The cyclical nature of the airline business showed its inevitability again at this year’s Regional Airline Association convention, held May 21 to 24 in Memphis, Tenn. More than 1,500 visitors passed through the turnstiles at the Memphis Convention Center–a record number for an RAA convention.
Aviation International News » July 2007
Former Comair employee Zabdiel Santiago Balaguer pleaded guilty in Orlando federal court last month to gun and drug smuggling. The FBI arrested Balaguer in March along with five other co-conspirators, including fellow Comair employee Thomas Anthony Munoz, who allegedly tried to carry a duffel bag containing 14 guns and eight pounds of marijuana off a Delta Air Lines flight in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Bombardier Aerospace unveiled a series of updates to its CRJ900 regional jet during a June 5 event at the Signature Flight Support FBO at Washington Dulles International Airport. The 76-seat CRJ900 NextGen on display there became the first to enter revenue service on June 7, when Northwest Airlines subsidiary Mesaba Airlines flew it to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from Minneapolis.
The NTSB last month announced an investigation into a May 26 incident at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in which two regional airliners came within 50 feet of colliding. At about 1:30 p.m. the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines Flight 5741, an Embraer Brasilia arriving from Modesto, Calif., to land on Runway 28R.
The ATR Assembly of Members has named Stéphane Mayer, 44, CEO of the company effective June 1. Mayer succeeds Filippo Bagnato, whose three-year mandate expired at the end of May and who now serves as chairman of the board of directors.
The Department of Transportation has fined Comair $75,000 for misleading passengers about the cause of the rash of Christmas Day 2004 flight cancellations that left thousands stranded. A flood of schedule changes resulting from an ice storm caused the computer failure that ultimately resulted in the cancellation of 1,100 flights that day.
Frontier Airlines expects to take delivery of its first Bombardier Q400 this month and launch service aboard the 74-seat turboprop with its new Lynx Aviation subsidiary on September 5. Early last month the company waited for a waiver approval from the DOT to begin “advertising, accepting payments and selling” tickets on June 14 for its first four markets, all of which it plans to serve from Denver.
Pilots Jennifer Murray, 66, and Colin Bodill, 56, completed their record-setting VFR pole-to-pole round-trip flight from Fort Worth on May 23 in a Bell 407. The pair took 171 days to complete the feat and posted an average speed of just over nine miles per hour. Even at that modest pace, the flight was one for the record books as no one has completed a pole-to-pole helicopter journey before.
A new scale of landing charges introduced at the beginning of April for users of London Heliport is aimed at containing demand for the riverside facility, which has an annual limit of 12,000 movements–effectively 6,000 landings–as well as helping its new owner recoup a “considerable” investment in the site.
On May 23 more than 50 FBI agents and employees of the FAA raided the headquarters of Air Evac Lifeteam in West Plains, Mo. The agents sent employees home and carted away boxes of records and equipment.