The Aerospace Center for Excellence Will be “Aligning the Stars for Students” Thanks to GiveWell Community Foundation

The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) will align the stars for students by bringing the only public planetarium to residents in Polk County thanks to GiveWell Community Foundation’s Impact Polk Annual Grant Program. 

Polk County is currently home to more than 160 schools and 97,000 students, making it the eighth largest school district in the State of Florida. The planetarium will be used as a teaching tool during school visits and reside on the Sun ‘n Fun Expo campus in the interactive learning lab for group tours and general museum guests. Since the planetarium is portable, the Aerospace Center for Excellence plans to visit approximately 25 public schools per school year, reaching close to 625 students in the Polk County area. ACE plans to deliver the experience to approximately 5,000 more individuals throughout the year during their summer camps, group tours, on-site educational activities and the annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo.

With this experience, students will be able to immediately apply knowledge learned to core concepts taught in the classroom, as well as, be able to analyze and understand related text, teachings, and problems encountered in the future that reflect lifelong educational benefits.

Richele Floyd, Education Director at the Aerospace Center for Excellence, says this addition to the Education Corridor on the Sun ‘n Fun Expo Campus will be a great tool for educators and students alike.

“We are excited to offer this technology within our existing, year-round, educational programs at ACE,” Floyd said. “The planetarium will be a valuable tool for educators and will provide students with a memorable experience on our campus or in their own classroom.”

The project is funded through a grant from George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.

For more information on this portable planetarium, contact Richele Floyd at 863-644-2431 or email her at More information about Aerospace Center for Excellence educational programs can be found at


FAA Establishes Drone I.D. Rulemaking Committee

Whose drone is that? It’s a critical question for law enforcement and homeland security when an unmanned aircraft (UAS) appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where it’s not supposed to fly.

Currently, there are no established requirements or voluntary standards for electrically broadcasting information to identify an unmanned aircraft while it’s in the air. To help protect the public and the National Airspace System from these “rogue” drones, the FAA is setting up a new Aviation Rulemaking Committee that will help the agency create standards for remotely identifying and tracking unmanned aircraft during operations. The rulemaking committee planned to hold its first meeting June 21-23 in Washington, DC.

The group’s membership represents a diverse variety of stakeholders, including the unmanned aircraft industry, the aviation community and industry member organizations, manufacturers, researchers, and standards groups. The rulemaking committee will have several major tasks to:

  • Identify, categorize and recommend available and emerging technologies for the remote identification and tracking of UAS.
  • Identify requirements for meeting the security and public safety needs of law enforcement, homeland defense, and national security communities for remote identification and tracking.
  • Evaluate the feasibility and affordability of the available technical solutions, and determine how well they address the needs of law enforcement and air traffic control communities.

Eventually the recommendations it produces could help pave the way for drone flights over people and beyond visual line of sight.


Final Production of the Cessna Citation Mustang

The Cessna Citation Mustang rolled off the assembly line for the last time last month. (Photo courtesy Testron Aviation)Textron Aviation Inc., on May 11 announced the final production Cessna Citation Mustang has rolled off the assembly line and will be delivered in the coming weeks. The ground-breaking Mustang quickly set the standard in its category for pilots stepping up to jet ownership, and enjoyed tremendous success throughout its 12-year production run with more than 470 aircraft delivered to customers around the world.

“The Mustang proved to be an incredible success for our company and our customers, and we’re thrilled to celebrate the ingenuity and pride that went in to creating the world’s most popular entry-level light jet,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing. “We remain dedicated to developing new products and providing solutions that matter to our customers. The Citation M2 is a great example of this and we believe it will carry on the legacy as the entry-level jet that pilots want and need.”

“Mustang customers can continue to expect the highest level of service through maintenance, parts and support solutions from our Customer Service organization,” said Kriya Shortt, senior vice president, Customer Service.

The company is positioned for a seamless transition within the light jet segment as it continues to offer customers an exceptional combination of speed, range and payload with the Cessna Citation M2. The M2 was introduced in 2013 and quickly received overwhelming market response, with nearly 150 aircraft delivered to customers around the world.

Perfect for corporate, charter or private use, the Citation M2 features a spacious interior with excellent in-cabin technologies, updated touch-controlled avionics and two powerful Williams FJ44 engines, facilitating cruise speeds of over 400 knots. The aircraft is designed for single-pilot operation and features Garmin G3000 avionics and seating for seven.

Leading the light jet segment

With more than 5,000 aircraft delivered, Textron Aviation continues to lead the light jet segment, offering customers the widest product range on the market. From the popular entry-level Citation M2 jet, to the upgraded efficiency and comfort of the CJ3+ and the top-performing CJ4, the Citation CJ family of light business jets has evolved to offer a range of capabilities, systems and options unmatched in its class.




GAMA Praises U.S. Congress for Protecting and Funding Important Aviation Priorities

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) praised the U.S. Congress last month for passing the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus, providing key funding for general aviation manufacturers in safety, certification, and alternative fuels. The bill, which now heads to President Trump for his signature, will fund the U.S. government through September 30, 2017.

The bill provides $1.29 billion for aviation safety activities, including $1.5 million of that amount for six additional full time equivalent (FTE) positions to support the certification of new technologies. The measure also directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with industry to achieve the goal of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of product certification, including fuller utilization of organization designation authorization (ODA), something for which GAMA has strongly advocated.

Additionally, the measure emphasizes the importance for FAA to continue to “strengthen international aviation safety cooperation and improve the flow of aviation products globally through strategic engagement with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC).” These efforts should leverage the respective safety competencies of bilateral safety partners to streamline validations of products and reduce burdensome and duplicative work by regulatory specialists.

The bill also provides $7 million for NextGen – Alternative Fuels for General Aviation, $1.2 million more than the request. This funding will ensure that the necessary aircraft and engine testing is undertaken to support required FAA approvals and authorizations for the transition of the piston aircraft fleet to an unleaded aviation fuel.

The explanatory statement accompanying the bill includes by reference language that raises concerns about the removal of the U.S. air traffic control system from the Federal Aviation Administration, citing removal as “fraught with risk, could lead to uncontrollable cost increases to consumers, and could ultimately harm users of and operators in the system, including the flying public, the aviation community, FAA’s workforce, and the small towns in rural America that rely on access to the national air space.”

 “We appreciate the strong support shown by Congress in this omnibus measure for general aviation, especially in the critical areas of safety, certification, and the transition to an unleaded avgas and in raising strong concerns about the attempt to remove the U.S. air traffic control system from the FAA,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said.




GAMA Welcomes New Era of GA Development With Final CS-23 Rule

GAMA Welcomes New Era of GA Development With Final CS-23 Rule

Friedrichshafen, Germany

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) last month hailed the launch of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) CS-23 final rule, calling it a true breakthrough for the general aviation sector.

The new CS-23 framework will dramatically improve how easily new safety technologies and products can be developed and made available to customers. Manufacturers and suppliers will no longer have to comply with overly prescriptive design requirements, which have not kept pace with the development of technology. Instead, industry will now be able to more nimbly respond in a cost-effective manner through performance-based safety rules, coupled with consensus standards for compliance.

“This is a landmark day for the general aviation industry,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “This rule is nothing less than a total rethinking of how our industry can bring new models of pistons, diesels, turboprops, light jets, and new hybrid and electric propulsion airplanes to market, as well as facilitating safety-enhancing modifications and upgrades to the existing fleet. The new CS-23 rule makes it easier for manufacturers to do so by reducing the time, cost, and risk involved in certification. This will provide existing and future pilots with the tools they need to fly safer and more easily.”

“EASA CS-23 are new smart and flexible rules that were prepared with, and for, a safe innovative general aviation industry,” added Trevor Woods, EASA’s Director of Certification.

The new rule forms part of a global, harmonized effort to develop common certification standards; removing regulatory barriers and promoting the acceptance of airplanes and products worldwide. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also in the process of implementing its Part-23 rule for small airplanes, a result of recommendations from the Part-23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which GAMA co-chaired. Other leading aviation authorities are expected to follow suit to implement similar rules, creating a truly global framework.

“It would not have been possible to reach this milestone without the dedication and tireless efforts of many in the industry and EASA,” Bunce noted. “This initiative is truly the poster child of future rulemaking: with a cooperative, global approach between authorities and all relevant stakeholders”.

Using the international standards body, ASTM International, seven of the world’s leading authorities have been working with 250 different stakeholders to agree upon a continually evolving body of standards to underpin the rule. In parallel, EASA retains its independent role in surveillance and oversight, while strengthening its risk-based methodology to improve safety.”

“These new rules will allow us to bring new airplane models with features using increased automation to market,” stated Simon Caldecott, President and CEO of Piper Aircraft as well as Chairman of GAMA. “We anticipate that these new features will not only help increase the user experience, but will help improve safety.”

“It’s revolutionary,” remarked Ivo Boscarol, CEO of the Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel, “which is why we have been an active supporter of the CS-23 initiative. Right now, we see tremendous opportunities in hybrid and electric propulsion and increased automation. The new CS-23 will enable us to move at the pace of these developments and more readily leverage these innovations.”

“I am sure the result we see here today is a testament to what we can accomplish when government and industry work hand in hand to achieve a common goal,” added Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design Germany. “In fact, it might be the best example yet of global cooperation between aviation authorities.”

The new CS-23 framework goes into effect on August 15, 2017. For more information, visit the GAMA website at




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