A summary review of Aviation and Airport Development related news and information that was made public during the past week.  Trisha Ton-Nu also contributed to this post.

  • Administrative Law Judge orders FAA to pay $120,169.35 in attorney fees and costs to Florida-based air ambulance service. The Honorable William A. Pope, II, NTSB Administrative Law Judge, ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to pay Florida-based Air Trek $120,169.35 in attorney fees and costs because the Administrator failed to achieve his ultimate goal in the revocation of Air Trek’s air carrier certificate. The fees and costs awarded were pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). Judge Pope found that the Administrator was inadequately prepared to proceed to a hearing against Air Trek and did so without substantial justification. The FAA appealed the judge’s decision and were denied. 09/02/09, PRNewswire, http://bit.ly/4CdZvp
  • FAA’s glacial pace puts local man’s business in deep freeze for years. Anthony Reguero, an Orange County, California businessman has seen his investment in his Cota de Caza, California, business – Choice Aviation – frozen for over two years as a result of stonewalling on the part of the Federal Aviation Administration. The local FAA Flight Standards District Office has delayed processing his application for over two years and cites understaffing as the problem. 09/02/09, Dena Bunis, Orange County Register, http://bit.ly/4czoum.
  • FAA issues Airworthiness Directive requiring Thales Avionics to replace pitot probes on certain models of the Airbus A330 and A340. The Federal Aviation Administration has adopted a new Airworthiness Directive for certain Airbus models. The AD requires the replacement of certain Thales Avionics to replace pitot probes with certain other pitot probes, because of reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather conditions. This action was taken as a result of the crash of the Air France flight over the Atlantic and the resulting investigation which indicated that the airspeed indicator was malfunctioning. 09/03/09, Federal Register, http://bit.ly/3siaVi.
  •  Port Columbus’ request for $20 million in stimulus funds for airports denied by the FAA. The Columbus Regional Airport Authority (Ohio) applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for more than $20 million in stimulus funds for six projects. Although t south runway project at Port Columbus was approved, none of the authority’s stimulus proposals was accepted. 09/02/09, Doug Caruso, The Columbus Dispatch, http://bit.ly/Io440.
  • Personal items in seatback pocket rule varies by airline, not by FAA regulation. The Federal Aviation Administration mandates Federal Aviation Regulations that require by law that laptops and major personal belongings be properly stowed in overhead bins or the seat in front of the passenger. Airlines can establish their own “guidance” regarding whether even small personal items should be banned from the seatback pocket. 09/03/09, Sean O’Neill, Budget Travel Blog, http://bit.ly/LEmrZ.
  • Ellington, Connecticut asks FAA for Feasibility Study for the purchase of EllingtonAirport. The town of Ellington, Connecticut has asked the Federal Aviation Administration for a feasibility study about the purchase of Ellington Airport. The study will look into various issues, including whether it would be beneficial for the town to buy the airport, which has been for sale for a while. 09/03/09, Larry Smith, Hartford Courant, http://bit.ly/T8lrW  
  • RiversideCounty grounds glider flights at Hemet-RyanAirport. Riverside County has decided to ban sailplane flying, which relies on natural forces to stay aloft, at Hemet-Ryan Airport. Sailplane activity could conflict with future expansions planned for the airport, and the sailplane business operating at the airport had also asked for an earlier conclusion to its lease because of a downturn in business. A spokesman for the county’s Economic Development Agency also stated that closing the airport to gliders was a safety issue, as glider operations had resulted in “fatalities, injury, and serious violation of regulations over the years.” 09/04/09, The Valley News, http://bit.ly/QrmVb.
  • The FAA is investigating a complaint that raises questions about the validity of Texas Southern University’s School of Aviation. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a complaint that alleges that ground and flight training instructors lack instructor certificates from the FAA. If the allegations are true, Texas Southern University’s School of Aviation would be in violation of federal guidelines, and commercial pilots who have already graduated from the program would question the validity of their degrees.A school spokesperson responds that the courses in question do not lead to FAA certifications and do not require FAA certified instructors or FAA approval, though an internal investigation is pending. 09/08/09, Houston News Video, http://bit.ly/YXi8q