BusinessWeek magazine published a non-subscription article about the lawsuit brought by a group of airlines against the FAA last month.
The airlines say that the Federal Aviation Administration bypassed usual rule-making procedures and denied them the right to comment before it notified American Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. of the new rules in late October.
The petition was filed Dec. 24 in the federal appellate court in Washington by American, Continental, UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, US Airways, JetBlue and two smaller carriers.
In their filing, the airlines said the new requirements would saddle them with “substantial burdens and costs.” They charged FAA did not show how the rules would improve safety.
It’s interesting that JetBlue joined the suit, given that it doesn’t currently serve destinations outside the Americas. US Airways is adding flights to Tel Aviv in 2009 and has said it wants to serve Asian destinations from Philadelphia in the future.
The FAA says it wants to speed up the deployment of avionics that can take advantage of ADS-B technology, and is funding a small demonstration project meant to prove the value of having that data in the cockpit. (FAA Press release) The $9 million effort will be conducted by Honeywell and ACSS, and calls for two planes to be outfitted with a full suite of NextGen gadgetry. Other partners on the project: US Airways (which will work with ACSS), plus Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways (which will provide pilots).
A sidenote: ACSS is a joint venture of aerospace IT heavyweights L3 Communications and Thales Group.
Filed under commerce, news
The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics released its most current monthly data on passenger traffic today, and the picture is fairly grim. Total July traffic (year-over-year) declined 2.9%, but that number is a bit misleading because the international portion was up 1.3%. Looking only at the domestic passenger count, traffic was down 3.5%. (The complete BTS press release is here.) Compared to one year ago, only US Airways and Airtran added capacity; JetBlue was basically flat, and Northwest and SkyWest were down sharply.