Tom Poberezny, the chairman of the board of the Experimental Aircraft Association, announced his retirement at the EAA AirVenture this week. Poberezny served at the helm of the organization founded by his father for decades, and instituted the Young Eagles program, which gives children free flights in general aviation aircraft.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is already preparing a temporary extension for the FAA, even as Senate leaders insist they may be able to complete a long-term reauthorization bill this week. Among the contentious issues yet to be worked out: allowing airports to charge higher passenger facility charges and raising the limits on long-range flights from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Alan Klapmeier, co-founder of Cirrus Aircraft, plans to launch a $100 million aircraft production line in Maine. Klapmeier and business partner Anthony Galley plan to use a former naval base for their Kestrel Aircraft Co. "We're looking forward to changing the future of general aviation," Klapmeier said at a news conference.
Aviation schools are emphasizing English skills for aspiring pilots, and international students must pass English proficiency exams. "We definitely are very careful and make sure they are up to snuff in standards before they step foot in the cockpit," said David Zwegers, director of aviation safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The International Civil Aviation Organization began implementing English proficiency standards in 2000.
The general aviation industry is taking hits from regulators and the public alike as Congress scrutinizes the use of business aviation and regulators crack down on security and air traffic control, said General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce at a recent meeting. Bunce said a turnaround in the economy at the end of the year could result in an increase in the sale of piston-powered aircraft, in addition to a boost in business jet orders.