Bell 212, 412 and 412EP operators now have FAA STC approval to install Max-Viz’s EVS-1000 enhanced vision system. The certification allows the more than 200 U.S.-registered Bell 212s and 412s to be fitted with EVS, which offers crews improved situational awareness at night and in poor visibility.
Aviation International News » February 2004
Following the first Bell/Agusta AB139 delivery to Helilario, production is now ramping up to meet deliveries to international customers later this year. The company said it already has a “sizable” order book for the helicopter, corresponding to two years of production. Preparation of AB139 customer-support and training activities is on target to meet introduction-into-service dates.
Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia-based UTair is supporting South Africa’s summer aerial firefighting campaign, under a new contract awarded by the national forest fire association.
The past 12 months have not been the most thrilling, it has to be said, for anyone on the lookout for new Western helicopters. Apart from the first look at an intriguing new European tiltwing design, there has been little to report in terms of new initiatives from the major manufacturers. Most of those seeking certification, with the honorable exception of the AB139, inch toward their goal with all the alacrity of a snail on Prozac.
In a scenario all too familiar since the advent of the regional jet age, the pilots of Air Canada and its regional airline subsidiary, Air Canada Jazz, could hold the key to the insolvent company’s plans to field at least 90 new jets from Bombardier and Embraer.
New airline industry statistics released last month by the office of DOT inspector general Kenneth Mead revealed that regional jets now account for one-quarter of all departures in the U.S. In absolute terms, RJ frequencies increased 140 percent (from 88,474 to 212,126 departures) since December 2000, when the small jets accounted for just 10 percent of all departures.
In November, when SkyEurope began serving London and Paris from Budapest, Hungarian media mocked the carrier as fapados, meaning wooden bench–the painfully plain, rickety class of travel from communist days. The names never hurt them. So Hungary tossed regulatory stones at the bare-bones regional to break any advantage over its national carrier, Malev.
Hopes for a first-quarter launch of US Airways’ MidAtlantic division dimmed to a flicker last month as pilots continued their dispute over payscales for new Embraer 170 positions and management took steps to sell off assets to meet minimum federal loan requirements.
Swiss International Air Lines may again fly its Saab 2000 turboprops into Switzerland’s Lugano Airport under a new indirect IFR approach procedure proposed by the flag carrier and charter operator and FBO chain Jet Aviation. The indirect approach serves as an alternative to the steep approach to Runway 01 imposed by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) since November.
Mesaba Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) reached a tentative agreement on a new contract last month for the airline’s 844 pilots, averting a threatened strike by a matter of hours. ALPA and Mesaba had engaged in negotiations since June 2001 to no avail, prompting the National Mediation Board to call an impasse and a 30-day “cooling off period,” after which the pilots could have legally walked off the job.