UK government updates aviation CO2 forecasts to 2050 and analyses policy levers to achieve reductions

August 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Green Air

Fri 26 Aug 2011 – We are anti-carbon, not anti-aviation, claims the UK government in a new report published by the Department for Transport (DfT) in response to a major study released in December 2009 by the government’s climate change advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), on reducing UK aviation carbon emissions out to 2050. The target is to rein back emissions to 2005 levels by 2050 but forecasts by the DfT show that they will continue to rise steadily to 2040 and policy interventions alongside new technologies and measures will be required to stem the growth and then achieve real reductions. The DfT report updates previous long-term CO2 projections and also provides an analysis of which measures will provide the most cost-effective means of reducing emissions. The government is currently consulting with stakeholders as it forms a strategy for achieving the sustainable growth of the UK aviation industry, with a framework due for release in March 2013. [Full story]

More Nations Join U.S. in Fight against EU-ETS

August 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: AIN

With the U.S., Australia, Canada and China having expressed objections to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), now China and Russia are said to be soliciting other nations to help oppose the European plan.

According to China Daily, China will not comply with the EU demands and will take legal action at a future date against the plan. The newspaper quoted Chai Haibo, deputy secretary-general of the China Air Transport Association (CATA), as saying the EU-ETS is “radically unreasonable” and the association is not going to follow it or apply for an exemption. [more]

U.S. moves to block AT&T, T-Mobile deal

August 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Telecommunications | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) – The Obama administration on Wednesday fired a legal broadside to block AT&T Inc’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, launching its biggest challenge yet to a takeover and dealing the carrier a potentially costly blow.

AT&T plans to fight the government’s decision in court and analysts say it might have to make big concessions — including selling major assets — to mollify regulators.

Shares in the No. 2 U.S. carrier behind Verizon Wireless fell as much as 5.4 percent. If the deal falls through, it may have to pay a break-up fee and benefits, such as spectrum grants, worth an estimated $6 billion.

The Justice Department in a lawsuit filed in federal court said eliminating T-Mobile as a competitor would be disastrous for consumers and would raise prices, particularly because the smaller provider is considered a pioneer in low-cost service plans. [more]

 

Orbital Recieves FAA License for COTS Demonstration

August 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Source – Orbital Sciences:

Orbital Receives FAA Commercial Space Launch License for Taurus II COTS Demonstration Mission
— Company Secures Required Authorization to Conduct Launch After Extensive Technical and Management Review —

(Dulles, VA 31 August 2011) — Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it received a Commercial Space Transportation Launch License from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program demonstration mission in early 2012. An expanded license covering the test flight of the company’s Taurus® II rocket in late 2011 is expected to be granted in the near future.

To secure the license, Orbital was required to submit extensive technical and program management data to the FAA about its Taurus II rocket and Cygnus™ spacecraft to ensure that all necessary operational requirements and safety precautions are met. Among the many items reviewed by the FAA were the rocket’s planned trajectory, ground tracking procedures, onboard safety and flight termination systems, and the experience and training of the launch operations team.

“We are very pleased to have been granted the Commercial Space Transportation Launch License by the FAA well in advance of our scheduled launch date in early 2012,” said Mr. Brent Collins, Orbital’s Senior Vice President and Taurus II Program Manager. “While we are very knowledgeable of the FAA licensing process because of our extensive experience with Pegasus and Taurus space launch vehicles, securing the FAA’s approval for a new rocket system is always challenging because of the rigor of their oversight. We feel this is a great vote of confidence in our launch vehicle design, the robustness of its subsystems, the thoroughness of our processes, and the training and operational experience of our launch team.”

For the COTS demonstration mission, Orbital will launch a Taurus II rocket carrying an operational Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft that will autonomously rendezvous with and operate in close proximity to the International Space Station (ISS) until it is grappled with a robotic arm and berthed to the Station. For the earlier Taurus II test flight, an instrumented Cygnus simulator will be onboard to accurately characterize the launch environment.

Australian Airport Pricing Is Not Unfair, Commission says

August 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Aviation Week

An Australian government review has determined that despite airline complaints to the contrary, airport charging practices are reasonable, particularly when compared with other countries.

While the government’s Productivity Commission found that the “light-handed regulation” of airport pricing is generally working well, it does recommend some changes aimed at giving the main competition watchdog the ability to proactively intervene if unreasonable pricing is occurring or suspected.

The Australian government began privatizing airports in 1997, culminating with the sale of Sydney Airport in 2002. A price cap system was imposed, although this was subsequently replaced with the light-handed regulation concept after a government inquiry found that the price controls risked “distorting production decisions and chilling airport investment.” [Full story]

USAF Official: Long Road For Distributed Sats

August 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events, Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Aviation Week

Despite growing interest from some senior U.S. Air Force leaders in exploring new architectures for the Pentagon’s satellite constellations, chances are that this “disaggregation” concept is not likely to take root any time soon, according to one senior procurement official.

Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, the outgoing military deputy in the Air Force acquisition office, says that the momentum today in the Air Force is behind sustaining current satellite programs in production.

Officials at Air Force Space Command and U.S. Strategic Command are exploring the disaggregation concept, which calls for distributing capabilities of satellites or constellations on various platforms in space. The idea is to field larger numbers of less capable systems to reduce the risk of a major space service outage in the event of an attack on a satellite system or an in-orbit failure.[more]

California flight training fix clears state legislature

August 31, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: AOPA

A bill that would exempt California fight training organizations from onerous fees and reporting requirements imposed by a 2009 post-secondary education law took a major step toward becoming law Aug. 30 with approval by the state Senate.

The Assembly approved Senate Bill 619 Aug. 25, and it was then referred back to the Senate, which had passed the measure in May, for adoption of technical corrections. The corrections include an urgency clause that would make the bill effective immediately on its being signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, said AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro.

“AOPA will continue to keep this bill moving forward,” he said. [more]

FltPlan Flight Privacy Program Exposes Tangled FAA Policy

August 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: AIN

In the days and weeks leading up to the August 2 changes that eliminated the Block Aircraft Registration Request (Barr) program, which for a decade had allowed Part 91 operators to suppress their flight information at online flight tracking websites, a number of business aircraft pilots were eager to find an alternative. And they quickly found a free-market solution.

Since about mid-July, FltPlan.com–a company that claims to process more than two million FAA flight plans a year from pilots–started offering its customers a “call sign” program….

Meanwhile, the FAA would not answer questions regarding the legality of a servicing agency outright selling the use of its call sign to Part 91 operators as a replacement for the now-defunct Barr program. However, AIN understands that the agency is looking into the matter. [Full story]

California olive farm drops lawsuit against balloonists

August 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: The Desert Sun

Hot-air balloonists celebrated when an east valley olive farm dropped its lawsuit against them Aug. 15 after nearly 2 1/2 years. But the damage had already been done.

A dozen balloonists or balloon companies went out of business, left the area or simply stopped flying locally. People lost their jobs and ran up big debts defending themselves. One balloonist said he ran up $177,000 in attorney’s fees.

All of this occurred with JCM Farming Inc., the plaintiff in the lawsuit, never once having to show proof to a judge that its initial, central complaint was true: That the balloonists had flown too low over its property and caused a nuisance.

The lawsuit illustrated what many see as a pervasive problem in the U.S. justice system, especially in California: well-financed litigants can run small businesses and individuals into the ground, often grinding out cases for years. [Full story]

Obama says Congress must pass transport bills

August 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama, seeking to save jobs in a tough economy, urged Congress on Wednesday to not hold up multibillion-dollar temporary funding bills for aviation and highway spending.

Obama said in remarks at the White House that it would be “inexcusable” for lawmakers to not act immediately on those measures when they return from their summer recess next week.

Obama’s remarks on transportation presaged his plans next week to lay out a broad strategy for creating jobs. [Full story]

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