Maintaining India’s fleet of more than 230 aging Cheetah and Chetak reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters is turning into a nightmare due to unavailability of spares, according to K.C. Nanda, general manager of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s Barrackpore Division, who sounded the warning at a defense conference held in Kolkata in August. HAL built both the Cheetah and the Chetak under license from Eurocopter.
BAE surprised stock markets on September 12 with sudden announcement of a planned merger with its fellow European aerospace and defense group EADS, which confirmed a few hours later that the deal is being discussed. Under UK stock market rules, the merger would have to be agreed or abandoned by close-of-business on October 10.
Air China and GA Telesis have agreed to establish an Asia-based integrated spare parts supplier in China. After almost a year of planning, the companies have respective top management approvals to move forward with the formation of GA Telesis China (GATC), a joint venture based in China. The enterprise claims it will be the first aircraft part-out business and integrated full-scale redistribution stock list based in China covering the entire Asian market.
Citi Private Bank named Ford von Weise head of global aircraft finance. He succeeds Mary Schwartz, who has announced her retirement.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) board of directors approved Flight Design and Sandel Avionics yesterday as the association’s newest members. With these additions, GAMA now has 78 member companies. Flight Design is a light aircraft manufacturer based in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany. Sandel Avionics engineers and manufactures avionics, including several terrain avoidance systems, for rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.
StandardAero Singapore’s helicopter operation has moved into a larger, newly constructed facility located in Seletar Aerospace Park. The new 32,300-sq-ft facility has additional floor space to accommodate future business growth. Staffed by 26 employees, StandardAero Singapore supports the Rolls-Royce 250 with component repair, field service and training.
Boeing and China’s Comac opened a new joint-venture facility in Beijing last week to study biofuels refinement and improvements to air traffic management. Its first project is to study the prospects for refining used cooking oil, often described in China as “gutter oil,” into sustainable aviation biofuel.
Bell Helicopter, in partnership with Cessna Aircraft, opened a new regional service center in Singapore at Seletar Aerospace Park. “The grand opening of our Asia Pacific service center brings to life a vision of providing support to our current and future customers in this important growth region,” said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. “It is the result of years of planning for an increased presence in Asia Pacific, a key market for both Bell Helicopter and Cessna.”
Recent upgrades to India’s Defense Procurement Policy (DPP) 2011 that are to be incorporated in DPP 2012 could soon allow foreign vendors to buy from Indian companies assemblies that contain foreign content while getting credit for the entire assembly, as long as the content is paid for in rupees.