Last week, national aviation organizations commended Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for declaring April “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” The proclamation highlights the vital role general aviation plays in supporting the communities throughout Missouri and the country. In Missouri, the general aviation industry contributes an estimated $2.4 billion into the economy every year and supports 16,000 jobs.
“We thank Governor Nixon for recognizing the role of general aviation throughout Missouri,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “Community airports throughout the state support commerce, local business, emergency services and public safety.”
“With 125 general aviation airports, Missouri’s aviation infrastructure serves to connect residents with the rest of the country, while providing access to a host of critical services,” stated Henry Ogrodzinski, President of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). “We appreciate the efforts of Governor Nixon to raise awareness about the importance of general aviation.”
Mead & Hunt is pleased to welcome Dean Mericas, PhD, to our aviation team. Dean brings national technical leadership in environmental compliance at airports. With nearly 35 years working in the water quality and aquatic resources disciplines, and more than 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, he is a leading expert in managing the environmental impacts of airport deicing runoff and storm water, and the negotiation of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for airports. Dean has authored several key Airport Cooperative Research Program guidance documents on deicing, including the first standard reference guide for planning airport deicing runoff control programs and a guidebook on defining winter design storms. He has extensive experience directing the development of:
Innovative storm water management programs
Regulatory compliance strategies and negotiations
Water quality monitoring and assessment investigations
Watershed characterization and management projects
Aquatic biological assessments
In addition to his deicing and storm water experience, Dean has directed comprehensive environmental compliance support programs at large and mid-sized hub airports that included air quality, groundwater, solid waste management and sustainability services.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Aviation Safety Program has awarded Saab Sensis a contract to develop scenario-based Verification & Validation (V&V) methods for detecting problems related to Authority and Autonomy (A&A), specifically those associated with assignments of authority to automated systems. Through this project, Saab Sensis will create scenarios and methods that can be used to assess safety in both current and future operational concepts.
Emerging aviation concepts are embracing a greater deal of automation and autonomy in the systems used by pilots and air traffic controllers. This creates a challenge to traditional V&V methods that are used to evaluate system safety and integrity. To address this challenge, Saab Sensis will investigate new V&V methodologies, based on operational scenarios and structured subject matter expert inputs, to improve upon existing V&V methodologies for evaluating these complex systems.
Zenith Aircraft Company is introducing its new light aircraft design at the Sun’n Fun Fly-in. The all-metal two-seat CH 750 Cruzer is the latest design from Chris Heintz. While influenced by its well-known STOL predecessors (the STOL CH 701 “Sky Jeep,” CH 750, and four-seat CH 801 sport utility aircraft), the CH 750 Cruzer is an all-new design.
“Our STOL CH 750 design has been a huge success in large part thanks to its easy cabin access, fantastic visibility, and for its room -- side-by-side comfort for two adults,” says Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft Co. of Mexico,Missouri. “However, many customers do not need off-airport capability or extreme STOL (short take-off and landing) performance. We’ve optimized the new design for cruise and typical (airport) operations, while retaining the popular cabin features of the STOL CH 750.”
The Zenith CH 750 Cruzer features an all-new airfoil supported by a single streamlined strut. Compared to the STOL CH 750, the empennage has also been redesigned for its new mission, with a symmetrical stabilizer and a shortened horizontal tail span. The vertical tail features a fin and rudder (replacing the traditional all-moving vertical tail design of the Chris Heintz STOL series).
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will delay the closures of all 149 federal contract air traffic control towers until June 15. Last month, the FAA announced it would eliminate funding for these towers as part of the agency’s required $637 million budget cuts under sequestration.
The FAA hopes to resolve multiple legal challenges to the closure decisions. As part of the tower closure implementation process, the agency continues to consult with airports and operators and review appropriate risk mitigations. The FAA said that extending the transition deadline will give the FAA and airports more time to execute the changes to the National Airspace System.
J. Spencer Dickerson, Executive Director of the U.S. Contract Tower Association (USCTA), said they appreciate the decision by DOT Secretary LaHood, FAA Administrator Huerta and their teams to delay the imminent closure of 149 contract air traffic control towers in light of the serious and unanswered questions that have been raised by airports, aviation system users, affected communities, and members of Congress.