Business jet operators slam UK government plan to hit them with APD

April 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Flightglobal

The UK government’s plans to extend air passenger duty to cover business jets have caused anger among the sector’s operators, which are concerned about having to pay local environmental taxes in addition to paying for their emissions under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme.

London Executive Aviation managing director George Galanopoulos wants the UK government’s levy to apply to foreign operators in order to maintain a level playing field. “What is important from our point of view is that if there is going to be a tax, it has to be applicable to everyone, not just UK operators,” he says.

The European Business Aviation Association slammed the move when it was announced as part of the UK Budget in March, warning that it would persuade aviation interests to move offshore and some companies to move their offices outside the UK.

EBAA chief operating officer Pedro Vicente Azua believes that if each EU member state were to introduce its own environmental levy in addition to the emissions trading scheme, it would make life very difficult for business aviation operators. [Full story]

International Galileo Governance and Liability Workshop on 26-27 May, 2011 in Belgium

April 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events, Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: EUTRALEX & McGill IASL

EUTRALEX Aerospace Consulting and McGill University Institute of Air & Space Law present:


This event, sponsored by EUTRALEX Aerospace Consulting and the McGill Institute of Air & Space, will be held in Transinne-Redu. It will gather high representatives sharing their vision on the industrial, institutional and legal stakes of this European satellite navigation program.

Full programme and registration form soon available on and

See Save the Date brochure and Program Agenda

Disasters Charter: Flood in Central Midwest, USA

April 29, 2011 at 10:28 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The Disasters Charter has been activated for Flood in Central Midwest, USA:

Flood in Central Midwest, USA

Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Midwest, USA
Date of Charter Activation: 28/04/2011
Charter Requestor: USGS on behalf of US Corps of Engineers, States of Missouri and Illinois
Project Management: University of Wyoming

Description of the Event:
Flood stage in Cairo is at 40 feet, and the river is expected to crest soon at 60.5. Additional heavy rains of 2+ inches overnight in southern Illinois caused many smaller streams to again rise to flood levels. This is in addition to already high levels on larger streams in southern IL. Water levels exceed NWS Flood Stage at 40 USGS streamgages in IL. Moderate to major flooding is occurring on the Kaskaskia, Big Muddy, Illinois, Little Wabash Rivers as well as border rivers (Wabash, Mississippi and Ohio Rivers).

U.S. State Court overturns Maine use tax assessment

April 29, 2011 at 9:08 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: AVweb

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine has ordered the state to repay a Massachusetts aircraft owner about $26,000 after overturning a lower court ruling to do with the state’s controversial use tax. As we first reported in 2007, Steve Kahn bought a Cirrus SR22 in 2003 and registered it in his home state. He used it to visit property he owns in Maine and for Angel Flight volunteer missions. After noting his tail number in Maine, state authorities invoked the use tax, which essentially levies sales tax on goods brought from outside the state and used within it. In a split ruling, the majority of court panelists ruled Kahn gets his money back, but that might not be the case for others testing the use tax.

The assenting panelists said the 6 to 7 percent of its time Kahn’s SR22 spent in Maine during 2004 didn’t amount to enough for the use tax to apply. But the panelists refused to put a figure on how much time in and out of the state warrants invocation of the tax and said each airplane owner will have to present his or her own case. “Although the parties seek a more categorical determination from us, we decline to establish any bright line,” the court ruled. “Determining whether the use outside of Maine was substantial will require a careful examination of the unique facts of each case.” The dissenting panelists said such matters are legislative in nature rather than judicial. When Kahn was assessed the taxes, the law did not specify the amount of time an airplane had to be parked or operated in Maine to be subject to the tax. In 2007, the state plugged that loophole by making the time limit 21 days. The state’s aviation industry, led by Kestrel Aircraft, is trying to abolish the law entirely, saying it hurts the state’s effort to attract aviation industries.

New Bill May Protect California Flight Schools

April 29, 2011 at 9:05 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: AVweb

A California law passed in 2009 that aimed to protect students from losing their tuition if a school closes down now may exempt flight-training facilities that don’t collect up-front tuitions, NATA said this week. A bill providing the exemption was passed on Monday by a state senate committee. “This, however, is only the first step in getting relief for flight training into law,” NATA said. The 2009 law imposed “burdensome requirements” on all providers of flight training, NATA said, including annual fees and numerous administrative chores, including a requirement to allow annual audits. An extension was passed last year to allow flight-training providers until July 2011 to comply, giving GA advocacy groups more time to try to work out a long-term solution.

The new bill says that flight instructors and flight schools that do not “require students to enter into written or oral contracts of indebtedness, do not require prepayment of tuition or fees, and do not accept prepayment of tuition or feeds in excess of $2,500” will be exempt from the 2009 law, AOPA said this week. The senate committee passed the bill unanimously after hearing testimony from AOPA California Region Representative John Pfeifer, flight instructor Marc Santacroce, and Bridgeford Flying Services CEO Mark Willey. Pfeifer said the 2009 law “clearly stated that it was the intent of the legislature to ensure a regulatory structure that provides an appropriate level of oversight. I submit that onerous and expansive regulations that put flight instructors out of business even while there is no financial risk to the flight students is far from an appropriate level of oversight.” The bill will be reviewed next by the California Senate Appropriations Committee, AOPA said.

U.S. FAA Administrator raises concerns over reauthorization bill

April 29, 2011 at 8:57 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Air Transport World

US FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt cautioned that he is “concerned” the level of agency funding called for in the reauthorization bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would be too low and, if enacted, could “degrade” safety and efficiency.

The House earlier this month passed a four-year, $59.7 billion FAA reauthorization bill that Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said, “saves $4 billion by streamlining and consolidating FAA programs and facilities, increasing the use of cost-effective programs, and responsibly increasing the role of the private sector in facility operations” (ATW Daily News, April 4).

Speaking Wednesday at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Aviation Summit, Babbitt pushed the House and Senate to soon pass a unified reauthorization bill that adequately funds the agency and establishes a fiscal path for the full implementation of the satellite-based NextGen ATC system. The 18th temporary extension of FAA funding expires at the end of May. “For over three-and-a-half years we’ve been operating on extensions,” Babbitt noted. “It’s been very difficult to run an agency on extensions … We need to restore long-term stability to funding.” [Full story]

3rd Annual Conference: Key Issues in International Aviation Law on 25 May, 2011 in Beijing, China

April 29, 2011 at 8:35 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: DePaul University

Key Issues in International Aviation Law conference

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 · Beijing, China

On Wednesday, May 25, 2011, DePaul University College of Law and BeiHang University School of Law will conduct their third annual Key Issues in International Aviation Law conference in Beijing, China.  Speakers will include key civil aviation officials from the U.S. and Chinese governments, directors of major international aviation law institutes, and prominent aviation executives, attorneys, and academics.

You are cordially invited to attend this full-day conference on the BeiHang campus.  There is no fee and a complimentary lunch will be provided.

Confirmed speakers and participants to date include:

  • Kris Urs, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
  • Jiangmin LI, Director General,  Department of International Affairs, CAAC
  • Brian Havel, Director, International Aviation Law Institute,  DePaul University, Chicago
  • Jun HAN, Deputy Director General,  Department of International Affairs, CAAC
  • John Byerly, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
  • Hongying ZHANG, Director General, Department Aircraft Airworthiness Certification, CAAC
  • Pablo Mendes de Leon, Director,  International Institute for Air and Space Law,  Leiden University, Netherlands
  • Junxiu GUO, General Counsel, China Eastern Airlines
  • Sidney Kwok, Director, Greater China, United Airlines
  • Mukund Bhagirath Sarda,  Dean, New Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune, India
  • Zhongyuan WANG, Director General, Department of Legal Affairs, Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (COMAC)
  • Bailey Leopard, Senior Counsel, FedEx Corporation
  • Haogang ZHUANG, General Counsel, Commercial Aviation, COMAC
  • Xingquan XIE, Director, Policy, Law & Regulation Institute, China Academy of Civil Aviation Science & Technology
  • Han WANG, Vice President, Northwest University of Politics and Law
  • Shijian MO, Dean, International Law School, China University of Politics and Law
  • Bin LI, Associate Director, Institute of Aviation Law, Beihang University School of Law
  • Jay Shabat, Publisher, Airline Weekly

Other speakers and participants from China’s government, aviation industry, and academia will be confirmed soon.  More details, including a complete list of speakers and an agenda describing all topics and times, will be forthcoming.

DePaul University College of Law is proud to sponsor important international conferences and events through its International Aviation Law Institute and Asian Legal Studies Institute.

  • The International Aviation Law Institute, established in 2004, is the first institute of its kind in the United States.  The Institute offers courses in international aviation law and policy and has academic links with the aviation programs at Leiden University, Netherlands, and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The Institute is engaged in educating the next generation of experts in aviation law and policy through its journal, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, and its academic programs.  It originates and disseminates research and analysis of timely issues in aviation law and policy for academics, policymakers, and industry stakeholders and informs and promotes a liberal, free market approach to the transnational air transport industry.  In January, 2011, Li Jiaxiang, Administrator, Civil Aviation Administration of China, was appointed Honorary Visiting Professor and Distinguished International Scholar at the Institute.
  • The Asian Legal Studies Institute offers courses in China on international finance, business, and trade law for U.S. and Chinese students, sponsors visiting scholars, and hosts an annual conference on current legal and economic issues in the Asia-Pacific region.  Conference attendees include government officials, practitioners, and academics from China and many other countries.  Past conferences have focused on constitutional reform, emerging competition law regimes, protection of intellectual property rights, resolution of bi-lateral trade disputes regulation of international financial markets, and international aviation law.

If you would like to attend or wish additional information, please contact Professor Jerold Friedland at  Please pass this invitation on to your colleagues.

Nature versus FAA Airport Guidelines

April 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty


Tension between Hanover Airport and Neighbors

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – Tension continues to build between the Hanover County Airport and people who live near it. The county is looking at condemning nearby property with trees near the end of its only runway.

The county is trying to keep up with federal and state guidelines for how much room pilots should have to take off. These trees may be too close to the runway, but the county and people living near the airport are nowhere close to making a deal for this property.

Now the county may condemn the property to move a step closer toward acquiring it. The county says it isn’t planning to expand the airport, merely make sure pilots have the necessary airspace to take off and land safely with these nearby trees. The Board of Supervisors will vote Wednesday night whether to move forward with condemning this property. [Full story]

NASA And USAID Pledge To Advance International Development With Science And Technology

April 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Source – NASA:

RELEASE : 11-123

NASA And USAID Pledge To Advance International Development With Science And Technology

WASHINGTON — NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have agreed to expand their joint efforts to overcome international development challenges such as food security, climate change, and energy and environmental management.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah signed a five-year memorandum of understanding on Monday, April 25, at NASA Headquarters. The agreement formalizes ongoing agency collaborations that use Earth science data to address developmental challenges, and to assist in disaster mitigation and humanitarian responses. The agreement also encourages NASA and USAID to apply geospatial technologies to solve development challenges affecting the United States and developing countries.

“Technologies for NASA missions have long improved life here on Earth. Together with USAID, we’ll meet even more sustainable development challenges here on the ground, solving problems for the world community,” Bolden said. “As we explore space, we’ll also be exploring solutions to important health, nutritional and safety challenges in developing countries.”

The agencies will continue collaborations to stimulate innovative science and technology solutions to international development challenges by using Earth science data, research results, computer models, visualization applications and remote-sensing techniques.

USAID is the lead federal development agency implementing U.S. development efforts through field-based programs and projects around the world. NASA has broad experience with Earth science research, development of Earth science information products, and technology applications.

“Through our partnership with NASA, we can apply the latest, cutting-edge technology to deliver meaningful results for people in developing countries in areas like health, food security and water,” Shah said. “It’s a prime example of our efforts to use the power of science and technology to tackle today’s pressing development challenges.”

Since 2003, NASA and USAID have worked together building and expanding the SERVIR program. The program allows people in developing regions to use Earth observations for addressing challenges in agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate change, disaster response, weather forecasting, and energy and health issues. SERVIR integrates satellite observations, ground-based data and forecast models to monitor and forecast environmental changes and improving response to natural disasters in Central America, the Caribbean, East Africa and the Himalayan region of Asia.

The agencies also collaborate on the LAUNCH program, which supports science and technology innovators in the non-profit and private sectors. The program’s goal is improving innovations to achieve greater impact on sustainability issues. NASA, USAID, the Department of State and Nike formed LAUNCH to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global challenges through a series of forums.

The agencies have agreed to explore how efforts promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education can be advanced through joint support of programs such as Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE). GLOBE is a worldwide primary and secondary school-based science and education program funded by NASA and other U.S. agencies.

Codes of Conduct in Space

April 26, 2011 at 9:39 am | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: George C. Marshall Institute

Rules of the Road in Space: Does a Code of Conduct Improve U.S. Security?

by Jeff Kueter
April 1, 2011

U.S. adoption of the European Union’s Code of Conduct appears imminent.  Unilateral adoption of the Code by the Obama Administration, likely through executive order, is not necessary to secure U.S. interests in space and potentially undermines those interests in the long run.  In Rules of the Road in Space, Institute President Jeff Kueter examines the arguments in favor of U.S. adoption and concludes that the Code’s prospective contributions to U.S. security are not sufficient to warrant its approval.

“The EU Code is a solution in search of a problem.  The tangible issues it seeks to address – space debris, space traffic management, and collision avoidance – all can be and to some extent are being addressed in other international and multilateral venues,” Kueter argues.  “The Code certainly will keep space diplomats busy, but its practical contributions to U.S. security in space are limited and potentially harmful.”

Advocates of the Code believe it will spur the emergence of best practices and encourage good behavior in space.  Evidence supporting that proposition is scarce.  The Code itself is little more than a statement of general principles.  Much more work is required to develop best practices and socialize good behavior in space, even if such an outcome is achievable.  Without those details, subscribing to the Code is premature.  The United States would be agreeing to a process whose end is unknown and whose impact on its military and commercial interests can not be weighed.  The U.S. has other viable options to marshal the international community to grapple with the practical issues identified in the Code.

The Code purports to facilitate the emergence of responsible behavior in space with the belief that a shared definition will discourage irresponsible actions.  “If the Code seeks nothing more than to secure commitment to a set of vague statements, then it offers little contribution to the security of space,” Kueter argues.  “Countries that seek to deny the U.S. use of space do so to advance their own security and there is nothing in the Code that precludes them from doing so.”

But, depending on how the Code is implemented in the U.S., it may impose important unilateral constraints on the U.S. that are not shared internationally.  And, if the Code evolves into binding commitments, it becomes an arms control agreement and, as such, deserves a much fuller vetting by the public and the Congress than it has received to date.

“Fundamental questions about the content of the Code and its implications remain unknown,” Kueter concludes.  “Proceeding to adopt it in its present state is premature and potentially quite harmful to U.S. interests in space.”


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