Eclipse Aerospace received an amended production certificate (PC) today from the FAA, authorizing the Albuquerque, N.M.-based aircraft manufacturer to do final assembly, test and certification of new-production Eclipse 550s. The original PC granted to Eclipse last year allowed Eclipse to manufacture the EA550 and requisite parts in compliance with FAA-approved type design, but required direct FAA oversight of the flight-test and certification phases.
Economy of the United States
Boeing technical workers have approved a new four-year contract that maintains annual 5-percent salary increase pools and guaranteed minimum wage increases each year. Of the 4,898 workers who submitted ballots, 4,244 voted to accept the same deal a narrow majority rejected on February 19.
Pending a judgment against Associated Air Center that could total as much as $49 million, the Dallas Love Field-based company is already planning an appeal. In the suit, brought by Tary Network and Citadella International Group in a Dallas district court, attorneys claimed that Associated and related entities engaged in a breach of contract “that led to tens of millions in losses for the jet owners, including lost profits, out-of-pocket damages and lost value.”
Boeing will move “really fast” to return the Boeing 787 to service once the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approves the company’s proposal to solve the airplane’s battery problem, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner told attendees at the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Defense Conference in New York on March 4.
The UK’s Thomson Airways has switched customer bookings for flights aboard Boeing 787s in May and June to Boeing 767 service and promised customers refunds of the premiums they paid to fly aboard the Dreamliner, the airline announced Tuesday.
For many aviation companies, the rotorcraft segment has provided some welcome stability against an uncertain economic environment. Global parts supplier Aviall is no exception and is responding to market conditions by focusing on end-customer support, and in particular reducing turnaround times for urgently needed parts and maintenance services.
The effects of the U.S. government budget cuts that started on March 1 will not likely be felt until April but they could be significant for airlines and their passengers. The Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency will absorb the mandated spending cuts known as the “sequester” in part by furloughing employees, or requiring them to take several days of unpaid leave.
Whenever the non-aviation media gets hold of a story that involves aircraft certification issues, such as the recent Boeing 787 lithium-ion battery problems, an enterprising reporter “discovers” that the FAA applied “special conditions” to the certification of the product in question. These stories seem to imply that the manufacturer was given some sort of special dispensation, a way to get around the regulations to obtain the FAA’s stamp of approval.
The major deficit-reduction mechanism that the U.S. government adopted as law more than a year ago but never really intended to use, will nevertheless take effect on March 1 after political parties failed to reach agreement on cutting costs. “Sequestration” forces the Department of Defense to slash $46 billion from its budget through the end of the fiscal year in September, and some $500 billion over the next decade.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner met with Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Akihiro Ota in Tokyo on Thursday to discuss the company’s proposal to return the Boeing 787 to service.