Last year saw reasonably brisk activity in the regional turboprop business, as the Western world’s remaining players scrambled to hold their positions during a period of continuing sluggishness in the air-transport sector.
Aviation International News » March 2004
AvCraft CEO Ben Bartel in late January announced the restart of Dornier 328JET production at the company’s plant in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, just outside Munich. Headquartered at Leesburg, Va., AvCraft one year ago acquired production rights for the 328/328JET and its corporate version, the Envoy 3, as well as for the stretched 428JET that might be developed later.
The Bombardier CRJ line of regional jets added to its ample order totals recently when over the span of two weeks Mesa Air Group and SkyWest Airlines each signed new deals involving 50-, 70- and 86-seat jets. In Mesa’s case, the Phoenix-based carrier exercised options on a mix of 20 CRJ700s and -900s for delivery through next year.
US Airways can no longer point to the lack of a pilot deal for any further delays in the launch of MidAtlantic Airways, as members of the Air Line Pilots Association dropped a grievance over Embraer 170 payscales. Under the settlement, the pilots accepted pay on par with that of American Eagle CRJ700 pilots, and dropped their demands
Harbin-Embraer–the manufacturing joint venture established in January last year by Brazil’s Embraer and AVIC II subsidiaries Harbin Aircraft and Hafei Aviation–secured a launch order for Chinese- built ERJ-145s from China Southern Airlines last month, ending a tedious wait for evidence of the program’s commercial viability.
A new final rule issued by the FAA last month will subject airports hosting scheduled flights in aircraft designed to hold between 10 and 30 passenger seats to standards now reserved for larger airports under FAR Part 139. The rule would reclassify U.S. airports into four categories, based on service type.
A cooling deficiency in Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW306B turbofan has forced the company to correct and recertify the design after turbine blades showed premature wear on several Fairchild Dornier 328JETs. A company spokeswoman told AIN that PW&C would perform the “upgrade” as operators turn in their airplanes for regular maintenance.
Predicting the weather is a little like trying to pick up Jell-O before it sets. There are a lot of molecules up there, all interacting in less than predictable ways. It is a little surprising, then, that the head of one of the world’s foremost weather-data specialists says forecast accuracy is about to see vast improvements over and above what today’s computer modeling is capable of generating.
The FAA placed production orders for 11 of Sensis’ airport surface detection equipment systems, Model X (ASDE-X). This requisition is in addition to the 21 initial systems ordered in December 2002. The production option for the 11 ASDE-X systems, in addition to associated hardware, software and support, is worth approximately $35 million.
The European Commission Directorate General for Energy and Transport has recently awarded a contract to a team led by Helios Technology to contribute to the development of a European Radio Navigation Plan (ERNP) and to support European Radio Navigation policy. The team includes Telematica of Germany, General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland, INECO of Spain and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.