France’s beleaguered President Jacques Chirac opened the 46th Paris Air Show here at Le Bourget yesterday. While his visit is intended primarily to cheerlead the country’s own aerospace and defense industry, he has lately proved to be a best friend to foreign exhibitors, too.
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News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
Bloodied and bruised by the U.S. Air Force tanker fiasco, Boeing has fought back this week by bringing the first KC-767A to the Paris show. But yet another damning report on the aborted U.S. lease deal has not only further tarnished the company’s reputation but also cast doubt on whether the Pentagon really needs a new fleet of tankers anytime soon.
European Commission vice president Jacques Barrot and Eurocontrol director general Victor Aguado came to the show yesterday to announce the go-ahead for a potential e2 billion ($2.44 billion)-plus investment in Europe’s Sesame air traffic modernization program.
Airbus will launch the A350 airliner in September regardless of whether the transatlantic trade dispute over airliner subsidies has been settled by then. Airbus chief executive and EADS co-CEO Noël Forgeard yesterday admitted that the company did indeed delay the launch of the A350 to allow the subsidy negotiations between the European Union and the U.S. to advance further.
For Titan Corp., the biggest fine imposed by the U.S. Justice Department since the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977 must seem like a pittance compared with the less obvious losses it suffered as a result of its malfeasance.
To many, the notion that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will one day fly alongside passenger airliners and other aircraft, in fair weather and foul, still seems like science fiction. Yet civil aviation authorities in Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and elsewhere are now finalizing rules under which these operations will take place, possibly as soon as 2010.
“When China wakes, it will shake the world.” French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s assessment now lies at the heart of a major polemic between the U.S. and the European Union over the EU’s proposal to lift its arms embargo on the People’s Republic of China.
The air transport industry in Europe employs about 3.1 million people, and if air traffic doubles in 15 years as expected, the sector will contribute up to 13 percent of Europe’s gross domestic product. A thriving aerospace industry is therefore a key factor in the 25-nation European Union’s “Lisbon Strategy” to become the “most competitive economy in the world.”
Honeywell is warning lawmakers in Washington to stop stalling over plans for air traffic management (ATM) funding. By contrast, he said that their European counterparts have more quickly confronted the problem.
• Election Day results delivered a knockout blow to Republican hopes of retaining the majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The first blow came as Democrats gained control of the House by the end of the day. Two days later, the last punch came as Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia, considered a shoo-in for reelection, conceded the election to Democrat James Webb, one time Secretary of the Navy.