The manned and unmanned aviation communities do not see eye-to-eye on any number of issues.  Each side has a vision of how unmanned aircraft fit into the National Airspace System, and each side continually engages with the FAA to push that vision.  While the FAA’s attempt to balance these competing views often leaves one or both sides disappointed, one thing that both sides agree on is that these decisions should be left to the FAA.… Read More

In an article for Law360, Mark Dombroff explains how the Federal Aviation Administration and local governments continue to vie for control of the airspace being used by drones — an issue that will only intensify in the coming year.

The FAA has been working on new rules to permit drones to fly directly over large concentrations of people. These so-called remote identification rules will allow for detection and identification of unmanned aircraft no matter where they fly.… Read More

In a recent post, we discussed the Safe Landings Act (H.R. 4166), pending legislation introduced in August of this year. In this post, we discuss another piece of pending legislation – the Safe and Quiet Skies Act of 2019.

The Safe and Quiet Skies Act of 2019 (H.R. 4547) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on September 27, 2019, by Representative Ed Case of Hawaii’s First Congressional District (located entirely on the Island of Oahu, including the City and County of Honolulu).… Read More

With the enactment of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 in October of last year, Congress, to a large extent, has taken a breather from introducing aviation legislation.  Two recent bills, however, address key aviation safety issues and merit examination – the Safe Landings Act and the Safe and Quiet Skies Act of 2019.  We discuss the Safe Landings Act in this post and will address the Safe and Quiet Skies Act of 2019 in a following post.… Read More

In Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents (1997), Dr. James Reason defined “just culture” as:

An atmosphere of trust in which people are encouraged, even rewarded, for providing essential safety-related information–but in which they are also clear about where the line must be drawn between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

While line drawing often involves sensitive tradeoffs and judgments, recent judicial decisions by the courts in Switzerland involving air traffic controllers provoke vigorous head-scratching, not to mention strong condemnation from the international air traffic control community.… Read More

In issuing its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements last month and in holding a recent public meeting, the National Transportation Safety Board has renewed its efforts in identifying safety gaps in Part 135 [Code of Federal Regulations, title 14, Part 135] aviation operations and recommending actions that the Federal Aviation Administration and Part 135 operators to eliminate preventable crashes.… Read More

Last month, we passed yet another milestone in aviation history, the 88th anniversary of the first attempted hijacking of a passenger aircraft.  On February 12, 1931, a group of armed revolutionaries in Peru attempted to seize a Ford tri-motor by force, resulting in a 10 day stand-off.  The crisis was ultimately resolved when the revolutionaries learned there had been a successful coup against the government, and the plane was no longer needed.… Read More