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LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

House and Senate Release Competing Aviation Authorization Bills
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On Thursday June 29th, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved with bipartisan support a bill to reauthorize federal aviation programs for four years. After the adoption of several amendments to a manger’s package,

Trump Administration Releases Complete FY’18 Budget
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Trump Administration Releases Complete FY’18 Budget The Trump Administration released their much anticipated budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018.  Budget requests include: cutting DOT spending by 13% to $16.2B; eliminating the TIGER grant program; ending funding for long-haul Amtrak routes … Read More

President-Elect Trump Taps Former Labor Secretary to Head US DOT
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Secretary-Designate Elaine Chao Will Execute Trump Infrastructure Plan President-elect Donald Trump has picked Elaine Chao, former U.S. Labor Secretary

The Rep. Fitzpatrick Amendment To The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Should Be Opposed
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Rep. Fitzpatrick has filed an amendment with the House Rules Committee that would define veteran-owned small businesses as “disadvantaged business enterprises” or “DBEs”.  While efforts to support the entrepreneurial efforts of former service members are very worthwhile, defining veteran owned … Read More

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FAA NEWS

FAA.gov News and Updates

Latest FAA.gov News and Updates

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hurricane recovery efforts are now supporting more than a dozen commercial passenger flights per day at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As the agency continues to restore radars, navigational aids and other equipment damaged during Hurricane Maria, the number of commercial flights is expected to continue to increase. The airport handled nearly 100 total arrivals and departures yesterday, including the military and relief operations.

The agency has implemented a slot reservation system to manage the demand for ramp space at the airport and to safely separate aircraft in the air.

The FAA also airlifted a mobile air traffic control tower back to St. Thomas over the weekend to support the relief and recovery missions there. The tower at Cyril E. King International Airport on St. Thomas was initially damaged by Hurricane Irma, and the FAA brought in the mobile tower to help manage traffic. However, the FAA removed the tower to the mainland in advance of Hurricane Maria, to protect it during the storm. The agency shuttles the controllers who staff the tower from San Juan to St. Thomas and back every day.

Preliminary FAA damage assessments have identified a number of critical radars and navigational aids that were destroyed or disabled during the storm. The FAA is bringing replacement systems to the islands by air and by sea to restore essential radar, navigation and communication services and technicians are working on many of those systems now. A long-range radar in the Turks and Caicos returned to service this morning, giving air traffic controllers a much better picture of the planes and helicopters operating in the area.

Technicians are making their way to a second long-range radar site today at Pico del Este, which is located inside a National Park in Puerto Rico, on the top of a mountain. The last two miles to the site through the rain forest are impassable, so the technicians are using chain saws to clear a path for themselves and the replacement equipment.

FAA technicians are working around the clock to restore services, but because of the extent of the damage and challenges of the terrain where equipment is located, its difficult to determine a timeline for the full restoration of service.

The FAA continues to work closely with its federal and local partners to rebuild the aviation system in the islands and help the area recover from two devastating storms.

Passengers are encouraged to stay in close communication with their airline if they have reservations on flights in and out of San Juan.

Posted: September 25, 2017, 9:11 pm

Today's Air Traffic Report:

Skies along the East Coast should be mostly clear today, but thunderstorms in the center of the nation could affect cross-country flight paths. Winds and clouds driven by Hurricane #Maria could reach the North Carolina coast. Clouds are forecast for Denver (DEN) and Seattle (SEA), while rain is likely in Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).

Pilots: Check out the new Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool from the Aviation Weather Center.

For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit fly.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.

The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impactsto normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays, ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.

Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay information.

Posted: September 25, 2017, 2:05 pm

WASHINGTON FAA Administrator Michael Huerta today drove home the importance of working together in the face of natural disasters that have caused so much devastation in recent weeks, in his final speech before ICAOs North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACC) Directors of Civil Aviation meeting.

The 2017 hurricane season already has devastated too many of our nations. As if that wasn't enough, our friends in Mexico were struck by two deadly earthquakes as well, Huerta said at the NACC meeting in Washington. Some of our attendees here today have family in Mexico City, where the extent of this weeks quake is still being determined. Please know all of our thoughts are with you during this trying time.

These moments of tragedy bind us together, Huerta said. We grieve for the lives lost. We comfort the displaced. And we vow to rebuild. We are neighbors. What happens to one of us affects us all.

Huerta reaffirmed the FAAs commitment to help the region as a whole to recover. The agency has continued to support efforts to get all Florida airports back to full operations including those in the Florida Keys. The FAA brought one mobile air traffic control tower to Key West from Connecticut by truck earlier this week to replace the damaged tower there, and airlifted another mobile tower from Boise, Idaho to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands last week to manage relief flights to and from the island. The agency also sent an airports inspector to St. Martin last week to help assess the readiness of the airfield for non-military relief flights.

In addition, the FAA has issued hundreds of unmanned aircraft authorizations to aid in the response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and anticipates issuing more for the area damaged by Maria in the next few days. Drones are being used to quickly and safely assess damage to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure. They help target and prioritize recovery activities.

The NACC meeting gives us an opportunity to come together, share ideas, and find new ways to work together toward our common goals, Huerta said. But what is even more important is that we can use this meeting to reaffirm our partnerships and ask for and receive the assistance that is needed from one another.

Huerta added, As my time as FAA Administrator is drawing to a close, let me say what a privilege its been to work with all of you over the years. We should all be proud of the work that we do to ensure that travelers can continue to take it for granted that they will arrive safely at their destinations. The work we do every day makes that happen and we are successful because we do it together.

Administrator Huerta's remarks can be viewed on our website.

Posted: September 21, 2017, 5:23 pm

September 18-Yesterday, a mobile air traffic control tower arrived at Key West International Airport in Florida after a road trip down the East Coast by trailer from Hartford, CT. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) repositioned the fully-equipped tower to provide air traffic services for all of the aircraft operating in and out of Key West that are supporting the relief and recovery of the isolated Florida Keys in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The FAA also has temporarily located many of the towers controllers closer to the airport to reduce lengthy commutes.

In addition to the mobile tower, the FAA has brought a trailer to the site to support the tower controllers with an air-conditioned break room and lavatories. Before the tower arrived, controllers were managing air traffic at the airport from a small tent.

As controllers started working the radios in the new mobile tower at Key West this morning, the FAA was making plans to pack up another mobile tower it airlifted to St. Thomas last week and temporarily relocate it to a safer mainland position in advance of Hurricane Maria. The tower will remain on a military C-17 until the storm passes and will immediately head back to St. Thomas after the storm.

The FAA also has been supporting the Florida recovery effort by authorizing drone operations around the state to aid rapid damage assessment. To date, the FAA has authorized 173 drone operations for the area damaged by Hurricane Irma, and 121 of those are still in effect. The primary authorized drone operations are supporting power and insurance companies.

Government agencies with an FAA Certificate of Authorization (COA) and private sector Part 107 drone operators who want to fly to support of response and recovery operations are strongly encouraged to coordinate their activities with the local incident commander responsible for the area in which they want to operate.

If UAS operators need to fly in controlled airspace or a disaster TFR to support the response and recovery, operatorsmustcontact the FAAs System Operations Support Center (SOSC) by emailing9-ATOR-HQ-SOSC@faa.govto determine the information they need to provide in order to secure authorization to access the airspace. Coordination with the SOSC may also include a requirement that the UAS operator obtain support from the appropriate incident commander.The FAA may require information about the operator, the UAS type, a PDF copy of a current FAA COA, the pilots Part 107 certificate number, details about the proposed flight (date, time, location, altitude, direction and distance to the nearest airport, and latitude/longitude), nature of the event (fire, law enforcement, local/national disaster, missing person) and the pilots qualification information.

The FAA warns unauthorized drone operators that they may be subject to significant fines if they interfere with emergency response operations. Many aircraft that are conducting life-saving missions and other critical response and recovery efforts are likely to be flying at low altitudes over areas affected by the storm. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may unintentionally disrupt rescue operations and violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if aTemporary Flight Restriction(TFR) is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

Posted: September 18, 2017, 7:43 pm

 

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