On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the transportation appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2015, which starts October 1, to move toward a floor vote for the entire chamber. If passed as written, the bill would provide $15.86 billion to the FAA in FY2015, $580 million more than the Obama Administration’s request.
The tri-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads) remains in limbo, with the $3.4 billion nine-year development program scheduled to conclude this year and no production order in sight from the U.S., Germany or Italy. But at a briefing last week during the ILA Berlin airshow, program officials said that Meads meets Poland’s stated air and missile defense (AMD) requirement. The Meads International industrial consortium, which currently comprises Lockheed Martin and MBDA’s German and Italian companies, is offering to make Poland an equal partner.
The Turkish aerospace industry was on full display last week during the ILA Berlin airshow, at which it was the official ‘partner country’. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) put the T129 attack helicopter and the Anka Male UAV on static display, and showed the Hurkus turboprop trainer on its stand in Hall 6. Also in that hall were displays by avionics specialist Aselsan; simulation and training company Havelsan, missile house Roketsan, systems house STM, defense research and space organization Tubitak, and Turkish Airlines.
The organizers of this week’s ILA Berlin airshow claimed 1,200 exhibitors from 40 countries, and were expecting 200, 000 visitors, including public spectators on the last three days. The show had plenty to offer in the fields of civil aerospace, space and environmental solutions. However, defense exhibitors and attendees at ILA Berlin are mostly focused on German requirements. The problem is, the Germans are not buying anything.
Thailand’s air transport market continues to suffer from mounting political turmoil in the capital city Bangkok. Widely known as “Shutdown Bangkok,” anti-government protests have closed major road intersections throughout the city, including key routes to both Don Mueang International Airport and Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Having enjoyed spectacular success with the launch of the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry in 2007, Brian Johnson moved to Appleby (Booth 4439) to help the legal services company and offshore specialist advise Jersey, in the Channel Islands near France, launch its own registry. Ironically, Johnson was recently thrown back into his old role as his replacement in the Isle of Man, Hartley Elder, took early retirement.
The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
Swiss citizens have rejected their government’s plan to buy 22 Saab Gripen E combat aircraft in a referendum. The verdict was not unexpected, since recent opinion polls had shown a majority against the plan, despite its previous approval by the Swiss parliament. However, the “no” vote majority was only 53.4 percent. Under Switzerland’s unique version of democracy, many significant and/or controversial matters of public policy are decided in this way.
AOPA is celebrating its 75th anniversary today. Concerned that the growing influence of military air power would eclipse general aviation, five founders gathered on May 15, 1939, to establish AOPA, electing C. Townsend Ludington as the association’s first president. Then, as now, AOPA’s primary mission was to protect the freedom to fly for the growing population of general aviation pilots and aircraft owners. Today, AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association, with representatives in Frederick, Md.; Washington, D.C.; Wichita; and seven regions across the U.S.
Duncan Aviation’s avionics team is validating STCs in response to Aircell’s announcement that Gogo Biz will be available in portions of Canada this year. Duncan has completed 11 STCs to date.