The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is drafting new rules for heliport layout and construction in a revised Annex 14. The new rules propose changes to the size of the final approach and takeoff (FATO) area, visual cues and surrounding airspace.
Agusta S.p.A., the Italian element of AgustaWestland, is suing the French procurement agency, the DGA, claiming that an unfair tender essentially eliminated the Milan-based company from the competition for helicopters for the French state.
The FAA on February 9 released its final rule on proposed changes to the rules governing air-tour operators, who must demonstrate compliance within six months. Operators of helicopter air tours will have 18 months to outfit their aircraft with floats, if required.
AgustaWestland last month announced that its sales in India are growing, with seven deliveries last year (not all new rotorcraft), four planned this year and another 12 over the 2008-2009 period. In addition, Hindustan Construction has ordered a second Bell/Agusta BA609 Tiltrotor.
Turbomeca and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will soon be flight testing their codeveloped 1,200-shp Ardiden 1H (or Shakti, under its Indian designation) turboshaft engine, the French partner announced last month.
Late in January in Paris, Eurocopter disclosed that it took orders last year for a record 615 helicopters worth €4.9 billion ($6.4 billion). Of those sales, 47 percent are for civil aircraft. The European manufacturer’s backlog now stands at €11 billion ($14 billion).
A Fokker 100 flown by Air France subsidiary Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne crashed immediately after takeoff on January 25 in Pau, southwest France. All four crewmembers and 50 passengers in the 100-seat jet evacuated safely, but one person on the ground was killed.
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