A new survey by the University of North Dakota Aviation Department suggests that young people are being turned off by the prospect of a career as an airline pilot. Just under one third of the 205 student respondents (32 percent) said they are now reconsidering their plans to become an airline pilot. A further 8 percent said that they have already abandoned this career path.
Boeing and Turkish Airlines on Tuesday completed a firm order for forty 737 MAX 8s, ten 737 MAX 9s and twenty 737-800s, valued at $6.9 billion at list prices. The deal, originally announced as a commitment last month, includes options for another 25 MAX 8s and amounts to the largest Boeing order in Turkish Airlines’ history.
Pilots and controllers at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Memphis International (MEM) and Houston Intercontinental (HOU) may soon take part in operational testing of a new reduced-separation standard between aircraft departing on parallel runways during crosswind conditions. For the wake turbulence mitigation for departures (WTMD) procedure one of the aircraft must weigh more than 300,000 pounds (categorized as “heavy”) and weather conditions must remain at least basic VFR with a 1,000-foot ceiling and three statute miles visibility.
A U.S. District Court jury in Spokane, Wash., convicted commercial pilot Paul Roessler of flying an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol. Roessler was arrested following an April 2012 flight when air traffic controllers in the Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center and Spokane Tower reported the pilot demonstrated some questionable behavior. In one incident, he failed to contact the center via radio during his flight and upon arrival in the terminal area lined up with the wrong runway.
Last summer the FAA demanded American Airlines pay $162.4 million for a number of maintenance violations at both American and its regional affiliate, American Eagle. On Thursday, the agency agreed to settle with American for $24.9 million to wipe the slate clean, based on the efforts the airline made to resolve the outstanding maintenance issues.
Airlines are benefitting from growing capital market support for new aircraft financing, with this source of funding expected to account for as much as 15 percent of all transactions this year, according to Boeing Capital. A few years ago, capital markets accounted for barely 2 to 3 percent of aircraft financing.
Sita is supporting the launch of datalink ATC service in Indonesian airspace. The Geneva-based company has an agreement with Indonesia’s air navigation service provider to provide an air-to-ground datalink infrastructure that will enable pilots and controllers to communicate in the Jakarta flight information region.
Struggling Scandinavian flag carrier SAS has signed an agreement to sell its regional subsidiary Widerøe as part of an ongoing restructuring program to achieve financial stability. SAS will sell 80 percent of Widerøe to Norwegian companies Torghatten ASA, Fjord1 AS and Nordland Fylkeskommune. The sales will include seven Bombardier Q400 turboprops that SAS currently leases to the regional carrier. The transaction must be approved by Norwegian authorities, and is expected to close in September.
Last month US Airways became the first airline to receive FAA certification approval of the SafeRoute suite of NextGen avionics applications in the Airbus A330. The airline claims SafeRoute will “enhance operational safety and efficiency during various phases of flight.”
The FAA–and its parent agency, the Department of Transportation–today announced that it will keep open the 149 contract towers that the agency slated for closure on June 15. These cuts were to be made to comply with sequestration, but on April 26 Congress gave the FAA the authority to shift funds to stop controller furloughs and, possibly, contract tower closures.