SAJ: Skybrief

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Skybrief Photo by Shahn Sederberg
January 20, 2014
Virginia Governor Reappoints Burdette to Head Department of Aviation
Last week Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the reappointment of  Randall Burdette, as Executive Director of the Department of Aviation.  Burdette was one of 16 agency heads asked to continue their service to the Commonwealth. Burdette was first appointed in August 2004 by Governor Warner, reappointed by Governor Kaine and then again by Governor McDonnell. The appointees will join an administration focused on finding common ground on issues that will grow Virginia’s economy and create jobs across the Commonwealth.
Iowa Office of Aviation Seeks Aviation Program Manager

The Iowa DOT has an open position and is seeking an Aviation Program Manager for the state aviation programs in the Office of Aviation.  This position is responsible for overseeing the state’s airport maintenance and improvement responsibilities to enhance the state’s air transportation system.  This position plays a key role in reviewing, overseeing and providing technical assistance to airports as they work to maintain and develop their airports.  The aviation program manager works closely with aviation consultants on planning and airport construction projects to ensure projects are appropriate and adequately engineered and state dollars are expended effectively on projects.
Read more: State Aviation Journal


House chairman wants timely reauthorization
House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said on Tuesday that he wants the House to pass a new transportation funding bill by August to allow time for conference negotiations with the Senate. The current funding bill, which was passed in 2012, expires in September. “My hope is to get reauthorization done on time.”
Read more:  The Hill

Secretary Foxx Announces 10 New Members to FAA Management Advisory Council
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx appointed 10 new members to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Management Advisory Council (MAC). The council advises the FAA on management, policy, spending and regulatory matters.
Read more: State Aviation Journal
DOT Issues Favorable Opinion on Skydiving Taxes
Following a two-year effort by the U.S. Parachute Association, the U.S. Department of Transportation formally responded to a USPA question regarding the efforts of states to tax revenues from skydiving. On December 30, 2013, USPA received an opinion letter from the Office of the DOT General Counsel asserting that the federal Anti-Head Tax Act (AHTA) preempts any state efforts to tax gross receipts on skydiving operations.
Read more: State Aviation Journal

Safety Enhancement Among New Slate of KDOT Projects
The Kansas Department of Transportation has selected 27 projects to enhance safety and service at public use airports across the state. A ramp will be reconstructed  at the Fort Scott Municipal Airport, costing $58,000. Neodesha Municipal Airport will seal and mark its airfield pavements, costing $256,000. Lastly, the Atkinson Municipal Airport in Pittsburg will remove trees from the approach area, which is close to where a plane will land at the end of a flight. That project will cost $94,000.
New State Plane Still a Possibility
A new state airplane? The notion is still alive. The state missed out last year on buying a newer airplane than the 32-year-old one it has now.  Last week Governor Dave Heineman criticized senators for spending money on the study, politicizing the issue and failing to provide leadership.
Read more: Lincoln Journal Star

Modesto Airport Launches “DestinationLAX” Campaign
The City of Modesto and Modesto City-County Airport have launched a million-dollar pledge drive designed to bring nonstop air service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Modesto Airport (MOD).
Read more: State Aviation Journal
Coyote Delays Lt. Governor’s Speech
Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson ran a few minutes late Thursday for his speech at a Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce breakfast. He apologized, saying his plane was delayed by a coyote on the runway at Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport. Bob Whitmer, the airport’s manager, said it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
Read more: Aviation Pros

Illinois pilot lands safely after goose strike
Illinois pilot Keith Baird was climbing into blue skies, with no inkling of trouble until a flight of four Canada geese suddenly appeared dead ahead, heading in the opposite direction.
Watch Video: AOPA
Port Clinton Museum Houses Two Restored Bombers
Liberty Aviation Museum, located in picturesque Port Clinton, is actually two museums in one. As you walk into the gallery, you are struck by telling two stories.
Read more: News Net 5 (Video)

Norfolk airport aiming for more hangars
The Norfolk Airport Authority recently voted to proceed with preliminary paperwork to add eight T-hangars. They’re to be part of the budget for 2015. It’s proposed because the hangar space at the airport is full, said airport manager Terri Wachter, who in December was elected chairperson of the Nebraska Aeronautics Commission.
Read more: Norfolk Daily News
New York
Elmira-Corning airport adds flights to Chicago
Flying in and out of the Elmira Corning Regional Airport is getting a little more convenient. On February 13, United will begin flying from Elmira Corning to O’Hare in Chicago. United will offer the same mobile device options, said Ann Crook, director of aviation at Elmira Corning Regional Airport.
Read more: Elmira Star Gazette



If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t know that there are massive concrete arrows scattered all across the country — from California to New York. So what’s the story? As it turns out, the arrows are leftovers from the Transcontinental Air Mail Route, which was founded in the early days of aviation and airmail delivery.
Read more: The Blaze
Lightspeed Serves Up Two More $500 Burgers
Brad Colbert of Encinitas, California and Kevin Bishop of Stuart, Florida are the most recent winners of Lightspeed Aviation’s $500 Burger Getaway sweepstakes. Each will receive a $500 package that includes gift cards for av gas, rental car, dining, and lodging.
Read more: State Aviation Journal
New FAA requirements make it hard to find pilots for small market flights in Nebraska, Iowa
The airlines serving small markets in Nebraska and Iowa have had a hard time finding enough pilots since new rules took effect last year, so numerous flights have been canceled. The canceled flights create hassles for passengers, and could make it harder for small airports to qualify for federal subsidies. “We’re having a totally unacceptable number of cancellations every day, and monthly,” North Platte Regional Airport Manager Mike Sharkey said.
Read more:

Boeing Pursues Green Diesel Jet Fuel
Researchers at Boeing believe they have identified a renewable fuel used in ground transportation, “green diesel,” that could become a significant new source of sustainable aviation biofuel that emits 50 percent less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel over its lifecycle. 
Read more: Aviation Today
Vermont Posts Monthly Newsletter
Check out the January issue of Vermont Aviation, the agency’s monthly aviation newsletter.
Read more: Vermont Aviation

ATC User Fees Continue for Airshows
Budget cuts have hit the FAA hard again this year, with the agency continuing to charge hefty user fees for temporary air traffic control services at airshows. One of the first airshows of the year, the Cable Air Show at the Cable Airport near Upland, California, took place over the weekend. The owner of the airport, Bob Cable, paid $15,000 to continue to use the temporary control tower services that the local airshow has used free of charge for about the past 20 years.
Read more: Flying Magazine


April 2 – 4, 2014

Quick Hitters

–  Moscow airports handled more than 71 million passengers in 2013.

New York
– Queens’ two airports had a banner year in 2013 as approximately 77 million flyers passed through their gates.

North Dakota
– Passenger boardings at North Dakota’s eight commercial airports in 2013 set a record for the second straight year totaling more than 1.1 million passengers.

News Releases

Pascal Vuong and Tom Brokaw at the recording session in NYC.
Brokaw to Narrate IMAX® Theatre Film “D-Day, Normandy 1944”
3D Entertainment Distribution announced today that legendary journalist and author Tom Brokaw will narrate “D-Day, Normandy 1944,” written and directed by Pascal Vuong and produced by N3D LAND Films. The 40-minute film brings a new perspective to a monumental event in history that changed the world. It is slated for a staggered release worldwide in 3D and 2D, 15-perf./70-mm film and digital formats beginning in March 2014.

Aeromarine-LSA Introduces Zigolo Motor-Glider
Aeromarine-LSA has announced the first USA flight of the new Zigolo SSDR concept motor-glider. The Zigolo is a FAR Part 103-compliant Single Seat De-Regulated (SSDR) aircraft which means it does not require any license, medical, registration, or certification to fly it.
Read more:
State Aviation Journal

Bell Helicopter and Air Medical Group Holdings Reach Agreement for 20 Helicopters
Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company announced a signed agreement for the sale of 20 Bell 206L-4s to Air Medical Group Holdings, one of the largest independent providers of helicopter air ambulance services (HAA) in the world. Deliveries are scheduled to begin this year and continue through 2017.
Read more:
State Aviation Journal


Progressive Aerodyne, Inc., is pleased to announce the FAA certification of the Searey Light Sport Amphibious Airplane, Elite Version. The Searey Elite, designed and manufactured by Progressive Aerodyne, is equipped with a Rotax 914 turbocharged engine and is equally at home on the ground, in the air, or on the water.
Read more:
State Aviation 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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FAA looks to establish drone research center
Now that it has approved test sites for unmanned aerial systems, the Federal Aviation Administration is turning its attention to establishing a new center of excellence for drone research.
Read more: Fierce Government

Why is US Behind in Commercial ‘Drone Boom?’
While the FAA made a significant advancement in the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) for commercial with the announcement of six testing sites, manufacturers and industry experts believe the nation is lagging behind other countries in taking advantage of this new technology.
Read more: Aviation Today

Senators question FAA about faster drone regulation
Drone advocates urged the Federal Aviation Administration at a Senate hearing Wednesday to allow the aircraft into general airspace faster because countries such as Japan are friendlier to the innovative technology.
Read more: USA Today