U.S. Congressman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) thinks Taiwan should be allowed to join the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), making that Asian country eligible for more of the organization’s safety oversight support. The People’s Republic of China is an established ICAO member state and the latest proposal is controversial because it does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state.
On Friday, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) transportation ministers approved a core statement of principles that lay the foundation for business aviation’s growth in the Asia-Pacific region. The framework, which will be used by the ministers to begin drafting business aviation-specific regulations in their respective countries, was developed by a coalition of industry groups, including NBAA, GAMA, the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) and IBAC.
Growth in global airline traffic–both passenger and cargo–continued a positive trend during the month of July, as revenue passenger kilometers increased 5 percent and freight ton kilometers rose 1.2 percent over the same month in 2012, according to a pair of reports issued last week by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Indonesia signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. government to buy eight new Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters during U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent trip to Southeast Asia. The Pentagon valued the transaction at $500 million; it represents the first sale of Apaches to Indonesia.
Business aviation services group Comlux will complete the relocation of its main holding company from Switzerland to Malta with the formal opening on Thursday of its new headquarters on the Mediterranean island.
“There are always challenges to flying internationally,” said Tim Bartholomew, manager of international trip support for Rockwell Collins Ascend Flight Information Solutions (Stand 2007). And while those challenges may change from one day to the next, he and others see the process slowly becoming more and more efficient.
According to noted industry observer Brian Foley, despite the recent weak economic performance of Brazil and Mexico, other countries such as Argentina are performing better and this is being reflected in demand for business aircraft.
With many eyes focused on Egypt since the downfall of President Morsi, business aircraft operators are wondering about their next trip to the region. Thomas Winn, interim director of the Master of Security Management for Executives program at the University of Houston Downtown, told AIN, “If a trip to Egypt isn’t business essential right now, it should wait until all of Egypt gets re-examined. There’s obvious instability in the region, and I’m concerned about the potential for violence and retaliation.”
Polynesia’s Real Tonga Airlines has been given its first aircraft–an MA-60–by the Chinese government. However, the move has prompted New Zealand to suspend millions of dollars in tourism aid to Tonga because it is concerned about the twin turboprop’s safety record. According to the Fiji Times, New Zealand foreign affairs minister Murray McCully has stated that the MA-60 has an unacceptable standard of safety.
VistaJet, a global aircraft charter operator that flies only Bombardier business jets, opened its new Malta operations center late last week. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and other top-ranking Maltese officials joined VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr to mark the occasion.