The European Commission proposed new guidelines last week designed to harmonize rules and regulations that dictate the operation of unmanned aerial systems, which the EC designates as remotely piloted aircraft systems. Potential European operators are eager to put unmanned vehicles into service as soon as possible. The proposed new European guidelines will look at safety, security, privacy, data protection and insurance liability issues.
Bulgaria’s small air defense force has been scrambled numerous times in the last two months to meet a growing number of surveillance flights being launched by Russia over the Black Sea following developments in Ukraine, according to minister of defense Angel Naidenov. Although none of the flights violated Bulgarian airspace, they approached and flew along the coast and were operating without flight plans, in turn requiring investigation.
The European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) four-year delay in, and disproportionately high fees charged for, certifying the Robinson R66 turbine single might suggest a bigger problem with the bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Europe that governs the certification of aircraft and components.
The European Parliament, meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg, approved the amended Single European Sky (SES) legislation known as SES 2+ on March 12. The legislation now must be approved by European Union member states.
Simferopol International Airport has sent a letter to Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) notifying it that the Crimean gateway will allow no service to or from Kiev, forcing UIA to cancel all flights between the cities until at least March 18. On Wednesday a UIA spokesperson told AIN that the airport has banned all flights into and out of Simferopol except for those to and from Russia.
Business aviation flights out of Ukraine saw a dramatic uptick in the third week of last month, apparently in response to the violent unrest in the country. According to Eurocontrol statistics tracked by online charter portal Avinode, there were 70 departures on February 19 and 137 on February 20–a day before ousted President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev. Average daily departures last year stood at 51 and the average so far in 2014 has been 41.
Air Greenland announced last month it has canceled the purchase of two EC225s. “In August 2013, the company observed that the market for offshore operations around Greenland had not developed as expected since the time of the order in 2011,” the carrier explained. It also said it attempted to sell the rotorcraft to other parties with no success. Under the final agreement, Air Greenland will pay a waiver of DKK16 million ($2.8 million), just over 4 percent of the value of the 2011 contract.
Swiss FBO and maintenance company Air Service Basel has gained approvals from the authorities in the Republic of Chad to complete maintenance on Chad-registered aircraft. Based at Basel-Mulhouse airport on the Swiss-French boarder, Air Service Basel operates an FBO at the airport and already has EASA, FAA and Bermuda BDCA maintenance approvals.
September’s JetExpo show at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport once again provided a fascinating snapshot of how Russia’s business aviation market is continuing to develop. The overall impression from this eighth annual event is that, after a powerful growth surge, the market may be leveling off somewhat, but with every prospect of further expansion.
The operation of a number of weekend-only test routes developed as part of Europe’s Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) project have proved their value in time and fuel savings. The routes all departed Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport headed for eight Italian cities. The Weekend Free Route for Environmental Efficiency (We Free) routes linked Paris with Rome, Milan, Venice, Turin, Verona, Genoa, Bologna and Pisa.
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