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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on the top recommendation of the agency’s Regulatory Consistency ARC, an electronic guidance library that eliminates outdated or conflicting policies.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. 

Saturday
Jul152017

Southwest Region's Col. Mark Smith Named CAP's Next CEO/National Commander

New Top Senior Leader Will Assume Command at 2017 National Conference in San Antonio

Col. Mark Smith has been selected as Civil Air Patrol’s next chief executive officer and national commander by the organization’s Board of Governors.

A change of command ceremony with Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, current CEO/national commander, will be held during CAP’s National Conference in San Antonio on Sept. 2.

Smith, Civil Air Patrol’s Southwest Region commander, will serve as the organization’s top senior leader for the next three years. As CAP’s 24th CEO/national commander, Smith will lead CAP’s 57,000 members across the U.S. in fulfilling the organization’s three congressionally chartered missions — emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education.

“Col. Smith has the right blend of leadership skills, qualifications and experience to lead Civil Air Patrol into the future,” said retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Judy Fedder, chair of CAP’s Board of Governors. “The members of the Board of Governors look forward to working with Col. Smith to continuously improve the organization in support of the outstanding service our members provide to their communities, states and nation.”

Smith has excelled in Civil Air Patrol as a commander at the squadron, wing and region levels. He has completed all five levels of the CAP professional development (PD) program. He earned PD master ratings in command and safety as well as a senior rating in aerospace education. He has also earned an executive rating in CAP’s Organizational Excellence program.

He also heads up CAP’s Leadership Development Working Group, which is a national-level team that has developed products, tools and courses to better equip CAP’s leaders at all levels for success. The group recently released a highly acclaimed Unit Commander’s Course.

“Col Smith represents the best of the executive volunteer leaders in Civil Air Patrol today,” said Vazquez. “His leadership of Southwest Region, as well as work on a new generation of squadron and wing commander training, greatly benefits all CAP members. He is a great choice to succeed me, and I look forward to working with him to achieve a smooth transition.”

In addition to his experience in CAP, Smith has 43 years of leadership experience in the Air Force, industry and other nonprofit volunteer organizations. His background includes experience with strategic planning, leading change, positively influencing organizational culture and motivating units to achieve higher levels of performance. He is also passionate about servant leadership and helping organizational members achieve their full potential.

Smith has a doctorate in education in ethical leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, a master’s of aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a bachelor’s in international affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a graduate of the Air Force’s Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.

“The selection process for national commander was revised five years ago to reflect the needs of the organization,” said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Marné Peterson, chair of the Board of Governors’ personnel committee. “The board is excited to announce Col. Smith’s selection as the next national commander/CEO and we are confident he will serve the organization and its members extremely well in the coming years.”

After being notified of his selection, Smith said, “I am excited to be given the opportunity to serve as Civil Air Patrol’s next CEO and national commander. I look forward to partnering with our phenomenal volunteers and staff to take our organization to even greater levels of excellence in service to community, state and nation.”

Saturday
Jul152017

NASA: Experience the 2017 Total Eclipse

 

On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse.

This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona – can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk.

NASA created a website,  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/, to provide a guide to this amazing event. Here you will find activities, events, broadcasts, and resources from NASA and their partners across the nation.

 

Saturday
Jul152017

Air Force Fighter Pilots Of The Year Announced

The Air Force announced the recipients of the 2016 Air Force Fighter Annual Awards in May 2017.

The award is designed to recognize fighter pilots and weapon systems officers’ commitment, performance, leadership and aviation skills that were instrumental to mission success of their units, the U.S. Air Force and the Defense Department.

The awards board comprised of qualified 11F and 12F officers and senior leaders reviewed major commands submissions for the top Air Force fighter pilots and WSOs and selected winners based solely on primary, flight-related duties.

“By recognizing our most talented fighter pilots and WSOs at the unit, MAJCOM ,and Air Force levels, the fighter awards demonstrate the value the Air Force holds in primary mission accomplishment,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Nowland, the deputy chief of staff of operations. “To be recognized as the best means you are the most lethal aviator we have in our Air Force. Congratulations, that is awesome.”

2016 Air Force Fighter Award Winners:

• Fighter Instructor Pilot of the Year: Maj. John R. Widmer, 314th Fighter Squadron, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico

• Fighter Instructor Combat Systems Officer of the Year: Capt. Kari M. Armstrong, 389th Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho

• Fighter Flight Lead of the Year: Capt. Victor V. Ditommaso, 421st Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah

• Fighter Wingman of the Year: Capt. Michael R. McLain, 480th Fighter Squadron Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

• Fighter Combat Systems Officer of the Year: Capt. Justin S. Dickinson, 391st Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho

“The tremendous mission accomplishment represented by the endeavors of these officers is truly extraordinary,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, the Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff of operations. “We look forward to their continued success and contributions to the United States Air Force.”

 

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