Christine Grimaldi christine_grimaldi@aviationweek.com

Christine Grimaldi christine_grimaldi@aviationweek.com
Articles
Mesa In Talks To Extend US Airways Contract On 38 CRJ900s 

US Airways’ decision to contract nine Bombardier CRJ900s from Mesa Air Group from this spring through to 2021 does not change the expiration of the regional airline’s current agreement to feed the mainline carrier with 38 76-seat jets until September 2015, Mesa tells Aviation Week.

Baltia To Meet With FAA On Certification 

New York-based Baltia Air Lines, which has been seeking certification since the early 1990s, will meet March 27 with officials from the FAA to review a pre-application checklist and related documents.

If those documents are found to be satisfactory, Baltia can then move to meeting with the FAA on a formal application, the regulator tells Aviation Week.

Republic Feeder Contract With American Under Pressure 

A regional feeder contract between Republic Airways Holdings and American Airlines is facing increased pressure from American Eagle Airlines’ labor unions.

Shuster Calls On FAA To Scrutinize Budget As Sequestration Approaches 

The FAA must scrutinize its budget to safeguard against any lapse in safety in advance of the pending sequester, the top Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today warned a U.S. congressional panel.

If sequestration goes into effect as scheduled March 1, both the FAA and Congress must “make sure we don’t allow safety to be questioned or challenged at all,” Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said during an aviation subcommittee hearing convened to assess the FAA’s implementation of its 2012 reauthorization.

United Expands Baggage Delivery To More U.S. Airports 

United Airlines has expanded the baggage delivery service it launched last month to 30 additional airports across the U.S.

The Chicago-based airline will offer Baggage Delivery by BagsVIP to passengers departing from any U.S. airport and arriving in the newly designated destinations, including Newark Liberty International Airport, Honolulu International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, according to a statement obtained by Aviation Week. Pricing for the service depends on the number of bags and delivery distance.

NATCA President Warns Of Long-Term Sequestration Consequences

The effects of sequestration will be drawn out over months and could irreparably cripple the national airspace system, says National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi.

Republicans Seek Validation Of FAA Sequester Effects 
Top Republicans in the U.S. Congress are calling on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to validate claims about the effects of sequestration on the FAA.
U.S. Carriers Gain Additional Russian Overflight Frequencies 
U.S. carriers will have increased access to Russian airspace under a new agreement with the Russian Federation. Reached this month at the conclusion of bilateral negotiations, the accord boosts overflight frequencies on a number of routes using Russian airspace. (Photo: UPS)
Republicans Dismiss Need For FAA Furloughs 

Republicans in the U.S. Congress argue that the FAA can absorb budget cuts caused by sequestration without enacting furloughs detailed late last week by the Obama administration.

According to a source close to the party, Republicans think the FAA can manage the cuts by using some $222 million in savings generated in the first quarter and reducing non-personnel costs by 7% to generate a further $210 million.

A hiring freeze also will generate $50 million for the FAA, and help avoid furloughs, say the Republicans.

787 Grounding Prompts United To Pull Route Launches 

United Airlines has taken most of its planned Boeing 787s launches from its schedule as federal regulators continue to investigate the failure of lithium-ion batteries aboard the aircraft.

Jazz Expects Less Demand From Air Canada 

Chorus Aviation, the parent company of Canadian regional operator Jazz, anticipates a decrease in block hours in 2013 due to lowered demand from the carrier’s primary customer, Air Canada.

“From the preliminary indications we get from Air Canada, it looks as though the demand will be lower for this year,” Chorus CFO Rick Flynn said Feb. 21 during the company’s 2012 earnings call.

President and CEO Joe Randell added, “Of course, the demand is down on the RJs [regional jets] because we have a number of airplanes exiting the fleet.”

Five More Airports Added To TSA's PreCheck Screening Program

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has added five more airports to its PreCheck expedited screening program for pre-approved travelers.

Starting April 1, PreCheck will be now be available at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas; Ohio’s Cleveland Hopkins International; Memphis and Nashville International, Tenn; and Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina. Once these airports are added, PreCheck will have 40 domestic airports enrolled.

Domestic Code-Sharing Requires More Oversight, DOT OIG Says 

The investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is calling on regulators to increase oversight of domestic code-sharing agreements to ensure safety and consumer awareness.

First Phase Of FedEx Buyout Departures Set For May 31 

The first group of employees to opt for FedEx Corp.’s voluntary buyout program will leave the company on May 31, the Memphis-based logistics company discloses in its most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A second group is expected to leave by the end of fiscal 2014, FedEx says in the filing. The latest filing also says FedEx has adjusted its organization structure that has prompted a “limited number” of officers and managing directors to accepted the voluntary buyout.

GAO Questions Effectiveness Of DHS Behavior Detection Program 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not verify the science underlying its behavior screening security program before implementing the process at U.S. airports, says a new government report.

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