Growing distrust between elements within various pilot groups and airline management over the use of confidential safety information is threatening the integrity and effectiveness of the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), according to the Regional Airline Association. In fact, the issue dominated the discourse during a December meeting of some 20 regional airline safety directors at RAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Aviation International News » January 2009
Pinnacle Airlines subsidiary Colgan Air signed a firm order last month to acquire 15 more Q400 NextGen turboprops worth some $432 million. The transaction involves the conversion of a conditional order for 10 airplanes to firm status and the exercise of options Pinnacle placed on five in 2007. Scheduled for delivery between August 2010 and April 2011, the latest tranche of turboprops would increase the size of the fleet to 30.
China’s Xi’an Aircraft Industry Company (XAC) has started preliminary work on the Modern Ark 700 (MA700), a 70-seat turboprop regional aircraft that it expects to fly by 2013 or 2014.
The MA700 would be more energy-efficient than the Chinese turboprop now under development–the 60-seat MA600– and designed for high-altitude operations, said Geng Ruoguang, vice general manager of China Aviation Industry Corp. (AVIC), parent of XAC.
Researchers at Sensis’s Seagull Technology Center in Campbell, Calif., have calculated what they call excess fuel burned during taxiing at 13 of the nation’s largest airports. In this case, excess means the amount of time spent taxiing versus the ideal time required to proceed from the ramp to the takeoff point, and from exiting the runway to the ramp after landing, and then converting the time difference into fuel burn.
Pilots flying helicopters for the French hospitals’ emergency medical services–Samu, under the French acronym–were scheduled to go on strike on January 30 to protest long hours, low wages and pressure exerted on unionists. On January 19
China Aviation Industry Corp (AVIC) will build a $1.2 billion commercial helicopter plant in the northern port city of Tianjin with the local government to consolidate its diverse businesses. The move will allow the company to make full use of the geographical advantage of Tianjin as a port city, said a spokesman.
UK-based Bond Air Services has ordered a Eurocopter EC 135 that will be used for maintenance missions at the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm. Starting late this year, the light twin will perform operations such as delivery of personnel and equipment by winch.
AgustaWestland has signed a six-year contract with the Porto-based Center of Excellence for Innovation in the Automotive Industry (CEIIA), which will thus extend its field of competence to aeronautics. The agreement is for research and development, design and engineering projects.
Cyprus’s Ministry of Justice has ordered two AW139 medium twins for law enforcement and search-and-rescue (SAR) operations. The island nation’s Ministry of Defense had previously ordered three AW139s for SAR and utility-EMS duties, covering the Cyprus flight information region.
The first of five “block one” new production presidential helicopters arrived at Lockheed Martin’s Owego, N.Y. facility last month for systems integration, paint and interior. The VH-71s are based on the AgustaWestland EH-101 and will be operated by the Marine Corps. A follow-on “block two” of 23 additional helicopters with more advanced capabilities will join the fleet beginning in 2013.
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