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Category Archives: Aviation

ITU to assist in real-time monitoring of flight data

Source – ITU:

ITU to assist in real-time monitoring of flight data
ITU Membership calls for development of standards for aviation cloud
Geneva, 25 June 2014 – ITU has established a new Focus Group on Aviation Applications of Cloud Computing for Flight Data Monitoring. The group will study the requirements for the telecommunication standards to enable an ‘aviation cloud’ for real-time monitoring of flight data, including those for the protection, security and ownership of flight data and the technical mechanisms and policies to govern access to these data.
The formation of the Focus Group comes in response to the call from the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Malaysia, Mr Ahmad Shabery Cheek in March 2014 urging ITU to develop leading edge standards to facilitate the transmission of flight data in real-time. Subsequently, an “Expert Dialogue on Real-time Monitoring of Flight Data, including the Black Box – the Need for International Standards in the Age of Cloud Computing and Big Data”, held in Kuala Lumpur, 26-27 May 2014 with the participation of airlines, aviation bodies, avionics and ICT companies, service providers, civil aviation authorities, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other international organizations, issued a communiqué outlining a roadmap for the way forward.
Participation in the Focus Group will be open to all interests, including non-members of ITU, and it will work in close collaboration with ICAO, ICT solution providers, aircraft manufacturers, airlines and other standardization expert groups.
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said that the call from Minister Shabery for an international effort to find solutions to monitor flight data in real time has been given top priority by ITU and its Membership.
“ITU has a long history of developing international telecommunication and ICT standards, policies and regulations and is offering to bring this competence to assist aviation,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “I applaud our membership for the urgency with which it is addressing this issue by responding so quickly to Malaysia’s call for ITU action.”
The new Focus Group will study advances in cloud computing and data analytics to develop use cases for the application of state-of-the-art data analytics and data mining techniques in real-time. It will develop technical reports to provide the foundation for standards-based aviation clouds. In close collaboration with ICAO, the envisioned reports will address questions surrounding the type of data to be transmitted and the periodicity and reliability of its transmission, as well as the mechanisms to enable data security and privacy and the prevention of data misuse. The reports will be the basis for the development of telecommunications standards providing security and providing interoperable and secure aviation cloud systems.
Note to the editor: ITU-T Focus Groups are formed in response to immediate ICT standardization demands, charged with laying the foundation for subsequent standardization work in membership-driven ITU-T Study Groups. Focus Groups are open to organizations outside ITU’s membership and they are afforded greater flexibility in their chosen deliverables and working methods.

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FAA Seeks Public Comment on Movie/TV UAS Exemptions

Source – FAA:

FAA Seeks Public Comment on Movie/TV UAS Exemptions
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FAA Seeks Public Comment on Movie/TV UAS ExemptionsJune 25–Recently, seven aerial photo and video production companies asked the FAA for regulatory exemptions that would allow the film and television industry to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with FAA approval for the first time. >See FAA Press Release
Because these requests may set a precedent for future commercial UAS exemptions, the agency is asking the public to weigh in on whether to grant them.
The FAA today published a brief summary of the (PDF)petition from Astraeus Aerial in the Federal Register. The agency opted to ask for comments only on the Astraeus petition because that company’s request came in first, and the petitions from the other six companies ask for identical exemptions.
Interested parties will have 20 days to send in comments. The FAA will consider the comments and respond to them when drafting the final decision on all seven exemption requests.
The agency expects to publish a broad proposed rule for small UAS (under 55 pounds) later this year. But the rulemaking process can be lengthy, so the FAA has been working for several months to implement the provisions of Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and move forward with UAS integration before proposing the small UAS rule.
Other companies have filed for exemptions to perform precision agriculture, aerial surveying and flare stack inspections.

S. 2438: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

S. 2438: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 was introduced on June 5, 2014 by Sen. Patty Murray. The table of contents includes:

Beginning
TITLE I
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Office of the Secretary
national infrastructure investments
financial management capital
cyber security initiatives
office of civil rights
transportation planning, research, and development
working capital fund
minority business resource center program
minority business outreach
payments to air carriers
administrative provisions–office of the secretary of transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
operations
facilities and equipment
research, engineering, and development
grants-in-aid for airports
(airport and airway trust fund)
(rescission)
administrative provisions–federal aviation administration . . .

H.R. 4812: Honor Flight Act

H.R. 4812: Honor Flight Act was introduced on June 11, 2014 by Rep. Cedric Richmond:

H.R.4812 — Honor Flight Act (Introduced in House – IH)

HR 4812 IH

113th CONGRESS
2d Session

H. R. 4812
To amend title 49, United States Code, to require the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration to establish a process for providing expedited and dignified passenger screening services for veterans traveling to visit war memorials built and dedicated to honor their service, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 9, 2014

Mr. RICHMOND (for himself, Mr. HUDSON, and Mr. PALAZZO) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security

A BILL
To amend title 49, United States Code, to require the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration to establish a process for providing expedited and dignified passenger screening services for veterans traveling to visit war memorials built and dedicated to honor their service, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Honor Flight Act’.
SEC. 2. HONOR FLIGHT PROGRAM.

Title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 44927 the following new section:
`Sec. 44928. Honor Flight Program

`The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall establish, in collaboration with the Honor Flight Network or other not-for-profit organization that honors veterans, a process for providing expedited and dignified passenger screening services for veterans traveling on an Honor Flight Network private charter, or such other not-for-profit organization that honors veterans, to visit war memorials built and dedicated to honor the service of such veterans.’.

H.R. 4803: TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014

H.R. 4803: TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014 was introduced on June 5, 2014 by Rep. Marshall “Mark” Sanford:

H.R.4803 — TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014 (Introduced in House – IH)

HR 4803 IH

113th CONGRESS
2d Session

H. R. 4803
To require the Transportation Security Administration to conform to existing Federal law and regulations regarding criminal investigator positions, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 5, 2014

Mr. SANFORD (for himself and Mr. HUDSON) (all by request): introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security

A BILL
To require the Transportation Security Administration to conform to existing Federal law and regulations regarding criminal investigator positions, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014′.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Consistent with Federal law and regulations, for law enforcement officers to qualify for premium pay as criminal investigators, the officers must, in general, spend on average at least 50 percent of their time investigating, apprehending, or detaining individuals suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the United States.
(2) According to the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS IG), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not ensure that its cadre of criminal investigators in the Office of Inspection are meeting this requirement, even though they are considered law enforcement officers under TSA policy and receive premium pay.
(3) Instead, TSA criminal investigators in the Office of Inspection primarily monitor the results of criminal investigations conducted by other agencies, investigate administrative cases of TSA employee misconduct, and carry out inspections, covert tests, and internal reviews, which the DHS IG asserts could be performed by employees other than criminal investigators at a lower cost.
(4) The premium pay and other benefits afforded to TSA criminal investigators in the Office of Inspection who are incorrectly classified as such will cost the taxpayer as much as $17,000,000 over 5 years if TSA fails to make any changes to the number of criminal investigators in the Office of Inspection, according to the DHS IG.
(5) This may be a conservative estimate, as it accounts for the cost of Law Enforcement Availability Pay, but not the costs of law enforcement training, statutory early retirement benefits, police vehicles, and weapons.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:
(1) ADMINISTRATION- The term `Administration’ means the Transportation Security Administration.
(2) ASSISTANT SECRETARY- The term `Assistant Secretary’ means the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security) of the Department of Homeland Security.
(3) INSPECTOR GENERAL- The term `Inspector General’ means the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security
SEC. 4. INSPECTOR GENERAL REVIEW.

(a) Review- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Inspector General shall analyze the data and methods that the Assistant Secretary uses to identify employees of the Administration who meet the requirements of sections 8331(20), 8401(17) and 5545a of title 5, United States Code, and provide the relevant findings to the Assistant Secretary, including a finding on whether the data and methods are adequate and valid.
(b) Prohibition on Hiring- If the Inspector General finds that such data and methods are inadequate or invalid, the Administration may not hire any new employee to work in the Office of Inspection of the Administration until–
(1) the Assistant Secretary makes a certification described in section 5 to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate; and
(2) the Inspector General submits to such Committees a finding, not later than 30 days after the Assistant Secretary makes such certification, that the Assistant Secretary utilized adequate and valid data and methods to make such certification.
SEC. 5. TSA OFFICE OF INSPECTION WORKFORCE CERTIFICATION.

(a) Certification to Congress- The Assistant Secretary shall, by not later than 90 days after the date the Inspector General provides its findings to the Assistant Secretary under section 4(a), document and certify in writing to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate that only those employees of the Administration who meet the requirements of sections 8331(20), 8401(17), and 5545a of title 5, United States Code, are classified as criminal investigators and are receiving premium pay and other benefits associated with such classification.
(b) Employee Reclassification- The Assistant Secretary shall reclassify criminal investigator positions in the Office of Inspection as noncriminal investigator positions or non-law enforcement positions if the individuals in those positions do not, or are not expected to, spend an average of at least 50 percent of their time performing criminal investigative duties.
(c) Projected Cost Savings-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Assistant Secretary shall estimate the total long-term cost savings to the Federal Government resulting from the implementation of subsection (b), and provide such estimate to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate by not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
(2) CONTENTS- Such estimate shall identify savings associated with the positions reclassified under subsection (b) and include, among other factors the Assistant Secretary considers appropriate, savings from–
(A) law enforcement training;
(B) early retirement benefits;
(C) law enforcement availability pay; and
(D) weapons, vehicles, and communications devices.

EU: 2012 discharge: Clean Sky Joint Undertaking

Source – EU Parliament:

Texts adopted
PDF 127k DOC 107k
Thursday, 3 April 2014 – Brussels Final edition
2012 discharge: Clean Sky Joint Undertaking
P7_TA(2014)0332 A7-0210/2014
Decision
Decision
Resolution

1.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012 (C7-0337/2013 – 2013/2249(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012, together with the Joint Undertaking’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05851/2014 – C7-0053/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to the Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 71/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking(4) , and in particular Article 11(4) thereof,

– having regard to the Financial Rules of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking adopted by Decision of its Governing Board on 7 November 2008,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0210/2014),

1. Grants the Executive Director of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking discharge in respect of the implementation of the Joint Undertaking’s budget for the financial year 2012;

2. Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3. Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the resolution that forms an integral part of it to the Executive Director of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 369,17.12.2013, p. 10.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 30, 4.2.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

2.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on the closure of the accounts of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012 (C7-0337/2013 – 2013/2249(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012, together with the Joint Undertaking’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05851/2014 – C7-0053/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 71/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking(4) , and in particular Article 11(4) thereof,

– having regard to the Financial Rules of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking adopted by Decision of its Governing Board on 7 November 2008,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0210/2014),

1. Approves the closure of the accounts of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012;

2. Instructs its President to forward this Decision to the Executive Director of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 369,17.12.2013, p. 10.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 30, 4.2.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

3.European Parliament resolution of 3 April 2014 with observations forming an integral part of the Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012 (C7-0337/2013 – 2013/2249(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2012, together with the Joint Undertaking’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05851/2014 – C7-0053/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 71/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking(4) , and in particular Article 11(4) thereof,

– having regard to the Financial Rules of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking adopted by Decision of its Governing Board on 7 November 2008,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to its previous discharge decisions and resolutions;

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0210/2014),

A. whereas the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking (‘the Joint Undertaking’) was set up in 2007 for a period of 10 years to accelerate the development, validation and demonstration of clean air transport technologies in the Union for earliest possible deployment,

B. whereas the Joint Undertaking started to work autonomously in 2009,

C. whereas the founding members of the Joint Undertaking are the European Union, represented by the Commission, and industrial partners as the leaders of the ‘Integrated Technology Demonstrators’ (ITDs) together with the associate members of the ITDs,

D. whereas the maximum contribution for the period of 10 years from the Union to the Joint Undertaking is EUR 800 000 000 to be paid from the budget of the Seventh Research Framework Programme,

Budgetary and Financial Management

1. Notes that the Court of Auditors stated that the 2012 annual accounts of the Joint Undertaking fairly present, in all material respects, its financial position as of 31 December 2012 and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended, in accordance with the provisions of its Financial Rules;

2. Welcomes that the Joint Undertaking’s annual accounts received a clean opinion from the Court of Auditors on the legality and the regularity of the transactions underlying those accounts after having received qualified opinion in 2011, calls on the Joint Undertaking to continue its efforts to ensure sound financial management;

3. Notes that the Joint Undertaking’s final amended budget for the financial year 2012 included commitment appropriations of EUR 205,4 million and payment appropriations of EUR 167,9 million;

4. Observes from the Joint Undertaking’s final annual accounts that while the utilisation rate for commitment appropriations was 84 % overall, the rate for payment appropriations was 75 %; notes, moreover, that within this, the operational implementation rate was 97 % for commitment appropriations and 84 % for payment appropriations; remains concerned, despite improvements over 2011, that these rates reflect the significant delays in the implementation of the activities as compared with the initial plan; requests that the Joint Undertaking continue to improve its workflows and processes to shorten the period between the publication of calls for proposals and the signing of grant agreements;

5. Is concerned with the recurring low implementation of the budget of the Joint Undertaking and regrets the EUR 25,7 million cash balance at the end of the year, representing 15 % of the available payment appropriations; notes that this is at odds with the budgetary principle of equilibrium; reminds the Joint Undertaking of the need to implement concrete measures to attain budget equilibrium;

Internal control systems

6. Welcomes the conclusion of the Court of Auditors that during 2012, the Joint Undertaking further improved its management, administrative, financial and accounting procedures; takes note that while there were some limitations as regards the completeness of the operational information managed, it implemented the ‘GMT tool’, a specific application for managing financial information relating to the implementation of grant agreements with its members;

7. Expresses concern that while the audit certificates accompanying the cost claims of two beneficiaries were found to include reservations about the contracts of the staff employed on the project and in one of them, the audit certificate also included reservations on the indirect cost rates applied, the Joint Undertaking released the payments; notes that the Joint Undertaking did follow-up these cases and no ineligible costs were finally paid; calls, therefore, on the Joint Undertaking to take into due account the exceptions included in the audit certificates before validating and paying the underlying cost claims;

8. Notes, despite positive conclusions in general, that the following weaknesses, which are specific to some extent, were noted in respect of the ex ante control of cost claims submitted by Clean Sky partners:
– the checklists used for the ex ante control on cost claims were not always complete,
– the verifying officers did not prepare technical acceptance reports on the partners’ activities,
– in one case, the tasks of financial verification and authorisation were performed by the head of administration, which is contrary to the provisions of the financial procedures manual and the principle of segregation of duties,
– the Joint Undertaking’s partners are generally late in submitting cost claims and at the time of the audit, at least 70 out of 292 cost claims had not been submitted to the Joint Undertaking on time, with 15 cases exceeding one year of delay;
9. Acknowledges that in 2012, the Commission’s Internal Audit Service audited the annual planning process for the management of grants; welcomes the audit conclusion that the existing internal control system gave reasonable assurance as to the achievement of the business objectives set for this process, but notes that the auditor made two very important recommendations concerning delays in the implementation of the programme and the system for evaluating the utilisation of resources; calls on the Joint Undertaking to inform the discharge authority about the level of implementation of the programme and about the results achieved;

10. Notes with satisfaction that the Court of Auditors deems that significant progress has been made as regards the IT aspects of the Joint Undertaking’s Business Continuity Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan; stresses, however, that the formalisation of these policies and procedures has not yet been completed and asks the Joint Undertaking to remedy the situation without delay;

11. Regrets that the CVs of the members of the Management Board and the Executive Director are not publicly available; calls on the Joint Undertaking to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency; urges the Joint Undertaking to develop and adopt a comprehensive policy on the prevention and management of conflicts of interest

12. Believes that a high level of transparency is a key element in order to mitigate the risks of conflicts of interests; calls, therefore, on the Joint Undertaking to make its policy and/or arrangements on the prevention and management of conflicts of interests and its implementing rules, as well as the list of the members of the management boardsand CVs available on its website;

13. Invites the Court of Auditors to monitor the Joint Undertaking’s policies as regards the management and prevention of conflicts of interests by drafting a Special Report on the matter by the next discharge procedure;

European Research Joint Undertakings horizontal aspects

14. Takes note that the audit approach taken by the Court of Auditors comprises analytical audit procedures, the assessment of key controls of the supervisory and control systems and the testing of transactions at the level of the Joint Undertaking but not at the level of the members or final beneficiaries of the Joint Undertaking;

15. Notes that audit testing at the level of the members or final beneficiaries is carried out either by the Joint Undertaking or by external audit firms contracted and monitored by the Joint Undertaking;

16. Welcomes the Court of Auditors’ Special Report 2/2013: ‘Has the Commission ensured efficient implementation of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research?’ where the Court examined whether the Commission has ensured efficient implementation of the Seventh framework programme for research and technological development (FP7);

17. Takes note that the audit also covered also the setting-up of the Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs);

18. Agrees with the Court of Auditors’ conclusion that the JTIs have been set up to support long-term industrial investment, in particular research areas; notes, however, that it has taken on average two years to grant financial autonomy to a JTI, with the Commission usually remaining responsible for one third of the expected operational lifetime of the JTIs;

19. Notes, moreover, that according to the Court of Auditors, some JTIs have been particularly successful in getting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in their projects and nearly 21 % of funding provided by the JTIs has gone to SMEs;

20. Draws attention to the fact that the total indicative resources deemed necessary for the seven European Research Joint Undertakings that have so far been established by the Commission under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – with the notable exception of the Galileo Joint Undertaking – for their period of existence amounts to EUR 21 793 000 000;

21. Notes that the Joint Undertakings’ total 2012 forecasted budgeted income amounted to some EUR 2,5 billion or about 1,8 % of the Union general budget for the financial year 2012, while approximately EUR 618 million came from the general budget (cash contribution from the European Commission) and approximately EUR 134 million came from the industrial partners and members of the Joint Undertakings;

22. Notes that the Joint Undertakings employ 409 permanent and temporary staff, or less than 1 % of total Union officials authorised under the Union general budget (staff establishment plan);

23. Recalls that the total Union contribution deemed necessary for the Joint Undertakings for their period of existence amounts to EUR 11 489 000 000;

24. Invites the Court of Auditors to comprehensively analyse the JTIs and the other joint undertakings in a separate report in light of the substantial amounts involved and the risks- notably reputational – presented; recalls that Parliament has previously requested that the Court of Auditors draw up a special report on the capacity of the joint undertakings, together with their private partners, to ensure added value and efficient execution of Union research, technological development and demonstration programmes; notes that the joint undertakings are deemed to ensure funding for long-term industrial investments and to foster private investments in research.

(1) OJ C 369,17.12.2013, p. 10.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 30, 4.2.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

FAA Approves First Commercial UAS Flights over Land

Source – FAA:

Press Release – FAA Approves First Commercial UAS Flights over Land

For Immediate Release
June 10, 2014
Contact: Les Dorr, Jr. or Alison Duquette
Phone: (202) 267-3883
Surveys Will Check Pipelines, Infrastructure on Alaska North Slope
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has given approval for energy corporation BP and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) manufacturer AeroVironment to fly an AeroVironment Puma AE for aerial surveys in Alaska—the first time the FAA has authorized a commercial UAS operation over land.
“These surveys on Alaska’s North Slope are another important step toward broader commercial use of unmanned aircraft,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The technology is quickly changing, and the opportunities are growing.”
The FAA issued a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization to survey BP pipelines, roads and equipment at Prudhoe Bay, AK, the largest oilfield in the United States. AeroVironment performed the first flight for BP on June 8.
The Puma AE is a small, hand-launched UAS that is about 4 1/2 feet long and has a wingspan of 9 feet. Using the information generated by the Puma’s sensors, BP hopes to target maintenance activities on specific roads and infrastructure, which will save time and support safety and operational reliability goals, while helping to protect the sensitive North Slope environment.
Last summer, the FAA issued restricted category type certificates to the Puma and Insitu’s Scan Eagle, another small UAS. The certificates were limited to aerial surveillance only over Arctic waters. The FAA recently modified the data sheet of the Puma’s restricted category type certificate to allow operations over land after AeroVironment showed that the Puma could perform such flights safely.
“The 2012 Reauthorization law tasks us with integrating small UAS in the Arctic on a permanent basis,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “This operation will help us accomplish the goal set for us by Congress.”
For more information on UAS and the FAA’s Arctic operations, go to: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/media/suas_arctic_plan.pdf

###

EU: 2012 discharge: European Aviation Safety Agency

Source – EU Parliament:

Texts adopted
PDF 120k DOC 105k
Thursday, 3 April 2014 – Brussels Final edition
2012 discharge: European Aviation Safety Agency
P7_TA(2014)0305 A7-0221/2014
Decision
Decision
Resolution

1.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012 (C7-0297/2013 – 2013/2219(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and in particular Article 60 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0221/2014),

1. Grants the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency discharge in respect of the implementation of the Agency’s budget for the financial year 2012;

2. Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3. Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the resolution that forms an integral part of it to the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 66.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 79, 19.3.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

2.European Parliament decision of 3 April 2014 on the closure of the accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012 (C7-0297/2013 – 2013/2219(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and in particular Article 60 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0221/2014),

1. Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012;

2. Instructs its President to forward this Decision to the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 66.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 79, 19.3.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

3.European Parliament resolution of 3 April 2014 with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012 (C7-0297/2013 – 2013/2219(DEC))

The European Parliament ,

– having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012,

– having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Aviation Safety Agency for the financial year 2012, together with the Agency’s replies(1) ,

– having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2014 (05849/2014 – C7-0054/2014),

– having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

– having regard to the Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) , and in particular Article 185 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3) , and in particular Article 208 thereof,

– having regard to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and in particular Article 60 thereof,

– having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5) ,

– having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) , and in particular Article 108 thereof,

– having regard to its previous discharge decisions and resolutions,

– having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0221/2014),

A. whereas according to its financial statements, the final budget of the European Aviation Safety Agency (‘the Agency’) for the financial year 2012 was EUR 158 848 191, representing an increase of 7 % compared to 2011,

B. whereas the overall contribution of the Union to the Agency’s budget for 2012 amounted to EUR 38 651 354,83, representing an increase of 6,95 % compared to 2011,

C. whereas the Court of Auditors has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Agency’s annual accounts for the financial year 2012 are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

1. Highlights the Agency’s vital role in ensuring the highest possible level of aviation safety throughout Europe; notes, furthermore, that the current review of the Single European Sky legislation could lead to greater powers being accorded to the Agency; stresses that, should this be the case, the Agency will need to be given the financial, material and human resources it needs to perform its tasks successfully;

Follow-up of 2011 discharge

2. Notes from the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts that regarding the five comments made in 2011, two corrective actions taken in response to the previous year’s comments are marked as ‘ongoing’ and three as ‘completed’;

3. Acknowledges from the Agency that:
– the level of Title III carry-overs, excluding fees and charges, was considerably reduced in 2012 to EUR 6 200 000 (46 %),
– work instructions for both fixed assets management and inventory management have been adopted and a full inventory was carried out in 2012, which resulted in the disposal of a number of fully depreciated assets,
– in order not to hold cash funds in only one bank, a negotiated tender for opening bank accounts was launched in 2013, based on strict criteria as regards the credit rating of the prospective banks; notes that the selected bank has an excellent credit rating and once a contract is signed, the Agency’s cash funds will be transferred to this bank depending on the balance between credit risk and interest rate,
– measures and controls have been put in place to allow for the recruitment of the necessary experts from the industry, at the same time avoiding potential conflicts of interest situations; observes, moreover, that the conflicts of interest training is finalised and that regular training is put in place for newcomers;
Budget and financial management

4. Notes that the overall level of appropriations committed was 95 %, varying between 96 % for title I (staff expenditure), 95 % for title II (administrative expenditure) and 89 % for title III (operational expenditure);

5. Notes with concern that carry-overs of committed appropriations were high for title III at 46 %; stresses that, although this is partly justified by the multiannual nature of the Agency’s operations and by the duly justified carry-overs included in the Court of Auditors’ sample, nevertheless such a high level is at odds with the budgetary principle of annuality;

Transfers

6. Notes with satisfaction that according to the annual activity report as well as the Court of Auditors’ audit findings, the level and nature of transfers in 2012 have remained within the limits of the financial rules; commends the Agency for its good budgetary planning;

Procurement and recruitment procedures

7. Notes with concern that in one of the audited recruitment procedures, the selected candidate did not meet the requirements of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities as regards university degrees or equivalent professional training; calls on the Agency to provide an explanation as to how it could have happened;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

8. Welcomes the Agency’s adoption of the ‘cooling off period’ of non-assignment for a year, so that anyone new to the organisation is not allocated work on files they had directly worked on in the previous five years;

9. Notes that following the recommendation of the discharge authority, the Agency will include information and statistics on the management of conflicts of interests in its 2013 annual activity report;

10. Notes that the Agency is currently assessing the declarations of interests of managers and of person holding sensitive functions; regrets, however, that the CVs and declarations of interests of Management Board members and observers, as well as the declarations of interests of the Executive Director, are still not publicly available on the Agency’s website; calls on the Agency to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency;

11. Regrets the lack of information available on the Agency’s website regarding the members of the Board of Appeal; believes that the names, CVs and declarations of interests of those members should be made public; therefore, calls on the Agency to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency;

Internal controls

12. Notes with concern that while the Agency established a standard procedure for ex ante verifications, the related checklists were not completed and documentation justifying the validation of expenditure was not always available; calls on the Agency to take steps to rectify this and to report on its actions within the framework of the 2012 discharge follow-up;

13. Regrets the fact that although a methodology for ex post verifications was approved in 2009 and that the Agency made further developments in its implementation, room for improvement still exists in some areas, namely that there is still no annual planning of verifications, that the sample of transactions to be checked is not risk-based and that the methodology does not cover public procurement procedures; calls on the Agency to further improve its performance in this regard and to report on the progress made within the framework of the 2012 discharge follow-up;

Internal audit

14. Acknowledges from the Agency that in 2012, the Commission’s Internal Audit Service (IAS) performed a limited review of IT projects management, which led to two very important recommendations; notes that the IAS also carried out an assessment of the progress made by the Agency in implementing its recommendations resulting from its earlier audits (2006-2011); observes that the IAS confirmed that the Agency has adequately implemented 22 out of 23 recommendations, while the remaining one was reported by the Agency as implemented and waiting for final assessment by IAS;

Performance

15. Requests that the Agency communicate the results and impact its work has on European citizens in an accessible way, mainly through its website;

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16. Refers, in respect of the other observations accompanying its Decision on discharge, which are of a horizontal nature, to its resolution of 3 April 2014(7) on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.

(1) OJ C 365, 13.12.2013, p. 66.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 79, 19.3.2008, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0299.