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Monday
Aug072017

Reno or Bust! Championships Races and More Set for Sept. 13-17

The Reno National Championship Air Races is set for Sept. 13-17. Along with some of the fastest racing in the world of aviation sports, the Championships offer entertainment, drone racing and military displays, along with vender operations.

The National Championship Air Races has partnered with Costco and members can now purchase two-discounted one-day Saturday or Sunday General Admission tickets to this year’s National Championship Air Races.

“This is great partnership for the National Championship Air Races,” Reno Air Racing Association COO Tony Logoteta said. “Not only does partnering with Costco online allow us to expand the area where our fans can purchase tickets, but it also allows Costco members who perhaps haven’t seen the Air Races an opportunity to do so at a discounted rate.

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Monday
Aug072017

NBAA Notes Newest Round of Concerns Raised Over ATC Privatization Bill

As Congress considers H.R. 2997, a bill to privatize the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) noted that myriad concerns over the legislation continue to be raised, most recently by a top House Democrat and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan scorekeeper on a bill’s cost to taxpayers.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-1-MA), the top Democrat on the House Committee on Ways and Means, flagged an important issue in a July 12 letter to the committee chairman, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-8-TX). Brady has waived initial jurisdiction over H.R. 2997, even though it makes significant tax-policy changes.

In his letter, Neal noted that the bill would shift jurisdiction of nearly $14 billion in air transportation excise taxes to a private board, which would set the user fees that all airlines and their passengers pay to utilize the ATC system. Those matters are currently under the purview of the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes and revenue.

“While we may disagree on the merits of Chairman Shuster’s proposal with respect to privatization, I believe we share a strong interest in maintaining and enforcing the Committee’s jurisdiction,” Neal wrote. “Specifically, we should not waive jurisdiction over matters of revenue collection. The Committee’s exclusive jurisdiction over revenue measures reflects the grave importance of their consideration in the Congress; we should work together to ensure that these issues receive the Committee’s full attention.”

Neal noted that the bill would impact jobs across the United States, and he emphasized that the committee must do its best to ensure that the bill doesn’t harm the economy.

“I urge that any consideration of H.R. 2997, including a possible tax title that could be added to such legislation, be undertaken under regular order, including discussion in a public hearing and a full legislative markup,” he said.

View Neal’s July 12 letter in its entirety at nbaa.org.

Neal’s letter came on the same day the CBO issued a report, which estimated that legislation to privatize the ATC system could swell the federal budget deficit by more than $20 billion, from 2018-2027.

NBAA has long held significant concerns with the notion of privatizing ATC, which would turn control of the system - a natural monopoly that currently serves the public’s interest, and is overseen by the public’s elected representatives in Congress – over to a new entity governed by private interests unaccountable to congressional oversight.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said these most recent developments serve to further heighten skepticism over the controversial legislation.

“These red flags are in addition to the serious reservations about H.R. 2997 that have already been expressed by more than 100 aviation organizations, as well as groups on the political right and left, legislators from both parties at the federal and local levels, and most American citizens,” Bolen said. “Everyone wants to continue modernizing the nation’s aviation system, but we shouldn’t confuse that with what is clearly a privatization plan that carries risks on a number of levels.”

Monday
Aug072017

Pilots rally against ATC privatization at AirVenture

By Alyssa J. Cobb, for AOPA

EAA AirVenture – one of the most-loved, most-renowned aviation events in the world that showcases all segments of the industry – would likely be shut down under air traffic control privatization being advanced in H.R. 2997, Experimental Aircraft Association CEO Jack Pelton told hundreds of pilots gathered at the show July 24 for a rally against ATC privatization.

“This would be the most devastating thing that could happen to AirVenture,” Pelton said.

Pelton was joined by AOPA President Mark Baker, National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen, and General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce, who united in speaking out against ATC privatization and debunking myths that are being perpetuated by the airlines.

GA will be in the “fight for our lives for the next four or five or six months,” Baker said. “Thanks to all of you in the room, they do listen to us,” he continued, adding that the 20,000 pilots now flying under BasicMed is proof of the influence pilots have on Capitol Hill.

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Monday
Aug072017

Senate Appropriators Reject Air Traffic Control Privatization

Include NATA-Supported Provisions to Enhance Safety and Regulatory Consistency

Editor’s Note: This news broke as In Flight USA was going to press. We will provide continued coverage next month. For a comprehensive story about ATC privatization as of late July.

On July 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill, providing the Federal Aviation Administration with $16.97 billion in total budgetary resources for the fiscal year beginning on October 1. The legislation rejects the Trump Administration’s proposal to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system and provides $1.1 billion for FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), and additional resources to fund airport improvements. The legislation also includes provisions sought by NATA on behalf of the aviation business community.

The following is a statement by NATA President Martin Hiller: “NATA commends Senate Appropriators for rejecting the Trump Administration’s proposal to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. The Committee-approved legislation continues to demonstrate the lack of necessity for ATC privatization, giving the FAA nearly $900 million more than the Trump Administration requested, including over a billion dollars to support the FAA’s ongoing NextGen modernization program.”

“We also thank the Committee for its inclusion of Senator Jerry Moran’s (R-KS) amendments on behalf of aviation business to enhance Part 135 safety and regulatory consistency. The amendments direct the FAA to determine and collect additional data points to better assess safety trends and identify areas for potential improvement within the on-demand air charter community; and complete work on the top recommendation of the agency’s Regulatory Consistency ARC, an electronic guidance library that eliminates outdated or conflicting policies. NATA and the entire aviation business community is deeply indebted to Senator Moran for his continued support, including his unwavering opposition to ATC privatization,” Hiller continued.

“NATA is also appreciative of Chairmen Cochran (R-MS) and Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Members Leahy (D-VT) and Reed (D-RI) for their ongoing commitment to general aviation. The additional resources the Committee provided the FAA will keep air traffic control modernization on schedule and offer airports the first funding increase for infrastructure in seven years. This is a solid, comprehensive piece of legislation benefiting the entire aviation community, and we look forward to its speedy consideration by the full Senate,” Hiller concluded. 

Monday
Aug072017

Redbird GIFT

Introducing Redbird GIFT

GIFT-Email-Banner.jpg

Redbird’s Guided Independent Flight Training for Private Pilot is a simulator-based maneuvers training supplement designed to help you achieve your goals faster and for less money. GIFT allows you to learn, practice, and get feedback on every maneuver required for your pilot’s license, at your own pace, using cutting edge educational techniques that push you to reach your best performance level. Each GIFT lesson focuses on a specific flight maneuver or skill required to earn your Private Pilot Certificate and includes:

  • A video and written pre-flight briefing
  • A simulator mission with an AI-powered flight instructor that provides real-time coaching and corrections on your performance
  • A post-flight debrief with objective scoring based on the FAA Airmen Certification Standards
  • In-depth post-flight review and trend tracking by uploading your lesson history to Redbird Landing

All delivered in an FAA approved, Redbird Advanced Aviation Training Device. GIFT can be integrated into any Private Pilot curriculum, all that’s required is a Redbird Flight Simulator. With over 300 Redbirds in the US, you’ll be able to use GIFT at most major flight schools. In addition, GIFT makes for a great refresher tool after you earn your pilot’s license. With lifetime access, GIFT follows you no matter where your aviation journey takes you.

For more information, visit https://simulators.redbirdflight.com. 

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