuing restrictions, Cebula said that individual aircraft owners were facing average fixed costs of $2,400 a month whether the aircraft flies or not. See AOPA Online.
CONGRESSMEN INTRODUCE VFR RESTORATION BILLS
House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced Wednesday aviation security legislation that includes a provision that requires that any notam, regulation, or order that restricts the ability of Part 91 aircraft to conduct operations in ECB airspace shall cease to be in effect 10 days after the bill is passed. This provision is similar to the bill also introduced Wednesday by Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.) that would require the FAA to develop a plan to allow VFR flight in the remaining 15 ECB areas where it is currently prohibited. Filner said his legislation "requires the FAA to have a specific timeline for opening up these closed airports. National security is paramount, but we must also find a way to allow this backbone of American transportation to resume flying."
FAA MAY GRANT PROFICIENCY, INSPECTION EXTENSIONS
As a follow-up to informal discussions with FAA officials, AOPA formally requested that pilots and aircraft owners directly affected by the enhanced Class B flight restrictions and the TFRs be given relief from the regulations governing instrument proficiency, flight reviews, and certain aircraft inspections. In particular, AOPA asked that the FAA extend the due date to November 30 for those whose pilot proficiency or aircraft inspections were due on or after September 30. Relief was also requested on behalf of our military personnel serving overseas. The FAA recently told AOPA that granting the requested relief was possible with certain modifications. A final decision is expected early next week. See AOPA Online.
For the latest on the air traffic situation, see AOPA Online.
| GA News |
| FORMER GALAXY HEAD JOINS ECLIPSE BOARD |
Brian E. Barents, former president and CEO of Galaxy Aerospace Corporation, has been elected to Eclipse Aviation Corporation's board of directors. He replaces Sam Williams, chairman and CEO of Williams International, who resigned from the board after the Eclipse 500 jet airframe development and certification program was transitioned from Williams to Eclipse. At Galaxy Barents was responsible for operations and financial performance, and product development. He was also responsible for negotiating the sale of Galaxy to Gulfstream. He joins Chairman Harold Poling, retired chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company; Kent Kresa, chairman, president, and CEO of Northrop Grumman; Alfred Mann, retired chairman and CEO of MiniMed; and Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation.
PITTSBURGH FLIGHT SCHOOL WINS $10,000 PRIZE
Pittsburgh Flight Training Center (PFTC) has won the industry Be A Pilot program's $10,000 competition for 2001's most innovative and effective local market outreach effort. The winning entry was submitted by Kevin Daw, PFTC manager since August 2000. Drawing on a retail marketing background, he turned the 20-year-old operation around in just months by using an aggressive marketing strategy. Daw himself learned to fly just four years ago. More detailed information will be sent to all Be A Pilot participating flight schools. See the Web site.
MERCURY AIR GROUP MAKES FORBES LIST
Los Angeles-based Mercury Air Group has been named to Forbes magazine's prestigious list of "200 Best Small Companies in America." The magazine noted that the weakening economy hit large-cap companies hard, but that the small-cap companies like Mercury have historically led the way out of recessions. Mercury was ranked 167th on the list. The company supplies petroleum products, air cargo transportation, and support services for general aviation, the government, and the airlines worldwide.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA MEMBERS NOW HAVE FLIGHT TRACKING CAPABILITY |
AOPA members now have the opportunity to use their personal computers and AOPA Flight Explorer Personal Edition software to track virtually all airline and many general aviation flights within the U.S. air traffic control system. "It's a new level of awareness of air traffic operations for our members—another way to help them stay on top of the air traffic situation," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The new service allows AOPA members up to 10 hours a month of real-time tracking for the discounted rate of $8.95, with additional hours available for purchase. See AOPA Online.
SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO CONTROL AIRPORT
AOPA's two-year-long opposition to a privatization plan for San Diego's Brown Field Municipal Airport succeeded when the City Council voted unanimously to maintain local control of the airport. It will help secure the future of general aviation at Brown Field. The field was one of five airports nationwide scheduled to be privatized—that is, sold or leased to a private developer—under a congressionally ordered demonstration program. But the plan for Brown Field would have harmed GA. See AOPA Online.
FAA GOES AFTER CITY FOR $50,000 LANDING FEES
The FAA set last Saturday as the deadline for the town of Islip, New York, to drop a recently enacted $50,000 nighttime landing fee at Long Island-Mac Arthur Airport. The fee violates a federal funding agreement prohibiting unjust discrimination. As recently as early September, AOPA said the town "ignored us" when asked on several occasions to discuss nighttime curfew issues. See AOPA Online.
AOPA AVIATION AD&D INSURANCE RATES GO DOWN
AOPA aviation accidental death and dismemberment insurance rates are now lower than ever. Make sure you have the protection you need every time you fly. To upgrade your coverage, see AOPA Online.
PILOTS ARE SOUGHT TO TEST FSS ENHANCEMENTS
The FAA is seeking volunteers to participate in a research program involving the aviation digital data system (ADDS). The test, to be conducted at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will study the potential for conducting interactive weather briefings for pilots utilizing the flight service system. The program will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from November 6 through 8. Pilots need only participate for one of the days, and no prior experience with the system is needed. This is an opportunity to be involved in an important safety and service enhancement for the general aviation community. AOPA has been a long-time advocate of providing official weather information over the Internet. AOPA staff members will also be participating in the study to evaluate future member benefits. For more, contact Mike Brown.
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| Airport Support Network |
| ASN WORKS TO SAVE NATION'S AIRPORTS |
Every day more than 1,000 AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers work with AOPA headquarters on a local level to help save their airports. That's a lot, but not enough. Ask yourself these questions: Has my flying been affected by development, new restrictions, or negative public relations about my local airport? Have local issues or political pressures affected my use and the efficiency of my local airport? If the answer is "yes" to either question, you may be just the kind of person we're looking for to help ensure the health and availability of your airport.
To nominate a volunteer—which can be yourself—see AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
|Do you know what to do if you're intercepted by a military aircraft? Try the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new safety quiz on AOPA Online. |
| Quiz Me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: I have just received a letter of investigation from the FAA for a flight into the enhanced Class B airspace. They are saying that I wasn't authorized to be in that area. What should I do?
Answer: AOPA staff has talked with a number of pilots who have received letters and inquiries from the FAA, stemming from the wide range of interpretations of the many notams published by the FAA since the events of September 11. If you receive a letter of investigation or other inquiry from the FAA, you should contact one of our aviation technical specialists (800/USA-AOPA) immediately to learn more about the enforcement process. Members who are enrolled in the AOPA Legal Services Plan will have access to legal advice to address their concerns. Click here for more on the plan. For more on the FAA's enforcement procedure and your options, see AOPA Online.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].
| AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza Update |
| Back from the American Bonanza Society Convention, the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza is getting ready for its big moment, leading the Parade of Planes at AOPA Expo next month in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. See our latest project update. |
| Picture Perfect |
|Jump to the AOPA Online Gallery to see the featured airplane of the day. Click on the link for details on how to capture wallpaper for your work area. See AOPA Online. |
| On The Road To Expo |
|Don't miss AOPA Expo 2001, November 8 through 10, in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For complete information on this spectacular aviation event, see AOPA Online. Be sure to check the Web for updates daily on Virtual Expo, sponsored by Avidyne. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|When an airport accepts federal funding, there are strings attached. And if an airport doesn't comply with the obligations, issues arise. The AOPA Airport Support Network staff has put together a document that outlines compliance procedures. Click here to download a copy of AOPA's Guide to FAA Airport Compliance. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Columbia, South Carolina. Celebrate Freedom Festival takes place November 2 through 4 at Columbia Owens Downtown Airport (CUB). Call 803/788-6837 for event information.
Manteo, North Carolina. Wings Over Water takes place November 2 through 4 at Dare County Regional Airport (MQI). Call 252/441-8144 for event information.
Norfolk, Virginia. A Bonanza/Baron Proficiency Clinic takes place November 2 through 4 at Norfolk International Airport (ORF). Call 970/377-1877 for event information.
Lawrenceville, Georgia. Flying Start Program and pancake breakfast takes place November 3 at Gwinnett County-Briscoe Field (LZU). Call 770/613-9501 for event information.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Dulles, Virginia, November 5, and Hampton, Virginia, November 7. Topic is Collision Avoidance. See AOPA Online.
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next ASF Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Atlanta and Dallas November 3 and 4. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.
ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitterï¿½ Ground School takes place November 18 in Cincinnati and Albuquerque. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].
Got news? Contact ePilot at [email protected] Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].
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To SUBSCRIBE: visit http://www.aopa.org/members/epilot.html.
AOPA, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701
Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or 301/695-2000
Copyright ï¿½ 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
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