The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) has approved Jordan as its 72nd affiliate, making it the seventh IAOPA Middle Eastern affiliate after Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Israel and Egypt. “From an IAOPA and global general aviation perspective, we are excited to see GA take root in the Middle East and for governments there to recognize its economic importance,” said IAOPA secretary general Craig Spence.
They may be thousands of miles apart but the UK’s Manchester Airport and Vietnam’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport shared in the recent commissioning of brand-new control towers. The new 197-foot-tall tower at Manchester (the UK’s second tallest after Heathrow’s) was a birthday present for itself as it went operational at the end of June on the airport’s 75th anniversary. At the airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city, the new tower rises nearly 230 feet. Construction began in December 2009, and the project cost more than $19 million (U.S.).
The Gulfstream Beijing Service Center recently received authorization to service Gulfstream aircraft registered in Hong Kong and Macau. The approval was granted through a joint maintenance management (JMM) agreement among the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong and the Civil Aviation Authority of Macau SAR.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is defending its plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport staffed by its Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency but mostly funded by the host UAE government. Airline industry groups contend the facility will mainly benefit Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s government-owned airline, and place U.S.
Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport (VVTS) returned Runways 25R/07L to normal operation July 2, two months ahead of schedule, after a four-month closure for repairs. According to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, the runway closure had significantly reduced the airport’s arrival acceptance rate, to 22 aircraft per hour from 32.
An inspector appointed by the U.S. Congress recommended that $772 million in contracts awarded by the Pentagon for 30 new aircraft to support an Afghan special aviation unit be suspended because the unit is unprepared.
The business jet fleet will continue to expand in mainland China, just not at the breakneck levels seen last year, according to a First-half 2013 Greater China Fleet Report from Hong Kong-based business aviation consulting firm Asian Sky Group (ASG). It now predicts that the Chinese fleet of new and used business jets will grow by 18 percent this year, versus 40 percent last year.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) open-skies agreement, to be implemented by 2015, will open up big business in the region for aircraft OEMs, according to Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes senior v-p of sales Asia-Pacific and India. The agreement is intended to boost connectivity and increase traffic growth by granting open market access to all international airports in Southeast Asia to airlines of the 10 Asean member states.
At a briefing here Monday, the Pentagon’s V-22 Osprey program manager presented a long list of countries that had shown some interest in acquiring the Bell-Boeing tiltrotor. Marine Corps Col. Greg Masiello cautioned that only Israel had firmed up a contract and that his office’s contact with some of the others was still in the early stages. Nevertheless, the list is interesting and worth repeating: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, U.A.E. and the UK.
On the eve of the Paris air show the Longbow joint venture comprised of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman announced that it had received a contract to provide Longbow fire control radars (FCRs) for the AH-64E Apache Guardians (formerly AH-64D Block III) that have been ordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The $90.6 million contract covers FCRs for the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command and the Saudi Arabia National Guard, as well as mast-mounted assemblies for the U.S. Army. Spares and support is also included in the Saudi element.