February 2015

California Airports

Santa Monica Airport Commission Approves City Plan To Take Over KSMO

(CalPilots Editor’s Note: Using the term “Airport Commission” is laughable when it comes to Santa Monica. In the spirit of the true airport commission, it is supposed to look after the airport and include actual aviation expertise, not real estate and other business interests such as the City of Santa Moncia populated it with)  The Santa Monica Airport Commission showed its support for the city’s strategy to eventually shut down aviation operations at the airport, recommending this week that the city council move ahead with taking over chunks of the 227-acre field and imposing new rules for hangar owners and other users.

This latest move in the long battle over KSMO’s future prompted airport advocates to reiterate their position that federal obligations require that the land must continue to operate as an airport. “These proposals have been offered by opponents of Santa Monica Airport before, and they’ve been shown to be lacking a basis in federal law and grant obligations,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said in a statement Wednesday. “We have long fought these and other attempts to restrict access at SMO, and we will continue to do so.”

Aviation Regulation

Medical Reform Tops List Again In Pilot’s Bill Of Rights 2

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, which would broaden third-class medical exemptions and expand legal rights, began its journey through the legislative assembly line this week as GA Caucus members in the U.S. Senate and House introduced companion bills. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., introduced S. 571 as an expansion of his legislation that was signed into law in 2012. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., co-chair of the House GA Caucus, introduced the companion bill H.R. 1062. The medical reform is similar to the proposals introduced in 2013 and 2014. The bills would exempt private pilots from the third-class medical for VFR and IFR flights below 14,000 feet and up to 250 knots, in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with up to five passengers. In an effort to force the FAA to comply in a timely fashion, there is also a provision to allow pilots to fly under the new rules 180 days after enactment if the agency fails to update its policies.

California Airports

Changes Coming to the Flight Service Program

Recognizing a shift in users’ preferences for automated services, the FAA is changing its Flight Service operation to make it more efficient and reduce costs. The agency will continue to maintain the highest level of safety and none of these changes will affect core flight service safety functions such as search and rescue, emergency services, weather observation, NOTAM entry and dissemination, or pilot weather reports. Pilots are steadily shifting to automated and web-based tools to obtain services and Flight Service is already using this type of technology to eliminate underutilized and redundant services and reduce expenses. The FAA will phase in the changes to ease the transition for users.

For more information, including a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section, or to send comments, questions, and suggestions, please visit: http://www.faa.gov/go/flightservice.

California Airports

Groundbreaking held for new facilities for Clay Lacy Aviation at VNY

LOS ANGELES — Community leaders joined in Feb. 12 to break ground on Clay Lacy Aviation’s new South Campus, a $10 million, six-acre expansion of its current headquarters facility at Van Nuys Airport (VNY).

Attended by more than 100 students from NVOC-Aviation, a VNY-based aircraft mechanics school, the event celebrated local job creation and economic growth. (CalPilots wants to acknowledge Clay Lacy’s longtime support and congratulates Clay on his well deserved success).