The company the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration chose in August 2007 to install the ground infrastructure needed to track aircraft by automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) plans to complete that network in the continental U.S. this month. McLean, Va.-based Exelis, which was called ITT when the FAA awarded it the ADS-B contract, said 658 of the 660 planned ADS-B ground radio stations will enter service this year, including all 601 the company is installing in the lower 48 states.
On February 28 Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Rostislav Apollosovich Belyakov passed away, just days before his 95th birthday. Little known outside Russia until the late 1980s, Belyakov was the brilliant aeronautical engineer behind much of the successful MiG jet fighter dynasty. Despite taking on the running of the Mikoyan OKB (design bureau) from 1971, Belyakov remained very much a “hands-on” manager, leading or co-leading the design teams that produced the MiG-23, 25, 27, 29 and 31, which became the backbone of the Soviet/Russian air force.
Upgrades to the cabin of charter operator Fly Comlux’s 767 BBJ are complete and the aircraft is back in charter service. The Bahrain-based jet’s interior enhancements include re-upholstered seats in the executive cabin and entourage section, and new in-flight entertainment system, humidification system and carpeting. SwiftBroadband satcom for high-speed Wi-Fi Internet and a GSM onboard system has been installed throughout the cabin.
Mesa Airlines moved to position itself to add 30 new Embraer E175s over the next year into United Express service with some key management changes announced in late January.
Following its first full year of independent operations, the UK’s BMI Regional reported a so-called trading update and 2014 outlook in late January, under which it announced the launch of new intra-Scandinavia services involving several new destinations, a doubling of capacity on its Aberdeen-Oslo route and this month’s launch of Newcastle-Brussels service.
Japan’s expansion of the international terminal at Haneda Airport in the Tokyo metropolitan area bolsters route expansion plans by its two major carriers, ANA and Japan Airlines (JAL).
Etihad Airways appears close to making a final decision as to whether or not to buy an equity stake in Alitalia. Speaking during a March 3 conference call about the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s latest quarterly financial results, CEO James Hogan confirmed that Etihad has entered the final stage of due diligence in evaluating the struggling Italian flagcarrier.
UK ATC provider NATS said last week that the first practical trial of the TopFlight air traffic management system (ATM) successfully delivered the expected level of flight efficiencies. TopFlight is a key element in Europe’s Sesar next-generation ATM system, similar to the U.S. NextGen program. A NATS official reported at the Air Traffic Management.net website that gate-to-gate travel times measured for 100 British Airways flights across the North Atlantic using the new system saved up to half a ton of fuel per flight.
The DOT’s office of inspector general (IG) wants to know whether the FAA has established adequate regulations governing the use of flight-deck automation. Some current and former ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives transportation and infrastructure committee and its subcommittee on aviation who are concerned about the growing reliance of flight crews on flight-deck automation approached the IG about conducting an audit, which the IG confirmed it would launch early this month.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on the August 2012 runway overrun at St. John’s, Newfoundland, involving a Russian Ilyushin Il-76TD found a number of actions that culminated with the 140-ton aircraft rolling off the end of the airport’s 8,500-foot Runway 11. Despite the use of maximum reverse thrust, the aircraft departed the hard surface at approximately 40 knots and came to a stop 640 feet beyond the end of the runway. No injuries were reported to any of the 10 people on board.