To professional aerospace observers, there should be no such thing as culture shock, but even after several years of Airbus A380 gestation some of its vital statistics retain their “gee whiz” characteristics. Not least are the new mega-jetliner’s design weights, taking off at up to almost 1,235,000 pounds and landing at more than 851,000 pounds.
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.
What should operators do when they face the prospect of ice forming on aircraft and flying controls? The most obvious course of action–applying anti-icing fluid– might prove the worst, according to the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), which warns that, paradoxically, the use of thickened anti-icing fluid can lead to creation of a frozen gel that can affect all aircraft.
Danish regional airline Cimber Air is preparing to establish corporate shuttle services to connect companies on the Danish mainland with their satellite production operations in the Ukraine. Firms are being invited to buy blocks of between 20 and 100 one-way flights for the services, which will initially run only on Mondays and Fridays.
The horizontal distance currently required between lighter and heavier aircraft to avoid wake turbulence might have to be doubled for smaller aircraft flying behind the new Airbus A380, according to preliminary findings of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
An insolvency administrator has signed a letter of intent with Germany’s RUAG Aerospace Services to take over from bankrupt AvCraft the Dornier 328 type certificate and product support. While production of the Do-328 regional jet and the Envoy executive version ceased several months ago, 140 employees remain at AvCraft, also in Germany, to provide customer support and aircraft maintenance.
Two years on from the creation of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the ERA remains worried about that new agency’s cash flow problems. “There has been a failure to establish a mutually supported and agreed-upon business model with national aviation authorities,” said ERA director general Mike Ambrose.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) will help manage the two-year definition phase of the Sesame Single European Sky implementation program as part of a consortium of companies and industry associations selected as preferred bidder by Eurocontrol.
Traffic recovery continued to accelerate during the first half of the year, according o the latest statistics from the ERA. With data collected from 35 of the group’s 67 member carriers, revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) between January and June of this year increased by 9.9 percent, compared with a growth rate of 5.4 percent in the same period last year.
Accident investigators have determined that Tunisian mechanics replaced a faulty fuel gauge in the ATR 72 that crashed off the northeast coast of Sicily on August 6 with the wrong model, a mistake that apparently led the doomed airplane’s pilots to upload less fuel than they needed to complete their trip from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia.
As the industry gathers in Gothenburg for this year’s general assembly, the ERA will certainly lament the absence of one of its stalwart airline members from Scandinavia–even if its passengers have taken little notice.