Saturday, October 5, 2013

Central Jersey air show raises money for military, veterans

HILLSBOROUGH — An air show in the township on Saturday raised funds for the military and veterans while providing outreach for officers and their families.

Visitors gathered at Central Jersey Regional Airport Saturday afternoon for Military and Veterans Appreciation Day to help Rotary District 7510 raise funds that would be donated to various charities and foundations.

Some of the attractions included vintage and modern-day aircraft on display, along with antique and collector vehicles — including a Shockwave Monster Truck — food vendors, live bands, face painting and other children's rides, including a tethered hot air balloon.

Some of the participating organizations included Operation Shoebox New Jersey, Operation Chill Out, One Stop Career Center, and the Vets Chat and Chew project.

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Stroud: Westheimer’s Airport a ‘gold mine’ -- University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport (KOUN), Norman, Oklahoma

NORMAN — Aviation enthusiast and local radio personality Dan Stroud said cities wishing to compete for business need to have accommodating airports with jet-capable runways.

“Norman is actually sitting on a gold mine and it’s called Westheimer Airpark,” Stroud said. “You have excellent, long runways, big ramps, an instrument approach and some of the nicest guys in the tower,” Stroud told a Norman Chamber of Commerce aviation breakfast audience Friday.

“Good airports allow small towns to become big towns. Airports tie a community to the world.”

His talk inside the University of Oklahoma’s hangar was the start of the seventh annual Max Westheimer Airport Aviation Festival. The festival concluded Saturday night with static displays, pilot seminars, tower tours and youth activities.

Stroud said two recent announcements portend good things for aviation. American Airlines announced it would hire 1,500 new pilots and Rolls Royce has opened a facility in Midwest City to repair engines on unmanned aerial vehicles.

Of American’s announcement, Stroud said many of those pilots will be OU graduates.

“They have faith in the economy. They have faith in aviation,” he said. “Anything good for American is good for us.”

Stroud, whose parents lived on the North Base while his dad was a Navy Reservist, recalled digging bullets from the Navy’s Mount Williams dirt backstop and from the one on the South Base near the site of the current National Weather Center.

“This was my playground when I was a kid,” he said. “I grew up right here.”


Air show boss: jets alone don’t tell the story of aviation

Darcy Brewer, the woman at the helm of the California Capital Airshow, admits she’s conflicted: jets sell tickets, but she’d rather talk about her love affair with the P-51 Mustang, the Berlin Airlift, or Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 visit to Sacramento. 

 The air show runs today and Sunday at Mather Airport in Rancho Cordova. The event, in its eighth year, features the Canadian Snowbirds jet demonstration team and the Red Bull Air Force parachute team.

Brewer is glad to have the Canadian team and expects them to put on a crowd-pleasing display of precision flying. And it turns out that booking the Snowbirds two years ago was a stroke of luck, given that the top U.S. military teams – the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds – have been grounded by Pentagon sequestration budget cuts and have canceled their planned appearances.

Brewer and her team know that it pays to build the marketing campaign around the jets, but she stresses the event would not be diminished if it had no jet-powered attraction.

“It’s not about the jets. The jets just sell tickets,” said Brewer, who has been a pilot for 20 years. It’s aviation history and vintage airplanes that start her heart racing.

“You never forget flying a Mustang,” she said. “There is nothing like them.”

With both fighter and fighter/bomber configurations, the P-51 Mustang helped establish the Allied forces’ air superiority during World War II. The planes have since become a highly coveted collector’s item for aviation buffs.

Several P-51s will be among the dozens of aircraft on display at the air show. For about the price of a movie ticket, Brewer said, the air show is a great value, offering five hours of aviation history. She said the point is to tell a story, not just have cool planes fly overhead.

“The magic thing for me is, a little over 100 years ago, people thought, ‘I wonder what it would be like to fly like a bird,’” Brewer said. In the years since, we can now travel to space, circle the globe without stopping and fly jumbo jets across the country.

“There are people out here that have changed the course of history,” she said, referring to some of the old-timers who will be on hand.

In keeping with past years, the event will highlight a historic event in aviation history. This year, the focus will be on the Berlin Airlift. An early standoff during the post-WWII Cold War, the Berlin Airlift saw U.S. and British forces fly thousands of shipments to West Berlin, which had been blockaded by the Soviet Union in an attempt to consolidate control of Berlin. The operation fed 2.25 million Berlin residents for months and led to the peaceful fall of the blockade.

“It’s our duty to teach our kids, and this is a great way to do it,” said Brewer, whose own love of flying and aviation history was sparked when she read the tale of a pilot who overcame a troubled childhood to become a military airman. “We’re getting them out here to teach them something.”

Original article:

Vero Beach Air Show flying high with fun, excitement: Vero Beach Municipal Airport (KVRB)

 Here's what you need to know if you're heading over to the Vero Beach airport for today's air show:

The weather should be perfect to enjoy today's activities. The day is starting under sunny skies but you may see a few clouds moving in around 10 a.m. Temperatures were 73 at 9 a.m. and expected to climb to a high of 86 by 1 p.m.

A small isolated shower is moving onshore between Vero Beach and Sebastian but that's the only one appearing on radar.

Where: Vero Beach Municipal Airport, 3400 Cherokee Drive, Vero Beach

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 5 and 6

Gates Open: 9 a.m.

Opening Ceremonies: Noon

Advance Tickets: adult general admission $12.84 plus processing fee; children general admission $8.56 plus processing fee; children 3 and younger are free; must be purchased online at

Gate Tickets: Adults $16; Children ages 4-12 are $11; Kids 3 and younger free

Veterans Tickets: $10 in advance with ID at the Victory Center in the Indian River Mall through Oct. 2

VIP Chalet Tickets: $55 plus processing fee

Parking: General parking is free and can be accessed from 43rd Street. Handicapped and VIP parking, which can be purchased online for $5, can be accessed from Aviation Boulevard

Information: or 772-388-4477
The GEICO Skytypers will make their first appearance in the Vero Beach area during the 2013 Vero Beach Air Show scheduled for Oct. 5-6.


GEICO Skytypers: A flight squadron of six vintage World War II aircraft

Matt Younkin: Third generation air show pilot

Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys: Blending comedy and aerobatics since 1974

Skip Stewart: Aerobatic biplane performer

Patty Wagstaff: Award-winning aerobatic pilot

Neil Darnell in the Flash Fire Truck: The Worlds Fastest Jet Powered Truck

Manfred Radius: Aerobatic sailplane

John Black: Solo aerobatics in a super decathlon

Jerry “Jive” Kerby: Warbird aerobatics

Paul Schulten: Solo Aerobatics


Bring chairs or blankets

Strollers, cameras and small handheld umbrellas are allowed

No coolers, cans, glass or alcohol

No pets

No weapons

No cooking equipment

No bicycles, scooters or roller blades

No tents, awnings or large umbrellas

No RV parking

No smoking permitted on the air show ramp or spectator area. Smoking is allowed outside spectator gates and the parking lots.

Original article:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Classic plane show returns to Elkhart Municipal Airport (KEKM)

Dozens of vintage planes will swoop into the Elkhart Municipal Airport for their fourth annual Warbird fly-in on Saturday.

Gates open bright and early at 7 a.m. with the first formation contest starting at 10 a.m.

Members of the Steermen Bi-plane and T-6 clubs have been coming to Elkhart to show off their historic planes since 2010.

Breakfast and lunch will be served.

The event also features military vehicles in full array, patrolling the grounds and engaging in mock battle recreations.

“The Warbirds are something that everybody loves,” said Andy Jones, the Elkhart Municipal Airport manager. “These Warbirds are what helped to fight for democracy and made our country great, what it is today. And many of these pilots are veterans and they need to be honored.”

Donations of $10 per person or $30 per car will be collected. Proceeds go to help the pilots offset the expense of flying in.

The event goes all day Saturday until 6 p.m.

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Gov't Shutdown Cancels San Diego's Miramar Air Show: "From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to San Diego..." Col. John Farnam, USMC

This year’s Miramar Air Show in San Diego has been canceled, according to the public affairs office at MCAS Miramar.

The popular annual event was scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday.

MCAS Miramar's commanding officer Col. John Farnam spoke at a news conference Thursday morning. Farnam said he was forced to cancel the show because of restrictions put into place after the recent government shutdown.

"We worked with the guidance we received to move forward with the event," Farnam said. "In the end, it was just more than I had the authority to overcome."

Air show vendors had already begun setting up on base. Farnam said vendors, sponsors and people who bought grandstand tickets will be refunded.

At this point, it's unclear what kind of financial hit the Marine Corps will take because of the cancellation. Farnam said any lost funds will be factored into next year's show.

Farnam said he is most disappointed about missing the chance to interact with the community.
"From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to San Diego for having to stand here today and make this statement," he said.

The Marine Corps released this statement via email: 

"Guidance from the Deputy Secretary of Defense mandates that non-excepted activities, including outreach events, are not authorized under the current shutdown guidelines. We want to thank everyone involved in the air show for their hard work, dedication and patience during such a period of fiscal duress and we look forward to this annual event to take place next year."

Back in July, the Department of Defense announced that military flight demonstrations would not be part of this year's show because of sequester cuts. A team consisting of former Navy Blue Angels, Air Force Thunderbirds and Canadian Snowbirds pilots was scheduled to perform instead.

The Miramar Air Show is the largest military air show in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people attend each year. The event typically lasts three days, but was reduced to two days this year because of budget cuts.

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Pilots N Paws program to make a stop at Middle Peninsula Regional Airport (KFYJ) Saturday

According to the U.S. Humane Society, four million cats and dogs, about one every eight seconds are euthanized in shelters each year.

Thanks to Pilots N Paws’ Operation Special Delivery, a non-profit organization program aimed to relocate these animals, 400 cats and dogs will be pardoned from death.

Pilots N Paws is an award-winning charitable flying animal rescue organization that transports approximately 15,000 animals every year, using 3,400 volunteer pilots.

A record breaking 400 abandoned pets will be lifted off of "death row" in Georgia on Saturday morning and flown to no-kill shelters, with the Middle Peninsula Regional Airport (MPRA) in West Point/King & Queen County serving as a changeover point.

The animals are all being taken from surrounding shelters where they were scheduled for euthanasia due to overcrowding.

The Pilots N Paws program will also be emptying the Fort Stewart Military Pet Shelter in GA. Some of the pets from the shelter were turned over by soldiers who had to serve their country, while others are injured “soldier dogs” that can no longer serve. The remaining Fort Stewart dogs are being trained as service and comfort dogs for injured veterans, through the Paws of War program.

Starting at Midcoast Regional Airport in Hinesville, GA, roughly 50 pilots, including Richard Lewis, Jr., of Deltaville, will move the animals to various locations in Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., via their private planes.

Like last year, Lewis, a self-proclaimed animal lover, will pick up animals at MPRA and transport them in his 1978 airplane (model R182) to New Jersey.

The scheduled flights for Saturday are as follows:

•9:30 a.m. – noon: Moore County Airport, Pinehurst, N.C. – 31 animals

•10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Middle-Peninsula Regional Airport, West Point, VA – 38 animals

•10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Warrenton-Fauquier Airport, Warrenton, VA – 24 animals

•11 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Flying W Airport, Lumberton, NJ – 64 animals

•10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tampa Executive Airport, Tampa, FL – 50 animals

•11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Naples Municipal Airport, Naples FL – 25 animals

•10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Palm Beach County Airport/Lantana, West Palm Beach, FL – 45 animals

For more information on Pilots N Paws 2013, visit:

- See more at:

Seaplane takes 1st Key West-Coconut Grove flight

Palmair to operate hour-long flights on 10-seat seaplane

MIAMI -  If air travel used to be glamorous, the owners of a new airline called Palmair want you to think of their service as a reprisal.

On Thursday, a rugged Havilland seaplane arrived at the Shake-a-Leg Marina after its inaugural hour-long flight from Key West to Coconut Grove. The history of air travel there wasn't lost on business partner Gailen David.

"A lot of people don't realize this but city hall actually used to be the Pan Am air terminal here in the '30s and '40s and flights would take off from here going to the Caribbean and Latin America," David said.

Owner Marcus Sessoms said bringing business to Coconut Grove was special.

"I picked Coconut Grove as my first destination because of the history," Sessoms said.

Sessoms runs Key West Seaplane Adventures, which operates trips in the same type of aircraft between Key West and the Dry Tortugas. The plane flies low so passengers can see marine life, and music is pumped into headsets.

The ten passengers on each Palmair flight will get a similar experience. They will also be treated with pre-flight sparkling wine and strawberries, according to David.

"We'll play some fun music. It'll be a great flight -- we'll put comfortable commuter seats in the planes," Sessoms said.

"We wanted to being that seaplane, that nostalgia, that style back to the Grove and start with a service that people need," David said.

Palmair has not yet listed ticket prices or a flight schedule. Sessoms said he hopes to have the service up and running within a month. 

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Vero Beach Air Show returns after 16-year hiatus


VERO BEACH, Fla. -  The Vero Beach Air Show returns this weekend after a 16-year hiatus.

Located at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport, planes will be on display and in the air like the A-4 Skyhawk and the P-51 Mustang.

Organizers say all the money raised for the event will help military veterans in Indian River County, but there won’t be any performances from the military because of the sequester.

"Despite the fact that military themselves won't be here. We've got military stuff here and guys are gonna come out here and say 'I was in that, I know that airplane, I know that whatever,' " said Veterans Council of Indian River County President Martin Zickert.

The air show will take place Saturday and Sunday.

Gates open at 9 a.m. and the shows usually start around noon.

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Airshow in Paso Robles this weekend: Paso Robles Municipal Airport (KPRB) , California

People in Paso Robles will get to see an air show at the Paso Robles Municipal Airport Saturday.

The Warbirds Over Paso Airshow is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be World War 2 fighters, bombers, and trainers. There will be American, German, and Japanese aircraft. A stunt man will do tricks on a biplane. This is an important show since three airshows have been cancelled this year due to sequestration.

It's $20 to get in to the airshow, but that includes entrance to the Estrella Warbird Museum, and the Woodland Automobile display. Active Military and kids under 12 get in for free.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2 pilots on crashed Asiana jet to work as ground staff

SEOUL, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) -- Two out of the four pilots aboard the Asiana Airlines jet that crashed in San Francisco in July plan to return to work early this month as ground staff, the airline said Wednesday.

Lee Kang-Kuk, who was in charge of the jet during the accident, and Lee Jung-Min, who was sitting in the cockpit as an instructor pilot, are scheduled to work in the airline's headquarters in western Seoul in the coming days, though no specific date has been set.

The carrier also said their new duties have not been fixed yet either.

The move comes nearly three months after Asiana Airlines' Boeing 777 crashed during its landing at San Francisco International Airport, killing three Chinese teenagers and injuring more than 180 other people.

The two relief pilots onboard resumed flying again last month.

Deborah Hersman, the chief of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, meanwhile, called off her trip to Seoul due to the U.S. government shutdown, according to Asiana Airlines.

Hersman, who heads the U.S. federal agency charged with investigating civil aviation accidents, had been scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Wednesday for talks with South Korean officials and the president of Asiana Airlines on her way to Japan.

Original article:

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA120
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 129: Foreign operation of Asiana Airlines
Accident occurred Saturday, July 06, 2013 in San Francisco, CA
Aircraft: BOEING 777-200ER, registration: HL7742
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 6, 2013, about 1128 pacific daylight time, Asiana Airlines flight 214, a Boeing 777-200ER, registration HL7742, impacted the sea wall and subsequently the runway during landing on runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Francisco, California. Of the 4 flight crewmembers, 12 flight attendants, and 291 passengers, about 182 were transported to the hospital with injuries and 3 passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The regularly scheduled passenger flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 129 between Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea, and SFO. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

Budget failure leaves airport tower in limbo: Mid-Ohio Valley Regional (KPKB), Parkersburg, West Virginia

WILLIAMSTOWN - As the federal government shuts down after the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate failed to reach an agreement for funding, the fate of air traffic control towers is again up in the air.

"We may be looking at trying to keep the tower going for a few months," said Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport manager Terry Moore.

On March 22, after a month of discussions, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it would close 149 federally contracted towers across the country at smaller airports with the local tower as one of those due to a required part of a $637 million cut from the office's budget under federal sequestration.

In May, the FAA announced those towers in jeopardy would be funded through September. These towers are contracted through three companies and paid for by the FAA and have been kept open this summer following the rearranging of existing Airport Improvement Project (AIP) funds following Congress' passage of funding bills to clear up air traffic controller furlough issues.

With this new fiscal year having started and Congress without a budget, Moore said he does not know what will happen next.

"Right now, we are OK," Moore said. "The shutdown does not currently affect the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) or the tower operations."

This shutdown is for Congress-deemed, non-essential federal functions. It is unknown how long it will last or how it might end.

Moore added the tower situation could easily and quickly change and, if that occurs, the Wood County Airport Authority, the facility's managing arm, would have to decide what to do.

During discussions this spring, he went on a campaign around the area to drum up support and possible funds to keep the tower going for a short time. If funding is again cut, he could be asking for funds and support again.

"In the spring we decided that if funding is cut and there is a chance it could be reinstated, we would do what we could to keep it open ourselves," Moore said. "As long as there is a relatively short period we need to fund the tower, I think it is possible."

It is unknown how much money it will cost to operate the tower for the estimated three months in which the tower will need funding while Congress works on a budget.

Moore said he is expecting the cost to keep the tower staffed and running to be between $60,000 and $95,000.

"We are all right for now, but we need to keep an eye on what is going on in Washington, D.C.," he said. "There is a possibility full funding will be reinstated, but they could also choose to cut it completely."

If the air traffic control towers are not funded in the next federal budget, Moore said there is no point to use local funds to keep the tower operational.

"Without future federal funding why spend the money to just see the tower close, there's no reason to spend funds on something that will close any way," Moore added.

Original article:

Interim managers step up: Fairmont Municipal Airport (KFRM), Minnesota

FAIRMONT - Tuesday was the first day on the job for Fairmont Municipal Airport's interim managers.

Four men stepped forward to fill the gap left by the termination of the city's contract with Five Lakes Aviation. Comprising the team is lead manager Mark Craven, Verlus Burkhart, Dennis Thate and Homer Scott.

Craven, a farmer, has a wide scope of experience in aviation, as a flight instructor, corporate pilot for Dr. Corey Welchlin, and private pilot. Together with Scott, Craven even built an airplane.

Scott, also a farmer in the Dunnell area, has a similar resume. He is the only one of the four who does not live in Fairmont. Scott got his pilot's license in 1975. He offers flight instruction and flies professionally for Welchlin and Kahler Automation, and as a hobby. In the past, he was a pilot with United Express.

Burkhart got his pilot's license in 1968 and has been flying private planes ever since. He currently owns a Cessna 150 and TriPacer.

Thate, too, has been flying since 1968. He has his own plane and private strip.

"I'm here to help the airport get something new established for future growth," he said.

The team's management role at the facility is part-time and temporary, until a new city employee can be hired as airport manager. As temporary part-time employees, the interim managers can only work for the city for 57 days.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, the four interim workers will take turns making sure operations are running smoothly. Their responsibilities range from figuring out what office supplies and tools are needed, to refueling and moving airplanes, to making sure all airport equipment is in proper working order and the runways are clear.

"We're gonna do the best we can to keep this airport running and make it a place people want to stop," Burkhart said.

The city is now in charge of groundskeeping, hangar leases and rent, and contracts for aviation fuel.

In the past, all of these duties were the responsibility of Five Lakes Aviation. By hiring a city employee to manage the airport, Fairmont City Council hopes to have better control of the facility.

"I think it's going to be a better airport," Thate said.

"Just making the general appearance look better is going to be nice," Burkhart added.

He and his colleagues are hopeful the new management model the city is adopting - nixing a contracted manager in favor of a city-employed manager - will work, but time will tell. If the arrangement doesn't work, city leaders have noted it is not set in stone.

"It's up in the air how the pieces will fit together," Scott said.

The posting for the new job ended Monday, and there were 37 applications submitted, according to city administrator Mike Humpal counted

"It's better than I thought we would get," Humpal said. "I worked on identifying this new management style through Owatonna and South St. Paul, and both thought there would be plenty of applicants. That's from all over the country and local."

The interim managers are not eligible to apply for the position.

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FAA flight inspectors furloughed, Chicago/Rockford International Airport (KRFD) weighs in on impact – Rockford’s News Leader  

Business as usual. Despite the federal government shut down affecting agencies like the FAA, Rockford's airport is running normally, but, there are workers who won't show up there for the time being.

FAA flight inspectors across the country aren't going to work. Their jobs are to make sure safety regulations are being followed. So, with them being gone, what does that mean for Rockford's airport industry? It depends who you ask.

"How it affects RFD, how it affects the airport authority day-to-day, for right now we're unaffected." -says RFD Operations Manager Zack Oakley.

Oakley says the airport has about six FAA flight inspectors, but they don't deal with airport administrators. These inspectors only work with airlines that touch down at RFD, like Allegiant. Oakley says airline mechanics can handle safety concerns.

"Just because inspectors aren't there doesn't mean people aren't going to do their jobs. The majority of times there's not an inspector there looking at someone while they're doing the work. These people are trained, they're certified by the FAA, they do their jobs how they're supposed to do it."

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists federal union represents around 80 Illinois FAA flight inspectors. Illinois Chapter President Pete Rosa says there's a need for these employees.

"These are the guys who are going to airports, to air carriers, to maintenance facilities and they're spot checking regulations. They're making sure people are doing the safe thing and the right thing at the right time." -Rosa explains.

Allegiant Air spokesperson Jessica Wheeler says from a passenger perspective, the airline is operating as normal. The company will monitor any possible affects in the coming days and weeks, but for right now the furloughs aren't hindering their operations. FAA flight inspectors do oversee long-term projects at Allegiant, namely their maintenance program.

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Ogden-Hinckley Airport (KOGD) manager fired, replaced by former police chief Jon Greiner

OGDEN — Ogden-Hinckley Airport manager Royal Eccles has been dismissed by the city and will be replaced by former Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner.

On Tuesday, Ogden City Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson confirmed that Eccles had been let go, but said the city couldn’t comment further on the matter.

“We have decided to move in another direction and there is a change at the airport,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Greiner would take over the airport manager position on an interim basis, but was not sure how long the temporary period would last.

Greiner served as Ogden Police Chief for 16 years, but was fired in December 2012 because of a federal Hatch Act violation involving federal grants and his candidacy and service as a state senator.

When reached for comment on Tuesday, Eccles said he couldn’t say much about the situation, other than he enjoyed his time at the airport.

“I was brought in by the previous administration to bring in the airline (Allegiant) and I’m proud to say I did that,” Eccles said. “It’s time for me to move on, but I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience as airport manager. We have a great crew, a great fire department and just great people all around.”

Eccles was hired as airport manager in August of 2011 by former Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey.

In September 2012, the airport began commercial airline service between Ogden and Mesa, Ariz.

The service is provided by Allegiant Air, a subsidiary of the Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company, and offers flights twice weekly.

The city has said that the service has continued to do extremely well since it opened, with the flights averaging higher than 90 percent of their maximum passenger capacity of 166.

Shortly after the service began, a small group of airport regulars and pilots brought complaints to the Ogden City Council that general aviation had suffered because of the commercial service.

The group said the commercial operation’s impact on general aviation came in the form of tighter security restrictions and regulations imposed by the Transportation Security Administration, new fees for security badges and overnight parking, and a lack of parking.

When the commercial service began, the city council approved new fees, charging $20 to $50 for various types of security badges that must be renewed every year for $10. The airport also began charging $3.50 per night for overnight parking.

Eccles was chosen over 26 other candidates when he was hired in 2011 and was paid about $80,000 annually.

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FAA Panel Endorses Wi-Fi as Safe: Report Suggests Lifting Restrictions on Hand-Held Devices Under 10,000 Feet

 Updated October 1, 2013, 10:09 p.m. ET


The Wall Street Journal

An FAA advisory committee has concluded passengers can safely use hand-held electronic devices, including those connected to onboard Wi-Fi systems, during all portions of flights on nearly all U.S. airliners, according to one of the group's leaders.

The committee's report and its more than two dozen recommendations, which haven't yet been released by the Federal Aviation Administration, go further than industry officials previously suggested in recommending lifting current restrictions on such devices under 10,000 feet.

The panel determined that no matter what applications the devices are running or what wireless-transmission mode they are in, "the vast majority" of aircraft "are going to be just fine" from a safety standpoint, according to a senior Inc. official who headed the group's technical subcommittee.

Nearly all airline fleets "already have been so dramatically improved and aircraft are so resilient" to electronic interference, according to Paul Misener, Amazon's vice president of global public policy, that the committee concluded they would be safe for "gate to gate use" of such devices.

Only normal, ground-based cellular connections—whether used for voice or data—should remain off-limits, according to the committee's recommendations. That isn't due to safety concerns, but because of long-standing Federal Communications Commission rules prohibiting airborne cellular service. Those rules, in turn, stem from concerns about interfering with communications systems on the ground. Mr. Misener said the committee urged the FAA to work with the FCC to reassess those restrictions.

If the FAA follows the committee's recommendations, fliers could potentially access email and the Internet during all phases of flight—but only through an airline's onboard Wi-Fi system, which usually requires a fee to use, and not through their own cellular data service.

In an interview, Mr. Misener also said the panel ended up endorsing a relatively simple system for airlines to demonstrate to the FAA that passenger devices wouldn't interfere with cockpit instruments on their planes. That proposed system, which hasn't previously come to light, would be largely based on reassessing earlier test results, rather than running a battery of new tests based on new standards.

Another committee member confirmed that the report doesn't recommend any restrictions on using onboard Wi-Fi below 10,000 feet. Instead, the recommendations note that aircraft already equipped with such Wi-Fi systems, or authorized to have them, should be subjected to simpler testing—or no testing at all—for portable-electronic devices. That is because they've already been subjected to rigorous testing for the Wi-Fi hardware, according to both panel members

The vast majority of commercial aircraft types used in the U.S. have been approved to handle onboard Wi-Fi systems. Almost 60% of commercial passenger aircraft in the U.S. are connected, not counting commuter jets, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey of U.S. carriers. By the end of 2015, airlines plan to have more than 85% of their mainline aircraft connected.

For the foreseeable future, however, below 10,000 feet flight attendants may face the new challenge of determining whether phones or other devices had their cellular connections disabled, often known as "airplane mode." Mr. Misener and industry officials predicted this could pose a thorny enforcement issue, but they said if passengers widely ignored instructions from flight attendants it wouldn't present a significant safety hazard.

The fate of the recommendations is uncertain.

The FAA, which has been under pressure from lawmakers, passengers and other groups to take swift action, still has the final say in deciding what changes will be implemented. FAA officials have declined to comment on the recommendations, except to say they will study them and then decide on next steps.

Mr. Misener said the committee effectively determined there are no major safety impediments to allowing unlimited use of tablets, e-readers and other hand-held devices from the beginning to the end of flights. Among the rare exceptions: cases when pilots need to use complex instrument-landing systems in low visibility or poor weather conditions. In those cases pilots should have the authority to ask passengers to turn off devices, according to the consensus recommendations adopted by the committee.

Even when those more-advanced landing aids are used, Mr. Misener said, airlines can alleviate safety concerns by conducting extra tests on their fleets.

Amazon, which markets a variety of e-readers and other electronic devices, previously ran some of its own safety tests and for years has championed lifting FAA limits on hand-held devices. The sweeping recommendations represent an important victory for the company and others who have argued that current rules are based on outmoded technical and regulatory assumptions.

"Our customers have been telling us they don't understand" the reasons behind the ban on using devices during takeoffs and landings, according to Mr. Misener. Based on the consensus view of experts on the committee, the Amazon official said "we can rest assured" that gate-to-gate use of hand-held electronic devices—whether for data or entertainment stored on the device itself or to access the Web—doesn't pose a threat to passengers.

Along with other companies and industry groups, Amazon is urging the FAA to act quickly, perhaps by the end of the year. "Our assumption is it's not years, but months," according to Mr. Misener.

Despite the committee's conclusions, though, it appears many connected aircraft aren't set up to offer in-flight Internet below 10,000 feet anyway. Gogo Inc., the largest inflight-Internet provider in the U.S., said its Wi-Fi systems aren't optimized for service below 10,000 feet, in part because Gogo relies on cellular towers on the ground for its connection. Gogo provides in-flight Wi-Fi for about three-quarters of the roughly 2,100 connected commercial aircraft in the U.S., including those at Delta Air Lines Inc., Virgin America Inc., US Airways Group Inc. and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines.

However, the three other inflight-Internet providers in the U.S. said their systems function at all phases of flight, partly because they use satellites for their connections. These providers said they currently switch off the connection below 10,000 feet because of current FAA restrictions.

These companies include Panasonic Avionics Corp., which provides Wi-Fi to United Continental Holdings Inc., and Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., the provider to Southwest Airlines Co. "It works in all phases of flight including when the plane is on the ground," said John Guidon, Global Eagle's chief technology officer. But, he added, "normally we have restrictions in place for passenger access in order to comply with existing regulations."

JetBlue Airways Corp., which provides its own Wi-Fi through a subsidiary, said its system also functions below 10,000 feet, though the service works best at cruising altitude. "We'd only make that service available [below 10,000 feet] if it's proven safe," JetBlue spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said. If the FAA approved the use of devices and Wi-Fi below 10,000 feet, she said, "we'd love to provide that service to our customers."

According to Mr. Misener, the advisory group urged the FAA to continue requiring full-size laptops to be stowed during takeoffs and landings out of concern that such heavy devices could injure passengers in the event of turbulence or sudden maneuvers.

Regardless of the size of the devices, it's not clear that all airlines would embrace the chance to provide connectivity during all phases of flight. Last week, one big U.S. carrier said it would look closely at whether to allow Wi-Fi below 10,000 feet to ensure that passengers wouldn't be distracted from paying attention to instructions from attendants and from getting ready for takeoffs and landings.

Henry Harteveldt, a travel-industry analyst, said it would amount to a "partial victory" if the FAA approved new rules allowing only devices not connected to the Internet to be used below 10,000 feet.

But if the FAA opts to approve Wi-Fi during takeoffs and landings, "that's really what the traveler wants," he said. "Using the Web from the moment they sit down—that's ultimately the Holy Grail."

Under today's rules, the FAA offers airliners the option of conducting individual tests on specific combinations of devices and aircraft models to demonstrate resistance to electronic interference during critical takeoff and landing phases. But in practice, airlines have shunned that option as impractical and instead, they have embrace a blanket prohibition against turning on any hand-held device below 10,000 feet. But now, according to Mr. Misener, the committee has laid out a relatively painless path so "airlines may make these assessments" on their own, and present the data for FAA sign-offs.

The Consumer Electronics Association, which represents more than 2,000 companies and had a representative on the advisory panel, said it supports allowing passengers, with limited exceptions, "to use typical handheld or lightweight electronic devices" at all altitudes. "We now urge the FAA's immediate review, consideration and pursuit" of those recommendations, the trade group said. It also said recent research it participated in showed that nearly 70% of passengers who brought an electronic device onboard used it at some point during the flight.


Colorado firefighting air corps could be in jeopardy due to cost of flood-damage repairs -- Recommendations due to Governor by April 1


DENVER - The damage to the state's infrastructure from recent flooding could impact Colorado getting its own wildfire air fleet. 

 Gov. John Hickenlooper has set an April 1 deadline for recommendations from the Department of Public Safety about the state getting its own firefighting air corps.

Lawmakers on the Interim Committee for Wildfire Matters received a presentation Tuesday from Coulson Aviation about aircraft available for firefighting, including a helicopter equipped with an infrared camera.

"You're up in the air at 130 miles per hour, from an airplane, looking down, trying to see through the smoke. That's the standard operating procedure," said CEO Wayne Coulson. "(This) has a thermal imaging camera on it, so we can see through the smoke.

He made his pitch to the committee by saying conventional air tactics could lead to air retardant being dropped on smoke, where the fire used to be. But the flames have spread elsewhere.

"How much would the state have to pay for something like this?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.

"This aircraft is approximately $5,000 a day and $1,500 an hour," said Coulson.

"Is that a reasonable price for firefighting from the air?" Zelinger asked Colorado Department of Public Safety Director Paul Cooke.

"It's comparable with other types of helicopters of its type -- a Type II helicopter," said Cooke.

7NEWS also learned the state could get an empty C-130 aircraft for free from the federal government. The state would have to pay to have the aircraft equipped to drop fire retardant.

"How much would it cost to retrofit an empty C-130," asked Zelinger.

"It's between $6-and-$8 million," said Coulson.

This past fire season, Colorado had a 120-day contract to borrow two single-engine air tankers and have them parked in the state.

The damage from last month's flooding could delay the plan to for Colorado to buy its own firefighting aircraft.

"The flooding is going to impact the state general fund, just like any other disaster does," said Cooke. "We have a lot of infrastructure to replace. It's going to be very costly, so it's the same pot of money."

Even though his recommendations are not due until April 1, Cooke said he was hopeful he could get his analysis done by the end of the year, giving the the governor and legislature time to review his report and make legislative changes if necessary.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

United States says 'No' to Fly Jamaica, Caribbean Airlines direct Georgetown to New York flights

The United States Department of Transportation (Dot) has denied requests Caribbean Airlines and Fly Jamaica to fly direct from Georgetown to New York, saying the carriers did not provide compelling evidence that doing so will be in the public’s interest.

“In light of these existing Georgetown-New York services and the lack of a showing by the applicants on the record that there is a truly demonstrable need for additional Georgetown-New York services, we are unable to find that the CAL and Fly Jamaica seventh freedom turnaround proposals satisfy our public interest test for the type of extraordinary authority at issue,’ states the order dated September 30.

The Guyana government had hoped that the granting of flag carrier statuses to Caribbean Airlines and Fly Jamaica would have aided those airlines in offering cheaper direct flights from Georgetown to New York.

But the DoT said the applications did not pass the test that would have aided American authorities to conclude that a demonstrable need for the service exists, there would be a negligible impact on U.S. flag carriers, and the proposed operation is limited in scope. “Against that background, we have reviewed the applications of CAL and Fly Jamaica and determined that we cannot make the necessary public interest finding,” states DoT.

The US regulatory agency assured that the decisions would not affect Fly Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines’ flights to New York through Kingston and Port-of-Spain respectively.

Petitions against the order could be filed within seven days of that action although, according to DoT, filing of petitions would not alter its effectiveness which began Wednesday. Fly Jamaica's Chief Executive Officer, Ronald Reece said no decision has been taken about whether to appeal the order. "They have seven days to appeal and we have not made a decision yet. The Board is still looking at it," he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Two organisations-Airlines for America and the Air Line Pilots Association- had opposed the requests by the Fly Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines. Air Line Pilots Association has contended that oil-rich Trinidad and Tobago has been providing a “substantial fuel subsidy” to CAL “and at least one US carrier has ceased services in the market. For all of these reasons, the Department should deny these applications.”  The Trinidad and Tobago government has since announced that it would be scrapping the subsidy from next month. Airlines for America had stated that granting the applications will reward behaviours and policies in the region that have resulted in less choice because market distortions have resulted in the withdrawal of service on the route

The DoT in its order acknowledged concerns raised by ALPA and A4A pertaining to fuel subsidies paid to CAL but said “we have been advised through diplomatic channels that those subsidies have already ceased or will soon cease."

Fly Jamaica hopes to use the one-stop in Kingston to its advantage by offering reasons to travel to that Caribbean island. They include concerts, festivals and games. Reece said the Kingston stop would also help intercept drugs that might leak through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

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New airline to touch down - Daily flights to Bangalore beginning January

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 1: ABC Airways, an aviation company based in Bangalore, has received the nod of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to start its services from here.

The company will run two flights — one in the morning and another in the evening — between Bhubaneswar and Bangalore from January next year.

ABC Airways is a subsidiary of the Bangalore-based ABC Aviation and Training Services Private Limited. Promoter Rajesh Ebrahim is a commercial pilot and this will be a new venture.

“The private company is promoted by Rajesh Ebrahim will fly Embraer 170 aircraft to Bangalore and operations will start around January next year,” Biju Patnaik Airport director Sharad Kumar told The Telegraph.

The airline has three Embraer 170 aircraft in its fleet.

The news comes as relief to those who travel frequently between the two cities. They were worried about the air link between the two cities after a private airlines decided to stop its Bhubaneswar operations from October 27.

Satyabrata Swain, an IT professional based in Bangalore, said: “With the rise in the number of Odia IT professionals here and the opening of more IT development centres in Bhubaneswar, daily flights between the two cities are necessary.”

Debasish Mohapatra, a travel planner and consultant, said: “Bangalore is a major sector in the aviation route from the city. While the usual passenger load remains between 65 and 70 per cent on weekdays, the figure touches nearly 90 per cent on weekends. The new venture can be effective in the absence of any other operator after October 27.”

“We contacted the airport officials at Guwahati and Amritsar last week. Today, we met the director of Biju Patnaik Airport here and are really happy to get the co-operation and support from the AAI and the state government. Next week, we are going to meet airport officials of Patna, Surat and Lucknow,” managing director of ABC Airways Rajesh Ebrahim told The Telegraph.

“We will plan the flight schedule in such a way that people can leave Bhubaneswar in the morning, finish their work in Bangalore during the day and get back home in the evening. All our aircraft will have a seating capacity of 78,” he said.

Apart from Bhubaneswar, the airlines will also link other southern destinations from Bangalore. “We are going to have services to Pune and Goa from Bangalore in the near future,’’ he said.

However, Guwahati, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar and Surat routes will be given priority by the carrier because the cities have emerged as the new happening places in the aviation sector.

Original article:

Smooth takeoff for airport manager: Sikorsky Memorial (KBDR), Connecticut

BRIDGEPORT -- In two short weeks Pauline Mize has made a good impression on tenants and volunteers in her job as acting manager at Sikorsky Memorial Airport.

"She seems incredibly knowledgeable and I'm very impressed by her experience," said lawyer and ex-Republican politician Rob Russo, co-owner of Three-Wing Flying Services, a tenant at the city-owned, Stratford-based Sikorsky. "I'd be thrilled to see her get the job permanently."

Mize was quietly hired last month to replace John Ricci, who was fired this summer after over two decades running the airport for a conflict-of-interest involving a $400,000 driveway built over Sikorsky land.

Tuesday marked Mize's first appearance at a meeting of the airport commission, made up of Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Bridgeport Council President Thomas McCarthy, D-133, and Stratford Mayor John Harkins.

"That was a more comprehensive airport manager's report than we've ever had," said David Faile Jr. head of the 650-member strong Friends of Sikorsky, whose members use and promote the airport.

Anyone doubting Mize inherited a lot from Ricci should have attended Tuesday's meeting.

Russo was there hoping to work out an arrangement to forgive over half of the $120,000 debt he inherited from Three-Wing's former owners so he can continue growing the company.

A frustrated Eugene Madara, president of the Connecticut Air & Space Center, urged the commission to resolve some issues that have kept that group from opening a museum at the airport.

Mike Becker, owner of Blue Sky Flight, an aircraft rental and flight instruction business, voiced a similar complaint -- he's been refurbishing an airport hangar without a finalized lease.

Then there's that $40 million, federally funded runway safety project that got Ricci fired in the first place.

The city has said Ricci failed to reveal his real estate dealings with Manuel "Manny" Moutinho even as he was negotiating to hire the developer to build a $400,000 taxpayer funded, no-bid driveway to Moutinho's waterfront mansion. The project -- first revealed this summer by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers -- was, the city said, needed to replace a dirt driveway used by Moutinho and three neighbors that will be taken for the runway safety work.

Although Mize, who lives on Long Island, ran Suffolk County's Francis S. Gabreski Airport from 1998 to 2005 and oversaw projects there, she told airport commissioners Tuesday, "This will be my first $40 million one."

The city is facing a federally mandated deadline of 2016 to improve runway safety two decades after a small plane crash at Sikorsky killed eight people.

"We should be able to bid this job out this spring," Mize told the commission.

Despite the controversy surrounding Ricci and the driveway, the Finch administration has been less-than-forthcoming about the circumstances of Mize's hiring or her long-term relationship with Fred Hall, the manager of the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry. The couple owns a home on Long Island.

The mayor's office, for example, continues to decline requests for the resumes of the other two candidates it said were in the running.

And after ignoring Hearst's repeated questions about whether Mize's hiring was approved by the city's Civil Service Commission, City Attorney Mark Anastasi Tuesday told the airport commission her appointment will be on that group's next agenda.

The mayor's office has said it needed to move quickly to replace Ricci and keep the runway work on track.

On Tuesday, Finch appeared to criticize some of the continued scrutiny of the airport and runway project.

After Mize's report the mayor said the runway safety upgrades are all about ensuring no more lives are lost.

"That's what we're all about -- most of us," the mayor said.

Original article:

Braintree, Massachusetts: Jet brokerage's business climbs back from Recession-era lows


In 2009, Sentient Jet’s prospects looked bleak.

Less than two years after its merger with Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based private jet company JetDirect Aviation, in the face of internal financial challenges and external turmoil in the global marketplace, Sentient was sold off to Macquarie Global Opportunity Partners and the remaining company was forced to file for bankruptcy.

“Private aviation was sort of kicked around as a political term for a year or two,” said Sentient Jet President Andrew Collins.

Today, the 14-year-old Braintree-based charter jet brokerage is seeing a positive upswing in its business, after being acquired by the private equity firm Directional Aviation Capital in June 2012.

Between May and August of this year, Sentient sold 11,000 hours of flight time. Its customers flew 10 percent more hours compared to the same period in 2012, according to the company.

It has hired four new employees and plans to hire eight more, adding to its current staff of 125, according to Collins.

“One of the things we experienced was that even though there was a financial crisis, there was a core group of people that will always fly privately. Either they need it from a business perspective, or for the security,” Collins said.

A key element of Sentient’s recovery has been its 25-hour flight card, which allows customers to purchase 25 hours of flight time to use whenever they need it.

Sentient offers flight card buyers four sizes of private jets to charter, ranging from a six-passenger to a twelve-passenger plane. Two age classes are offered – 1999 and earlier or 2000 and later.

Jet Cards start at $123,100 and can go up to $347,350 for 25 hours of flight time.

According to Collins, the average Sentient customer will purchase a card valued at about $130,000. He said about 85 percent of customers are from the U.S. Over the summer, many used their flight cards for vacation getaways to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and the Hamptons, he said.

Original article:

Restored Lakefront Airport regains its former beauty

Calvin Moret wasn’t there for the dedication of Shushan Airport back in February 1934, but that doesn’t mean a walk around the airport’s newly restored terminal doesn’t bring back memories. At 88 years old, Moret is the last remaining Tuskegee airman in Louisiana, and he remembers well the role the New Orleans airport played in aviation history.

“I flew out of this airport many times,” Moret said Saturday. “And my father-in-law was a plasterer who worked with John Lachin, the company that did the plaster work here.”

Moret was among a group of several hundred who turned out for the rededication — after a four-year, multimillion-dollar restoration — of the terminal building at what is now known as New Orleans Lakefront Airport. After being covered by concrete since a 1964 renovation, features like bas-reliefs by sculptor Enrique Alferez and murals by Xavier Gonzales are now once again on view for all to see and appreciate.

“After Hurricane Katrina, we made the decision not just to repair the building but to restore it to its original appearance,” said Joe Hassinger, chairman of the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority, the Orleans Levee Board successor that now has authority over the airport. “We were able to work with FEMA and use some funds that would have gone to repairing hangars we weren’t going to rebuild to get the work done.”

The renovation removed not only the bricks and casing obscuring the terminal’s fa├žade, but also the walls and floor coverings that hid original architectural features like the two-story atrium and the decorative stone, plaster, tiles and artwork on the interior. The original terrazzo floors with multi-pointed compasses pointing the way to exotic destinations combine with Art Deco light figures and abstract aluminum screens to complement the five types of granite used to embellish the public spaces.

Except for Louisiana political boss Huey Long and his close relationship with Abraham Lazar Shushan — then the president of the Orleans Levee Board — the airport might have been built in a totally different style.

“The first plan was for a Spanish Colonial building,” said Vincent Caire, a historian of Louisiana aviation who works with the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority. “It isn’t clear whether that design was for the current site or for a site elsewhere in the city.”

The Young Men’s Business Club had thrown a wrench in the works while the airport was in the planning stages, decrying the proposed location on the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline east of the Industrial Canal and promoting instead the idea of building the airport in what was known as the City Park extension.

Another hurdle that needed to be cleared was a lawsuit brought against the Levee Board by owners of some of the 290 camps along Lake Pontchartrain that would be displaced by the project.

Ultimately, though, the City Park idea died and the camp owners were assuaged, clearing the way for construction of a seawall extending out into the lake to form a peninsula.

Backfill inside of the floodwall created the 300 acres of land on which the airport’s administration building, hangars and runways were constructed.

National Airport Engineering of Los Angeles was awarded the contract to design the facility in June 1931, and plans developed by the firm were approved by the levee board in February 1932.

The Spanish Colonial-style administration building was to be 300 feet by 70 feet and would house offices, space for handling airmail, a lunchroom on the first floor and sleeping quarters on the second floor.

But by June 1932, National Airport Engineering was abruptly replaced by Long’s hand-picked local architects, Weiss, Dreyfous & Seiferth, who also designed the new state Capitol and Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge, as well as Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

Although the terminal’s Art Deco beauty was disguised for the past 50 years, the airport never ceased operations, even after passenger travel migrated west in 1946 to Moisant Field, now Louis Armstrong International Airport. In fact, said Hassinger, Lakefront Airport remains a favorite arrival and departure point for private planes.

“A lot of sports teams and celebrities like to fly in and out of here because it’s more private and convenient,” he said. “Planes were parked wing to wing here for the Super Bowl, when we logged a landing every 45 seconds and a takeoff every 90 seconds.”

With the restoration of the building complete, the next step in the process will be to restore the seven remaining murals created by Xavier Gonzalez for the second floor and, if funds allow, the Alferez fountain known as “The Four Winds.”

“The murals are under rice paper now to help conserve them,” said Wilma Heaton, chairwoman of the airport committee of the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority. “We’ll be holding a fund-raiser in February to raise money to properly conserve them.”

One of the eight murals — named “Bali” by the artist — was accidentally destroyed during the 1964 remodeling. Another one had been in storage at the Louisiana State Museum since the 1970s, but it was returned and placed on view in its original location.

A second relic of the original building was also returned in time for Saturday’s event: The original dedication plaque that had been housed at the Earl K. Long Library of the University of New Orleans. The plaque is now on permanent loan to the airport.

Within a few months, officials expect to announce an operator for the airport’s restaurant, the once-fabled Walnut Room. The atrium, bar and space on the second floor will be made available for special events. The first lease for office space has been signed, and a second is in the works. Meanwhile, atop the building, the beacon lights up the night sky.

“You can see it from the causeway,” Caire said.

For all of the glory that the airport brought to the city of New Orleans in its early years, the man for whom it was named, Long crony Shushan, did not fare so well. He was convicted of income tax fraud and went to prison. While he was incarcerated, the airport was renamed simply the New Orleans Airport, later gaining the name New Orleans Lakefront Airport to distinguish it from the Moisant facility in Kenner.

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Will Rogers-Wiley Memorial Seaplane Base, Maintenance Dredging Project, City of Renton, Washington

The project consists of Maintenance Dredging of the existing Seaplane Base Facility at the Renton Municipal Airport Seaplane Base Facility located at the South end of Lake Washington. The work includes construction surveying, environmental protection and water quality monitoring, dredging, dredged material disposal at open water disposal site in Elliott Bay and Large Woody Debris removal and stockpiling. 

Project #REN4, Bid Date: 10/16/2013 @ 2:30 pm PDT:

More planes, more family fun

PASO ROBLES — Silver wings, humming engines and whirling propellers will entice aviation enthusiasts to the Warbirds Over Paso Air Show slated for Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Paso Robles Municipal Airport. About 6,000 to 7,000 people are expected to attend the 2013 show, which includes warbird flight demonstrations, aerobatic displays and the opportunity to take a high-flying flight above oak-studded hills.

Estrella Warbirds Museum Board of Directors member Scott Stelzle said this year’s show has ballooned, despite government cutbacks. The Department of Defense has directed the Air Force to cancel aviation support to public events for at least the remainder of the fiscal year.

For the complete article see the 10-01-2013 issue.

Minor runway obstructions, major public cost

Thirteen light poles and an overhead sign on Interstate 95 are among the minor obstructions in the clear zone for the new airport runway. They must come down.

Cost in public funds: $907,185.

For example, a concrete barrier wall will be removed for $8,906. A new one will be constructed for $42,084.

The runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is scheduled to open in a year. The obstructions are scheduled for removal by Feb. 1.


Russellville Municipal Airport hosting fly-in, open house

The Russellville Municipal Airport will host “Barnstormers Day” on Saturday, Oct. 12, which will be a fly-in open house for pilots and other members of the community.

The event will start at 10 a.m. and end by 5 p.m., but guests are welcome to come earlier.

Russellville Airport manager Harry Mattox said the purpose of the event was to showcase the airport’s new ramp, which was completed in June.

“The last event we had here was the Armed Forces Day celebration back in May, so we haven’t had an official event since the completion of our new ramp, and we want everyone in the community and those who are interested to be able to see it,” Mattox said.

“We thought the best way to do that would be with a fly-in because we weren’t able to have a fly-in here before the ramp was completed.”

Mattox said there would be several vintage airplanes available at the fly-in open house and vintage biplane rides would be available, weather permitting, for $70 per person for a four-person, open cockpit, 15-minute ride.

“We want to acquaint the general public with some of these airplanes and with the Golden Age of Aviation,” Mattox said.

“It will be a great experience the whole family can enjoy.”

Mattox said two of the planes scheduled for the event are the 1929 Travel Air 4000-NC379M plane owned by David “Candy Man” Mars and the 1941 White New Standard D-25 owned by Ted “Scooter” Davis.

He said pilots from all across the area are invited to fly-in, especially pilots owning vintage planes.

In addition to the vintage plane rides and display, Mattox said they would be selling smoked Boston butt plates with all the fixings and T-shirts.

“We’re also planning to have an aviation swap meet,” Mattox said. “Just bring anything you want to sell or swap, from headsets to GPS to airplane parts. Anything related to aviation is welcome.”

For questions about the event, contact Mattox at 256-331-9000.

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Gary mayor’s chief of staff named interim airport director

GARY — Two weeks made all the difference, as the City of Gary’s chief of staff, Bridget “B.R.” Lane, was appointed unanimously Monday as interim airport director by the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority.

The first try at Lane’s appointment, on Sept. 20, failed in a 3-3 vote, with one member absent. Board Chairman Tom Collins Sr. explained after Monday’s Airport Authority meeting that the entire board hadn’t been made aware of Lane’s potential candidacy when they took the original vote.

Alesia Pritchett, Shontrai Irving and Denise Dillard voted for Lane, while Collins, James Cooper and Tom Cavanaugh voted against her. Member Michael Doyne was absent.

In a prepared statement, however, Collins seemed to now support the decision.

“The board has agreed to enter into an employment contract with B.R. Lane,” Collins read. “For over a year, B.R. has already been actively engaged with all parties on a local, state and federal level regarding airport issues, and she shares our major objectives, which are to complete the runway expansion, and to develop sustainable sources of revenue for the airport.”

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who supported Lane from the start, reiterated Lane’s credentials, including her familiarity with all the issues the airport faces, such as efforts to create a public-private partnership to manage the facility.

“We can always get someone who understands aviation, but to move us forward, she’s the best candidate,” Freeman-Wilson said.

Though the position is an interim one, Lane did become an official airport employee as of Monday. As such, Lane said she wasn’t sure whether she would return to her chief of staff position if the P3 entity decides to hire its own manager.

Freeman-Wilson said someone would likely fill in for Lane, but whether the appointment would be an internal or external hire hasn’t been determined.

Collins said he was unsure of the salary Lane would make as interim director but indicated it would be the same as previous Interim Director Steve Landry’s position. According to the City of Gary’s 2014 budget, Lane would’ve made $80, 039.80 as Chief of Staff.

Collins also said he didn’t know the details of paying a Florida-based search firm $30,000 the board approved in April to find a new director.

Original article:

Bismarck Airport Recruits More Air Service

KFYRTV.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports 

Ticket prices at the Bismarck airport are 14 percent higher than the national average, but that could be changing. The Department of Transportation recently awarded the city 500 thousand dollars in a Small Community Air Service Development Grant. 

"They have some guidelines that they use to make their choices of who's going to get them each and every year," said  Greg Haug, Bismarck Airport Manager. "One of the things is higher than average fares, maybe a lack of a certain amount of competition in the market and then also a growing demand and a growing travel base and area."

The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and the Airport have decided to use the money for a new carrier,  who will provide additional air service to Dallas and or Chicago.

"The trips down into Dallas or the Texas market, we think would really help out the energy sector, there are a lot of energy businesses that are located in that part of the country," said Haug.

 Additional flights means more competition between airline companies, which could mean lower ticket prices for fliers.

"More competitive air fare, which is what we've been striving on the air service committee for years is to make our prices more competitive with other cities in the area,"said Cheryl Fenster, a member of the Air Service Committee.

The grant must be matched with private sector funding, and 250 thousand dollars has already been secured through commitments from community businesses. 

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Rep. Waxman: Federal Aviation Administration Ignoring Safety Issues at Santa Monica Airport (KSMO) - California

From Representative Henry A. Waxman:

Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman sent a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael P. Huerta to request immediate action to address safety conditions at Santa Monica Airport, following a deadly crash earlier this week at the airport. The FAA has consistently failed to address past concerns about inadequate measures to ensure the safety of the Santa Monica community, pilots, and passengers.

Rep. Waxman wrote, “The people of Santa Monica – and especially those living next to the airport – deserve your full attention. They have been warning for years that the airport is an accident waiting to happen. The tragic crash on Sunday illustrates how inadequate safety measures jeopardize the surrounding community and endanger pilots and passengers.”

The full text of the letter is available online here.
Original article:

Avenger torpedo bomber takes flight: After years of work, public can view restored World War II plane

 When retired airline pilot Charlie Cartledge bought his World War II vintage TBF Avenger torpedo bomber in 1999, it was missing a few important parts, namely an engine and cockpit instruments. The wings needed to be rebuilt, too, and attached to the fuselage.

It took 14 years of work, but the plane finally became flyable a few weeks ago. On Aug. 14, Cartledge took to the air with his plane for the first time, in Wadsworth.

He hoped the plane would be fine after all that work.

“Yeah, that first takeoff is pretty exciting,” he said.

The legendary torpedo bomber is now at Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport, near Port Clinton. When Liberty Aviation Museum’s star attraction, a B-25 bomber, is away, the museum rolls Cartledge’s bomber into the museum hangar to take its place, so that visitors will still have a World War II plane to look at. The Avenger was at the museum Friday.

Cartledge, 54, who lives in Orrville and Middle Bass Island, remembers confidently telling people that his torpedo bomber would be airborne in five to six years. “I still get kidded about that,” he said.

The Grumman TBF Avenger is a single-engine plane, but if you saw it in a picture, you’d likely not realize how big it is. It has a wingspan of about 54 feet and is about 40 feet long, dwarfing most single-engine planes.

People who stand next to the plane are surprised how large it is, Cartledge said.    “It was the largest carrierbased aircraft of World War II,” he said. “It handles like it looks — like a big truck.”

Cartledge’s bomber was built in New Jersey. The Navy accepted it in July 1945, shortly before the war ended. It was retrofitted to spray pesticides on farm fields and then passed through various hands before Cartledge bought it for $100,000.

He picked a bomber, rather than a fighter, because it was what he could afford.

“Basically, it came down to finances,” he said.

A working fighter plane cost $1.5 million. A working Avenger cost $150,000, although Cartledge paid less for a “needs work” model.

With help from friends, he had to retrieve parts for the Avenger from all over North America. The engine, for example, was purchased at an auction in Oregon and shipped to Oklahoma City for an overhaul before finally traveling to Ohio.

“I had to fabricate all the hydraulic lines,” Cartledge said.

“I just think it’s amazing and fantastic,” said Ed Pickard, a Liberty Aviation volunteer who’s been working to restore one of the museum’s PT boats. “The job he did on this plane is just incredible.”

Cartledge owns three planes: the Avenger, an AT-6 Harvard training plane — also used in World War II, and on display at Liberty Aviation Museum — and a Cessna.

The Cessna is the practical plane, the one he uses to take a quick trip to Middle Bass Island. A Cessna can be ready to go in 10 minutes.

But when Cartledge wants to fly his Avenger, he starts work at about 8 a.m., checking oil levels, seeing if any of the hydraulic fluids are leaking and doing other service tasks.

The wings fold back for easy storage on top of an aircraft carrier, so he has to make sure they’re fully extended and locked into place. If all goes well, his plane is ready to fly three hours later, at 11 a.m.

World War II pilots had a ground crew, but Cartledge is his own ground crew.

Pickard said Cartledge deserves credit for his dogged persistence in restoring the plane. Many aviation buffs buy an old plane, work on it for years and wear out, leaving the incomplete bird sitting in a hangar somewhere.

“He really is to be commended,” Pickard said.

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