European taxpayers will shell out €2.4 billion ($3.25 billion) up front if a European Commission proposal that it assume control of the Galileo navigation program is approved. The executive body of the European Union announced its intentions after a consortium of eight private aerospace and telecom companies missed the May 10 deadline to appoint a CEO and submit plans to operate and maintain the system as a single company.
Following a recommendation from the French civil aviation authority, Dallas-based CAE SimuFlite will be obtaining approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for additional maintenance training courses. SimuFlite’s maintenance training for the Gulfstream IV and V and the Falcon 2000 were the first programs to achieve EASA approval.
“When China wakes, it will shake the world.” French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s assessment now lies at the heart of a major polemic between the U.S. and the European Union over the EU’s proposal to lift its arms embargo on the People’s Republic of China.
The air transport industry in Europe employs about 3.1 million people, and if air traffic doubles in 15 years as expected, the sector will contribute up to 13 percent of Europe’s gross domestic product. A thriving aerospace industry is therefore a key factor in the 25-nation European Union’s “Lisbon Strategy” to become the “most competitive economy in the world.”
Will Europe ever get its defense procurement and research act together? The European Defence Agency (EDA), formed in Brussels last year to help create an open, competitive and transparent market, is a top-level initiative of the European Union, with a steering board comprised of 24 EU defense ministers. But, acknowledged EDA chief executive Nick Whitney: “There’s too much duplication.”
The European Union plans an ever more ambitious seventh framework program for research (FP7) that will encompass a longer period (seven years versus five previously) and include new approaches including a joint technology initiative (JTI) project led by the industry.
For member companies of Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) as a whole, 2005 was a remarkably good year, with revenues of €113 billion ($141 billion). Over the same period, employment also grew by 13,000 to reach 614,000, with the growth largely driven by the commercial aeronautics sector.
The European Union (EU) has approved a joint bid from two groups that previously had competed against each other for the contract to run the $4 billion Galileo satellite navigation system.
The European Commission (EC) last month warned Cyprus that it is one step away from being taken to the Court of Justice over its failure to implement European aviation safety rules. According to the EC, the Cyprus government has failed to adopt European standards for air accident investigation, which should have been on the statute books of the Mediterranean state when it joined the European Union in May last year.
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