The Society for Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) expected to finish counting ballots cast by Boeing engineers and technicians on a new four-year contract proposal on Monday evening. Boeing’s offer, which SPEEA leadership urged its 23,000 Boeing members to reject, calls for an average 3.5-percent raise for engineers for each year of the agreement and average pay hikes for technicians of 3 percent for the first year, followed by 2.5 percent in each subsequent year.
AIN Air Transport Perspective
Governments on opposite sides of the Atlantic remain at loggerheads over subsidies to their respective aerospace industries following a European Union rebuke last week of a U.S. claim that it has met a World Trade Organization deadline to withdraw illegal support to Boeing.
In a development particularly relevant to oceanic operations, an FAA-sponsored aviation rulemaking committee expects to issue guidance material providing for the use of satellite-based voice communications for long-range contact with ATC by year-end.
More than 15 years after selling his Business Air commuter operation to British Midland Airways, Ian Woodley once again occupies the left seat as executive chairman of BMI Regional.
Joined by top U.S. transportation officials, Boeing and American Airlines showcased the 737-800 “ecoDemonstrator” flying testbed at Washington Reagan National Airport on September 18. Boeing had flown the aircraft from its flight-test facility at Glasgow, Montana, the preceding day using a biofuel blend made partially from used cooking oil.
GE has finished the first round of checks on all in-service and spare GEnx turbofans ahead of the September 21 publication of a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive (AD) that calls for ultrasonic inspection of early-build engines’ fan midshafts every 90 days. GE has developed a field ultrasonic method to inspect the suspect area of the engines while they remain on the airplanes.
Harris has won a three-way contest to provide the FAA’s next generation ATC data communications network between pilots and controllers, beating competing bids by ITT Exelis and Lockheed Martin.
The Indian government has finally given in to demands to ease restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country’s struggling airlines. The unexpected September 14 announcement clears the way for foreign carriers to take up to a 49-percent stake in Indian operators, with the exception of government-owned Air India. However, industry and financial analysts indicated to AIN that they view the policy U-turn cautiously, warning that it won’t necessarily mean salvation for cash-strapped carriers.
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation has postponed until next February a long-awaited decision on which foreign airline it will allow to start operating domestic and international services in the country’s highly restrictive air transport market, the agency confirmed last week. Confusingly, GACA spokesman Khalid Al-Khaibary told Arab News the Saudis will grant startup licenses to whatever airline wins within four to six months, even though authorities say they expect flights to begin in April.
German aerospace research center DLR has just completed a series of wind-tunnel tests on a wing segment that incorporates both a morphing leading edge and a laminar profile for reduced drag. The trials took place between August 27 and September 7 at the TsAGI institute in Zhukovsky, near Moscow. Airbus, EADS Innovation Works and Cassidian Air Systems are partnered with DLR on the project.