The economic downturn over the past couple of years has resulted in negative growth for Indian general aviation, which has “hit rock bottom,” according to Rohit Kapur, president of the country’s Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA). Nevertheless, the Indian bizav community hopes that a general election next month will result in more decisive political leadership and effect change to a regulatory environment that many agree has stifled growth in their own industry and the wider Indian economy.
Aviation International News » April 2014
RwandAir of Kigali, Rwanda, took delivery of a dual-class Bombardier Q400 turboprop in late February, marking the fulfillment of an order announced last April.
RwandAir deputy CEO Jean Paul Nyirubutama accepted the aircraft during a delivery ceremony at Bombardier’s Toronto assembly site. Plans call for the airplane, which features a 67-seat interior, to replace RwandAir’s 37-seat de Havilland Canada Dash 8-200.
Colombia’s Avianca Airlines and ATR have signed a 10-year maintenance contract covering the Medellin-based carrier’s new fleet of ATR 72-600s. Under the so-called Global Maintenance Agreement, ATR will provide repair and overhaul services for the fleet and completely manage line-replaceable units, the maintenance and availability of aircraft parts and components, the advanced exchange pool of services, and a parts inventory at its logistics center in Miami. In late 2012 Avianca signed a purchase agreement with ATR for a fleet of 15 ATR 72-600s, and took an option for 15 more.
The U.S. regional airline industry will shrink over the next three years as new regulations governing pilot employment and structural changes precipitated by new, less profitable code-share contracts and pilot-union scope clauses take hold, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford predicted during a February 27 conference call to brief analysts on his company’s fourth-quarter earnings.
The Squadron’s new iFrat flight risk assessment tool for the iPad uses a color-coded risk scale and breaks down flights into five elements: planning, environment, assets, communications and event. Pilots record an assessment of each element, based on their flight experience and knowledge; iFrat then generates a simple pictorial report exportable via email. New FAA rules require helicopter EMS pilots to conduct a risk assessment before each flight.
Russian Helicopters is launching a new phase of modernization at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant to re-tool and upgrade the factory. The first stage involves modernizing and expanding the production of protective coatings. “Project development started last year, to meet the need to increase efficiency and to ensure the products made are of the highest possible quality,” said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. As a result, the plant will be ready to start production of the Mi-171A2, an upgraded version of the Mi-8/171.
Chartright Executive Helicopters will operate a depot for AgustaWestland in Toronto that will stock parts for the AW109, AW119 and AW139s. Chartright is an authorized AgustaWestland service center.
ExecuJet Europe is launching helicopter charter and management services from its London Cambridge FBO, having received a helicopter AOC from the UK CAA. The company’s managed and charter fleet includes two Airbus EC155s based at Cambridge Airport, and negotiations for two more contracts have been under way since September. ExecuJet is telling managed helicopter customers they will benefit from its buying power for items such as fuel and insurance. Operations director John Brutnell said he expects charter demand for both business and leisure travel.
Sandia Aerospace has developed a low-cost standby display, the SAI 340-Quatro, which retails for $3,595. The Quatro provides airspeed, attitude, altitude and slip indications in a lightweight instrument that fits into a standard three-inch instrument hole. The Quatro weighs half a pound and is just 1.4 inches thick. The unit’s lithium-polymer battery provides power for up to two hours. Certification is pending.
A challenge facing aircraft manufacturers is compliance with the FAA’s new Part 25 Subpart H Electrical Wiring Interconnect System (EWIS) regulations, which apply a systems approach to wiring.
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