India’s Kingfisher Airlines has missed pre-delivery payments on 38 ATR turboprops, triggering an effective cancellation of the order, ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato reported last month during the company’s annual “state of the company” overview in Toulouse. Nevertheless, the development won’t affect ATR’s plans to progressively increase its production rate over the next three years while preparing to add a larger, 90-seat model to its product lineup.
Aviation International News » February 2012
Aircraft charter provider VistaJet plans to step up its expansion of operations across Russia, Asia, Africa and South America. By 2015, the Switzerland-based group also intends to double the size of its fleet to more than 60 jets. VistaJet is in talks with prospective partners in China and expects to have an established operation there by year-end. On January 12, the company reported that it anticipates final figures for 2011 to show a 20-percent increase in passenger numbers and a 25-percent hike in revenues. It also anticipates 50-percent growth in profits.
A nonprofit digital rights advocacy organization filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation last month, demanding its constituent agency, the FAA, release information on who is operating or applying to operate unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace. The San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) alleges that the FAA “wrongfully withheld” information sought through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The next decade will usher in a new era of tightened purchase scrutiny for helicopters, according to business and general aviation analyst Brian Foley. He still predicts growing sales of helicopters over the period, “But most–if not all–will require an indisputable, virtually airtight business-case justification.
Vaisala, a provider of weather-measuring equipment and services, has upgraded the quality of its Global Lightning Dataset GLD360. According to the company, the system now features better location accuracy, polarity classification and peak current estimates.
The FAA has issued a proposed plan to transition the national airspace system (NAS) to a performance-based navigation system that relies on GPS and “area navigation everywhere and required navigation performance where beneficial,” instead of defining airways, routes and procedures using VORs and other legacy navaids. A minimum operational network of VORs and an “optimized network” of DMEs would be retained, and this drawdown would be complete by Jan. 1, 2020.
Did you know your Apple iPod touch can be turned into a rugged mobile computer? Just plug the iPod touch into Magellan’s ToughCase, and your mobile device gains a GPS, protection from the elements and even protection from damage when dropped.
The ToughCase sold for about $200 when it was introduced but is now available from Magellan for $79. It includes a 1840 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery that extends the iPod battery life and recharges the iPod’s battery.
The FAA has issued Technical Standard Order (TSO) C-195a covering ADS-B Aircraft Surveillance Applications. The TSO means that new ADS-B surveillance applications, both systems and equipment, must meet minimum operational performance standards outlined in RTCA DO-317a, issued December 13 last year.
On December 16 last year, the European Commission adopted a new regulation mandating Change 7.1 software for airborne collision avoidance systems (Acas II) used in aircraft operating in European airspace. The new regulation applies to turbine-powered aircraft with maximum takeoff weights of more than 5,700 kg (12,566 pounds) or aircraft authorized to carry more than 19 passengers.
Robinson Helicopter significantly increased production in 2011 from the 162 helicopters it manufactured in 2010. Last year the company built 356 helicopters (212 R44s, 88 R66s and 56 R22s). By the end of last year, the company had booked orders for 360 turbine-powered R66s and began this year with a backlog of orders for 400 aircraft. Robinson recently announced it has expanded its manufacturing space and is hiring more employees.