U.S. airlines and airports fell into opposing camps over the Obama administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for the Federal Aviation Administration, which would raise the cap on the passenger facility charge (PFC) airports are entitled to collect for every boarded passenger from $4.50 to $8.
The Qantas Sale Amendment Bill, which serves to repeal part of the Qantas Act and effectively removes restrictions on foreign ownership and stipulations affecting Qantas’ business operations, passed Australia’s Lower House of Federal Parliament on Thursday by a vote of 83 to 53.
India’s Central Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into Rolls-Royce military deals. The investigation began just a day before the announcement of forthcoming elections and the beginning of the “model code of conduct” that disallows announcement of new projects. The probe follows a voluntary disclosure last December by Rolls-Royce to its partner Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) that it had used a consultant, Singapore-based Aashmore, for sales and logistics support in its business in the energy sector.
Nepal-based Shree Airlines took delivery of the first of five AS350B3es it ordered last year from Airbus Helicopters. Shree Airlines will use its B3e fleet for search-and-rescue, aerial work and disaster relief missions in Nepal. It also plans to expand passenger transport and utility mission operations into Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.
Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and the Geological Survey of India are to deploy a Dhruv light twin equipped with geophysical equipment for mineral exploration. Capabilities include detection of oil, gas and minerals (gold, copper, thorium and other rare earth materials) as well as environmental and nuclear surveillance.
Airbus Helicopters and PT Dirgantara Indonesia have signed an MoU for the latter company to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul on the manufacturer’s rotorcraft flying in Indonesia. In particular, the MoU targets the AS365 Dauphin, EC725 Cougar and AS350/AS555 Fennec the government operates. PT Dirgantara is already a licensed manufacturer of the BO105 light twin and Super Puma as well as a supplier of fuselage subassemblies.
Boeing said its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator, a modified Bombardier Challenger 604, completed its first flight on February 28 from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Subcontractor Field Aviation conducted the four-hour test flight.
Winner Aviation has expanded its maintenance operation into a hangar it acquired in 2011. The 14,000-sq-ft building provides Winner an additional 12,000 sq ft of hangar space and 2,000 sq ft of office space. The new maintenance hangar will enable Winner to accommodate light to midsize business jets as well as other turbine aircraft for maintenance repairs and inspections.
GE Aviation and Bristow Group signed the first engine service agreement for the CT7-2E1 turboshaft that powers the new AgustaWestland AW189 twin. The agreement expands the longstanding GE-Bristow partnership by adding the AW189s’ engines to Bristow’s global fleet of powerplants maintained under a maintenance cost per hour (MCPH) service agreement.
Metro Aviation announced Mark Breton will be joining the MRO as director of maintenance in late March or early April. He has more than 25 years in the aviation industry, with a strong background in aircraft maintenance, helicopter EMS operations and project management. Breton spent most of his career in Texas, but most recently served as the v-p and director of maintenance for Air Medical Resource Group in Salt Lake City, Utah.