Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said Boeing will assemble the new 777X widebody and build its carbon fiber composite wing in the Puget Sound region of his state, an economic windfall that depends on Boeing’s machinists’ union ratifying a new contract and the state Legislature approving an incentives package.
Air Transport and Cargo
News and issues relating to international air transport and cargo carriers, national airlines and regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Delivery of the $40 billion NextGen ATC modernization will likely remain highly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of politics unless those charged with implementing the system work to protect its funding streams, senior industry leaders told the recent Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) conference and exposition.
The new executive director at the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Patrick Ky, sees the agency’s role paradoxically heightened by national budget cuts. During a recent interview with AIN near EASA headquarters in Cologne, Germany, he explained that most member states–even Germany–had seen nationwide monitoring missions severely affected. Countries such as the Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have cut jobs in administration, he added.
The pilots of US Airways regional subsidiary PSA Airlines ratified a letter of agreement in late September that grants them the right to fly thirty 76-seat Bombardier CRJ900s in return for several concessions in their Air Line Pilots Association collective bargaining agreement.
A new study released last month by Newtown, Conn.-based Forecast International projects “restrained growth” in the regional airliner market over the next 10 years, stemming from such factors as major-airline consolidation. The study projects gradual and steady growth between 2013 and 2020, followed by a cyclical downturn in 2021 and 2022 that will negatively affect delivery numbers.
Boeing has increased its estimate of the operating performance of the 737 Max, saying the re-engined narrowbody will burn 14 percent less fuel than the current 737NG consumes. In July, the manufacturer said the 737 Max with new CFM Leap-1B turbofans will be 13 percent more fuel efficient.
Less-than-satisfactory dispatch reliability of the Boeing 787 hasn’t discouraged the company’s ambitions to ensure enough airplanes roll out of the two Dreamliner factories to meet delivery commitments. Now building 787s at a rate of seven per month, the company announced plans last week to raise rates from the 10 per month targeted for the end of this year to 12 per month by 2016 and 14 a month before the end of the decade.
In what might seem a 180-degree heading change, Airbus confirmed the possibility of a second stretch of its A350XWB that could help fill a gap between the largely composite-bodied twinjet and the A380 superjumbo.
India’s Mahindra Aerospace inaugurated a 270,000-sq-ft aerostructures manufacturing plant last week at the Narsapura Industrial Estate near Bangalore. The plant opening accompanied an announcement by Mahindra that it signed a technology partnership agreement with Spanish Tier 1 supplier Aernnova Group, the first for Aernnova with an Indian aerostructures manufacturer.
Salvage teams attempting to recover the flight data and cockpit voice recorders from a Lao Airlines ATR 72-600 that crashed into the Mekong River in southern Laos on October 16 have narrowed the search area from some 650 feet to about 80 feet, but zero visibility, limited mechanical means, a five-knot river current and a lack of m