SAJ: Skybrief

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Skybrief Photo by Shahn Sederberg
January 13, 2014
The best of times, the worst of times… 2013 a Mixed Bag for Aviation
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness.” So said Charles Dickens in “The Tale of Two Cities.” Little did he know he was writing about general aviation in 2013 — and possibly the year 2014. Henry Ogrodzinski, (shown at right) president and chief executive officer of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), could update the book by Mr. Dickens today using similar comparisons.
Read more: General Aviation News

North Dakota
Medora Discusses Prospects For Airport
If city leaders here decide they’d like a new airport, up to 90 percent of the tab could be paid for with federal dollars, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.
Read more: AviationPros.Com

New Jersey
Mercer County freeholders to seek $2.5 million for airport
The Mercer County freeholders are expected to vote tomorrow on an application for a $2.5 million grant to rehabilitate three taxiways at Trenton-Mercer Airport, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said.
The total cost of the project, which is the third phase of the taxiway rehabilitation project, would be $2.652 million, of which $2,500,400 would come from the state Department of Transportation grant.
Read more: NJ.Com


Travolta to Host the 11th Annual Living Legends of Aviation® Awards
John Travolta will host the 11th Annual “Living Legends of Aviation”® Awards, presented by Bell Helicopter and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Friday January 17, 2014, at the Beverly Hilton.
Read more: State Aviation Journal

Forbes Taps Ascension Air CEO Larkins As Game Changer in Energy & Industry
Forbes magazine has named Ascension Air President and CEO Jamail Larkins, 29, as one of the brightest under 30 stars in 15 different fields. In the magazine article, Forbes called out Larkins with a photo feature as representative of the young leaders in the Energy & Industry sector.
Read more: State Aviation Journal
Passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, have expressed their enthusiasm for using mobile travel services throughout their journey, according to a new global survey from SITA. The SITA/Air Transport World Passenger IT Trends Survey reports that 51% of Atlanta passengers would definitely buy tickets using their mobile phones, one of the highest responses at all the airports surveyed.
Read more: State Aviation Journal

TSA to Release Repair Station Security Rule
The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) final repair station security rules will be issued on January 13, 2014. This action brings an end to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ban on certificating new foreign repair stations. The news was well received by aviation associations on Friday when the news was delivered by TSA.
Read more: State Aviation Journal
AOPA Announces Dates and Locations for Regional Fly-Ins
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) announced the dates and locations of its first-ever regional fly-ins to be held nationwide throughout 2014.
Read more: Arizona Aviation Journal

University student and pilot wins Lightspeed Aviation’s $500 Burger Getaway
Kyle Van Kooten of Clive, Iowa is the latest weekly winner Lightspeed Aviation’s $500 Burger Getaway sweepstakes. The Getaway consists of a series of weekly drawings for a $500 package that includes gift cards for av gas, rental car, dining, and lodging. Any eligible customer registering a new Lightspeed Zulu.2 or Sierra ANR headset is automatically entered.
Read more: AVED Journal

GAMA and Build A Plane Launch Second Aviation Design Challenge to Promote STEM Education
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and Build A Plane, a non-profit organization to encourage aviation and aerospace education, are partnering for a second year to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in high schools across the United States through an aviation design competition. 
Read more: AVED Journal

South Carolina
Charleston airport to begin search for new deputy director
The physical structure of Charleston International isn’t the only thing changing this year at the state’s busiest airport. A senior management position will see a new face as well.
Read more: Charleston Post and Courier

UNO Aviation Director Earns Regional Boy Scouts Award
Scott Vlasek, the head of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Aviation Institute was honored by the Boy Scouts of America for more than a decade’s worth of service-learning for Omaha youth.  Vlasek, received the William H. Spurgeon III Award from the Boy Scouts of America, Mid America Council Saturday Jan 11. Vlasek was nominated and selected for the award for his service and leadership to the Aviation Exploring Post (518), sponsored by UNO’s Aviation Institute.
New York
C&S upholds airport plan
The C&S Engineers Inc. consultant the Board of Supervisors’ Airport Committee invited to its Wednesday meeting defended his company’s master plan for Columbia County, at large, and its airport as valid after more than a decade.  The Syracuse-based consulting agency designed the county’s master plan, in 2003, with an outlook of 10 to 20 years in mind. He added, though, that much of the original talent behind it either had left or retired from the FAA, state Department of Transportation and C&S Engineers.
Read more: Hudson Register-Star

Governor to lawmakers on state plane: You liked it, so buy it
Governor Dave Heineman blasted state lawmakers Friday for “playing politics” with his proposal to buy a new state plane. The governor, in an interview, said he made the “tough decision” a year ago to recommend the purchase of a used plane, but the Legislature chose to “waste” money on a study. Now, he said, lawmakers are unwilling to take action to buy the plane recommended by that study.
Read more: Omaha World Herald



Inhofe, Manchin urge full funding of FAA contract towers
U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) sent a letter Thursday to leadership members of the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) and the SAC’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies urging that members fully fund the Federal Aviation Administration’s Contract Tower Program.
Read more:


April 2 – 4, 2014


News Releases

Duncan Aviation Completes Second Falcon 900B with Universal Avionics’ EFI-890R Retrofit Upgrade
Duncan Aviation is pleased to announce the December completion of its second Falcon 900B project with Universal Avionics’ EFI-890R cockpit retrofit upgrade installed. The second aircraft also showcases a newly designed interior, paint and fully digital HD cabin/management/entertainment system.
Read more:
State Aviation Journal

Policy Change Will Harm Aviation Safety
The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) told the FAA today that an unexpected change in agency policy on Letters of Authorization (LOAs) for GA flight simulators will harm aviation safety, create a burden on the industry and run counter to the intent of current LOAs.  “The FAA should be encouraging better pilot training, not discouraging it,” said Doug Stewart, SAFE Executive Director.
Read more: AVED Journal

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide Ranked Among Top Online Educators
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide has been named one of the nation’s top online educators, according to a U.S. News & World Report listing released recently.
Read more: AVED Journal

Western Airports Conference
Tulsa, OK – April 22-24, 2014

Visit the Event Homepage for complete conference details and then click on Register Now! 


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Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Set to Conduct Drone Research Mission (Video)
Just weeks after its designation as one of six federally-approved test sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will conduct several test flights over South Texas ranchland to continue research and training on the RS-16 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Read more: State Aviation Journal
Watch Video: YouTube

The buzz about insect-sized drones
Spending time with technology professionals provides the opportunity to pick their brains about what’s coming in the world of technology-based espionage. I’ve had a few informal meetings lately, and one hot topic has many security practitioners very concerned: the emergence of insect-sized reconnaissance drones. Are these micro-spies really that far off?
Read more: C4ISR&Networks

Balancing safety, privacy in use of drones
If there’s a signature dilemma for our times, it might be this: Technology has leapt far ahead of human ability to reasonably contain it and manage it. The chaotic debut of the Obamacare website, the revelations about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance capabilities and the theft of 40 million customer identities from Target are just three recent reminders. And now come drones.
Read more:
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Maybe Jeff Bezos’ pipe dream of sending drones to deliver packages isn’t quite as far off as some think. The Federal Aviation Administration’s recent approval of a half dozen sites to test the viability of using unmanned aerial vehicles for nonmilitary purposes has a lot of folks talking—including local business groups that see an opportunity to latch onto a potential business breakthrough.
Read more: Associations Now