While the industry at large has suffered a severe downturn since 2008, very light jets (VLJs) have enjoyed a “secret boom,” according to German aviation consultancy Wingx Advance. The company based its conclusion on Eurocontrol data showing that over the past six months the number of VLJ flight movements in Europe grew by 100 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.
European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation
The viability of business aviation’s continued participation in Europe’s controversial emissions trading scheme (ETS) should be decided at a meeting of Eurocontrol’s air navigation services board on May 6.
Some flights to large parts of Europe resumed today after six days of widespread disruption caused by ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland. Following the political intervention of European Union transport ministers late yesterday, restrictions were partially lifted in some countries but there was little or no flying in a core area of northern Europe.
This year’s European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (Ebace, May 4 to 6) will open with the market still, at best, in slow recovery mode, but there is no denying the exceptional progress Europe’s business aviation sector has made since the first Ebace opened to mixed expectations in 2001.
The European Commission (EC) is set to approve a simplified process for so-called small emitters to calculate and report carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from their aircraft as an alternative means of compliance with the new emissions trading scheme (ETS). The EC’s climate change committee has given its blessing to the new process and, following further scrutiny by the European Parliament, it is expected to be adopted by the EC this summer.
Eurocontrol is warning helicopter operators, especially offshore oil operators, of a potential threat posed by “skysails,” giant kites that help propel some large ships such as oil tankers and container carriers. On September 15 a helicopter was descending over the southern North Sea to a nearby oil or gas platform when the crew saw such a skysail. It was flying ahead of a vessel, at around 1,000 feet, just below the clouds.
Universal Avionics (Booth No. 4254) unveiled the UL-800/801 communications management system, developed to be compatible with Future Air Navigation System (FANS) and VHF datalink (VDL) Mode 2 capabilities for digital communications between pilots and ATC.
WSI has rolled out the Fusion 2.2 version of its online software service, which provides worldwide information on changing flight, airport and airspace conditions. The company reported that Version 2.2 offers expanded international tracking of lightning information, satellite-derived tropical “pseudo-radar” imagery of convective activity and projected aircraft positioning.
Sweden and Italy belatedly have confirmed extensions to the August 31 deadline for operators to register for Europe’s new emissions trading scheme (ETS). Italy is giving operators until September 30 to file plans for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of carbon emissions, while the Swedes have granted an extension to October 15.
At the end of March the troubled Single European Sky (SES) program received a vital boost when the European Parliament gave the project the legislative teeth it needed for the unified air traffic management (ATM) system enshrined in the SES package to be realized. The same week also saw the European Council endorse the all-important SESAR technology program which underpins the SES.