SAJ: Skybrief

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Skybrief Photo by Shahn Sederberg
January 27, 2014
Publisher’s Father Passes,  Introduced Son to Aviation
Samuel Joseph Stevens, father of State Aviation Journal publisher Kim Stevens, passed away last week in Palm Springs, California at the age of 84. The elder Stevens is credited for introducing aviation to his son and inspiring him to pursue a career in the aviation industry. “My father earned his private pilot’s license in Tulsa and worked on his commercial rating in North Platte Nebraska,” said Stevens. “I have a photo of myself in a makeshift cockpit made out of a cardboard box!”
Stevens remembers that his father would take him up for rides and is sure that experience helped cement his future in aviation. “I got to return the favor and took my Dad up, later in life after I had earned my ratings,” said Stevens, who has both a commercial license and instrument ticket, which he earned in 1981 in Omaha, Nebraska.
“I love to tell the story of how my dad got interested in aviation. As a kid in Cozad, Nebraska, he would ride his bike out to the alfalfa fields when a barnstormer flew over town and landed. I think he was particularly taken one day when Nebraska’s first female pilot, Evelyn Sharpe landed and stepped down out of the cockpit. I think he was awestruck as the beautiful young pilot (Sharpie) took her helmet off and shook out her hair. That’s all it took!” Although the elder Stevens enjoyed flying, he eventually opted for a career in music as a band-leader, drummer and singer. Other members of the Stevens family have been pilots as well.  “My son also has a passion for aviation and assists with the State Aviation Journal,” said Stevens.      

NASAO Mourns Passing of President & CEO  
Henry M. Ogrodzinski

The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) announced last week the passing of Henry M. Ogrodzinski, the Association’s long time President and CEO. For 18 years, Henry O, as he was known to friends and associates, was a strong and consistent advocate for state aviation and was respected throughout the industry. Henry’s two year battle with cancer came to an end at his home on Capitol Hill. He was 65.
NASAO’s Chairman Christopher Willenborg, Massachusetts state aviation director, told the NASAO membership that it was with deep sadness that he had to inform them that their dear friend Henry passed away the night before. “Over the past 18 years, Henry led our organization with tremendous passion towards aviation and sincere concern for all NASAO Members and aviation industry stakeholders,” said Willenborg. 
Read more: State Aviation Journal


North Carolina
Airports race to upgrade
Call it airport peer pressure: Across the nation, airports are pouring billions of dollars into upgrades. They’re motivated by aging buildings, a desire to keep airlines happy with their hubs in an age of consolidation, and a push to lure travelers into spending more inside the terminal.
Read more: Charlotte News-Observer
New York
Waiver sought to maintain Jamestown airport’s funding
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Friday called on the federal Department of Transportation to grant the Jamestown airport a one-year waiver to maintain its status in the critical Essential Air Service program.
Read more: Buffalo News

Detroit Airport pumps billions into Michigan’s economy
Despite flat passenger numbers through its gates, Detroit Metropolitan Airport remains an economic engine that has pumped nearly $10.2 billion dollars into the state’s economy, according to a study released last week.
Read more: Detroit News

New Jersey
Business brewing at South Jersey’s smaller airports
The business communities surrounding the Cape May County and Millville airports are growing, and Woodbine’s Airport Business Park is moving toward viability after a slow start.
Read more: Press of Atlantic City

Mayor unveils new plans for Louis Armstrong Airport
The Louis Armstrong International Airport is getting a major facelift as part of what the mayor is calling “the most transformative project for New Orleans since the Superdome.”
Read more: WUVE

Des Moines’ airport ‘international,’ Omaha’s isn’t, but both credit same man for growth 
Commercial airlines fly in and out of Omaha’s “airfield,” but much-smaller Des Moines is home to an “international airport.” Hmmm!
Read more: Omaha World Herald




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Losing FAA Drone Testing Bid Hurts Growing California Industry
The Business Journal asked FAA Pacific Division Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor to explain why California was passed over in this bid. He responded via e-mail, “We reviewed 25 proposals from public entities in 24 states. All the proposals were quality submissions, and the FAA reviewed them very carefully. We chose the six proposals that best meet our research goals.
Read More: Long Beach Business Journal
North Dakota
Drones over farm fields: Unmanned aircraft systems may be used to monitor crops

An unmanned aircraft system device may be parked alongside tractors and combines in farm machine sheds in the very near future, according to the presenters Tuesday at the Precision Ag Action Summit. 
The seminar was held at the North Dakota Farmers Union Conference Center and highlighted technology in agriculture.
Read more:
Drone collects weather data in Guam skies
The sleek, white exterior of NASA’s Global Hawk aircraft shone as sunlight beamed into the hangar set up behind the airfield on Andersen Air Force base.
Read more:
North Carolina
Legislative panel looking at drones
General Assembly members began learning more Tuesday about the emerging unmanned aircraft industry and are likely to debate soon what restrictions North Carolina could place on drones to protect people’s privacy.
Read more: Ashville Citizen-Times