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Monday, February 28, 2011

Continental flight diverts to Dulles after apparent bird strike

Here is a story from USA Today about this morning's close call:

A Continental Airlines flight departing Reagan Washington National Airport this morning made an emergency landing at nearby Washington Dulles after an apparent bird strike.

The Associated Press says Continental Flight 1559 landed at Dulles around 8 a.m. ET this morning after it "sucked a bird into one of its engines."

Continental spokeswoman Macky Osorio tells AP that the Houston-bound Boeing 737-800 was carrying 44 passengers.

AP writes "D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer says his agency received calls about a plane with engine problems flying outside the normal flight patterns used out of Reagan Airport, which is just outside the nation's capital."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Virginia Aviation Board allocates funds to airports

The Virginia Aviation Board met on Feb 17 in Richmond to review funding recommendations for Commonwealth Airport Fund projects. Funds allocated included $150,928  for air carrier/reliever airports and $166,207 for general aviation airports.

Projects include $125,600 for box hangar site preparation (construction) at Blue Ridge Airport in Martinsville and $96,757 for air carrier terminal building furniture at Shenandoah Valley Regional in Weyers Cave.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WATF responds to Washington Post editorial, Rep. Wolf's GAO request

Yesterday Leo Schefer of the Washington Airports Task Force issued a response to an editorial that ran in the Washington Post on Sunday entitled "How Not to Choose an Executive" commenting on the search for a new chief executive for the  Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. You can read the editorial for yourself above.

WATF also acknowledges U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf's request for congressional investigators to audit MWAA. Below is WATF's response:

Regarding the Washington Post’s editorial yesterday, and Congressman Wolf’s GAO request today, concerning Washington’s airports, the Washington Airports Task Force (WATF):

1. Shares the Washington Post’s opinion on the importance of the Airports Authority’s job to our region, and

2. Notes that the current management and leadership of the Airports Authority are respected within the airport industry for their competence and integrity.

Jim Wilding, and his successor Jim Bennett, built a management team with real depth. Their leadership and example earned the respect of the region, their peers, the airlines and the financial community. When Jim Bennett retired last spring, the Airports Authority Chair, Charles Snelling, with the support of his Board, appointed Lynn Hampton, then Chief Financial Officer, as CEO.

Ms. Hampton and her team have sustained the Airports Authority’s reputation, launched a customer service quality program, and kept the first phase of the Dulles Rail/Silver Line project on-cost and essentially on-time. The WATF would be delighted to see Ms. Hampton remain as CEO, however she wishes to retire in the near future. In the meantime her presence gives the Airports Authority Board of Directors time to find the best possible executive to fill this critical regional responsibility.

WATF is confident that Mr. Snelling, aided by his Board that includes four new members, will select an executive with the integrity, competence, experience and leadership qualities required to sustain the health and competitiveness of our airports, and to complete the Dulles rail project on-time and on-cost.

WATF also applauds Congressman Wolf’s request for a GAO study of the first 24 years of the Airports Authority’s existence, and is confident the findings will show that the staff “is operating responsibly, with transparency and efficiency, and consistent with best practices in the industry”, to quote Mr. Wolf’s statement.

The WATF is an independent, public-private sector, non-profit leadership organization that works to ensure that the aviation services, related infrastructure, policies and knowledge, are in place to position our region for prosperity by sustaining Washington Reagan National Airport and optimizing the expansion of Washington Dulles International Airport.

Washington Airports Task Force
44701 Propeller Court, Suite 100
Dulles, VA 20166
703 572-8714 - office
703 572-8418 - fax

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2011 International Aviation Art Contest: Virginia winners announced

 The Virginia winners of the 2011 Internation Art Contest have been chosen. The theme was "50 Years of Human Space Flight." Artwork is judged, at least in part, for its creative use of this year's theme in relation to the aviation world.

Entries in each age group are judged and state winners and runners-up are selected. Winners receive a certificate and recognition from their state. The top three entries in each age group are forwarded to Washington, D.C., to be judged in the national competition.
First, second, and third place national winners are selected from each age group. All national winners receive certificates, ribbons, and a framed reproduction of their artwork.

The first, second, and third place national winners in each age group are forwarded to FAI Headquarters for international judging. Winners of the international competition receive certificates and gold, silver, or bronze medals.

Virginia winners:
Junior Category: 6 to 9-year olds
First Place
Samantha Spears, Age 7
Hardy Elementary School
Smithfield, Virginia

Second Place
Devon Hubble, Age 8
Hardy Elementary School
Smithfield, Virginia

Third Place
Caleb Spicer, Age 9
Shoemaker Elementary School
Gate City, Virginia

Intermediate Category: 10 to 13-year olds
First Place
Jose Ayala Guzman, Age 13
Sterling Middle School
Sterling, Virginia

Second Place
Roshan George, Age 11
Baker-Butler Elementary School
Charlottesville, Virginia

Third Place
Brady Clem, Age 10
Holman Middle School
Glen Allen, Virginia

Senior Category: 14 to 17-year olds
First Place
Jorden Lamm, Age 17
Advanced Technology Center
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Second Place
Michael Washington, Age 16
Advanced Technology Center
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Third Place
Haley Spickel, Age 17
Advanced Technology Center
Virginia Beach, Virginia

National Winners:
Junior Category: 6 to 9-year olds
First Place: Nolan Riggin, New Mexico
Second Place: Ashley Ho, California
Third Place: Ainsley Chu, California

Intermediate Category: 10 to 13-year olds
First Place: Karen Ahn, California
Second Place: Brian Sun, New Jersey
Third Place: Celine Qiu, Nebraska

Senior Category: 14 to 17-year olds
First Place: Michael Roznick, Minnesota
Second Place: Emmanuel Ortiz, New Jersey
Third Place: Ismael Roman, Texas

Friday, February 11, 2011

DOAV releases plan for Virginia's aviation industry in 2025

A recent FAA estimate forecasts the demand for air travel to increase by 71 percent over current levels by 2027. Because current human-centric air traffic control (ATC) methods are not capable of accommodating the additional traffic with current systems, the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) was given the task of designing a new way to manage the nation’s skies. Their solution is a system of systems, dubbed NextGen, and the cornerstone of that solution is ADS-B (Automatic-Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast). The use of radios in aircraft to broadcast aircraft information including location and type and the ground systems that collect and rebroadcast the information along with traffic and weather information are the most well known capabilities of ADS-B and NextGen. The FAA now has the responsibility of implementing NextGen to meet America’s aviation growth needs.

Virginia's Flight to 2025: An Aviation Vision for the Commonwealth is a strategic plan that presents the vision for Virginia’s future aviation system as we move forward to take advantage of these new technologies to provide better access and more economic opportunities to Virginia communities.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2011 Aerospace Days a success

**excerpts taken from Jim Hodges' article at

Last Wednesday and Thursday, a team of NASA Langley, aviation and aerospace industry people fanned out among the offices in the General Assembly for Aerospace Days, speaking the language that the 100 delegates and 40 senators of the Commonwealth understand best: jobs and revenue.

“We came to Richmond on a mission,” Roe said. “First and foremost, we are here to thank our elected officials for their continued support of NASA and of aerospace.

“NASA’s two Virginia facilities contribute over a billion dollars to Virginia’s economy and support more than 22,000 high-paying jobs.”

Other officials were told of a $20 billion aerospace industry in Virginia. In both cases, the numbers made an impression.

The event also was marked by the announcement of a collaboration between the Virginia Manufacturers Association, the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and NASA Langleuy on a leadership forum on December 8-9 in Charlottesville.

The theme of the forum will be “Advancing Tomorrow’s Factory: Innovations from Aerospace,” according to Brett Vassey, the VMA president and chief executive officer.

“It will be a great way to identify and advance opportunities of the Commonwealth’s business environment for these globally competitive industries, such as aerospace, which contributes over $20 billion to Virginia’s economy,” Cosgrove said, again speaking the language of the General Assembly and showing that the mission of Aerospace Days, again was accomplished.

The event kicked off Wednesday evening with the annual AeroSpace Day Legislative Reception. The reception is sponsored by the Virginia Aviation Business Association, Virginia Aviation Board, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Langley Research Center and industry partners; was held on Wednesday evening, Feb. 2 at the Library of Virginia. The event was hosted by Senator Charles J. Colgan and Delegate Joe T. May to promote support for Virginia’s aviation and aerospace interests.

There was good participation by the aerospace industry in providing informational displays and knowledgeable staff. DOAV assisted with planning and installed its display as a centerpiece in the lobby of the Library. The final attendance estimate was approximately 250 individuals.

Astronaut Dominic “Tony” Antonelli, a veteran of two trips to the International Space Station, also attended the reception as well as Aerospace Days at the General Assembly. June Scobee Rogers, founder of the Challenger Centers for Space Science Education was also in attendance. Rogers is the widow of Dick Scobee, commander of the space shuttle Challenger.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2011-2012 Virginia Aviation Calendars are here

The 2011-2012 Virginia Aviation Calendars are here featuring the winners of the 2010 Virginia Aviation Photo Contest!

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the photo contest--we received some really beautiful work, and I think you all will really be impressed with calendar, which will be given out at DOAV events and air shows!

Congratulations to our winners! They are listed below and featured in the calendar:

William Folsom of McLean
Jason Davis of Ridgeway
Chad Weaver of Sandston
Keith Holt of Blacksburg
Frauke Elber of Newport News
Richard Otis of Reston
Gordon Bowers of Chesterfield
Michael Marra of Richmond
Kathy Harris of Sandston
Sherrie Souder of Mathias, WV
Hedi Cho of Richmond
Gordon Campbell of Nassawadox
Heather Ream of Weyers Cave
Katie Harvell of Midlothian

**Just a note to remember when you're taking photos out there, please make sure your cameras are set to its HIGHEST resolution to ensure you guys produce high quality photos!!

Please e-mail me at and let me know how many calendars you would like to receive! We will be shipping them out next week!

We also have some 2010 calendars left--they are good until April 2011! Feel free to ask for some of those as well!

Thanks again!