The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conducted a fresh audit of the aviation safety system run by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in what regulators there hope will lead to an upgrade of that nation’s Category 2 safety status to Category 1. Such an upgrade would spearhead the move to allow Philippine airlines to operate to the U.S. and Europe. The FAA downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 over safety concerns in 2009, with Europe blacklisting the carriers in 2010.
Timothy Hershman, a Kona, Hawaii, resident, was indicted by a federal grand jury last week for falsely reporting a potential hijacking aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 en route to Seattle from Kona. Hershman called the FBI office in Honolulu January 17 and reported a hijacker might be aboard the aircraft, which caused the Oregon Air National Guard to scramble two F-16s to escort the aircraft to a safe arrival at Seattle, where the hoax was discovered.
At a White House press conference this morning, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood laid out the likely consequences of possible automatic federal budget cuts, also called sequestration, scheduled to start on March 1, to his department and the U.S. FAA.
The U.S. Army cancelled development of the Northrop Grumman long-endurance, multi-intelligence vehicle (LEMV), a huge, optionally manned hybrid airship that the service planned to deploy to Afghanistan as an urgent requirement for persistent surveillance. The airship was overweight and behind schedule; it made its first and only announced flight last August, about 10 months late.
Boeing and Elbit Systems signed a memorandum of understanding to offer Elbit’s directed infrared counter measure (DIRCM) system for international customers of Boeing fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
Bombardier Business Aircraft saw a “remarkable level” of order intake last year, logging net orders for 343 aircraft versus 191 in 2011, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer reported today.
When the U.S. Congress returns from recess on Monday, there will be just five working days to avoid across-the-board sequestration cuts, and prospects appear dim for a compromise that would avert these federal budget cuts. The general aviation community is sizing up the possible effects of sequestration on everything from the FAA’s NextGen modernization program to the contract tower program, as well as the day-to-day operation of current air traffic control services and facilities.
Aerion has started its next round of high-speed test flights, in conjunction with NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, to validate the laminar-flow wing for its supersonic business jet. These tests, using a test article mounted under the centerline of NASA’s F-15B research aircraft and flown at speeds up to Mach 2.0, are intended to measure the real-world robustness of supersonic natural laminar flow. Information from these tests will help define manufacturing standards for surface quality and assembly tolerances of the proposed SSBJ’s laminar-flow wing.
The Regional Aircraft Division of BAE Systems has won a contract with Eastern Airways of the UK for its rate-per-flying-hour aircraft spares support service. The three-year support deal covers 16 Prestwick-built Jetstream 41 turboprop airliners. BAE Systems has provided support for Eastern Airways’ Jetstream 41 operation for the past 11 years.
DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval for its GDC62 radio altimeter interface unit and the GDC66 fuel quantity adapter unit. These converters, developed specifically for the Piper Meridian, permit the continued use of the existing radio altimeter and fuel quantity computer and are required for the G950 cockpit retrofit STC owned by Cutter Aviation. DAC International’s engineering and certification division achieved the approvals in partnership with Cutter Aviation.