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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just checking in

Hi everyone!

I hope I can keep you all as up-to-date and entertained as Kelly. Please continue to check back regularly as several exciting things are happening!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thank you for reading!

Hello all,

This will be my last post on the blog. Today is my last day at DOAV as I have accepted a position with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. I want to thank you each and every one of you for reading the blog and sharing in my aviation adventures and news!

The decision was bittersweet for me. I'm excited about my position, but will miss the folks here at DOAV dearly, especially the DOAV show crew. DOAV is very much like a family, and I am honored to have been a part of that family for almost three years.

No worries, though! I'm passing on the blog to my co-worker, Jessica Cowardin. She will be in charge of updating it, so please send all your news and events to Jessica.Cowardin@doav.virginia.gov.

Thank you again for making the blog a success! Best wishes to you all and happy flying!

~Kelly Pruitt

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Phase 2 Dulles Rail Funding and Washington Dulles Passenger Service Quality Impacts

The Washington Airports Task Force (WATF) recognizes the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s (MWAA) Board of Directors desire to afford future Dulles Airport travelers the highest level of service by choosing the underground option for the Dulles Metrorail Station. However, the issue is no longer a matter of station location, but of whether or not Phase 2 of the Silver Line can be funded and built. “This is a matter of the gravest consequence to the future prosperity of our entire region, the District of Columbia and Maryland, as well as Virginia”, said WATF President, Leo Schefer.

General agreement exists that:

1. The Silver Line be built in the most cost effective, timely, and passenger-friendly manner possible.

2. Significant improvements to the passenger service quality at Washington Dulles are required.

3. A positive MWAA relationship with the community at large is critical to the success of the rail project and the region.

“The MWAA has been a model for 21st century transportation management because of its ability to fund major infrastructure projects in a responsible manner and work with partners. In so doing, the MWAA has established a 25-year track record of successfully completing projects”, Leo Schefer, President WATF, stated.

The WATF calls upon MWAA and its partners to address reducing the cost of the Phase 2 Dulles Metrorail Project and improving passenger service quality.

Action 1: Reduce the cost of Phase 2 of the Dulles Metrorail Project

Based on its assessment of the situation, the WATF believes that between $500 million to $800 million can be cut from the existing $3.5 billion cost estimate for Phase 2 of the project. Such a reduction may well be necessary if the project is to be funded without undermining MWAA’s ability to make further needed airport improvements.

a) Aboveground station with:

- Weather Shields

- Free carts and available porter service in both directions

Savings $330+ million

b) Negotiate third-party agreements for parking garages with Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, following the Wiehle Avenue concept

Savings $100 million to $200 million

c) Negotiate a cost effective rail yard with WMATA Savings $50 million to $100 million

d) Seek additional support from Virginia Reduce debt requirements by $100 million to $150 million

Total Reduction in Required Debt $580 million to $780 million

Seek needed Virginia support for a federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan.

Seek support from Virginia’s Transportation Infrastructure Fund.

Action 2: Improve passenger service quality at Washington Dulles

If the region is to reap the full benefit of Washington Dulles’s expansion capacity and improve the passengers’ experience, it is imperative to fund and build the Tier 2 midfield terminal project. This terminal will be used by 60% of the airport’s travelers, eliminate an existing 900-ft. walk between the AeroTrain and the old C/D concourse, and expand international capacity.

In the short-term, significant service quality improvements would be gained from a range of TSA and Customs (CBP) enhancements being sought by the MWAA to reduce passenger queue times. These enhancements include adequate CBP staffing, promotion to expand the use of Global Entry, and the elimination of duplicate inspections for many international connecting travelers.

Service quality for an aboveground Metro station could be gained relatively inexpensively through the use of weather shields and a baggage service.

The WATF is a non-profit, public-private sector partnership that works to promote the expansion and enhancement of aviation services for Virginia and the National Capital region in order to stimulate job creation and economic prosperity. As such, its views represent consumer, civic, and economic interests in a region whose tourism and high-tech employment is closely tied to the proficiency of its scheduled air service.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Liberty School of Aeronautics graduates; other weekend events

There are many special aviation events happening this week in the Commonwealth!

DOAV Director Randy Burdette will give the commencement speech to the graduating class of Liberty Univeristy's School of Aeronautics on Saturday.

Liberty’s School or Aeronautics really is a shining star among aviation-based academic programs in the country. The school, to the best of our knowledge, is the only university to have a full service FBO, Part 145 repair station, and Part 135 charter service with five corporate jets.

The flight school began in 2002 with four students and has grown to be the largest flight school in the Commonwealth of Virginia with 427 students. During these nine years, the school has really flourished becoming:

• FAA Part 141 approved for Private, Instrument, Commercial, Multi, CFI, CFII, MEI, & ATP;

• One of four universities in the nation to offer helicopter training;

• FAA Part 147 approved for Aviation Maintenance Technician training; and

• First class graduated in December 2010 with 100 percent pass rate.

The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree in Fixed Wing & Helicopter Professional Pilot with Concentrations in:

• Missionary

• Commercial

• Military

• Helicopter

• Unmanned Aerial Systems (beginning Fall 2011)

• On-line Degree Finish-Up for pilots working in the field

Additionally, they offer Associates Degrees in Aviation Maintenance and Flight Attendant Training.

There are 41 Aeronautics students graduating today with 16 states represented as well as four international countries including: Germany, Ethiopia, Israel, and Canada. So where are these graduates headed? We have four dual-qualified (fixed wing/helicopter) graduates, the first helicopter CFI to have completely gone through our program, four plan to go into the missionary aviation field, right will enter the military, and 29 plan to enter the commercial field.

Also on Saturday:

4th Annual Fly-In/Drive-In. Come join EAA Chapter 1442 for their 4th Annual Fly-In/Drive-In at William M. Tuck Airport (W78) in South Boston, Virginia. All types of aircraft, antique cars, motorcycles, powered parachutes, ultralights, and radio controlled aircraft will be on display. Food will be available. Free Admission. Activities take place from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. For more information contact Larry Collie at ldcollie@verizon.net or daneskelton@yahoo.com

Orange County Airport Terminal Dedication will take place beginning at 10:00 a.m.

AirPower Over Hampton Roads - 2011 Langley Air Show will take place in Hampton

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Aviation ambassadors recognized at Festival of Flight


Thank you to all the Virginia Aviation Ambassadors who made it out the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight Saturday for the group photos. And congratualtions to our new ambassadors who were there to receive their jackets. We now have 263 people who have completed the program!

The Virginia Aviation Ambassadors Program is designed to encourage pilots to fly to all of the airports in Virginia as well as visit aviation museums and attend safety seminars.

Pilots and aviation enthusiasts will get to see the valuable assets that are Virginia's system of airports. As they set and meet goals in their flying and sightseeing, participants will also have fun and learn more about the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Virginia Aviation Ambassadors Program provides Bronze, Silver and Gold level recognition for pilots and passengers who visit (fly or drive) our airports and aviation museums, participate in one of our DOAV/FAA Safety programs and attend the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight.

For more information on the program, visit http://www.doav.virginia.gov/vaap.htm.