When representatives from every world nation and every civil aviation organization gather at the triennial ICAO Assembly, topics on the agenda include current progress and issues as well as future challenges and potential solutions.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
Less-than-satisfactory dispatch reliability of the Boeing 787 hasn’t discouraged the company’s ambitions to ensure enough airplanes roll out of the two Dreamliner factories to meet delivery commitments. Now building 787s at a rate of seven per month, the company announced plans last week to raise rates from the 10 per month targeted for the end of this year to 12 per month by 2016 and 14 a month before the end of the decade.
In what might seem a 180-degree heading change, Airbus confirmed the possibility of a second stretch of its A350XWB that could help fill a gap between the largely composite-bodied twinjet and the A380 superjumbo.
India’s Mahindra Aerospace inaugurated a 270,000-sq-ft aerostructures manufacturing plant last week at the Narsapura Industrial Estate near Bangalore. The plant opening accompanied an announcement by Mahindra that it signed a technology partnership agreement with Spanish Tier 1 supplier Aernnova Group, the first for Aernnova with an Indian aerostructures manufacturer.
There is no question that the aviation industry needs to recruit its next generation of leaders. Miami Executive Aviation’s CEO Fabio Alexander (Booth No. N3116) is challenging the business aviation community to support the future by pledging $75,000 to support a flying classroom that Experience Aviation’s Barrington Irving is creating out of a Hawker 400XPR that Beechcraft donated to the nonprofit educational organization. Alexander hopes that his generous pledge inspires others to support the unique outreach.
BBA Aviation’s Ontic (Booth No. N3505) is growing. The company, which specializes in transitioning legacy parts manufacturing and distribution from OEMs to its own aftermarket production, has expanded both physically and through its range of products and services. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony September 25 it opened a new MRO facility in Singapore’s popular Seletar Aerospace Park, co-located with BBA Aviation’s Dallas Airmotive, which has established a Singapore Regional Turbine Center.
Outreach and education is a key component in growing the aerospace industry, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA) showed its commitment to the future by sponsoring an aviation education night for more than 400 students at Las Vegas Rancho High School during NBAA 2013.
Liebherr-Aerospace (Booth C11407) may not be a household name in the U.S., but the company is a supplier of numerous components used in aircraft for most of the major aircraft and missile manufacturers in the world, and has been doing so for more than 50 years. In a 58-page promotional magazine created specifically for NBAA 2013 visitors, the company lists 26 aviation customers, from Airbus to Thales.
NBAA is all about promoting the reality of business aviation, its advantages for the companies that understand and avail themselves of it, and the complications of communicating the critical nature of its activities to the U.S. Congress and regulators. When a reporter from outside of aviation writes a story that helps NBAA in its mission, the organization is quick to recognize that individual with its prestigious Gold Wing Award for Journalism Excellence.
Dassault Aviation’s long-awaited unveiling of the Falcon 5X large-cabin, long-range business jet is being accompanied by a number of Falcon 5X supplier announcements.