The International Civil Aviation Organization approved a temporary ban on carrying lithium-ion batteries as standard cargo on passenger aircraft last week. An interim amendment approved on February 13 rescinded ICAO’s earlier exemption that allowed lithium-ion batteries weighing up to 35 kg (77 pounds) to be carried. Batteries weighing approximately 66 pounds were responsible for two recent fires aboard the now-grounded Boeing 787 airliner.
The FAA issued a much-anticipated screening information request (SIR) that seeks proposals from public entities including state and local governments and universities to operate six test ranges for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
For flight department managers, the work necessary to locate the best qualified temporary pilots, flight attendants or maintenance technicians has become easier over the past decade, thanks in part to the communications technology of the Internet. However, for the handful of staffing companies that actually serve as the go-between for employers and employees, the job has become considerably tougher as those companies assume much more of the risk than before.
ExecuJet Africa has partnered with international risk management company MS Risk to offer emergency response plans for clients with staff based at remote locations in Africa. Under the new Urgent Response Plan (URP) service, ExecuJet and MS Risk will work with clients’ human resources and safety managers to develop evacuation plans for those companies that do not currently have one in place or integrate services into an existing program. The URP will also include intelligence reporting, remote site visits, ground and air service options and logistics coordination.
Israel-headquartered Elbit Systems has announced a series of successful flight tests on a system designed to protect large jet aircraft against shoulder-launched ground-to-air missiles (Manpads, or man-portable air-defense systems). Designated C-Music, the defensive equipment was tested on board a Boeing 707.
C-Music, for commercial multi-spectral infrared countermeasures, is part of the company’s line of directed IR countermeasures (DIRCM) solutions for protecting all types of aircraft from heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles in all operational conditions.
During World War II, “Loose Lips Sink Ships” was a familiar slogan on both sides of the Atlantic at a time when German U-boats (U for unterwasserboot, submarine) were wreaking a deadly toll on cargo vessels transporting Allied supplies from North America to the beleaguered British Isles.
Rockwell Collins introduced enhancements to its Flight Manager web-based application today at the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The changes to the program, which is part of the Iowa-based company’s Ascend flight information solutions, include dynamic graphical flight tracking and an electronic advance passenger information system (APIS) reporting tool for Part 91 operators.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (IG) issued a self-initiated report on Dec. 19, 2012, about the FAA’s en route automation modernization (Eram) program’s (flight) information security controls. Unfortunately, the IG did not make the report public online due to security requirements to protect the information crews might care about.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), a global organization dedicated to reducing the civil helicopter accident rate, has added Robinson Helicopter president Kurt Robinson to its executive committee. He is a commercial helicopter pilot and he holds an MBA and a law degree from the University of San Diego.
U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) executives said they will use new approaches to increase enrollment in “Pre-Check,” a program that pre-screens airline passengers for security risks and helps smooth the flow of people through airport security lines. Airport executives complain the program has gone underused.