Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
I never thought these two words would go together in the same genre. For years when the FAA came out with a policy there were no exceptions. Oh my how things have changed.
The FAA now has two policies on crossing runways and who you communicate with. Some airports you stay on ground frequency for all runway crossings, and some airports you start on ground, monitor tower to get clearance to cross and then go back to ground. One has to always listen carefully to ATC instructions, but in this case standardization has left the building.
The FAA has just come out with a new policy on runway crossings. However numerous airports have been given exemptions from this policy. Again one has to listen to ATC carefully in any situation.
These policies are not conducive to safety which is what the FAA is supposed to be all about. We need to have standardization from the FAA.
SSI’s are a problem nationwide. This is special use airspace for sporting events. They include football and baseball stadiums along with major race car tracks. The problem is one cannot ascertain what time these SSI’s are in effect. If you look at the screen on your GPS they are always there. It is almost impossible to find out what time an event occurs and this airspace restriction is in effect. I have put in a request with AOPA to work on this so we can be better informed.
I had the pleasure of attending my first Phoenix Aviation Users Group (PAUG) meeting yesterday. This meeting is held quarterly and is run by Phoenix TRACON. Represented at the meeting were TRACON, all tower managers, Luke Airforce Base, Deer Valley Pilots Association, Arizona Pilots Association, Airport Managers, AFTW, AOPA and NBAA. It is a laid back informal meeting that deals with airspace issues in the Phoenix area. I must say that in all my aviation meetings that I have attended over the past 40 years this was one of the best. It is a group that gets things done. PAUG meets on a quarterly basis, and I am looking forward to attending my next meeting.
Friday, August 13, 2010
THIS JUST IN
INSIDERS SPILL BEANS AT PHX
Insiders tout the fact that if Art Fairbanks name wasn’t Fairbanks his resume for manager of DVT would not have been considered for over 5 seconds.
In retrospect Mr. Fairbanks is more qualified to lead DVT than Mr. Murphy is to lead Phoenix Aviation. Mr. Murphy came from the water department, and everyone knows that water and av fuel don’t go together. While Mr. Fairbanks came from Parks and Recreation, and the airport is kind of a park.
The word is that Mr. Fairbanks appointment came from the City Manager, to the Asst. City Manager, to the Aviation Director, to the Asst. Aviation Director and to the Asst.Asst. Aviation Director. No one had the cojones to say this isn’t right. I understand that all wanted to keep their jobs and probably had no choice.
This afternoon maybe Mr. Fairbanks can perform brain surgery at Barrows on his way home from work.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Art Fairbanks has accepted a promotion to Aviation Superintendent which he will serve as the Deer Valley Airport Manager effective August 23, 2010. Art is currently the acting Airport Manager at Phoenix Goodyear Airport which he has held since February 2010. Art joined the Aviation Department in 2007 as Management Assistant II in the Director’s Office where he was responsible for complex management assignments. Prior to joining the Aviation Department, he worked in Parks and Recreation Department for 12 years. Art holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Arizona State University, has completed the Aviation Management Development Program, and is a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives.
Joe Husband has accepted the position to serve as the Phoenix Goodyear Airport Manager effective August 23, 2010. Joe has been with the Aviation Department for the past 20 years and is currently serving as the Building Services Superintendent in Facilities and Services Division. Joe is a graduate of the Management Development Program, holds an Airport Management Certificate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and is a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives. Joe is known is the Arizona aviation circles for his significant contributions as the Arizona Airports Association Past-President and the FAA Safety Team Lead Representative. Through his work to promote aviation, he has been recognized as the Arizona FAASTeam Representative of the Year in 2008 and the Airport Executive of the Year in 2009!
Please join me in congratulating our new General Aviation Management Team!
CITY OF PHOENIX AVIATION DEPARTMENT
OH YEE OF LITTLE INTEGRITY
I have worked with different management from the City of Phoenix Aviation Department, the Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board. Phoenix City Council and the several Mayors of the City of Phoenix. Phoenix is a City Manager run city, and the Council can hire and fire the City Manager. The City Manager of Phoenix recently retired but left a clique of employees behind. These people all were in the Business Development Department and rose through the Aviation Department ranks.
Phoenix owns three airports. They are Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX), Phoenix Deer Valley (DVT) and Goodyear (GYR). PHX has not had an Aviation Director (AD) in place for many years that has any aviation experience or knowledge. The past AD, who is now an assistant City Manager, was smart enough to surround himself with some decent talent and learn from them. The current AD came from the water department and has allowed PHX to slip from the 4th busiest airport to the 11th. There was no marketing plan in place to maintain and grow the airport in these tough times. His job is secure as he is one of the good old boys. The previous AD was promoted to assistant City Manager and the assistant AD was promoted to assistant City Manager and then made City Manager last year.
There is an opening at DVT, the busiest GA airport in the world. for Aviation Director. In the past PHX put anyone they didn’t know what to do with as AD at DVT. After many meetings with the previous AD at PHX, I was able to have the job description of AD at DVT changed to a supervisors position paying anywhere from approximately $75,000 to $105,000 for this position. A national search was instigated and a professional AD was put in place at DVT. This person really understood airport management and how to deal with the FAA. Numerous improvements were instituted at DVT to make it the world class airport it should be. There was an opening at Scottsdale Airport (SDL), and this person was hired away to be AD at SDL.
You would think that PHX realized they needed a professional to run DVT, but what do they do but hire the son of the past City Manager to be the AD at DVT. This is not an attack on the person, but on the City of Phoenix and the Aviation Department. It is a disgrace that PHX would hire this person to be AD at DVT. It is a disgrace to all that have gone to school to receive their degrees and graduate experience in aviation management. It is a disgrace to the tenants of DVT to have to work with someone that has no idea of what he is doing. Most of all it is a disgrace to the tax payers paying for a man that is totally not qualified for the job. Nepotism anyone?
As I stated in an earlier column I have no tolerance for incompetence. If you look in the dictionary under incompetence , you will see the PHX Aviation Department. I am not optimistic about the future of DVT.
To quote Edward Abbey “One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.”
Monday, August 2, 2010
VENICE BEACH-SANTA MONICA-LOS ANGELES
With various events happening in Aviation, it has been a few months since I have written about flying west of the Rockies. Last column was on San Diego and this month we take a look at Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Los Angeles (LA).
The LA area is huge. South of downtown LA is Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Santa Monica (SMO), Whitman (WHP) and Van Nuys (VNY) are 3 GA airports close to both Venice Beach and Santa Monica. SMO, WHP and VNY have GPS and VOR approaches, in addition VNY has an ILS approach. There can be a marine layer at these airports in the morning which would require you to be IFR. VNY has become more of a jet GA airport and the wait can be long to depart IFR. I would suggest using WHP if you want to be close to Hollywood and use SMO for Venice Beach and Santa Monica.The LA Basin has more controlled airspace than I have ever flown. ATC is great to work with. If you are not an IFR pilot, you will have to do a lot sectional studying to get through the airspace. It can be done. Be aware that SMO does charge a landing fee by weight for everyone, which is crazy because it cost the city around $30 to send you the bill. My landing fee in the Bonanza is $6.21. You can follow the fiascos of SMO on my blog at
Venice Beach does not feel like part of LA. VB derived its name from the canals that flow through the city. There are some beautiful, and very expensive, homes located on the canals which are all walkable. VB is home of the famous “muscle beach” area. This is an outside gym featuring people with extremely large muscles...steroids anyone? It is a site to see. There is a board walk for runners, walkers and bikers that connects with Santa Monica. The board walk is full of shops that take you back to the 60’s, a true flashback in time. It’s a safe area for families with children as long as they are supervised.
About 3 miles north of VB is Santa Monica. SM is more upscale than VB. The restaurants and shopping are more high end. Hotels in SM are expensive on the beach running $350 and up a day. There are plenty of hotels 2 blocks from the beach that are much less expensive. Two different shopping areas exists in SM. One is an outdoor mall with chain stores anchored by the new Nordstroms and Bloomingdales. The other shopping area is a main street of local shops. They are both worth visiting. Restaurants are numerous and outstanding. SM is famous for the Santa Monica Pier. Rides and people galore are at the pier area right on the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Movie star sightings are common in Santa Monica. The weather is outstanding in the summer. A light jacket is needed at night, and during the day it can get windy.
Los Angeles is huge. There is more to do here that I could ever write about. Disneyland, Universal Studios, Baseball, Guggenheim Museum and Rodeo Drive are just a few examples of things to do. I have family that lives in Malibu on the North side of LA. Malibu has a public beach, Zuma Beach. My best advice is to google Los Angeles and decide what you would like to accomplish on your trip.
Next San Francisco.
THIS AND THAT
I enjoy writing these columns and do not benefit financially from them. They are usually written 2 months before publication. These stories are good for an in depth look at an issue, however the information is not timely for aviation issues. For example while I am writing this we are undergoing 3 crisis in general aviation. They are the discontinuation of 100LL fuel, ADS-B requirements and the 121.5 v. 406mhz transponder. Therefore I have also started a BLOG that can be accessed at:
I hope you will check it out as the BLOG contains information that is current and important to GA.
IPAD AND FORE FLIGHT
CHECK IT OUT!
I love gadgets and so do many of my friends. On the day the IPad was released I knew several people who walked into the office with one. The IPad has a great future but was too big for what I wanted to do in my airplane. In direct sunlight it has to be positioned squarely in front of ones vision. When a 7 inch tablet is released I will probably buy one.
My pilot friends were talking about an aviation APP for the IPad and IPhone from ForeFlight. After 10 minutes of playing around with ForeFlight I was truly impressed. I have used RMS Flight Soft from the days of DOS on my computer. I love the program. I take my laptop with me in the cockpit of the Bonanza on long trips. I found it easier to look at charts on the computer than fold and unfold paper charts. I still print out approach plates. My Mac Book Air is bulky in the plane. My wife has to hold the computer for me if we are rerouted. ForeFlight does everything I could ask for on a flight planning and routing software. The graphics on the IPad are amazing, although I find the IPhone to be too small for the APP.
One just downloads the charts and approaches needed, and you have a true Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). ForeFlight has a great marketing program. They give away one month free and by then you are hooked. It is that good and easy to use. The cost for ForeFlight for the total US is only $75.00 a year! (excluding IPad).
With the new 3G IPad with GPS, ForeFlight now shows situational awareness on everything but approach plates.
I have resigned my AOPA-ASN position at Phoenix Deer Valley (DVT) to become the ASN at Scottsdale (SDL). I feel that I have accomplished as much as I possibly could at DVT in a positive manner. I had everything approved that was on my list at DVT excluding a new third runway. SDL is undergoing a new EA, Master Plan, Minimum Standards and other issues that will make my time serving on these committees very productive. My thanks to Carl Newman, Assistant Aviation Director for the City of Phoenix for all his support and cooperation. Honesty and integrity are the best words to describe Carl. My thanks also to Gary Mascaro who was the assistant airport manager at SDL, became Airport Manager of DVT and in May 2010, Aviation Director of SDL. I would also like to thank Toby Jones who was made Tower Manager at DVT when I was ASN there. This might be an oxymoron, but Toby was the best FAA person I ever worked with and that includes 2 FAA Administrators. Toby was recently promoted to Supervisor at PHX TRACON. Finally thanks to Ed Chauza, Past President, Deer Valley Pilots Association (DVPA). Ed, and the members of DVPA, were always there for me when I needed their support. Finally I would like to thank all the previous and current ASN Directors and AOPA Staff for their assistance on various aviation issues.
Arthur Rosen is a retired Judge living in Scottsdale, AZ. Arthur is AOPA-ASN for Scottsdale Airport (SDL), was Chairman of the Scottsdale Aviation Commission, served on the Super Bowl Committee for Aviation, past President of Arizona Soaring Association and Aviation Expert for ABC TV-Phoenix. Arthur can be reached at Judge613@gmail.com, followed on Twitter at Judge613 and his BLOG: