Members of the US National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) are being asked to stop operating business jets meeting Stage 1 noise limits by 2005. The NBAA board has passed a resolution calling for members "to refrain from adding Stage 1 aircraft to their fleets, beginning in January 2000, and furthermore recommends ending operation of such aircraft by January 2005".

The NBAA says that less than 1% of the more than 6,800 machines operated by its members are Stage 1 aircraft. US Federal Aviation Administration regulations have banned Stage 1 commercial aircraft weighing more than 34,000kg since 1985, but Stage 1 business aircraft under 34,000kg are not addressed by any phase-out programme, the organisation says.

The NBAA cannot force its members to retire Stage 1 aircraft, but operators of older, noisier, business jets are already facing restrictions at some airports. Meanwhile, hushkits are becoming available for most of the older aircraft, taking them at least to Stage 2. There are no plans to recommend retirement of Stage 2 business jets, although all Stage 2 airliners are to be phased out by the year 2000.

The NBAA has formed a new Safety Committee, chaired by former US National Transportation Safety Board member John Lauber. The committee will provide guidance on safety programmes, including the launch of an anonymous incident-reporting system using the Internet "to encourage the sharing of safety information".

Source: Flight International