Aviation Organizations Review 2005
By ANN Correspondent Aleta Vinas
ANN asked the “alphabet groups” and some other
aviation organizations to sum up 2005 for our readers. We’ll
be posting their look ahead to 2006 soon.
National Business Aviation Association
Here is what NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen has to
Looking back upon 2005, and ahead to 2006, the major challenges
for our industry are those involving safety, access and
affordability of airspace system use.
Several high-profile accidents fueled misperceptions about
business aviation safety. Safety is our industry's highest
priority, and following the accidents, NBAA championed the safety
record for business aviation with news organizations, policy makers
On the security front, a good first step was taken this year at
Washington National Airport (DCA), with the reinstatement of
general aviation operations there. Unfortunately, the procedure for
accessing DCA is prohibitive and unworkable for many businesses.
Our industry also must still contend with burdensome and confusing
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).
Finally, the matter of affordability of access boiled down to
two main issues this year: user fees and tax increases for business
aviation. The commercial carriers are advocating a user-fee system
in which all aircraft pay the same fee regardless of size.
Obviously, the increased cost and administrative burden from user
fees would push many business aircraft operators out of the
airspace system. On a related front, some very damaging tax
policies have been proposed for our industry this year, partly due
to increasing media focus on executive compensation. Current Senate
budget "reconciliation" legislation contains two provisions that
would significantly increase the tax burden for certain uses of
business aircraft. The provisions would unquestionably hamper
business aviation activity, harming the tens of thousands of people
who operate general aviation aircraft and provide aircraft
National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Michael Marcus Public Affairs Specialist at the National Air
and Space Museum gave ANN the rundown on 2005:
May 2005 - Mars is now a cold, dry desert, but robotic
satellites and rovers have returned new evidence of a warmer and
wetter climate more than 3.5 billion years ago, when conditions may
have been more favorable for life. Geologists at the Smithsonian
National Air and Space Museum's Center for Earth and Planetary
Studies, working with colleagues at the University of Virginia,
have discovered 21 river channels in the dry Martian valleys, which
provide new clues to this ancient climate. The researchers have
determined that Martian rivers were about the same size as their
counterparts on Earth, suggesting similar amounts of runoff from
thunderstorms or rapid snowmelt. The findings appeared in the June
issue of the journal Geology.
October 2005 - SpaceShipOne, the first privately built and
piloted vehicle to reach space, joined the national collection of
flight icons on Wednesday, Oct. 5, in a noon donation ceremony at
the National Air and Space Museum's flagship building on the
National Mall in Washington , D.C.
The spacecraft, 28 feet in length with a 27-foot wingspan, is
prominently displayed in the central Milestones of Flight gallery,
home to many of the "firsts" of flight. It hangs between Charles
Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and Chuck Yeager's Bell X-1.
Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, the sole funder of
SpaceShipOne, made the donation. Burt Rutan, the spacecraft's
designer, also took part.
October 2005 - Due to strong public interest, the special
exhibition "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial
Age" will remain open at the National Air and Space Museum's
building on the National Mall in Washington through October 2006.
The exhibit, which opened in October 2003 to mark the centennial of
powered flight and was scheduled to close on Oct. 17 of this year,
provides an engrossing look at the lives of Wilbur and Orville
Wright, their technical achievements and the cultural impact of
their breakthrough in the decade that followed.
With the extension, the 1903 Wright Flyer--the world's first
airplane--will remain the exhibition's centerpiece, in the Mall
building's Gallery 209, displayed up close and at eye level for the
first time since it was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in
1948. The Wright Flyer traditionally hangs in the building's
central Milestones of Flight gallery.
Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Association
Phil Boyer, leading the General Aviation cause, gives the
2005 wrap up:
2005 has been a year of challenge, of opportunity, of success
for general aviation. 2006 promises more of the same.
Just as AOPA was beginning an all-out effort to have the
Washington, D.C., air defense identification zone (ADIZ) reduced or
even eliminated, three high-profile evacuations of the U.S. Capitol
during the spring and summer caused by pilots who inadvertently
entered the no-fly zone around Washington, D.C., renewed concerns
among the non-flying public about the security of general aviation.
The first and highest-profile incident involving a pilot and his
student-pilot passenger in a Cessna 150 offered an opportunity even
as AOPA dealt with the fallout. Because that flight terminated at
Frederick Municipal Airport, right outside AOPA’s
headquarters, the Association had direct access to the general news
media as they showed up to cover the event, and so was able to
quell much of the hysteria about the “danger” posed by
this light general aviation aircraft.
As a direct result of these infractions and the ensuing
evacuations some members of Congress proposed legislation to impose
heavy fines and penalties on pilots who violate the Flight
Restricted Zone. AOPA and the general aviation community were able
to convince Congress not to proceed with those bills.
Now AOPA is involved in a fight against a proposed rule to make
the ADIZ permanent. Because of a record outpouring of opposition
– more than 18,000 submissions by the time the original
comment period closed – from individual pilots who took the
time to tell their personal stories through formal comments with
the FAA, the U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered the FAA
to extend the public comment period and to call a public meeting so
aviation and security officials can hear directly from pilots as to
why the ADIZ does not work and should not be made permanent.
That announcement was made at AOPA Expo 2005 by Transportation
Secretary Norman Mineta – the first time a member of the
President’s cabinet has visited general aviation’s
premier convention and trade show.
With the extension of the comment period, AOPA will continue the
fight against the proposed rule into 2006.
2005 also saw the FAA taking the first vital steps to modernize
a badly broken Flight Service Station (FSS) system, awarding a
contract to Lockheed Martin to revamp, reequip, and operate the
system. AOPA had argued that, despite the best efforts of the FSS
specialists, the system was beyond repair. After careful study, the
FAA determined that a private contractor operating under FAA
supervision would be the best solution, and chose Lockheed Martin
from among five bidders, including one bid from the FAA employees
themselves. Not only will the new contract lead to a modernized
FSS, it will save American taxpayers $2.2-billion over 10
Early indications after the change-over are that pilots are
experiencing shorter hold times and more timely service. Some
pilots have reported some concerns, but Lockheed Martin has vowed
to address issues as they arise. AOPA’s challenge in 2006
will be to ensure that Lockheed Martin delivers the full promise of
their FS21 system to pilots. The Association’s own experience
has been that Lockheed Martin responds very quickly whenever
concerns are raised.
Women in Aviation International (WAI)
From the WAI office the look back at their successful 2005:
2005 was a landmark year for Women in Aviation, International.
Our membership doubled, from 7,000 to nearly 15,000 members, thanks
to generous sponsorship from Jeppesen Corporation and the hard work
of those members who participated in our "Just Ask One" membership
With that explosive growth came a tremendous surge in networking
opportunities throughout the organization, and that networking is
paying off in new jobs and careers, as well as scholarships for
those in school or with careers in flux. The Women in Aviation,
International 2005 scholarships went to more than 60 deserving
souls and totaled more than $750,000. The 2006 Scholarships
(applications closed Dec. 2) promise to be just as generous.
Finally, in 2005 five strong women were inducted into the Women
in Aviation, International Pioneer Hall of Fame. Capt. Sandy
Anderson, a pioneer for women at Northwest Airlines and a generous
supporter of Women in Aviation, International, Anne Bridge Baddour,
the first woman pilot to fly as an Experimental Research Pilot for
the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Flight Test Facility, Barbara Erickson
London a WAFS in charge of the 6th Ferrying Group, Long Beach,
California, where she commanded more than 60 women, and Florene
Miller Watson named Commanding Officer of the WAFS station at Love
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
The FAA has had a busy 2005:
FAA SCORES HIGH IN HARRIS POLL
November 30, 2004: More and more Americans feel the Federal
Aviation Administration is "doing a good job," according to The
Harris Poll which placed the FAA second among 11 top federal
agencies in November 2004. We sent out a press release, made
callouts to reporters, and cited this achievement to defend the
agency in a USA Today editorial.
REDUCED VERTICAL SEPARATION MINIMUM
January 19, 2005: The FAA reduced the vertical separation
standard for aircraft flying at high altitudes in a move that will
increase capacity in the nation's airspace and save fuel costs for
the airlines -- an estimated $5 billion over ten years -- while
maintaining safe operations.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER STAFFING PLAN
December 21, 2004: The FAA announced the agency's 10-year air
traffic controller staffing plan. The plan called for the hiring of
12,500 controllers over a 10-year period to cover projected
controller retirement losses. The plan also outlined the actions
that the FAA is taking to fully train controllers more quickly. The
announcement received very favorable press coverage.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES AND OCEANIC PROCEDURES (ATOP)
June 23, 2005: ATOP became fully operational at the New York Air
Route Traffic Control Center. New York Center was the first of
three oceanic facilities to achieve full operational use of ATOP.
Oakland, CA became operational in fall.
AUTOMATED FLIGHT SERVICE STATIONS
February 1, 2005: The FAA selected a team headed by Lockheed
Martin to provide services now offered by the agency's automated
flight service stations. The total evaluated cost of the five-year
contract, with five additional option years, is $1.9 billion and
represents estimated savings of $2.2 billion over the next ten
years. Transition occurred in October.
NATCA CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS BEGIN
July 13, 2005: Talks begin.
NEW RUNWAY SAFETY SYSTEM
November 2, 2005: FAA announced that 15 airports, including some
of the nation's busiest, will be receiving an advanced runway
safety system. Called Airport Surface detection Equipment, Model X
(ASDE-X), the system is designed to help air traffic controllers
spot potential collisions by integrating data from a variety of
sources, including radar and airplane transponders, to create a
continuously updated map of all airport-surface operations.
International Women’s Air and Space Museum
Toni Mullee, Director of External Affairs, shares the 2005
highlights at IWASM in Cleveland (OH) with ANN:
We were busy in 2005!
Cleared For Liftoff – Our educational
programming, geared toward middle school girls and funded by a
generous grant from Alcoa, truly soared this year with a hugely
successful mother-daughter program as well as continuing programs
for hundreds of girls interested in careers in science, math,
technology and engineering.
New Programming – A celebration of Women’s
Equality Day, new Girl Scout programs, and a home school series
have increased our visibility in the community.
Website update – A new online store and
membership sign-up are now part of our website. Visitors to the
site can make purchases and donations online using MasterCard &
Visa through a secure server.
Exciting Exhibits - Amelia Earhart's flight suit and nurse's
uniform both went on display in 2005. We also had an exhibit
entitled "Actresses in Flight", which highlighted stars such as
Katherine Hepburn and Veronica Lake, who were pilots.
Exhibit cases at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport –
IWASM was one of the first Cleveland organizations to become a
“Friend of the Airport”. Three exhibit cases
spotlighting Ohio women in aviation and space are now part of
Exchange with Chinese Aviation Organizations –
Ready with letters of introduction and items related to Chinese
women pilots, IWASM representatives exchanged items with the
Beijing Aviators Association and the Beijing Air-women Association,
and began a relationship between our museum and the China Aviation
Assistance with Aviation Books and Film – IWASM
has provided valuable information, photographs, and artifacts for
use in several books including Roaring Twenty , a National
Geographic book on the Powder Puff Derby of 1929, Lady Icarus , a
biography of Lady Mary Heath published in Ireland, and
Cleveland’s National Air Races , an Arcadia Publishing book.
IWASM is currently assisting an independent producer working on a
PBS documentary about the Mercury 13.
The Fay Gillis Wells Research Center is open to the public M-F
10 -4 and houses an extensive collection of materials on women in
aviation and space.
As always, admission to the museum is free. Exhibits are open
during regular airport hours, generally 8 am - 8 pm 7 days a
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
Another summary of the great year for EAA:
LOOKING BACK AT 2005
EAA had a tremendous year in 2005, as EAA President Tom
Poberezny outlined in his in-depth interview with ANN’s Jim
Campbell in mid-December. The successes included advances in
aircraft, regulations and programs that opened the way for more
people to participate in aviation. In many ways, it was a watershed
year for the organization, as it reached into areas that could
broaden the possibilities for all aviation enthusiasts.
The enthusiasm and promise of aviation shone brightly in the
success of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2005 last summer, which was
widely acclaimed as one of the best gatherings in EAA’s
history. ANN wrote as much after last summer’s event, when it
noted “This year’s rendition of Oshkosh …
ROCKED.” The optimistic spirit was evident throughout the
grounds with the huge crowds around SpaceShipOne/White Knight, the
Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, the P-38 “Glacier Girl,”
the emerging Very Light Jet industry and the Light-Sport Aircraft
EAA’s support and leadership in the sport
pilot/light-sport aircraft community grew in many ways in 2005, as
the new rule’s infrastructure began to take shape. The EAA
Sport Pilot Tour was met with enthusiasm and interest in several
metropolitan areas, as manufacturers, flight schools, EAA, LAMA and
prospective sport pilots could gather in a single site to discover
more about the opportunities available under the new rule. More
than a dozen ready-to-fly aircraft are now on the market, with more
being readied as we head into 2006. As Poberezny said, “The
development of the sport pilot community is a marathon, not a
sprint. There were skeptics who believed the rule would never be
considered, that it would never be approved, and that the
marketplace would not respond. EAA worked very hard on its own and
in concert with many other parties to bring the rule to reality and
now, to create a vibrant light-sport aircraft community for sport
The EAA Young Eagles program also continued its role as the
largest youth aviation program ever created. There was sadness in
2005 as a tragic accident in the Seattle area claimed three lives,
but that accident also brought a massive outpouring of support for
the program from throughout the aviation community. Young Eagles
finished 2005 with more than 1.2 million young people flown, young
pilots who were inspired by the program, as well as Young Eagles
who are now in every collegiate aviation program in the nation and
all of the U.S. service academies. Young Eagles has become part of
the general aviation community’s culture, and that’s a
credit to the more than 80,000 volunteers (including 40,000 pilots)
who have dedicated themselves to making the program a success.
The world of amateur-built aircraft also grew in the past year,
with more than 27,000 homebuilts now on the FAA register. The
successes of people such as Burt Rutan with SpaceShipOne and the
Klapmeiers with Cirrus show the ingenuity and innovation that
continues to emerge from the homebuilt community and greatly affect
all of aviation. There were struggles in some areas, such as the
loss of SkyStar because of difficulties, but the industry as a
whole remained strong and vibrant at the close of 2005.
Careers in Aviation
Rebuilding was the name of the game for Careers in Aviation,
according to Jamail Larkins National Spokesperson, and Shawn Raker,
Chairman of Careers in Aviation: This past year was a rebuilding
year for Careers in Aviation. The website is being totally redone.
It is currently unavailable but www.jamaillarkins.com
can be used for inquiries.
One of the major milestones was the Delta Connection Academy in
Sanford (FL) stepping up to the plate to become a major part of
Careers in Aviation. The Careers in Aviation headquarters will be
relocated from the current home of Atlanta (GA) to Sanford. The
staff of the Delta Connection Academy will be available to assist
Careers in Aviation. This is a significant manpower boost.
Careers in Aviation will be watching the progress of the Ehlers
Bill (HR 758) which has passed unanimously in the house. During the
next three years, 27% of the aerospace work force will be eligible
to retire. The Ehlers Bill will call for the formation of an eleven
member panel charged with developing a complete strategy to
increase the number of workers and students who choose science,
engineering and other aerospace related careers. The task force
will also establish partnerships with industry, academia and state
governments to coordinate aerospace career education and training
programs. Careers in Aviation is only one of the many organizations
already bringing aviation and aerospace out into the general public
and to schools.
During the rebuilding Careers in Aviation still maintained their
sponsorship of the DreamLaunch Tour and several other local
initiatives in Georgia.
The second major milestone, which will continue into 2006 is the
start on an endowment fund and building it up to the point of
having one of the largest aviation endowments in the country. With
the support from The Delta Foundation and Delta Connection Academy,
Careers in Aviation is well placed to achieve this goal.