Fuel is the number one expense for airlines, so it’s no surprise that they continuously seek new ways to reduce their fuel use. While air carriers can’t immediately replace their existing fleets with new, fuel efficient aircraft, they can make subtle changes that make them cheaper to operate.
Last November, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) announced a new initiative that involved hiring more than six thousand air traffic controllers over the next few years. As part of this new initiative, the FAA also announced a new hiring practice that is changing the way candidates prepare and are selected into the FAA academy, which trains air traffic controllers.
Mid-air collisions are rare these days, especially among large commercial aircraft. Yet there have been many near-miss mid-air collisions reported lately, with incidents in Newark and Hawaii in April alone. With advanced technology in the air and trained personnel on the ground, how do planes continue to find themselves on the path towards disaster?
There is a lot of news about companies like Amazon and Domino’s Pizza using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, to expand their operations. Until commercial use is permitted, however, these ideas will remain just attention-grabbing headlines. Yet pressure has been mounting this past spring for the FAA to develop a process for authorizing and regulating UAS, which can’t come fast enough for those who are skirting the law and making money on UAS.
Security is top priority in the aviation industry, so it’s no wonder there are specific and strict regulations around training airline operators and staff on proper security measures.
When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its Air Traffic Controller Workforce Plan 2013-2022, the rush began to hire more than 11,000 new air traffic controllers by 2021, over half of which -- 6,200 to be exact -- would be hired by 2018.
To meet these goals, the FAA opened its hiring to the general public to fill its human resource needs and developed a more comprehensive test to ensure technical and mental competence of new candidates.
Part of this updated test includes a Biographical Assessment, which is proving difficult for applicants, as less than 10 percent of candidates pass this test, according to KPCC News. Let’s look at reasons behind this massive effort to hire so many air traffic controllers, what a Biographical Assessment entails, and how it may impact those seeking to join the nation’s air traffic controllers.
Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the Obama administration would work to shrink the size of the U.S. Army to pre-World War II levels due to budget concerns. Since then, the Department of Defense (DoD) has announced various ways it plans to do more with less, including creating more autonomous full-scale aircraft and the IT systems that support automation.
You’ve got plenty to manage with the hiring and training of your staff. Adding employee benefits to your to-do list might be one item too many. Fortunately, there are companies that allow you to outsource the work, taking that pressure off of you.
For Immediate Release
Alexandria, VA, May 12, 2014 – The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) applauds the extension of the Known Crewmember® Program (KCM) to Part 135 and Part 125 Air Charter pilots with the first nonscheduled airline use of KCM at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) today. Known Crewmember® (KCM) is a risk-based screening system that enables Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security officers to positively verify the identity and employment status of flight crewmembers. The program, developed by Airlines for America (A4A) and the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), expedites flight crewmember access to sterile areas of airports, reduces passenger-screening line congestion, enhances security, and makes airport checkpoint screening more efficient for all who depend on air transportation.
Although the KCM program expansion was announced in March, today’s KCM operations at IAD represent the first use of KCM by Air Charter pilots. TSA used the past several weeks to train TSA officers to positively identify the new badge that will be used by Air Charter pilots, verify the NATA Compliance Services (NATACS) program management system, and approve the first group of enrollees.
It seems like the cost of everything related to air travel is going up. And while price increases for fuel are expected, other, less common aspects of flying are getting more expensive as well. Let’s take a look at four things, other than oil, making the cost of flying soar.