Japan’s expansion of the international terminal at Haneda Airport in the Tokyo metropolitan area bolsters route expansion plans by its two major carriers, ANA and Japan Airlines (JAL).
Etihad Airways appears close to making a final decision as to whether or not to buy an equity stake in Alitalia. Speaking during a March 3 conference call about the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s latest quarterly financial results, CEO James Hogan confirmed that Etihad has entered the final stage of due diligence in evaluating the struggling Italian flagcarrier.
UK ATC provider NATS said last week that the first practical trial of the TopFlight air traffic management system (ATM) successfully delivered the expected level of flight efficiencies. TopFlight is a key element in Europe’s Sesar next-generation ATM system, similar to the U.S. NextGen program. A NATS official reported at the Air Traffic Management.net website that gate-to-gate travel times measured for 100 British Airways flights across the North Atlantic using the new system saved up to half a ton of fuel per flight.
The DOT’s office of inspector general (IG) wants to know whether the FAA has established adequate regulations governing the use of flight-deck automation. Some current and former ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives transportation and infrastructure committee and its subcommittee on aviation who are concerned about the growing reliance of flight crews on flight-deck automation approached the IG about conducting an audit, which the IG confirmed it would launch early this month.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on the August 2012 runway overrun at St. John’s, Newfoundland, involving a Russian Ilyushin Il-76TD found a number of actions that culminated with the 140-ton aircraft rolling off the end of the airport’s 8,500-foot Runway 11. Despite the use of maximum reverse thrust, the aircraft departed the hard surface at approximately 40 knots and came to a stop 640 feet beyond the end of the runway. No injuries were reported to any of the 10 people on board.
Officials from Etihad Airlines and the United Arab Emirates, where the carrier is based, are still investigating last week’s arson incidents aboard a Boeing 777 that departed Melbourne, Australia, for Abu Dhabi in which a number of smoke alarms were activated in toilets. Although no one was injured, Flight EY416 did make a precautionary landing in Jakarta, Indonesia, after smoke was detected pouring from two toilets aboard the aircraft. No one was arrested in Jakarta and the flight departed after a complete search of the aircraft, all passengers and all carry-on luggage.
Aeria Luxury Interiors, the private jet business that ST Aerospace launched at the Singapore Airshow two years ago, is up and running in San Antonio, Texas, and has secured its first order for full completion of a green aircraft.
Business has been so good at West Coast charter/management firm Jet Edge International that the company devised an unusual arrangement to build a fleet of Gulfstream G200s. With a fleet consisting of mostly large-cabin Gulfstreams, Jet Edge has seen growing demand for the super-midsize charter market, and the G200s (and one G280, with two more coming) are ideal to fill that need, according to president Bill Papariella.
Troubled by an increase in the number of helicopter accidents in the last several years, the FAA has launched the Rotorcraft Safety Initiative (RSI), an effort to curb helicopter fatal accidents.
From Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013, the U.S. helicopter industry experienced 38 fatal helicopter crashes, a 100-percent increase over the same period in 2011-2012. These accidents resulted in 76 fatalities, 95 percent more than the same period the year before and the highest number of fatal accidents since 1994.
I often get the feeling that general aviation is the red-headed stepchild in government’s view of the aerospace industry. With apologies to the late Rodney Dangerfield, GA seems to get no respect from the federal government. There have been three comprehensive studies on aviation in the past quarter century, and a few others on narrower topics.