Commercial aviation has entered its second century, New Year’s Day having marked the 100th anniversary of the first flight with a fare-paying passenger. To celebrate, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has established 2014 as a year to reflect on the “contribution of aviation to modern life.” St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line flew the 23-minute first service across Florida’s Tampa Bay, using a Benoist Model XIV airboat with St. Petersburg mayor Abram Pheil in the only passenger seat. To mark the centennial, a Hoffman X-4 Mullet Skiff airboat retraced the route on January 1.
Prospects for private aircraft charter in the month leading up to the Christmas and New Year holidays appear markedly stronger in North America than in Europe, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode.
EgyptAir plans to place major aircraft orders in the next two months, even as it watches losses mount since the momentous events that unseated former president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, its CEO said, speaking at the Dubai Airshow on November 19.
Africa’s airlines need to wake up to competition from outside the continent, form alliances that allow players both big and small to interact for the greater good, and realize that governments are often no longer interested in protecting domestic carriers (as they see economy-boosting tourist arrivals as a more important priority), according to Nick Fadugba, CEO of African Aviation Services.
Airbus cited sleep-study results in calling on airlines to set an 18-inch minimum seat width standard for long-haul flights. Organizations representing the airline industry said seating options should be left to individual carriers.
Air traffic controllers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) cannot carry out simultaneous dual-runway operations due to lack of so-called non-transgression-zone software, resulting in congestion in Malaysian airspace and a choke point for takeoff at KLIA. The airport’s pair of 13,000-foot-long runways can accommodate 32 arrivals and 36 departures per hour.
Airlines have lodged complaints about the excess fuel their airplanes burn while caught in departure queues, at times waiting for as long as 25 to 30 minutes before ATC can clear them for takeoff.
Wings Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air, has expressed interest in operating flights of 60 to 90 minutes flying time from Indonesia to Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang using ATR 72-500/600 turboprops. The airline will submit a formal application to the Ministry of Transport in Putrajaya for the approval to launch flights in late 2015 or early 2016 when the expansion of SkyPark is completed.
Malaysia’s SkyPark Subang aviation hub will be expanded at a cost of almost $67 million with the aim of attracting more FBOs and maintenance, repair and overhaul companies. The bulk of the redevelopment budget (around $48 million) will go toward building a new terminal at the site of Kuala Lumpur Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport’s mothballed Terminal 2, which will be demolished.
Ellen Saracini, widow of 9/11 United Airlines Flight 175 captain Victor Saracini, told AIN she does not believe that the airline her late husband flew for is doing all it can to prevent another 9/11-like cockpit takeover. Saracini was invited to Chicago on September 4 to discuss (with United vice president of corporate safety Michael Quiello) the company’s use of secondary cockpit barriers to prevent a potential breach. United Airlines currently maintains the largest fleet of aircraft already equipped with secondary barriers.
As it embarks on a series of reforms under a new government that took office in March 2011, Myanmar has set its sights on next year for the release of a national civil aviation policy to prepare for a traffic boom that threatens to overwhelm its woefully inadequate air transport infrastructure.