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December 22, 2004

FAA To Go On Hiring Spree

Will Add 12,000 New Controllers Over Next Ten Years

After being criticized for months over what many in the aviation community saw as foot-dragging, the FAA Tuesday rolled out its plan to hire 12,000 new air traffic controllers over the next ten years.

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Aero-Views: NATCA Blasts FAA Staffing Scheme

FAA's Staffing Plan "Wal-Mart Solution In A Tiffany Box"

Not everyone is happy with the FAA's plan to hire new controllers. There's this from NATCA... Confirming what controllers have been saying for years, the Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday released its long-awaited report to Congress stating that there is a looming air traffic control staffing crisis. The fact is that in some cities, the shortage is already occurring. Consequently, if you are flying to or through one of these cities, there are already too few controllers watching the skies. 

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Naples Airport Starts Phase Two Of Lighting Work

But FAA Won't Send Money Until Stage 2 Jet Ban Lifted

If you fly into Naples Municipal Airport in Florida, look closely along the side of the runway. You'll see a very long extension cord -- it's what's feeding electricity to the runway lights. "Our lighting went out in the middle of the summer when all the hurricanes were hitting," said Airport Authority Executive Director Ted Soliday, in an interview with the Naples Daily News. "We had three or four direct (lightning) hits to our power on our main runway. We had hundreds of yards of power line that was literally fried.... We went almost a week without lights on our main runway."

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Bye-Bye Bethune

Continental CEO To Leave Next Week

Gordon Bethune steps down as chief of Houston-based Continental Airlines next week, leaving the company in about the same shape it was in when he took the reigns ten years ago. For instance, USA Today reports, losses are on the rise. The availability of cash is fast becoming a worry and the airline industry as a whole is suffering the worst churn it's seen since deregulation. But in spite of all that, Bethune told the nationwide newspaper, ""We've got, I think, a company that works."

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ANN 2004-2005 Holiday Schedule

Happy Holidays!

The hard-working and long-suffering gnomes that publish ANN will finally get to take a short holiday break this week [we gnomes thank you --ed]. ANN's normal DAILY news will be presented December 23rd and 24th, and will then be on hiatus on December 25th and 26th...

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Cessna Expands Its Independence Facility

$20.4 Million Project Aimed At Turning Out Piston Aircraft And Citation Mustangs

Cessna brass and prominent Kansas government officials broke ground Tuesday for Cessna's new $20.4 million expansion to its Independence, KS, facility. The expansion will include the construction of two new stand-alone buildings: a 90,000 square foot flight/delivery building and an 11,000 square foot aircraft completions building.

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Cessna's Independence Facility Expansion

Some Facts About The New Facility

Cost: $20.4 Million Scope: Two structures -- one a 90,000 square foot flight/delivery building; the other, an 11,000 square foot aircraft completions building

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Coyote's Revenge: Husky Down

We have no evidence to confirm the rumored presence of a Roadrunner's involvement in this incident, but for the moment local coyotes can breathe easier. The Husky (file photo below), though, has seen better days. Thankfully; there were only minor injuries.

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Alien Training/Citizenship Validation Rules Now In Effect

Advocacy Groups Like AOPA Trying To Ease The Impact

As of now, any non-US citizen who is beginning training for a new certificate or rating in any size powered aircraft must be cleared by the Transportation Security Administration, including those who have previously held pilot certificates. This alien flight training rule applies even to resident aliens with a "green card."

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A Night With Mike Melvill

Audience Journeys Into Space With SpaceShipOne Pilot At EAA Wright Dinner

In a tribute to Orville and Wilbur Wright, a sellout crowd of more than 500 people gathered in Oshkosh, WI, to see and hear one of today's true aviation pioneers at the EAA Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet Friday night at EAA AirVenture Museum's Eagle Hangar.

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Remember The Last Caption Contest? We Have A Winner!

Bill Menzel Gets A Free Copy Of The New Klyde Compendium

Congratulations to Bill, who receives a free copy of the new cartoon compendium from Wes Oleszewski. Let's do this again soon! If you have a submission for a caption contest, here's how to get it on our site: Send it in an email to In your message, please indicate that the photo is cleared for our use. Include your name and telephone number as well as your email address and let us know whether you want your information published along with the photograph. FMI:

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Raytheon Missile Systems achieves CMMI Level 3 Certification

That Means Good Business

Raytheon Missile Systems says it has achieved Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 3 certification from the Software Engineering Institute. The certification demonstrates that Missile Systems incorporates the best business practices to ensure predictability and improved quality in performance.

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NBAA Call For Nominations

2005 NBAA Meritorious Service To Aviation And Doswell Awards

The NBAA says it is now accepting nominations for its two most prestigious awards, the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award and the John P. "Jack" Doswell Award. Nominations for both awards are due by February 25, 2005. The 2005 award winners will be officially recognized at the Annual Gala of the NBAA 58th Annual Meeting & Convention in November 2005.

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ESA's Aurora Program Gets Funding Boost

Budget Almost Tripled

The countries participating in the Preparatory European Space Exploration Program "Aurora" have recently confirmed and increased their contributions.

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AOPA Medical Certification Services: If You Belong, Take Advantage Of Them

Members Say It's Worth The Price Of Membership Alone

AOPA has provided members with information and counsel on medical certification challenges for many years. Members who have taken advantage of the service consider it to be one of their most valued basic membership benefits. Yet, as membership grows we find that new members, and even many long time members, aren't aware that this level of assistance is available to them as part of their $39.00 annual dues.

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Boeing Ships First Parts for 747-400 Special Freighter Program

They're Headed For China

Boeing employees recently shipped components that a supplier partner in China will use to convert the prototype Boeing 747-400 Special Freighter.

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Curtiss-Wright Controls Receives Military Orders For $1.2 Million

Combined orders are for F-16 Spare Parts

Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc. has received two new orders from the United States Government for spare parts for the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Curtiss-Wright Controls is the Motion Control segment of Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (12.22.04)

"This staffing plan is a Wal-Mart solution in a Tiffany's box. The FAA has acknowledged that there is a problem, but solutions are not in the cards for the flying public. It's gratifying that the FAA has joined us in stating that we need to hire thousands and thousands more controllers, but we remain concerned about the shortage that has already hit cities across the country." Source: NATCA President John Carr, reacting to news that the FAA plans to hire 12,000 new controllers over the next decade.

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Nevada TFR: Until Further Notice

NOTAM: 4/3633 Issued: 12/21/2004 02:20 Effective: Immediately - Until Further Notice State: NV Facility: ZLA - LOS ANGELES (ARTCC)PALMDALE, CA. Type: HAZARDS Description: LAS VEGAS NV.

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Minnesota TFR: Until Further Notice

NOTAM:  4/3657  Issued:  12/21/2004 21:40  Effective:  12/22/2004 16:30 - 12/22/2004 17:45  State:  CO  Facility:  ZMP - MINNEAPOLIS (ARTCC),MN.  Type:  HAZARDS  Description:  ELY MN. 

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Maryland TFR: 12/21/04 - 12/26/04

NOTAM: 4/3642 Issued: 12/21/2004 19:10 Effective: 12/21/2004 20:20 - 12/26/2004 14:30 State: MD Facility: ZDC - WASHINGTON (ARTCC),DC. Type: VIP Description: HAGERSTOWN/THURMONT, MARYLAND DECEMBER 21-26 2004.

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