What’s up in the world of aviation? Here are some of the latest headlines relevant to small aircraft, executive jet pilots, and FBOs.
FBOs must meet Stage 3 noise standard requirements by 2015. In late February, President Obama signed into law an FAA bill requiring fixed-base operators of business jets operating under Stage 1 and 2 noise standards to meet Stage 3 requirements by December 31, 2015. After that date, jets weighing 75,000 pounds or less operating within the 48 contiguous states are required to comply with Stage 3 noise levels.
There are some exemptions to that rule in the bill, such as the temporary moving of aircraft for modification or sale outside the 48 contiguous states, the modification of an aircraft to meet Stage 3 noise standard requirements or other heavy maintenance, for the scrapping or storage of an aircraft, and for the diversion of the aircraft for certain reasons.
Be aware of temporary flight restrictions this campaign season. Whatever you’re political views, if you’re a general aviation pilot or FBO, pay close attention to the travel schedules of the President, Vice President and Republican nominee this campaign season. Presidential election seasons increase temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) on general aviation (GA) flights, and the increased restrictions can impact your own flight plans.
The White House and Secret Service, in association with the TSA, are trying to keep official TFRs to a minimum during the 2012 campaign season. They understand that TFRs wreak havoc on business and flight schedules, especially during the week and in major cities. Secret Service also avoid TFRs because they require revealing where the President or other politician is located, and where he or she is going. That is a safety and protection issue they want to keep to a minimum.
If you are a National Business Aviation Association member, you can visit their website and monitor the latest Presidential election-campaign-related temporary flight restrictions.
Savannah Technical College building new aviation tech school. The Savannah Technical College (STC) is building a new Aviation Training Facility at the Crossroad Campus. Scheduled to be completed in 2013, the new facility will be able to train up to 75 more aviation mechanics and technicians yearly. This is good timing, say industry insiders, as the demand for properly-trained technicians is increasing.
FCC cancels LightSquared’s broadband signals due to GPS interference. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has banned LightSquared from carrying its terrestrial LTE network satellite frequency broadband signals on frequencies close to GPS frequencies. Following a year of testing, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) gave the FCC a report stating that LightSquared’s satellite frequency bands demonstrated serious and widespread GPS interference – including interference with navigation gear used by planes, boats and cars – that LightSquared’s terrestrial broadband signals cannot currently coexist with GPS bands, and that there is no immediate solution to the interference problems.
The FCC’s ruling has effectively canceled LightSquared’s plans for a $14 billion high-speed wireless system. In an effort to preserve cash, LightSquared is cutting about 149 jobs, about 45 percent of its jobs, while they work to resolve and reverse the FCC’s decision. The NTIA said it will work with the FCC and broadband industry to help solve the current interference problems with GPS.