Virgin Australia completed its acquisition of Perth-based regional Skywest Airlines last month through a so-called scheme of arrangement governed by the laws of Singapore.
Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has rejoined the Regional Airline Association (RAA) after a 12-year absence. Mesa’s admission increases the RAA’s airline membership rolls to 27 carriers operating half of all U.S. commercial flights.
At the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Lufthansa Technik and Schott presented a new development in cabin lighting systems for aircraft. For the first time, aircraft owners can take advantage of LED technology while avoiding the color changes that occur when LEDs age. The new Nicemood system, which has already been approved for use in aircraft, mixes and regulates the light output of different diodes, for what the developers call significant cost savings compared with traditional lighting and a dramatic improvement in lighting quality.
Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) and tier-one cabin components supplier OHS Aviation Services have delivered their largest-ever single aircraft maintenance and refurbishment project.
The job, for an unidentified Asian client, included the first installation of Honeywell’s new Ovation Select cabin management system on a Bombardier airplane outside North America, according to LBAS parent company Lufthansa Technik.
Century Flight Systems has ramped up autopilot certification activities and recently received STCs for Century 4000 installations in most Piper Cherokees and Saratogas. The company also received STCs for most Cessna 182s as well as the 421B and 421C twins. Prices for the C4000 start at $19,995.
Bacacheri Airport in the city of Curitiba, approximately 150 miles south of São Paulo, has been named the third largest general aviation airport in Brazil. A survey conducted by ABAG (Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral, Brazilian Association of General Aviation) showed the airport handled 52,786 movements in 2011, trailing only Campo de Marte Airport in São Paulo and Jacarepauá Airport in Rio de Janeiro.
The 58th Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) safety seminar for business aviation was held in Montreal last month under a new name. What has long been known as CASS (corporate aviation safety seminar) is now called BASS (business aviation safety seminar), “to align us better with the business aviation community, which comprises 60 percent of the foundation’s membership,” according to FSF CEO Kevin Hiatt.
The most noteworthy accident event in the first quarter was the string of fatal Beechcraft Premier I crashes over a period of approximately three weeks, from February 20 to March 17. All three crashes, which killed nine people, involved Part 91 operations and occurred in VMC during takeoff or landing. The two accidents in the U.S. accounted for the only fatalities by U.S.-registered business jets in the first quarter of this year.
The FAA is planning to expand a new safety data collection and analysis system beyond scheduled air carriers to all elements of the aviation community, including helicopters. The move comes as the helicopter industry formally acknowledged earlier this year that, while it has made considerable progress, it will likely fall short of the International Helicopter Safety Team’s (IHST) goal of reducing the helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016.
Despite the difficulty ATR has encountered in penetrating the U.S. turboprop market, company CEO Filippo Bagnato continues to express optimism that the Franco-Italian partnership will experience a resurgence in what perhaps represents its final frontier of a sort. Now controlling some 60 percent of the market for 50- to 90-seat airplanes based on unit sales backlogs, the last Western maker of 50-seat-category turboprops sees itself as a potential lifeline for small U.S. cities and communities that can no longer support the services of regional jets of any size.