Christine Grimaldi

Christine Grimaldi
LoBiondo To Chair Aviation Subcommittee 

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), a vocal supporter of the FAA’s NextGen air traffic management initiative, was named chair of the House aviation subcommittee. LoBiondo’s congressional district is home to the William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center, which conducts extensive NextGen research and development.

Across the aisle, aides close to Rep. Rick Larsen (Wash.) expect the Democrat to lead his party on the aviation panel and that an announcement is expected Jan. 22.

TSA’s Chief Acknowledges Need To Use Third Parties In PreCheck Gathering 

Using third parties to determine passenger eligibility for expedited airport screening will help the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reduce bureaucracy and expedite deployment of such programs, the head of the agency says.

“This is something that we see as an opportunity to expand the known and trusted population in a way that doesn’t require rulemaking,” Administrator John Pistole told a Jan. 17 International Aviation Club luncheon.

Atlas Air Expects 747-8F Deliveries To Provide Double-Digit Profit In 2013 

Atlas Air is leaving its full-year 2012 earnings guidance unchanged for 2013 as new deliveries of Boeing 747-8Fs are expected to offset a weak cargo market .

The New York-based cargo operator expects to report full-year 2012 earnings of more than $4.65 per share, in line with its November forecast.

Although that figure is lower than the $5.10 Atlas forecast earlier last year, the company nevertheless expects to post a double-digit profit for 2012 and beyond even though airfreight operations worldwide continue to remain largely stagnant.

LoBiondo Chairs House Aviation Panel; Larsen Probable Ranking Member 

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), a vocal supporter of the FAA’s NextGen air traffic management initiative, has been named chair of the U.S. House of Representatives panel charged with oversight of aviation policy.

LoBiondo will chair the aviation subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) announced yesterday. Shuster, however, has said he will give priority to other modes of transportation, such as highways, railways and ports, over aviation.

Canada’s Porter Has Plan To Maintain Newark Airport Slots 

Porter Airlines says its operations at Newark Liberty International Airport will not suffer if a court approves American Airlines’ petition to revoke a contract leasing four slots to the Canadian turboprop operator.

“We fully anticipated that American could try to recover the slots through bankruptcy protection and have made arrangements for our current schedule to be maintained,” a Porter spokesman tells Aviation Week. “We have a contingency in place that ensures there will be no change to our service level, including number of flights or flight times.”

TSA To Start Trials On Public-Private Partnerships For PreCheck Expansion 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it could test public-private partnerships as a way to expand expedited screening initiatives.

The TSA first solicited suggestions from third parties about how to expand initiatives, such as its popular PreCheck program, in a recent General Services Administration notice. Now, a spokeswoman tells Aviation Week that the TSA may test those concepts for several months to help plan its next steps.

Illinois Mass Transit Authority Charges United With Tax Dodge 

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has filed a law suit against United Airlines and is planning similar action against American Airlines for allegedly operating “sham rural offices” to circumvent the higher tax obligations they would face in their Chicago offices.

New Ventures May Change Canadian Marketplace 

This year could see substantial changes to the roster of North American airlines, from the potential merger of US Airways and American Airlines to significant industry expansion that is expected to unfold north of the border. Two prominent Canadian carriers seem unafraid of risk in 2013 as they plan to launch ventures that could have far-reaching impacts on fares, routes and ultimately competition. Rival carriers Air Canada and WestJet are set to create new airlines, each staking a claim over a different corner of the marketplace.

TSA Expands PreCheck Across More Domestic Airports, Airlines 

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is taking steps to increase traffic through its PreCheck program.

Passenger, airport and airline groups alike have consistently praised PreCheck, which exempts approved passengers from removing their shoes, laptops from bags and other security procedures at 35 domestic airports. But the groups share the same complaint: not enough flyers use the program.

Cargo Pilots Rest Rules Debate Continues
Sen. Barbara Boxer intends to reintroduce legislation
AAAE, ACI-NA Seeking More Airport Funds From Congress In 2013 

Airport groups have laid out an ambitious agenda for 2013 despite fiscal constraints in Washington.

UPS, FedEx Maintain Opposition To Expanded Pilot Rest Rule 

FedEx and UPS are opposing an effort on Capitol Hill to expand pilot rest rules to their crews, arguing that the exclusion of cargo pilots from the FAA’s new rule recognizes operational differences between airfreight and passenger operations.

“As we have long maintained, the FAA’s flight and duty time rules appropriately recognize the differences between cargo and passenger flying,” a UPS spokesman tells Aviation Week.

US Airways To Equip Airbus Fleet With Gogo ATG-4 By May
US Airways by May will equip its entire Airbus fleet with Gogo ATG-4.
Lawmakers Want Cargo Pilots Covered By FAA’s Rest Rules 

Two U.S. congressmen have introduced bipartisan legislation to expand new pilot rest rules to cargo pilots before the FAA rule goes into effect in 2014.

The Safe Skies Act proposed by Reps. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) would subject cargo operators to the same flight time limits, minimum rest periods and other standards that passenger airline pilots must adhere to starting next year.

FAA Justifies Size Of Controller Workforce As OIG Launches Review 

The FAA is standing by the size of its air traffic controller payroll as a government auditor launches an examination into how the workforce is utilized.

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