New TRB Executive Director Appointed

Neil J. Pedersen has been selected as the next Executive Director of the Transportation Research Board, effective February 1, 2015. Pedersen’s appointment follows a national search in which the search committee interviewed a number of extraordinary candidates.

Pedersen joined the Academies in 2012 as the Deputy Director of the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) after more than 36 years in the transportation profession. For 29 years he served in management and leadership positions at the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA), including as chief executive officer for more than eight years.

Air Choice One Begins Iowa Service from Chicago O'Hare

air choice.jpg Air Choice One has begun new daily service between Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Mason City Municipal Airport in Iowa. It's the first time flights have been offered between Mason City and Chicago and the first time Chicago O'Hare has direct flights to North Iowa. Air Choice One will offer four flights a day between Chicago and Mason City Monday through Friday and two flights a day on Saturday and Sunday.

"On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we congratulate Air Choice One for starting the first-ever flights between Chicago and Mason City in northern Iowa," said Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). "Air Choice One offers a unique service to O'Hare travelers and helps create important connections between Chicago and cities in the Midwest."

Bell Helicopter Furthers Customer Support Efforts in China

Bell Helicopter announced several key initiatives to strengthen the aftermarket support for its growing customer base in China. The announcements were made as part of Bell Helicopter’s participation in Airshow China in Zhuhai.

Mr. Dean Ashton joined the Bell Helicopter team in China as a Customer Service Engineer. Based in Shanghai, Ashton will be responsible for representing Bell Helicopter to its customers across China and developing and enhancing customer satisfaction by providing a direct, personal link between Bell Helicopter and its customers.

Bell Helicopter Completes Final Delivery to Pennsylvania State Police for Six Bell 407GXs

PSP 407GX Penn.jpg Bell Helicopter announced today the final delivery of the sixth Bell 407GX to the Pennsylvania (PA) State Police. Announced earlier this year, this marked the 200th purchase agreement made for the Bell 407GX in North America.

“Working with the team at Bell Helicopter to secure our new aircraft has been completely seamless,” said Captain William Arndt Jr., director of Special Services Division. “We are certainly happy with the procurement of the new helicopters – as they have already provided great support during a pursuit in northeast PA, and we expect to only see more successful missions in the future.”

The aircraft will be used as part of their six aviation patrol units and provide aerial support to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies within the Commonwealth.

NextGen Upgrade Announced for Washington Airspace

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that the Washington, D.C. Metroplex is the first in the nation to have three, state-of-the-art, satellite-based highways in the sky running side by side by side, each dedicated to one of the three major airports in the region.

“The national capital region is reaping the benefits of NextGen and this announcement further highlights how the federal government is making a difference,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These new and improved highways in the sky mean increased safety, more on time arrivals and departures, reduced fuel consumption, and reduced pollution-causing emissions.”

Estimates predict airlines will burn at least 2.5 million fewer gallons of fuel each year in the skies above Washington, while emitting at least 25,000 fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide. Using the Environmental Protection Agency’s energy calculator, this is the equivalent of annual greenhouse gas emissions from 5,263 passenger vehicles or 8,961 tons of waste taken to landfills.

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