Monday, October 21, 2013

Lakeshore Aviation may be grounded: County executive vows airport will stay open - Manitowoc County (KMTW), Wisconsin

MANITOWOC — With three corporate jets no longer flying out of the Manitowoc County Airport, dramatically declining jet fuel sales are jeopardizing the survival of Lakeshore Aviation.

“At this level of fuel sales I can’t stay in business past the end of the year,” Curt Drumm, president of the the company serving as the county airport’s fixed base operator (FBO) since 2005, said on Monday.

The Manitowoc Company went from two jets to one in 2009 and took the second out of operation in June. Orion Energy Systems ceased flying its corporate jet turboprop out of Manitowoc at the end of September.

“I feel terrible about this,” Drumm said. “Everything I’ve put in to try and help grow our airport and help our local businesses is going away.”

“We are leaving no stone untouched in an effort to continue operations, but with a fuel sales decrease of 85 to 90 percent with practically no way to cut overhead costs, it is difficult to find a solution while still providing the hours and breadth of services required,” Drumm stated to county officials.

His summary of his dire fiscal situation was in response to a letter from Steve Rollins, the county’s corporation counsel. He stated the county will honor its FBO agreement, which extends through 2014, and expects Drumm to do the same.

The agreement includes expecting the FBO to have on-site personnel, sunrise to sunset, every day, and offer charter service, flight instruction, aircraft and hangar rental, repairs and maintenance of planes.

Drumm said those services do not generate enough revenue to cover the costs of Lakeshore Aviation, including utilities, insurance and labor of its 10 employees.

County Executive Bob Ziegelbauer said he doesn’t doubt declining fuel sales haven’t made Drumm’s business life “more challenging ... but I wouldn’t jump quickly to the conclusion that he may or may not be able to continue ... I would encourage him not to give up.”

“We know the airport is a very valuable asset to us,” said Ziegelbauer, whose own proposed 2014 executive budget states it has provided, in recent years, an annual economic output of $3.3 million, supported 47 jobs and contributed $1.4 million in personal income to the local area.

“We won’t allow it go under,” Ziegelbauer said. “If the current FBO finds they can’t continue in business, we’ll wish him well, say goodbye and step in to maintain operations.”

Drumm pays a “flowage fee” to the county, ranging from about 6 cents to 12 cents a gallon, depending on which of three types of fuel that pilot puts in the tank. He also pays $1,500 in annual rent for the FBO building, with Lakeshore Aviation the source of most of the airport’s total annual revenue of about $100,000.

The county, through highway department personnel, maintains runways, taxiways, ramps, parking lots,lights and signs, performs snow removal and grass cutting, maintains perimeter fence and gates.

The 2014 county budget indicates anticipated total expenses of running the airport at $252,600 with $163,500 coming from local property taxes.

'Business downturn'

In 2005, Lakeshore Aviation’s first year as FBO, the two Manitowoc Company jets bought nearly 146,000 gallons of jet fuel. Through mid-September of this year the worldwide manufacturer with corporate headquarters on South 44th Street had purchased less than 8,000 gallons.

“Curt is in a tough business right now, it’s nothing he has done wrong,” said Tom Musial, senior vice president for human resources and administration.

“With this business downturn, this is really part of an overall business plan,” Musial said of taking two jets out of local operation, with six pilots and support personnel.

“We are very cautious on the amount of travel we do and there is so much more you can do with electronic communication, including video conferencing, to reduce travel,” Musial said.

He said Manitowoc Company executives occasionally fly on charter aircraft through Sterling Aviation, with operations at Mitchell International in Milwaukee, and there also more reliance on personnel taking commercial flights.

Musial said use of corporate jets when used properly is a “good time saver,” but also is costly “and the economy has changed so much.”

Fred Vogt flies for Red Lake, a venture owned by Manitowoc companies Red Arrow Products and Lakeside Foods, which includes a Piper Navajo Chieftan, twin-engine turbine piston plane. Vogt flies personnel to the two companies’ plants around the Midwest and on sales calls.

He said Drumm and Lakeshore Aviation have “always done a wonderful job for us, I have absolutely no complaints regarding the service and job he does.”

He said it would be very important, should Lakeshore Aviation cease operations, for the county to step in and keep the airport fully operational.

Manufacturing sector

Drumm shared Monday a printout of companies Lakeshore Aviation has provided services to in 2013 with many of them local manufacturers.

“The reality is about 90 percent of the business activity at the airport is related to create manufacturing jobs and sales in the city of Manitowoc,” said Drumm, a seaplane pilot and instructor whose personalized vehicle plate reads “H2O AV8R.”

Drumm said company representatives fly out on sales calls that are part of keeping and generating jobs in the Lakeshore area.

He said he has invested some $4 million to $5 million in assets, including fuel trucks, aircraft, hangars and technology.

Drumm said he agrees with Ziegelbauer that it is not the role of county government to support a private business “but everything we do is dictated by the county” including hours of operation and services personnel are required to do or risk violating the contract.

“If the county wants to take over, there will be substantial costs,” Drumm said. He said Lakeshore Aviation personnel put on the county’s payroll would cost more in wages and benefits.

In Drumm’s response to Rollins, the operator of the Wisconsin Aviation Business of the Year in 2011 said he has no intention to “abandon” its obligations.

Drumm, a Lincoln High School class of 1975 graduate, said he has talked with other FBOs about coming into Manitowoc but with the drop in fuel sales volume, none have expressed interest.

Can't waive payment

While the city doesn’t fund any of the airport’s operations, Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels said Monday he will try to schedule this week a meeting with Drumm, representatives from the Economic Development Corporation of Manitowoc County and others.

“In terms of keeping the FBO alive, there’s nothing I can do ... other than having conversations with local businesses to see if they can utilize the airport more,” Nickels said.

Specifically, Nickels said state statutes prohibit waiving of personal property tax paid to a municipality. Drumm said his business pays about $25,000 annually to the city.

County Highway Commissioner Gary Kennedy said he has a contingency plan should Lakeshore Aviation seek to terminate its agreement.

“We would do baby steps and see what is best for taxpayers,” Kennedy said of providing services besides fueling, such as charters and flight instruction.

“The airport will be open for business,” Kennedy said.

Any changes in the current FBO agreement would be subject to county board approval.

Drumm said on Monday county highway personnel do a “great job” when it comes to runway, grounds and facility maintenance. But they are not trained airport industry professionals, he said.

Drumm said he pays himself the equivalent of about $7 an hour and has depleted 401(k) savings. “Curt the businessman would have walked away three years ago” after Manitowoc Company dropped from two jets to one with accompanying fuel sales decline, he said.

But motivated by his passion for the aviation industry and pilot community, and to help local businesses, Drumm said he has “tried everything” and will have a clear conscience if he ceases operations.

“We’ve built this up to be a pretty nice operation,” Drumm said.

But he said with a current annual shortfall of about $100,000, Lakeshore Aviation may be grounded before New Year’s Day.


Hamilton Airport Plan review should be completed soon: Ravalli County (6S5), Montana

HAMILTON - The latest work on the new Hamilton Airport plan is taking longer than expected. But recent changes in that review mean the future of the airport should be completely resolved when that process is finished.

For the past year, Ravalli County commissioners have worked to finish the long term plan for the airport, a plan which has been stuck on the runway for nearly a decade.

At the start of this year, it appeared the county might finally be in a position of having the plan ironed out by summer. But as we move into fall, the long review of the Environmental Assessment is still underway. That's because the FAA wanted the county to include the new Airport Layout Plan as part of this review.

"Well the Airport Layout Plan, our current one, has been existing, and our anticipated Airport Layout Plan was presented. But they first said, the EA first said, don't include that, we'll talk about that later. Then they came back and said, well, let's get this all done at once. if you will aid the layout plan before we have the public hearing it will all be under consideration simultaneously and you won't have to do it twice," said J.R. Iman, Ravalli County Commissioner.

The county had already developed the new layout plan, which includes the commissioners' preferred "4B" option for a new 5,200 foot runway, converting the existing runway into a taxiway. So it just needed to be plugged into the current document.

""And so, they have a review period. And then hopefully it just delayed our public hearing until late this fall, or very early next year," said Iman.

It's been two years since the county decided to "re-boot" the airport planning in an effort to get the scheme ironed out once and for all. Iman says it would have been good to have finished the review earlier. But now, he says the current process will bring everything together for one hearing, with the findings presented to the FAA for approval all at once.

"I mean it's been 7-8 years, but the good part is it's only six months more. But we are coming to the final hearing," said Iman.

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Saudi women pilot gliders

Instructors give last-minute instructions to women gliders, who are taking up the sport in a big way. 
Courtesy photo

JEDDAH — Saudi women denied driving cars, have opted to achieve their dreams in flying gliders. The Saudi Aviation Club in Jeddah provides this service to those interested in a rental capacity. Owning a glider can run to SR37,000 to SR400,000, Al Madina reported Sunday.

The paper's reporter was present at the Gliding Club on King Abdul Aziz Road in Jeddah and saw the activity in this sport without any harassment from anyone.

Taghreed said flying gliders is greatly enjoyable and in the air one forgets everything on the ground. “A person just enjoys the beautiful scenes of the earth and sea and fresh air without any harassment from anyone. Just me, the glide and the atmosphere,” Taghreed said.  She added, “After a search I came to know that there is a school teaching gliding. I visited them and obtained a license. Now I can fly a gyro-copter.”

Amal, another Saudi, said aviation sports are among the best sports for women in Saudi Arabia. In the air, a girl is far from the earth and is alone. She sees a big portion of Jeddah. Amal said that she came to the Aviation Club with her brother. She climbed a glider accompanied by her brother. She was greatly impressed by the sport. After her marriage, she underwent training and became a professional glider.

The director of the aviation school Muhammad Al-Qarni said, “The majority of those who come to the school get an introductory flight. Usually they are accompanied by a trainer.

Some of them like the idea and submit an application for a training course to learn gliding skills. After that he or she flies alone. The papers of those interested to get a course and a gliding license are referred to the Saudi Aviation Club and then to the Ministry of Interior. A person gets training after approval of his application.

The training course costs nearly SR800 per hour. Some need 10 hours while others need 30 hours depending on their comprehension and the speed of learning. The license is then referred to the Ministry of Interior for final approval. The licensee can then fly anywhere in the world.

Al-Qarni said there are several kinds of gliding in aviation — the first is using gyrocopters and the second using pro-motors and metrolites. Each type has a different body from the other.

As to the prices of these aircraft, they start from SR37,000 to SR50,000. The prices of metrolites begin from SR130,000 and the prices of gyrocopters begin from SR240,000 upto SR400,000. The prices differ according to the specifications required. There are some people who want the aircraft to be air-conditioned, multicolored and from a particular manufacturing company. Each feature has its price.

Al-Qarni said a glider uses benzene 95. The tank is filled for SR16 and this is enough for continuous flying of six hours. As to the obstacles they face, he said the biggest obstacles are the limited places they are allowed to fly, whether in Jeddah or Riyadh.

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FedEx Airplane Moves to Training Facility

A Boeing 727-200 that FedEx donated to the Airport Authority's Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center in January of 2013 is moved to its new home at the training center, through a fence surrounded the Helena Regional Airport. 

 Local airport student firefighters now have easier access to an aircraft they already use for training purposes. 

Helena Regional Airport officials relocated a FedEx 727 airplane today, from the southwest end of the airport, down to the Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center.  The training center's student firefighters use the airplane to develop familiarization with the mechanical layout and different compartments of aircraft.  Training Center Coordinate Pete Hartman says in the long run, this will help the students enhance public safety.

"They've been using it now, and what we've been doing is busing people down to it. And now they'll just be able to walk out of the classroom and lower the doors, jump on it, and they'll be able to use it right away."

Airport officials took down a large portion of airport fencing this morning to create space for the airplane to go through.


Zelienople, Pennsylvania: Pilot, new bride fly to wedding reception

Jennifer (Schriefer) and Jeremy Corll arrive at their wedding reception Sunday in a plane flown by Jeremy. 

ZELIENOPLE — Jennifer Schriefer Corll wasn't the type of girl to dream up wedding plans as a child. Even if she had been, it's unlikely she would have guessed she would wear an airplane headset with her veil.

Jennifer, 33, who married Jeremy Corll Oct. 13 at the Harmony-Zelienople United Methodist Church, was flown by her new husband from the wedding to the reception in a six-passenger plane.
“We loved it. The guests loved it,” said Jeremy, 26, of Ellwood City.

Jeremy, a professional pilot, said the couple came up with the idea when they were planning their wedding. While visiting their reception site, The White Barn in Prospect, Jeremy noticed a windsock in a field next to the building and asked if there was an airstrip nearby. The couple got special permission to use the private strip.

“She liked the barn. I liked the runway,” said Jeremy. “It was perfect.”

Jeremy, who had a lifelong dream to become a pilot, said the profession also helped him find the love of his life.

In 2011, Jeremy struck up a friendship with one of his passengers: the Rev. Donn Ed, executive director at Hosanna Industries. They became friends and later Ed set Jeremy up on a blind date with his bride to be, who is a mission worker at Hosanna Industries.

The wedding had a fall theme with red and orange colors. The flowers were roses and orange calla lilies.

The plane flight was a secret to the 150 guests.

“We were really excited about it, but we knew it would be weather dependent,” said Jennifer.

For their honeymoon, the couple planned to visit the southern Caribbean island of St. Lucia, but Jeremy wasn't going to pilot the plane.

“We're going commercial,” Jennifer said.

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NORAD training in skies over Northern Virginia

North American Aerospace Defense Command will be training over the area early Tuesday morning.

The exercise, beginning after midnight, will include Civil Air Patrol aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter. The exercise is expected to continue through 2 a.m.

NORAD has been conducting these training flights in the United States and Canada as part of Operation Noble Eagle since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Since then, there have been more than 5,000 potential air threats in the U.S.
Officials may postpone or cancel training in inclement weather.


Atlantic City International Airport (KACY) to update security cameras

Atlantic City International Airport plans to upgrade its surveillance cameras to enhance security in the passenger terminal and parking lots.

Older-style analog cameras will be replaced with more sophisticated digital models, according to the South Jersey Transportation Authority, the airport owner.

Passengers won't notice the change in technology, but the new cameras will provide more security and safety throughout the airport property, authority spokesman Kevin Rehmann said.

Digital cameras and closed-circuit television monitors will have clearer resolution and better recording capability in the event "an incident occurs" on the airport grounds, Rehmann said.

"Technology is changing all the time - the clarity and resolution," he said.

Sam Donelson, the authority's acting executive director, said some of the airport's older analog cameras date to the late 1990s and are overdue for replacement.

Citing security reasons, Rehmann declined to disclose how many new cameras will be installed or give their locations other than to say they will be scattered throughout the terminal and parking lots.

The authority has advertised for public bids for the cameras and is scheduled to open them Nov. 19. No date has been announced on when the contract will be awarded and how much it is expected to cost.

The project is being done in cooperation with the State Police and the Transportation Security Administration, the federal agency that oversees airport security nationwide.

New cameras will add one more layer to the airport's security network. As with other airports nationwide, Atlantic City International has heightened its surveillance, passenger screening and other security measures since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Atlantic City International currently is served by one commercial carrier, Spirit Airlines. Airport travel climbed from 1.12 million passengers in 2007 to about 1.4 million in 2012. However, the airport has had a 25 percent drop in the number of scheduled service passengers through the first half of 2013, a trend blamed on the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority entered into a 15-year agreement on July 1 that placed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in charge of operating the airport and recruiting new airline service. The port authority also operates the Newark Liberty and Teterboro airports in New Jersey and the Kennedy, LaGuardia and Stewart airports in New York.


Lou Petritz: Skies, open road lure Naperville, Illinois, banker

Lou Petritz
Don't define Lou Petritz by his new position as president of First Community Financial Bank-Naperville. For someone with a pilot's license and a love for motorcycles, he doesn't exactly fit the conservative banker mold. 

 "I like machines that move the body and the spirit," the Naperville resident said. "There's something so refreshing and exhilarating and yet very practical about taking these methods of transportation." 

 He also didn't start out in banking. Instead, he was a repo man with a consumer financial company where he learned a lot about business. 

"For a twenty-something, it was a good job," Petritz said. "It gave me a lot of time out of the office, too. That's where I learned a lot about business and about people. It even taught me how to look someone in the eye and decide if they're telling me the truth."

He later attended night classes, earned his MBA and went into banking as a career. He held leadership roles at American Chartered Bank, U.S. Bank and Gary-Wheaton Bank of Fox Valley before replacing J. Patrick Benton at First Community in Naperville.

"This was a good opportunity to continue in banking. It was the right job at the right time," he said.

When he's not in the office, he loves to hit the road ... or the sky.

When he was about 40, he took flying lessons at an airport in Bolingbrook and eventually earned a pilot's license.

He'll rent a Cessna 172, a single-engine plane with four seats. He and his wife, Judie Caribeaux, take trips around the Midwest, a nice perk for pilots, he said.

"There's a joke among pilots about the $100 hamburger," he said. "You fly somewhere just for the day and have lunch and the hamburger costs you $5, but the fuel costs are $95."

"There's something about flying an airplane that it's like a brain flush. You can't think of anything else at the time and you must focus on what you're doing."

He also owns two motorcycles, a Yamaha V-Star and Honda Shadow and he often goes on road trips with one of them. But he doesn't drive them to the office.

"My suit would get tattered," he joked.

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SpiceJet diverts Mumbai-bound flight to Udaipur to drop spare parts

Over 100 passengers on board a Suratbound SpiceJet fight, via Mumbai, from Delhi were left fuming on Sunday after the aircraft was abruptly diverted to Udaipur allegedly to drop a pilot-cum-engineer to attend a grounded plane.

While the diversion led to the flight No. SG-852 reaching the destinations three hours after its scheduled arrival, passengers slammed SpiceJet officials for taking them on a ride just to handle an internal issue.

Mumbai Mirror contacted the airline for its version of the story. However, the SpiceJet spokesperson refused to comment on the issue.

Aflyer who experienced the ordeal said the flight was scheduled to take off at 3.15 pm, but got delayed by 45 minutes due to some technical reasons. "However, we were taken in by surprise when the captain announced in mid-air that the aircraft was heading towards Udaipur."

The flight reached Udaipur at 5 pm following which disgruntled passengers demanded to know from the ground staff the reason behind the diversion. They were apparently told that the airline had to urgently reach some spares and a technical expert to Udaipur.

Another passenger rued, "The flight could take off from Udaipur only at 7.05 pm. It was scheduled to reach Mumbai around 5 pm, but thanks to SpiceJet's management, it got delayed by three hours."

Sources said a lot of former flight engineers are now working as pilots in SpiceJet and the airline takes their services whenever there is an emergency, suggesting that unscheduled diversions happen on few occasions.


Oregon Man Charged With Pointing Laser At 2 Airplanes

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man has been accused of aiming a laser pointer at two commercial airliners, according to an indictment unsealed in Portland on Monday. 

The man — identified as Stephen Francis Bukucs (BOO-kuhs) — aimed the laser pointer at United and JetBlue flights in Portland on Oct. 13, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Oregon.

Federal prosecutors say Bukucs, who lives in northeast Portland, was indicted and arrested last week. The 39-year-old faced arraignment Monday afternoon.

The indictment didn't describe in detail the device he's accused of using, or say whether he has an attorney.

Hand-held lasers that can point out objects up to 25,000 feet away are a growing concern for federal authorities, with incidents rising from a few hundred instances of laser attacks on planes in 2005 to nearly 3,000 reports in 2010.

The lasers can temporarily blind pilots.

With incidents on the rise, the FAA has increased the fine for those caught shining lasers into a plane to $11,000.

The Portland airport has also seen a rise in laser incidents in recent years, Port of Portland spokesman Steve Johnson said. Pilots reported 125 laser incidents through August this year. They reported 100 incidents in 2012, 51 incidents in 2011.

Most laser beams originate away from airport grounds, Johnson said, and it's hard to catch perpetrators because the beams are hard to track.

Due to the rise in attacks, the Port of Portland police have been more actively involved in tracking down laser illuminations, he said.

"It's a very serious safety concern, because lasers can impair the vision of a pilot, which is crucial when operating an aircraft," Johnson said. He declined to speak about last week's incidents.

Last week in New York, the FBI assigned its Joint Terrorism Task Force to investigate laser attacks on two airplanes approaching LaGuardia Airport.



South Dakota State University: Den Herder earns commercial single-engine airplane rating

South Dakota State University junior Trevor Den Herder achieved his commercial single-engine airplane rating Oct. 16 following several tests and approximately 120 hours of flight time.

As a result of achieving this rating, Den Herder is a commercial pilot. He previously earned private pilot and instrument ratings.

"I'm unsure if I want to get into an airline," said Den Herder, who is exploring options to work in charter or corporate aviation. Den Herder hopes to gain his commercial multi-engine airplane rating and plans on earning a certified flight instructor rating yet this semester.

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Mahindra to start making small aircraft within 2 years

 Narsapura (Bangalore), Oct 21: 

Mahindra Aerospace aims to start manufacturing eight-seater aircraft at its new plant near Bangalore in the next two years. In doing so, it should become the first private player to build civilian aircraft in the country, and the second after public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

“We want to move from being global consumers to global producers,” said Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Group, while inaugurating the aero-structures manufacturing facility here. “Through our utility aircraft, we will get into areas where no one has reached yet.”

The new plant is spread over 25,000 sq m and will supply parts for aircraft structures as well as other components.

This is Mahindra Aerospace’s second aircraft manufacturing facility. It already has such a facility for utility aircraft in Australia.

The Indian facility was made possible after the company acquired Aerostaff and GippsAero in Australia.

Small aircraft

This facility will manufacture 8-seater GA8 aircraft, while the 10-seater GA10 will enter the market next year.

Currently, there are around 250 GA8 aircraft flying all over the world. The company is also working on an 18-seater aircraft.

The single-engine turbo-prop aircraft that Mahindra proposes to manufacture will have a range of over 1,100 km and is likely to open up air connectivity between various small towns and cities.

The company feels that such a product would help domestic tourists, who spend a lot of time on the road or on trains to get to a destination. Asked when the company would begin manufacturing small aircraft in India, Hemant Luthra, President, Mahindra Systech, said: “Within two years, we will have a full-fledged 8-seater aircraft being manufactured in India.”

Mahindra Systech takes care of the group’s aero service business.

The Bangalore facility has been set up in technical collaboration with Spanish company, Aeronova, which specialises in the design and manufacture of major airframe assemblies.

The first customer will be the manufacturing facility in Australia.

Big Ambitions

The plant will also look to supply spares to aircraft giants Airbus and Boeing. Luthra said that a Request for Qualification, to supply parts has already been made.

The plant has been set up at a total cost of Rs 150 crore and has the capacity to deliver about Rs 250 crore of annual revenue. It will provide employment to about 400 people.

Though HAL manufactures aircraft, these are only trainers, while big, small or very small passenger aircraft are all imported.

Currently, India imports big aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, and depends on Embraer and Bombardier for 70- and 80-seater aircraft. Small turbo-prop aircraft are supplied by various global manufacturers.

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Jet Air Signature Select expanding operations with new hangar


ASHWAUBENON — The continued growth of Jet Air Signature Select at Austin Straubel International Airport is seen as a boon to economic development in the area. 

State and local officials, along with the business owners, broke ground on new 34,000 square-foot hangar at the flight services provider Monday.

The hangar will provide aircraft storage,aircraft refurbishment, and avionics installation and repair. The expansion includes a shop specializing in aircraft interiors.

“We do a lot of mechanical and avionics work on aircraft and when we do that we have to completely disassemble the interior of the aircraft,” said Al Timmerman, Jet Air’s CEO. “Now we we’re taking the next step and we can put a brand new interior in an aircraft for someone that brings their aircraft in for service.”

The expansion is expected to add about six jobs, he said. The avionics division is also expected expand as owners update aircraft electronics mandated to fly in controlled airspace after a 2020 federal deadline.

Jet Air is one of two flight service providers at the airport. Executive Aviation also offers services at the airport.

Jet Air has been expanding since 2010.

“We found out in six months we were over capacity,” Timmerman said.

Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach said the airport, and the private businesses associated with it, are a key tool for economic development in the region.

“It shows the great efforts our private sector is able to do to expand the role of the airport as an economic hub for this region,” he said. “It’s vitally important for our ability to attract and retain jobs in this area.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also attended the groundbreaking.

“When employers look at growing in this state, or look at coming to the state, one of the key things is a good intermodal transportation system,” he said. “There are just about 1,000 jobs related to general aviation operations in Wisconsin and a good chunk of that is clustered in the northeast, so it’s very important for us.”

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Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport (KPKB), Parkersburg, West Virginia: Manager named

The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport has a new manager.  

Jeffrey McDougle will officially take over full-time on January first, after a transition period with current airport manager Terry Moore.

McDougle is a Parkersburg native who has served in recent years on the airport board, after spending much of his career in the aviation industry for several major airlines.

Moore announced last year he was retiring from the post. He has been manager since 2006.

WILLIAMSTOWN - A new manager for the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport was selected Monday during an executive session of the joint boards.

Jeff McDougle, a member of both boards since 2008, was chosen from a number of candidates, said outgoing manager Terry Moore.

The full article will appear in Tuesday's edition of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

John Wayne Airport (KSNA), Santa Ana, California: Small-plane pilots feel crowded out


John Wayne Airport's general aviation roots date back to the barnstorming days of 1923, when Eddie Martin used to land his Jenny biplane on a desolate stretch of salt grass on Irvine Ranch, near what is now South Main Street and the 55.

As recently as 1990, small planes were the airport's mainstay, making up nearly 90 percent of John Wayne's 523,000 takeoffs and landings that year.

That made John Wayne the third most active general aviation airfield in the country, reports ...

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A long history with small planes 

 1923: Eddie Martin opens Eddie Martin Airport and starts a flying school on Irvine Ranch property.

1939: Orange County buys Eddie Martin Airport and the FAA gives it the designator SNA for Santa Ana, the closest big city at the time.

1941: The county completes a new 2,500-foot runway and taxi strip one mile south of Martin's Airport. Eddie Martin moves to the new facility.

1952: Arizona-based Bonanza Airlines begins the first regular passenger service, on DC-3s.

1967: The county opens a new terminal to handle 360,000 passengers a year.

1979: The Board of Supervisors renames the airport for actor John Wayne, a longtime Newport Beach resident who died earlier that year.

1990: The Thomas F. Riley Terminal opens. General aviation accounts for nearly 90 percent of the airport's 523,000 takeoffs and landings.

1994: The Eddie Martin Terminal is demolished.

2011: John Wayne unveils Terminal C as part of a $543 million airport expansion. The airport serves 8.6 million passengers. General aviation falls to a modern-day low of 179,160 takeoffs and landings.

2013: Only 285 tenants occupy the airport's 380 general aviation parking spaces.

Source: John Wayne Airport

Lancair IV P, N8V: Accident occurred October 21, 2013 in Teterboro, New Jersey


TETERBORO — Police say the rear landing gear of a small plane collapsed after the craft touched down at Teterboro Airport this afternoon, causing the plane to skid off the runway onto a grassy median.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, declined medical treatment, and police said no one else was hurt in the incident.

The single-engine aircraft landed at about 2 p.m., said Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority Police Department.

The Federal Aviation Administration was sending an investigator to the scene, Pentangelo said.

An initial police report of the landing suggested the plane's gear had not deployed. But Pentangelo said a subsequent report indicated that the landing gear did deploy, but collapsed after the plane touched down, and the plane came to rest on its belly.

Pentangelo said there were still no details about why the gear did not deploy, the extent of the damage to the plane, where it had taken off from or where it was headed.

Teterboro is a general aviation airport in Bergen County owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It is frequently used by business travelers headed to and from Manhattan, and by recreational pilots.

Aviation records indicate the aircraft is a Lancair, an amateur-built kit plane registered to Aviation Paw Inc., of Dover, DE, which has no published phone number.

According to, an aviation tracking site, the plane took off from Sioux Falls, SD, this morning at 8:09 a.m., before making a stop in Gary, IN, and then flying on to Teterboro at 12:40 p.m.

Commission Considers Plans to Expand Terminal 2 at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (KMSP)

Air travel is up big time at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. One reason is that many airlines are now offering expanded services to new destinations, and that has Terminal 2 quickly outgrowing its space.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission will get the first look at just how fast it’s growing and the proposed plans to fix the problem.

Airlines are gearing up for their busy holiday season. In the past several months, Sun Country, Spirit Airlines and Southwest have all expanded their service at Terminal 2. The demand is there, but there’s not enough room.

Terminal 2 is reaching a crucial point where it can’t fit all of the new flights, with only 10 gates currently available.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission will hear three options for what to do. The first option is to do nothing, although a memo released by the MAC says that would lead service to grow worse as demand increases.

The second option is to relocate excess flights at Terminal 2 over to Terminal 1. The problem with that option is that Terminal 1’s lobby, parking, and curbside drop-off facilities are already congested.

The third option, which is preferred by the commission, is to expand the gates at Terminal 2. That would also accomplish the ultimate plan of moving all airlines other than Delta over to Terminal 2.

Helicopter museum plans at Shotton Airfield ready for lift-off

Plans have been unveiled for a North-East helicopter museum combined with a ground-breaking venture in the rehabilitation of disabled former armed forces personnel.

The proposals, revealed at community consultation event at the Shotton community Centre, in Shotton Colliery, in east Durham, today (Monday, October 21) is the brainchild of retired Army Air Corps engineer Duncan Moyse.

The building envisaged at the Shotton Airfield, next to the Peterlee Parachute Centre, has been was designed by Durham-based architects, Ashdown Architects.

The museum has already acquired several helicopters, including the actual Bell 47 Westland Sioux featured in the MASH TV series.

Museum trustee Madeleine Ashdown said: “This will be a groundbreaking venture in the field of rehabilitation for disabled former armed forces personnel, injured on active service.

“Veterans will undertake training programs specially tailored to build skills and confidence to help them get back to work.

“Bespoke aircraft engineering courses are being developed with the help of Hartlepool Aviation Academy, and students will work in the state-of-the-art maintenance workshop.”

Ms Ashdown said the purpose-built museum had already attracted significant interest from helicopter companies offering contracts for servicing, maintenance and dismantling of obsolete machines.

She said: “These operations will assure the economic sustainability of the project. Volunteer placements will also be available for workers to run the museum.

“The Museum will develop an important collection of historic helicopters, many of which would rust away and disintegrate if not given a home and lovingly restored.”

The collection will provide material for teaching packages designed to tie in with schools' Key Stages curricula, and offer hands-on opportunities to learn about aviation history, science and engineering.

Ms Ashdown said: “This is first and foremost a community-based project, and has been welcomed by the people of Shotton Colliery and east Durham.

“Museum trustees hope that the local community will be keen to engage with the project, and that inward investment from spin-off enterprise will benefit the local economy and encourage creation of new jobs.”

Designs for submission of a full planning application are ready, and can be viewed on or 

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Man arrested after allegedly trying to sell stolen skydiving equipment: Fremont County Airport (1V6), Canon City, Colorado

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday arrested a Penrose man on suspicion of felony theft, criminal impersonation, false reporting to authorities and introducing contraband in the first degree.

Ronald Walter Rice, 40, was arrested when he reportedly attempted to sell stolen skydiving equipment to a skydiving company at the Fremont County Airport. He was booked into the Fremont County Detention Center on charges of felony theft, criminal impersonation, false reporting to authorities and introducing contraband in the first degree and held on a $2,000 bond. The FCSO said Rice bonded out Wednesday.

An employee of the skydiving company alerted sheriff's deputies after Rice allegedly called the company trying to sell skydiving equipment. The company had been aware of an earlier theft of skydiving equipment in El Paso County.

The FCSO in a media release said deputies arrested Rice when he met with the skydiving company employee and attempted to sell the skydiving equipment valued at more than $9,000. Rice reportedly gave deputies a false name at the time of his arrest, and detention deputies discovered a controlled substance on his person during booking.

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Haverfield Aviation to lease 2 buildings at Smith Field - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Last updated: October 21, 2013 8:36 a.m.

Statement, verbatim, as distributed Monday by Greater Fort Wayne Inc.:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Officials at the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) and Greater Fort Wayne Inc. are pleased to announce today that Haverfield Aviation Inc. will move into two buildings at Smith Field Airport (SMD) at the end of October. Haverfield Aviation Inc. is headquartered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where it is the leading provider of aerial power line inspection and construction support services both in the United States and abroad. Haverfield has signed two leases for five years and will move in at the end (of) October and host a lease commencement on November 1, 2013.

“As the Midwest Sales Manager for Haverfield at the time, I moved my family from Gettysburg to Fort Wayne in 2001,” commented Sean Connolly, the recently named General Manager of Haverfield’s North Central Region. “It is exciting to be a part of the continued growth of our company as we build a regional office in this great community.”

Haverfield’s powerline pilots, aerial linemen and aircraft mechanics live and work across the country, and it is expected that the Fort Wayne regional operations is likely to attract these specially trained and skilled workers to Northeast Indiana, just as many relocate to live near the Gettysburg office in Pennsylvania. Haverfield is currently looking for experienced MD500 helicopter pilots and mechanics, as well as electric transmission line workers to support the growing demand for its services. Future growth will also require additional support staff working at the Fort Wayne office.

“Our community continues to be a leader in business growth,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “I’m  encouraged by the positive momentum we’re seeing in Fort Wayne. We look forward to welcoming Haverfield Aviation, as they’ll be a great addition to the Smith Field Airport campus.”

As part of the lease agreements, Haverfield will update and remodel the interior of Building, which is the former SMD terminal building. The Airport Real Estate Committee reviewed the leases on Monday, October 7th, and will be giving their recommendation of approval to the full board at today’s Airport Authority board meeting at 3 p.m.

“We are excited to have Haverfield join us at SMD and be bringing new opportunities,” stated Scott Hinderman, executive director of the Fort Wayne‐Allen County Airport Authority. “Haverfield will be able to draw upon the talented students from the Ivy Tech Aviation Center also located at SMD.”

Since 2008, FWACAA has invested over $4,000,000 in capital improvements at SMD. Some of these accomplishments include rehabilitation of both runways, taxi lane paving, a new electrical vault, a new hangar row, a new fuel farm and a new FBO facility.

About Haverfield Aviation Inc.

Haverfield Aviation, Inc. is the leading provider of aerial power line inspection and construction support services both in the United States and abroad. It is the most efficient provider of energized line services in the U.S. Haverfield has participated in many extensive inspection and maintenance projects across the country and in Canada, Panama, Australia and Africa. Working with Haverfield means less downtime. To date, Haverfield has performed services for virtually every major utility in the United States.

For more information about Haverfield Aviation Inc., visit

About Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) was created in 1985 and is responsible for managing the Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field. Since FWACAA’s inception, Fort Wayne International Airport has undergone an aggressive improvement plan which included expansion of the terminal and parking areas, upgrades to the runways, and the creation of an Air Trade Center and Foreign Trade Zone to promote economic development in Northeast Indiana. As a result of FWACAA’s commitment to customer service, Fort Wayne International Airport was recognized by USA Today as one of the friendliest airports in the nation. The Authority is governed by a six–member board appointed by both the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. For more information about the Fort Wayne‐Allen County Airport Authority, visit

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is the new organization that unifies the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development

Alliance and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, serving as a single point of contact for economic growth in Greater Fort Wayne. Together, we're growing a more prosperous, vibrant community in Greater Fort Wayne. To learn more about Greater Fort Wayne Inc., visit


Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines grounds pilot of Balesin-chartered plane

MANILA - The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is investigating an accident involving a chartered aircraft that overshot the Balesin island runway Saturday.

Balesin island, an exclusive resort managed and owned by Alphaland, has a 1,200-meter runway strip. The aircraft involved in the accident is a BAE 146-200 owned by Magnum Air that was chartered by Balesin for its 68 guests.

According to CAAP Deputy Director General John Andrews, the aircraft landed very low on the middle part of the runway and overshot it by 200 meters.

The aircraft hit a fence, swerved almost 90 degrees, and damaged its nose.

CAAP said one passenger's nose was broken. Others on board sustained minor bruises.

Pictures at the scene also showed the aircraft submerged in water.

CAAP explained this was only due to high tide.

The aircraft has yet to be removed but CAAP said it can no longer be used again.

Its pilot has been automatically grounded while investigation is ongoing.

CAAP said it has not found any certification attached to the aircraft so far, and if there is indeed no certification in the final investigation, the airline may be grounded and its air operator's certificate may be cancelled.

CAAP is also studying the culpability of Alphaland.


Sumner County Regional Airport cleared to stop paying county loan: Committee looks for ways to help board

The Sumner County Regional Airport is in financial trouble, but a county committee took steps last week to shore up some of its financial problems.

The airport board received tacit clearance from the county budget committee Monday to stop making $2,500 monthly payments to the county to get past a cash-flow crunch. The committee also unanimously approved a multi-pronged approach for a longer term solution to dig the airport out of its debt hole.

Airport Authority Chairman Jim Egan reported cash flow had been negative since March. He outlined the dire situation and asked for help.

“I was seeking some assistance — any assistance,” Egan said.

County Executive Anthony Holt said the airport would run out of money in two or three months if nothing was done.

Legal fees from a years-long court battle between the county and previous airport board are a major cause of the cash crisis, according to Egan. As of June, a new board, now with 10 of 11 members appointed by the county this year, took control.

County Attorney Leah Dennen advised budget committee members not to vote on whether to allow the airport board to suspend $2,500 monthly payments that have been paying down a $300,000 loan from the county to the airport under a 2010 agreement. However, she said, the county could choose to take no action if the board stopped paying, and it would achieve the same result.

The committee recommended three actions to shore up the airport long-term:

• One is an $800,000 loan of which the airport board would only have to pay interest until the end of 10 years, when it would be required to make a balloon payment of the principal. At that point, the County Commission could choose to forgive the loan. The county would loan the money from an $11 million capital projects fund established from the sale of Sumner Regional Health Systems in 2010, also known as the hospital fund. The state comptroller would have to approve the loan.

• A second proposal closely follows state law for a three-year loan, automatically renewable for two more three-year periods, also with a balloon. It also requires comptroller approval.

• The third was to attempt to change state law to allow counties to make loans to another county entity without the comptroller’s authorization. That would have to wait until the state legislature reconvenes in January.

Either way, any of the three options would have to be blessed by the state, though the current comptroller’s office has typically frowned upon counties taking on more debt, commissioners said.

The $800,000 would cover:

• Matching funds of about $155,000 to $200,000 for a federal grant that will pay for regrading the older end of the runway opposite the recent extension.

• $195,000 owed to the county from the 2010 loan agreement.

• An outstanding balance of about $400,000 against a $750,000 line of credit collateralized by two parcels of land. The airport acquired the land for the Airport Road realignment project that is part of an overall airport expansion, according to Register of Deeds Office records and the City of Gallatin.


NORAD exercise planned for Washington DC

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 14-01 Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning in the National Capital Region, Washington, D.C. Flights are scheduled to take place between midnight and 2 a.m. (EDT).

The exercise is comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region (NCR) Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Eastern Air Defense Sector.

Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System and certify newly assigned Command and Control personnel at the JADOC. Civil Air Patrol aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the exercise.

Montgomery Regional Airport to conduct disaster exercise Tuesday


The Montgomery Regional Airport (Dannelly Field) will conduct a ‘live' emergency preparedness exercise Tuesday, October 22, from approximately 8:00 – 11:00 A.M.

Airport first-responders as well as emergency response teams from various federal, state and local agencies will practice emergency procedures by responding to a simulated aircraft accident at the airport.

The goal of the exercise is to improve the coordination and efficiency of responding units by simulating conditions they would encounter in the event of an actual aircraft emergency.

"AIRPORT DISASTER EXERCISE" signs have been positioned along Hwy 80 near the airport's main entrance and inside the terminal building itself to notify passengers, patrons and the general public that a disaster exercise is in progress.  

Hwy 80 will remain open at all times, but people driving near the airport the morning of Oct 22 should expect to encounter numerous emergency vehicles transiting the airport during the exercise period and drive accordingly. 

INFORMATION SOURCE: Montgomery Regional Airport

Evansville Regional Airport Conducting Training This Week

You may see fire or smoke near Evansville Regional Airport on Monday, but don't panic.  The airport is holding its annual training burn exercise this week.

The training will take place Monday through Wednesday on the airport's west ramp, which is just off Highway 41.

A spokesperson for the airport says the fire won't be as large as in previous years, but it will still be visible from the road.

Ten Pilots Lose Jobs In Sky Bahamas Overhaul

Ten Sky Bahamas pilots and several temporary workers have been terminated as the airline overhauls operations to fight for survival.

The terminations are being challenged by the pilot’s union that has announced plans to file a trade dispute for unfair dismissal.

Randy Butler, chief executive, confirmed that the company is in the midst of a critical restructuring that will affect all areas of the airline, adding that the decision was a forced reaction to the recent actions taken by pilots last weekend.

The airline was left scrambling to find alternative measures to accommodate scores of passengers when 12 pilots did not report to work on Saturday, October 12.

Yesterday, Mr Butler said they offered the pilots an opportunity to be furloughed, a practice that places workers on temporary leave as a result of economic conditions at the company.

However, Mr Butler said all unionized pilots opted for severance packages.

“The guys are quality people,” he said, “it’s unfortunate they made the decision that they did. Things were already bad, that sick-out was done with no regard for other employees. We had to adjust operations to ensure quality service. It was an ill-thought out, ill-advised decision.”

“We’ve had to reduce operations completely,” he said. “We’re not going to shut down, but what we’re facing is survival. So we have to restructure in these tough times, we are trying to work out the details with our staff and in all areas be creative.”

Yesterday, Bahamas Pilot’s Alliance president Mark Johnson accused the airline of “union busting”, pointing out that the terminations were an intimidation tactic to bully members.

He maintained that the number of pilots reporting sick was a coincidence and not organized by the union. He added that all 10 pilots had relevant documentation to support their absence.

Mr. Johnson questioned why the airline hired two new pilots after the terminations. He said the union will demand severance packages for the dismissed pilots.

Mr. Johnson said: “It’s quite obvious that they’re using intimidation tactics to try and bully members. All 10 pilots had doctor’s notes, it seems like [industrial action] but it was merely a coincidence, it just looked that way. I can only tell you the facts.”

Mr. Butler said the company lost more than $123,000 due to the incident that he believes was orchestrated by the BPA.

He added that the “sick out”, occurring over the National Heroes Day holiday weekend, had deprived Sky Bahamas of critical income at what is the slowest point in the tourist/travel industry season.

“We’re flying routes with two or three persons on it right now,” Mr Butler said. “That sick-out really crippled us.”

The matter has uprooted an outstanding contract proposal made by the BPA to Sky Bahamas in June, of which Mr Butler accused the union of trying to “strong arm” management into granting requests that are unrealistic.

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Fighter pilot used weapons system to try and avoid nearby plane

A fighter pilot was forced to turn on his weapons system in a desperate bid to find a passing Scots passenger plane during a near-miss incident, it was revealed on Monday.

The F-15E jet passed just 1200ft from the Eastern Airways Jetstream JS41 passenger plane which was travelling from Aberdeen to Humberside, with 28 passengers and three crew on-board.

The fighter pilot was conducting a "rapid climb" at 436mph, or 379 knots, from a low level when he was alerted to the presence of an aircraft nearby on May 16, 2013.

After frantically scanning the skies from his cockpit, the fighter pilot was unable to spot the other aircraft and switched on the gun radar to locate it.

His attempt failed but, luckily, the civilian plane was already behind him.

The UK Airprox Board labelled the miss as Class B, which means the safety of the two planes were compromised.

In his comments, the JS41 pilot said he thought the risk of collision was "medium" although the fighter pilot claimed it was "low", despite neither pilot being able to see the other's plane.

However, one of the air traffic controllers covering the area at the time claimed there was a "high" risk of collision in the incident.

The Airprox report states: "The incident occurred when the F15 crew commenced a rapid climb from low level into proximity with the aircraft."

It adds that the fighter pilot "immediately switched the radar from its 'search' mode to 'guns' mode, a move which still failed to reveal the JS41, probably because it was already behind him".

The Airprox Board concluded the cause of the near-miss was due to the F15 pilot climbing "into conflict with the JS41, which he did not see".

The matter was complicated as the JS41 was being handed over to another air traffic control frequency at the time of the F15's rapid climb.

A spokesman for Eastern Airways praised the actions of their flight crew in the incident, who had immediately disengaged the autopilot and steered away from the oncoming fighter jet when alerted to its presence.

He said: "The crew of the aircraft had descended to 7500ft when the aircraft's Traffic Collision Avoidance System have two alerts.

"The first advised them of traffic nearby and the second alert instructed them to climb immediately, which they did to maintain separation.

"The findings of the Airprox Board report concluded that the Jetstream crew's actions were appropriate."


Driver crashes on to Runway at Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport (KLAW), Oklahoma

LAWTON, Okla_Lawton police responded to a call a little after midnight to a driver who had crashed through a fence and driven on to the runway at the Lawton/Fort Sill Regional Airport. 

Police tell 7News they do have the individual in custody, but the person was not willing to divulge any information as to how or why the incident happened.

The FBI has been brought in to assist in the investigation, and they will be conducting interviews Monday afternoon. 

Police do not believe drugs or alcohol was involved.

The airport has been secured and will continue normal operations.

You can count on 7news to bring you more information as this story develops.

Aircraft-mounted camera will help city track Staten Island's deer population

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- This winter, the city Parks Department will take to the skies over Staten Island with a special high-tech device to track deer movements, the first step to managing and monitoring the borough's burgeoning population.

"The survey, called Forward Looking Infrared Radar, uses an infrared camera mounted on a small plane and will measure the temperature difference between the deer and its environment," explained Parks spokeswoman Tara Kiernan.

The plane will climb to 1,000 feet and fly at night, when the temperature difference between warm-blooded animals and the surrounding terrain is the greatest.

"This survey is the first step in developing a management plan for [the] deer population," she added. "The results will be used to establish a baseline population number, which can then be monitored over time to see how populations are changing. The results will also be used in combination with ground surveying to inform a management plan."

And as the number of deer rise, it's becoming clear that the problem is no longer limited to the rural West and South shores of the borough.

For example, last month a deer was blamed for a crash on Arden Avenue that injured a driver and severely damaged two parked cars.

The early-morning accident occurred on the rural, quiet road in Arden Heights, when the driver told police he swerved to avoid a deer that bolted from the woods, across the sidewalk and into the road.

According to Dr. John Maligno, whose parked car was most severely damaged, "The impact was so powerful that my car pushed the parked car in front of me into the woods across the street."

Island drivers need to stay alert, because the borough's growing deer population is on the move -- a majority of the accidents occur in October and December because it's prime mating and migrating season.

State officials, aware of the increasing danger, recently planted six additional warning signs along the West Shore Expressway and ramps.

"If the deer habitat continues to grow, and if the habitat growth is near roadways under state jurisdiction, we welcome the opportunity to work with the communities and local elected officials to place additional signs as needed," said state Department of Transportation spokesman Adam Levine.

In all of 2012, 44 dead deer were removed from Staten Island roads.

By early October, according to the city Department of Sanitation, 34 large deer had already been carted away. Department personnel handle smaller animals, but rely on a Long Island-based private firm -- The Pet Crematory Agency -- for removal of the large ones.

"We're getting more all the time," said a worker at the firm's local office.

Most were removed from areas around the West Shore Expressway, particularly near the Outerbridge Crossing.

But on local roads, it's a different story.

The city Department of Transportation, citing the unpredictability of deer travel patterns, has yet to start placing warning signs.

"The issue is installing potentially hundreds of signs at the large number of locations where deer may or may not be crossing and expecting them to be effective," said city DOT spokesman Seth Solomonow.

The results of the Parks study could be used to determine where signs should be placed on local roads, according to a Parks official.

Sightings are becoming more and more common in North Shore communities.

A deer was spotted recently near the parking lot of Tech Products Inc. on Willow Avenue just off Bay Street.

"We're a sign company, so maybe the deer is trying to tell us something," said Tech Products employee Mary Ann DiNoia of Rosebank. "It just stood around and watched me as I got to my car. We had given it a bowl of water, and then it took off up a one-way street -- it was going the right way."

And just recently, a Sunnyside resident spotted two deer interacting in her backyard.

The number of deer-related collisions in the U.S. has increased by 7.7 percent over the last year, according to the insurance company State Farm. The increase comes after a 2.2 percent decline over the last three years.

Late last month, a young male deer with an injured hind leg was found on the grassy median of the Staten Island-side approach to the Outerbridge Crossing.

And last weekend, one of the creatures suffered a gruesome fate after impaling itself on a fence at the United Hebrew Cemetery, Richmond.

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Air traffic controllers mark anniversary

Without them, we would use boats. No airline would fly. No one would plan a weekend shopping trip, an overseas vacation or visits from far-flung family.

Their work was duly acknowledged on Sunday, the 52nd International Day of the Air Traffic Controller.

Every year, the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization pauses for a moment to mark the day in late October 1961, when 12 European countries met in Amsterdam, Holland, to found the European Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Associations.

The organization has since grown to encompass Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa-Middle East, representing more than 50,000 air traffic controllers in 137 countries, 27 of them throughout South and Central America and the Caribbean.

The Cayman Islands is one of them, and while no special ceremonies were planned for Sunday, Jeremy Miller, one of 15 air traffic controllers at Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport and Cayman Brac’s Charles Kirkonnell Airport – working alongside three trainee controllers and three assistants – says the demands and stresses are similar to anywhere, and that “we are just trying to get public awareness of the safety of air traffic control.”

“In Cayman, we do not have the high volume of traffic, but the stress levels, the workload, are still as daunting as in the U.S. You have to be trained almost like a military guy.”

Training and demands of the job

Mr. Miller, a controller for nine years, completed a 10-month course at Trinidad’s International Civil Aviation Organization-certified College of Air Traffic Control in Port au Spain, followed by three months of on-the-job training.

Every 13 months, he – and other controllers – undergo a refresher course to maintain their certification, overseen by Cayman’s the Civil Aviation Authority.

While most air traffic control employs radar to ensure ICAO-required aircraft separation, Cayman, because of its relatively low traffic volume, uses “procedural” control, relying on trained individuals. Ground-based navigational aids detail horizontal and vertical separation of aircraft according to time, distance, height and location. Meanwhile, air traffic controllers have to visualize the location of each flight based on its route, speed, altitude and estimated times as they pass predetermined points.

The controllers then separate each aircraft based on the progress board and their best judgment.

Cayman’s controllers occupy the airport tower behind Beacon House, the edge-of-runway headquarters of the Aviation Authority. Each controller works a seven-hour shift, tracking both departures and arrivals, although hopes are that the functions will be separated in the near future.

High-pressure season

Mr. Miller says his team is just now coming into the highest-pressure months of the year as tourist arrivals start to mount.

“In the winter, we get between 150 and 200 aircraft movements [arrivals and departures] on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, between about 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., we get about 50 movements. We are pushed to the extreme from November through February or March,” he says.

Thousands of lives are at stake, of course, but the operation pales in comparison with places like London’s Heathrow, New York’s JFK, Washington’s Dulles or even Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok.

Heathrow and Hong Kong, Mr. Miller says, will have hundreds of controllers, overseeing “hundreds of movements throughout an eight-hour period, similar to Atlanta or Miami.”

The demands are so great, he says, that an individual can only work “on two-hour intervals, then go on break for an hour because of the stress.”

In Cayman alone, Mr. Miller says, he will sometimes handle eight aircraft simultaneously, looking after imminent departures, the “aerodrome operation,” while processing communications from Cuba, as incoming flights come within 40 minutes of arrival, the “approach operation.”

“The tower moves aircraft on the ground to take off, and the approach controller separates the planes as we get information from Havana. At the moment, I do both of these. With eight planes, I get so concentrated on air altitude, and crossing at 4,000 feet, and then you also need to give a second and third aircraft an altitude.

“Then you get the departures and have to figure out how you get him out.”

He hasn’t made a mistake yet, but the potential is ever present: “In a busy period, you are so concentrated, you’re almost in ‘a zone.’ Without much activity, when you’re not so busy, that’s when you can make mistakes.”

Every air traffic controller is responsible for a “section” of the sky. “Each controller has his own grid and they hand off to each other” as aircraft move in four dimensions.

“In the future,” he said, “I would like to progress to a different style of ATC, which would require more [personnel],” assigning departures and arrivals to separate controllers.

Rules vary internationally

Some rules vary between Montreal’s ICAO and Washington’s Federal Aviation Administration, creating separate organizations. Montreal, for example, allows ATCs to work until age 65, whereas Washington enforces retirement at age 56.

Unlike in Cayman, ATC operations at larger airports are usually privatized, Mr. Miller said, provided by companies under contract to airport management.

“The company would supply ATCs all over Europe, with different countries contracted to different agencies. Dubai, for example, he said, “comes under the U.K.”

One of the concerns at the ICAO, on fact, is that privatization raises issues of accountability.

“As an independent business now responsible to [aviation regulators], air traffic service providers can expect increasing regulation of their activities – and this will include items such as certification standards for their equipment (previously not even a question when combined as a government department),” according to a 2007 ICAO report.

Managing a provider’s behavior, however, means regulators must be able to suspend – or even revoke – a license, replacing the company with another to maintain continuity of service.

“It will not be long before there are multiple air traffic service providers in any given state’s airspace.” Anticipated changes will free air traffic management from the restrictions of national boundaries, meaning the provider “will truly become an international business and have to deal with multiple legal jurisdictions, just like any other international business.

The Airports Authority declined to comment on proposals for airport expansion and whether it might affect air traffic control, but Walter Ebanks, senior manager of Air Navigation Services, offered his appreciation to ATCs: “On behalf of the Airports Authority, I commend our Cayman Islands team for their professionalism, track record and dedication to maintaining aviation safety in the Cayman Islands. Their combined efforts contribute to the overall safety of travelers throughout the world and we recognize them on this special day.”