With the official opening of the new Cabin Innovation Center for research and development at its Hamburg, Germany headquarters on April 1, Lufthansa Technik has made its position with regard to the future perfectly clear, regardless of the current economic and credit crisis.
Aviation International News » May 2009
328 Support Services has started work on another Dornier 328Jet conversion from airliner to executive transport. The twinjet, destined for Aviando Services of Miami, is to be converted into a 12-passenger “luxury” aircraft and is scheduled for delivery in October.
London-based Design Q has teamed with Case4de engineering specialists to produce an interior proposal for the A380 Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Al Saud of Saudi Arabia ordered last year. Design Q director Gary Doy described the job as daunting. The airplane, he said, will be the “ultimate luxury” private jet. Its two decks provide more than 6,000 sq ft of floor space.
Rockwell Collins’s Airshow 4000 v2 moving map has gotten a major facelift, and the company brought in some of California’s top video game programmers to make sure designers got the new version right. The new v2 is a software upgrade, and the entirely new mapping includes some two hundred 3-D enhancements and makes use of satellite-derived topographic data from NASA.
Interior Development Group is staying busy, thanks in part to some substantial government contracts. The Atlanta-based interiors shop is scheduled to deliver the first of a three-aircraft contract with a broker to convert former FAA Hawker 800s for executive use. The first is scheduled for delivery this month. IDG is also at work on a U.S. military contact for conversion of a Sikorsky S-61.
At the opening session of the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2009 in Hamburg last month, a panel of industry executives acknowledged the challenges facing the interiors business during this economic and credit crisis, but they also emphasized the importance of adapting to meet the challenge as an opportunity, while at the same time preparing for the next upswing.
President Barack Obama charged into his presidency full of enthusiasm for plans to staff his cabinet with worthies, stimulate the economy, revise fiscal policies and eliminate wasteful government spending through earmarked amendments. Spending watchdogs noted that in the first presidential debate Obama said, “We need earmark reform, and when I am President I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”
The two Republican senators from Kansas joined a growing chorus in support of business aviation when they took President Obama to task for “misguided and reckless statements and policy suggestions” affecting the general aviation industry.
Although the U.S. remains the gold standard in aviation safety, a sharp rise in fatalities among on-demand air charter operations last year has raised a flag with the NTSB.
Congress seems to be getting fed up with the slow pace of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) rollout. When NextGen was publicly announced in 2004 by then-Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, 2025 was often mentioned as the target date by which all of the expected benefits would become available to users.
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