IATA says air carriers that participate in its operational safety audits (IOSA) had a 62 percent better accident rate than non-IOSA airlines through November 2013. Worldwide, about 65 percent of all commercial flights operate under the IOSA umbrella, including those of 149 airlines that are not IATA members, representing nearly 84 percent of the world’s air traffic. In Africa, which has the highest accident rate by region, only 14 percent of accidents involved IOSA-compliant operators.
A December 15 Air France flight was held on the ground in Venezuela after French intelligence officials received a credible tip that a bomb would be detonated when the flight was over the Atlantic between Caracas and Paris. An extensive search of the Airbus A340 found no explosive devices and the flight was allowed to proceed.
After strong opposition from AOPA, EAA and NBAA, the FAA announced last week that it is reconsidering its decision to move forward with mandatory sleep apnea testing for pilots and air traffic controllers without seeking stakeholder participation. Opponents of the move have criticized what they view as arbitrary medical standards for the proposed testing.
The Obama administration and the U.S. Congress appear headed to a confrontation over the administration’s plan to open a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that many lawmakers and airline industry groups oppose. An opponent said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency plans to begin operating the facility on January 5.
Amsterdam-based AerCap’s planned acquisition of International Lease Finance Corp. from American International Group stands to return a sense of stability to a business in which the disposition of one of two dominant players hung in doubt for more than a year. It also promises to result in what AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly characterized as “the most attractive order book in the industry,” valued at $25 billion.
The UK Government’s Airports Commission reported last Tuesday that the best way to add new capacity in the southeastern part of the country, around London, would involve adding a runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick, although it kept open the possibility of an all-new airport in the Thames Estuary. “All scenarios lead to the need for at least one net new runway,” commission chairman Sir Howard Davies declared.
The former Myasishchev design bureau that is now part of Russia’s United Aircraft wants to convert a second M-55 into a civilian flying laboratory for high-altitude atmospheric research.
NetJets will import its first two aircraft into China this month in anticipation of securing a Chinese air operator certificate (AOC) around the end of the first quarter of next year. The U.S. company will base a pair of its Hawker 800s in China so it can offer charter services to local clients. The main business model for Zhuhai-based NetJets-China Business Aviation Ltd. will be to provide aircraft management services.
Flexjet is offering two limited-time offers–25 Challenger 300 upgrade hours and “60 for 50”–to spur fractional jet ownership sales in its Learjet and Challenger programs. Until December 31, new and existing Flexjet owners purchasing a one-sixteenth share in a Learjet 40XR, 45XR or 60XR will have the opportunity to upgrade 25 of their annual allocated hours, at their same Learjet hourly occupied rate, to a Challenger 300.
Charterscanner launched its online air charter booking service yesterday, allowing customers to be presented with several aircraft options for booking a flight, paying the bill and flying on the trip. “It will act as simple as to use ticket search portals, such as Skyscanner and Expedia, but without the use of intermediary sites and commissions, which saves time and money,” the company said. Some 60 charter operators are already cooperating with Charterscanner, including Global Jet Concept, VistaJet, Avcon Jet, Royal Jet, Capital Jets and Elit’Avia.