The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) on August 7 said it was pleased to see the transfer of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program (FFDO) by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to the assistant administrator for Training and Workforce Engagement. The FFDO allows qualified airmen to carry sidearms into the cockpit. ALPA president Lee Moak said, “TSA’s decision to bring the program under TWE is positive action to ensure that FFDOs receive the strongest possible training.”
As of July 24, there are 3,430 wide-area augmentation system (Waas) localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach procedures serving 1,690 U.S. airports. There are also 555 localizer performance (LP) approach procedures in the U.S. serving 404 airports.
The FAA on August 8 banned all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, as well as anyone flying with an FAA-issued pilot certificate, from operating within Iraqi airspace at any altitude in response to ground fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants. The ban remains in force until further notice.
Bell’s Model 505 Jet Ranger X is making its Brazilian debut here at the LABACE show, at least in full-scale mock-up form. The company expects to fly the light single helicopter by the end of the year, and hopes that it can repeat the success of the original JetRanger that became a true “classic” of the rotary-wing world. The 505 is intended for a wide range of tasks, such as training, law enforcement, corporate/VIP transport and utility work, for which a 1,500-pound cargo hook is fitted.
Aviation Partners, Inc. (API) will this week start installing the first set of its high-Mach blended winglets on a Brazilian-registered Dassault Falcon 50. An existing U.S. FAA supplemental type certificate has been approved by Brazil’s ANAC agency. The U.S. company received FAA approval for the modification earlier this year.
Brazilian business aviation faces a squeeze between official restrictions and unofficial competition, vying with airline traffic for limited slots at the country’s major airports and with illegal “pirate” air taxi services for customers. Hosting the World Cup soccer tournament at 12 host cities around the country in June and July served as a stress test of the country’s aviation infrastructure. Although no major problems occurred, many, including industry group ABAG, feel that business aviation was sacrificed for that apparent success–and that this does not bode well.
Viking Air (Outdoor Exhibit 5122) is seeing growing demand in Latin America for its Series 400 Twin Otter utility aircraft. This has spurred the Canadian company to make plans to expand its sales network in the region and an announcement on this subject is expected fairly soon.
Pilatus rolled out the first example of its new PC-24 business jet on August 1, just over a year after launching the new model in May 2013. The aircraft is expected to make its first flight by year-end en route to European and U.S. certification in early 2017.
Russian Helicopters (Booth 4030) has come to LABACE to promote its extensive portfolio of civil rotorcraft, which it claims are well suited to a variety of private, corporate and industrial uses. This year, one of the group’s key subsidiaries, Rostvertol, is celebrating its 75th anniversary–emphasizing Russia’s strong pedigree in helicopter production.
The Latin American market in general, and Brazil in particular, continue to be red-hot markets for rotorcraft manufacturers, driven by government sales and the expansion of the regional offshore energy market, especially in Mexico and Brazil. Altogether, the market represents 9.8 percent of global demand–but that number is increasing fast.