Archive for the ‘Aviation Industry News’ Category

FAA Awards $24.5 Million in Environmental Grants to Airports

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Beautiful view of silhouette of airplaneWASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently awarded $24.5 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants to 11 airports around the country to reduce emissions and improve air quality through the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) and Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle (ZEV) programs.

“These programs are crucial to our efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and make our skies and roads more environmentally-friendly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with airports and communities across the nation to improve air quality and protect the health of future generations of Americans.”

VALE is designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions in areas that do not meet air quality standards. The FAA established the program in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act.  Through these programs, airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) to help acquire refueling and recharging stations, electrified gates, low-emission vehicles, and other airport-related air quality improvements.

The ZEV program, created through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, allows airport sponsors to use AIP funds to purchase vehicles that produce zero exhaust emissions.  AIP funds can cover up to 50 percent of these total project costs.  Airport sponsors also can use federal funds to pay for any needed infrastructure construction or modification needed to facilitate the delivery of the fuel and services for these vehicles.

“The FAA continues to award grants for projects with short-term and long-term emissions reductions benefits on or near airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta.  “These airports must be responsible environmental stewards and good neighbors to their surrounding communities.”

The $23.4 million in VALE grants include:

  • Chicago O’Hare International, $2 million– to purchase and install 15 ground power units (GPUs) and pre-conditioned air (PCA) units, which will allow aircraft arriving at overnight parking positions to shut off their auxiliary power units and connect to a clean central heating and cooling system.  The project will save fuel and reduce aircraft emissions on the ground.
  • Memphis International, $1.3 million – to purchase and install three GPUs and PCA units.
  • Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall, $2.5 million– to purchase and install eight GPUs and eight PCAs for passenger gates.
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International, $1 million – to install 28 charging stations in Terminal four for electric ground service equipment.
  • Port Columbus International, OH, $2.7 million– to purchase and install 13 GPUs and 11 PCAs at passenger gates.
  • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International, AL $2.6 million – to purchase seven clean fuel burning vehicles and a refueling station.
  • Indianapolis International, $3.9 million– to purchase and install 12 GPUs and 22 stationary pole lights.  The stationary pole lights will replace diesel-powered lights and will help illuminate ramp operations on the cargo apron to improve safety and reduce fossil fuel emissions.
  • William P. Hobby, Houston, TX, $1.6 million – to purchase and install five PCAs and GPUs for passenger gates.
  • Cleveland Hopkins International, $1.1 million – to install four GPUs and PCAs for passenger gates.

The $955,088 in ZEV grants include:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, $926,789 – to purchase one electric shuttle bus for passenger service from terminal to terminal and fund infrastructure needed to charge the vehicle, including one wireless inductive charging pad and one long-term charging area.
  • Lambert-St. Louis International, $28,299 – to fund four electric utility carts for on-airport emergency services, and other uses.

Through VALE, airports are reducing ozone emissions by approximately 801 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing more than 44,735 cars and trucks from the road annually.  In fiscal year 2014, the FAA issued $16.6 million in VALE grants for nine projects at nine airports.  Since 2005, the FAA has funded 87 VALE projects at 44 airports, which represents a total investment of $215 million in clean airport technology.  That amount includes $173 million in federal grants and $42 million in local airport matching funds.

The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides more than $3 billion in annual funding for projects that are vital to maintaining the safety, security, capacity, efficiency, and environmental stewardship of the nation’s airports.  More than 3,300 airports are eligible for AIP grants benefiting commercial passengers, cargo operations, and general aviation activities throughout the nation.

The VALE program supports the objectives of the President’s Climate Action Plan.  The Plan builds on efforts to address climate change and support clean energy innovation.  The Plan also includes historic investments in advanced vehicle and fuel technologies, public transit, and rail under the Recovery Act.  The investments also include ambitious new fuel economy standards put into place for cars and trucks, which the Administration has worked to develop since 2009 in collaboration with industry.

For more information about the programs, visit:

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High School Program Delivers Helicopter Flight Training and S.T.E.M. Education

Monday, August 31st, 2015

tricity prep3

Prescott, AZ. August 31, 2015 - For the third year-in-a-row, Guidance Aviation provided helicopter pilot ground school and introductory helicopter flights for Tri-City Prep High Schoolers. This year’s class ran August 10th – 27th.  The high school students were taught numerous aviation topics including:

  • Helicopter Operations
  • Fundamentals of aerodynamics
  • Instruments and Flight Controls
  • Elements of weather and how they pertain to flight
  • Determining protocols for cross-country flight
  • Physiological and psychological factors affecting human safety
  • Identifying extreme hazards in helicopter flight
  • Using a Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) and Airport Facility Directory (AFD)

The course prepares the students for a portion of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Practical Knowledge Test, necessary to become a certificated helicopter pilot.

The future aviators also had the opportunity to utilize the Guidance Aviation flight simulation lab and fly the X-Copter helicopter simulator, an FAA approved, state-of-the-art helicopter flight training device used to prepare flight students for their first helicopter flights.  X-Copter’s manufacturing facility and corporate offices are also located at the Prescott Municipal Airport (KPRC), adjacent Guidance Aviation.

“Guidance Aviation has been a great partner for Tri-City Prep and genuinely cares for the students’ experiences. The program allows for our students to learn about unique careers in aviation while acquiring education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (S.T.E.M),” states Principal Milliken, TriCity Prep.

“Guidance Aviation is delighted to offer our helicopter pilot ground school for the third time at Tri-City Prep High School.  Motivating students and getting them interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math needs to be done more often,” remarked John “JJ” Johnson, Director of Academics, Guidance Aviation.

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FAA Dedicates Runway Pavement Testing Facility

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

FAA Press Release:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today dedicated its new National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

The research center is a unique facility that allows FAA engineers to use a custom-designed vehicle simulator to test asphalt and other pavement materials at very high tire pressures and temperatures. Airport pavement temperatures can reach 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit as far north as New York City. Tire pressure ranges from 220 to 250 pounds per square inch on new generation aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350. The vehicle simulator has an automated heating system that allows engineers to replicate and analyze the damage that heavy commercial jets can cause to the top asphalt layer when runways are hot. The vehicle was designed to simulate the behavior and weight of aircraft tires, and can show how repetitive aircraft operations affect pavement.

FAA engineers will move the Heavy Vehicle Simulator-Airfields (HVS-A) by remote control between four outdoor pavement test strips and two strips inside a new building, to allow for testing in a controlled environment. FAA engineers recently used the HVS-A to test the performance of airfield paint markings. The HVS-A is 130 feet long, 16 feet wide, 14 feet tall and weighs 240,000 pounds.

The new center will enable the FAA to research environmentally-friendly airport pavement materials such as warm-mix and recycled asphalt pavements.  The FAA’s goal is to expand the use of “greener” materials, and pavement materials that can be modified to enhance pavement durability, workability and strength. This will help airport operators save money by lowering the costs of initial construction, maintenance, and repairs, and will provide a longer pavement life.

The FAA has not recommended the use of environmentally-friendly airport pavement materials yet because research on the effects of aircraft tire pressure and heavy gear loads on green airport pavement materials has been limited.

Construction of the test facility began in August 2013 and was completed in May 2015 at a total cost of $3.8 million. The FAA accepted delivery of the $4.2 million HVS-A on November 1, 2013.

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Next Generation of Airbus Airliner A350-1000′s Wings in Production

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015


August 18, 2015 Press Release from Airbus:

First A350-1000 wing goes into production

The wings for the first Airbus A350-1000 have begun the process of assembly at Broughton, North Wales.

The A350-1000 wing has the same span of the A350-900 that is already in service, but 90% of the parts have been modified and the trailing edge has been extended to resize the wing for the additional payload and range.

At 32 metres long by six metres wide, the A350 XWB wing is the largest single part made from carbon fibre composite material in use in civil aviation today. They are designed and developed at Airbus’ facility in Filton, near Bristol, where a number of other systems are designed and tested including fuel systems and landing gear.

 The high-performance wings of the A350 XWB make the aircraft faster, more efficient and quieter. The wing design includes several streamlined features. Among these are droop-nose leading edge devices and new adaptive dropped-hinge flaps, which increase the jetliner’s efficiency at low speeds.
 To improve efficiency at higher speeds, the A350 XWB can deflect its wing flaps differentially, optimising the wing profile and providing better load control.

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FAA: Wildfires and Drones Don’t Mix

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

If You Fly We Can't

WASHINGTON – Responding to recent incidents in which unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as “drones,” interfered with manned aircraft involved in wildland firefighting operations, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is supporting the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service in their simple message to drone operators: If you fly; we can’t.

“Flying a drone near aerial firefighting aircraft doesn’t just pose a hazard to the pilots,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “When aircraft are grounded because an unmanned aircraft is in the vicinity, lives are put at greater risk.”

Often a temporary flight restriction (TFR) is put in place around wildfires to protect firefighting aircraft.  No one other than the agencies involved in the firefighting effort can fly any manned or unmanned aircraft in such a TFR. Anyone who violates a TFR and endangers the safety of manned aircraft could be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties. Even if there is no TFR, operating a UAS could still pose a hazard to firefighting aircraft and would violate Federal Aviation Regulations.

“The FAA’s top priority is safety.  If you endanger manned aircraft or people on the ground with an unmanned aircraft, you could be liable for a fine ranging from $1,000 to a maximum of $25,000,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Know the rules before you fly.  If you don’t, serious penalties could be coming your way for jeopardizing these important missions.”

Since so many people operate unmanned aircraft with little or no aviation experience, the FAA is promoting voluntary compliance and working to educate UAS operators about how they can operate safely under current regulations and laws. The agency has partnered with industry and the modeling community in a public outreach campaign called “Know Before You Fly.”

The campaign recently reminded UAS users to respect wildfire operations.  The National Interagency Fire Center also posted a video warning for users to, “Be Smart. Be Safe. Stay Away.”

Additionally, the FAA provided guidance to law enforcement agencies because they are often in the best position to deter, detect, immediately investigate, and, as appropriate, pursue enforcement actions to stop unauthorized or unsafe unmanned aircraft operations.

So remember this simple message around wildfires: If you fly, they can’t. Keep your drone on the ground and let firefighters and aircraft do their jobs. And, if you see someone flying a drone near a wildfire, report it immediately to local law enforcement and the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office with as much information as possible. You can find the closest FAA office at:

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FAA Transitions to ERAM System at Air Traffic Control Centers Across USA

Thursday, May 14th, 2015


En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM)

En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM)

As of March 27, 2015, En Route Automation Modernization, ERAM, has replaced the 40-year-old En Route Host computer and backup system used at 20 FAA Air Route Traffic Control Centers nationwide. The transition to ERAM was one of the most complex, challenging, and ambitious programs deployed by FAA. In effect, this transition represented a live transplant of the “heart” of today’s air traffic control system while maintaining safe and efficient flight operations for the flying public.

ERAM technology is the heart of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and the pulse of the National Airspace System (NAS), helping to advance our transition from a ground-based system of air traffic control to a satellite-based system of air traffic management.

ERAM is vital to the future of air navigation, providing the foundational platform required for FAA to enable NextGen solutions, via modernization programs such as System Wide Information Management, Data Communications, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance- Broadcast.

Going forward ERAM will provide benefits for users and the flying public by increasing air traffic flow and improving automated navigation and conflict detection services, both of which are vital to meeting future demand and preventing gridlock and delays.

ERAM increases capacity and improves efficiency in our skies. En Route controllers are able to track 1,900 aircraft at a time instead of the previous 1,100 flight capability. Additionally, now coverage extends beyond facility boundaries, enabling controllers to handle traffic more efficiently. This extended coverage is possible because ERAM can process data from 64 radars versus the 24 radar processing with the legacy Host system.

For pilots, ERAM increases flexible routing around congestion, weather, and other restrictions. Real-time air traffic management and information-sharing on flight restrictions improves airlines’ ability to plan flights with minimal changes. Reduced vectoring and increased radar coverage leads to smoother, faster, and more cost-efficient flights.

For controllers, ERAM provides a user-friendly interface with customizable displays. Trajectory modeling is more accurate, allowing maximum airspace use, better conflict detection and improved decision making. ERAM substantially increases the number of flights that can be tracked. Two functionally-identical channels with dual redundancy eliminate a single point of failure. ERAM also revolutionizes controller training with a realistic, high-fidelity system that challenges developmental practices with complex approaches, maneuvers, and simulated pilot scenarios that are unavailable using today’s system.

Air traffic controllers and facilities are the backbone of safe NAS operations, transporting the flying public to their destinations efficiently. With ERAM, controllers benefit from increased collaboration and seamless data sharing between Centers.


Point of Contact

Kevin Young
ERAM Program Manager
(202) 267-0467

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The Economic Benefits of Aviation!

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Aviation is the Most Important Transportation of our Time     

Orville and Wilbur Wright had absolutely no idea that they had invented the most important means of transportation for our time. More than a hundred years later, we use our skies to transport thousands of people and goods to their destinations every day. Incredibly, commercial air travel is the safest way to travel statistically; it’s safer than driving, going by train, and even walking.  Aviation presented our society with wonderful potential and we seized it and grew. We know that if the world can come to your city through aviation, the economic benefits are enormous.

A Closer Look: Dallas, Texas: One City with Two Airports

Taking a closer look at the economic benefits of aviation, we will focus on Dallas, Texas. A city with two airports: Love Field and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. For years the Wright Amendment of 1979 restricted air travel in North Texas and severely limited the potential of Dallas’s city airport, Love Field, which was thought to be unable to handle increased air traffic. Instead, The Federal Aviation Administration promoted a more removed regional airport, which we know as Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.  The amendment prevented regular commercial aircraft at Love Field from flying anywhere except in Texas and its neighboring states. DFW International grew to be a huge hub for airlines, holding 155 gates and serving 204 destinations around the world. The effects of this airport since its opening in the 70’s have been simply tremendous growth in the North Texas region.

Change is in the Air

On October 13, 2014, the Wright Amendment of 1979 was repealed, and airlines were now able to fly from Love Field to any destination in America! Now we are beginning to see the potential of a large airport operating centrally located in this city. This time we will witness the effects of an airport on a more precise scale and a smaller area—Dallas’s urban area. Love Field is growing. Southwest Airlines is adding more destinations from Love Field and in January they recorded a 47.6 percent increase in passenger travel at the airport. Those are staggering numbers for an increase in circulation, both in terms of financial capital and passengers plainly traveling through the airport.

Huge Economic Benefit for Dallas

So what does this mean for Dallas? It will no doubt mean a huge economic benefit for the city. More jobs at the airport generate more disposable income for the workers and more money circulating in Dallas’s economy. Besides the new jobs created at the airport, its optimal location will bring thousands of new visitors to Dallas for both business and leisure. Now people going to Dallas’s central business district will choose the closer location, as DFW is significantly farther. The visitors flying in will enjoy restaurants and stay in hotels, and the tourism directly benefits the area. But even better, injecting the city’s market with so many exogenous purchases will precipitate the multiplier effect, a key component of Keynesian economics. Initial spending leads to increased consumption spending and endogenous transactions within the city resulting in a multiplied outcome for the overall gross domestic product (GDP) of the area. More transactions are taking place at an increasing rate and the aggregate demand will significantly increase—yielding economic growth that is extremely beneficial for the community.

The Economic Benefits of Aviation Worldwide

Just like this recent change for Dallas’s Love Field is a huge economic infusion, aviation is creating economic growth worldwide. According to Images NASA - routes of air navigation in EuropaBoeing’s current market outlook for 2015: “As aviation continues to become an integral part of life, it is bringing people closer together. As emerging markets continue to grow and new business models expand, airplane manufacturers are seeing greater geographical diversity in their customer base. In 1993, more than 73 percent of all traffic was carried by airlines in Europe or North America. By 2033, that proportion will shrink to 38 percent. Asia Pacific and Middle East airlines are becoming prominent in global aviation. The low-cost business model is becoming a viable option in emerging markets, offering consumers access to a wider range of destinations and the opportunity to choose the speed and convenience of flying over traditional modes of transportation. In addition, modern twin-aisle airplanes enable smaller operators in developing economies to compete on longer routes traditionally dominated by foreign carriers. Rapidly evolving aviation services in these regions are broadening the geographical balance of airplane demand, spurring a worldwide requirement for 36,770 new jet airplanes, valued at $5.2 trillion.” Besides the huge impact this growth has for major companies like Boeing, cities worldwide will feel the economic benefit both directly and indirectly as the world becomes more connected through aviation!






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Aviation School Awarded FAA’s Elite Diamond Award of Excellence

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015



INDIANAPOLIS, IN (02/12/15) – Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s (AIM) Indianapolis campus is the proud recipient of the prestigious 2014 Diamond Award of Excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Maintenance Technician Awards Program. This marks 11th consecutive year that AIM Indianapolis has received this award.

The program began as a way for the FAA to encourage Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) and employers to participate aggressively in available initial and recurrent maintenance training. Through the AMT Awards Program, the FAA recognizes eligible Technicians and employers by issuing awards to those who receive or promote and foster initial and recurrent training.

“I am very proud of the education department for their dedication to ongoing training that they have to do for us to continue to earn this award,” says Andy Duncan, Campus Executive Director.

In order to achieve the Diamond Award of Excellence, 100% of the campus’s Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics instructors must receive an individual Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Award in the FAA AMT Awards Program. To receive an individual AMT Award, a Technician must complete a minimum of 12 hours of training during the year, including a two hour course conducted through the FAA website. The instructors are also required to log their training on the FAA website and claim their individual award within a specified time frame.  The Diamond Award is the highest award granted by the FAA for aviation maintenance technicians and their employers.

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

AIM –Indianapolis campus is part of the nation’s largest family of aviation maintenance schools, with headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Students learn the skills necessary to become successful in one of the world’s fastest growing industries, aviation maintenance.  AIM graduates are there to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers.  AIM’s other campuses are located in Duluth, Georgia; Chesapeake, Virginia; Irving, Texas; Houston, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Manassas, Virginia; Oakland, California; Casselberry, Florida and Pennsylvania.  Learn more at: Like us on Facebook

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Whirly Girls Announces Guidance Aviation Instrument Rating Scholarship for 2016

Monday, March 2nd, 2015


Whirly Girls Announces Guidance Aviation Instrument Rating Scholarship for 2016

Release Link:

March 02, 2015, HELI-EXPO 2015, Orlando, FL. - During their 60th Diamond Anniversary Banquet at HAI HELI-EXPO 2015, Orlando, FL. March 01,  Whirly-Girls International announced the new Guidance Aviation Instrument Rating Scholarship.  The Guidance Aviation Instrument Rating Scholarship, Helicopter, includes:

  • 30 hours flight training in a Robinson R44 helicopter with fuel and Flight Instructor (CFI-I)
  • 45 hours in the X-Copter helicopter aviation training device with Flight Instructor (CFI-I)
  • 15 hours (one-on-one) ground instruction with CFI-I
  • 40 hours a week free tutoring available
  • Unlimited practice time in “X-Copter” ATD simulator
  • FAA Designated Examiner fees (up to two check-rides)
  • FAA written testing fees (up to two written tests)
  • Online instructional videos for Instrument Helicopter aeronautical knowledge
  • Online Computer-Based Training (CBT) for Instrument Helicopter aeronautical knowledge
  • Online instructional videos for Instrument Helicopter flight maneuver
  • Includes all collegiate tuition and fees

“We are completely thrilled at the generosity of Guidance Aviation’s sponsorship of a new instrument rating scholarship.   The scholarship is consistent with CEO John Stonecipher’s commitment to the Whirly-Girl members and the professional development of female helicopter pilots worldwide. His generosity opens the door for more of our members to realize their potential and increases the visibility of our organization,” said Colleen Chen, Vice President of Scholarships for the Whirly-Girls. “The addition of Guidance Aviation to our list of amazing scholarship sponsors is a welcome addition to our program. The instrument rating will both expand and enhance our program tremendously, thus allowing our organization to provide more scholarships than ever before.”

“We strongly support the Whirly-Girls organization and believe that one of the most important missions to pursue is getting more women into helicopter aviation. That is why, in addition to our Level 1 sponsorship of the Whirly-Girls over the next three years, we are please to provide the Guidance Aviation Instrument Rating Scholarship. I can’t think of a better way to get more ladies flying. We need them in the industry,” states John Stonecipher, CEO, Guidance Aviation.

Prospective female applicants are encouraged to go to to find out more about the Guidance Aviation Instrument Scholarship - Helicopter and apply, or, email “Colleen Chen” at the Whirly-Girls, for more information.

Guidance Aviation is an FAA approved Part 141 helicopter flight training institution with flight operations in Prescott, Arizona and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Through their collegiate partner programs, graduates earn both their Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, Aviation Technology – Helicopters, and the necessary FAA certificates and ratings (CFI-I) to become working, professional helicopter pilots.  Guidance Aviation is a military friendly organization. The majority of its employees and students are U.S. Military Veterans.

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Alpine Aviation Academy – Intro Flight

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Alpine Aviation Academy – Intro Flight 


A Intro Flight  at Alpine Aviation Academy really is your first flying lesson. This deal allows the purchaser a chance to literally discover firsthand what flying an aircraft is all about and puts you in the air with a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor for a REAL FLYING LESSON! You’ll actually sit in the pilot’s seat and learn to fly. You’ll have your hands on the controls and experience what flying a helicopter or airplane is all about and more importantly, you’ll get to discover that flying is easier to learn than most people could imagine. This is also an opportunity for you to sit down with an actual pilot that has gone through the flight training process and answer any questions that you might have.

A Intro Flight makes the perfect gift for someone you wish to INSPIRE with that special one of a kind gift. The person that uses this certificate actually flies a REAL aircraft in the Pilot seat!!

Contact us today to schedule your Intro Flight in the helicopter, airplane, or both! Other than enjoying the rush and excitement an intro flight brings, making sure we can help answer all your questions is just as important! So please bring all your questions! Call for pricing as they may vary depending on specials and circumstances.

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