The European Commission (EC) plans to propose new legislation to accelerate implementation of the Single European Sky (SES) program and is threatening legal action against national governments that have failed to fulfill their obligations to the far-reaching air traffic management (ATM) reorganization. In an October 11 speech in Cyprus, EC transport commissioner Siim Kallas acknowledged that SES “is not delivering” on its goals of halving ATM costs while tripling airspace capacity.
AIN Air Transport Perspective
Negotiations continued between the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) and Boeing last week amid fallout from its white-collar workers’ overwhelming rejection of the company’s first contract offer. The ballot count, conducted on October 1, showed that 95.5 percent of voting SPEEA-represented engineers rejected Boeing’s offer, as did 97 percent of its participating technical workers.
U.S. airlines and their Congressional allies have based their opposition to the European Union’s emissions trading scheme largely on the bogus contention that it amounts to an infringement of national sovereignty, according to a policy brief commissioned by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and produced by Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Climate Advisors. The new report, published on October 11, argues that international aviation rules generally allow nations to regulate flights in and out of their territories, as long as they don’t discriminate against foreign carriers.
Bankrupt AMR moved a step closer to its goal of saving $1.25 billion a year in employee-related costs as the pilots of American Eagle voted last Monday to ratify a tentative agreement reached between their Air Line Pilots Association bargaining committee and airline management. Of the regional airline’s some 3,000 pilots, 85 percent cast ballots. Seventy percent of participating pilots voted in favor of the agreement.
Saab Sensis and LFV, Sweden’s air navigation services provider (ANSP), are working toward certification of a “remote tower” (r-TWR) concept next year meant to allow air traffic controllers to manage aircraft operations at small and regional airports from a distance using cameras and other sensors. Authorities in Australia and Norway have begun testing the technology as well.
After failing to reach an agreement with striking engineers and pilots who have not been paid since March this year, India’s Kingfisher Airlines has effectively grounded itself until at least October 12 by locking out staff. Kingfisher’s management, led by owner Vijay Mallya, is trying to renegotiate some $2.49 billion in debt with creditors while it struggles with serious cash-flow problems, evidenced by $1.9 billion in losses for the first half of this year.
Ireland-based aircraft lessor Avolon is speaking out against what it characterizes as irresponsible speculation that the economic life of modern airliners has been significantly reduced by the dismantling (for parts) of a number of relatively young aircraft, such as the Airbus A318. In an October 2 webcast, Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery and head of strategy Dick Forsberg presented the results of a study drawing on raw fleet data provided by consultancy Ascend, combined with its own 10-year projections.
The director of Lockheed Martin’s En route Automation Modernization (Eram) program has said the system’s deployment across the U.S. is on schedule and on budget since the FAA recalculated, or “rebaselined,” its cost and schedule in June last year.
The European Union’s so-called safety blacklist, which bans carriers from specified countries deemed to have inadequate safety regulation standards, has been condemned as “misguided” by Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). During last month’s Central Asian summit on aviation safety, Tyler highlighted the bans on summit host Kazakhstan and its neighbor Kyrgyzstan. Carriers from these countries are banned from operating in EU airspace, with the partial exception of Kazakhstan’s Air Astana, which can operate only some of its fleet.
Bauhaus Luftfahrt, a Germany-based aerospace think tank, has outlined its vision of an electrically powered, emission-free airliner–relying on batteries–that it believes could be in service by 2035. The most obvious aspect of the design is a C-shaped wing for greater lift. Another major feature is the use of superconductivity for better power transmission and greater motor power density.