The Department of Transportation has announced it will press forward with plans to auction takeoff and landing slots at the three major New York-area airports, despite a GAO opinion that the department did not have the authority to do so. The announcement drew condemnation from the Air Transport Association, which called the idea ill-conceived and predicted that it would result in a costly legal battle.
Aviation International News » November 2008
Pinnacle Airlines has agreed to fly–at least temporarily–the seven Bombardier CRJ900s Delta Air Lines had told Mesa Air Group it would pull from their service contract starting October 6. All told, Pinnacle now flies 12 CRJ900s as Delta Connection–three of which it took from Mesa last month–and by the end of this month it expects to have deployed 18 airplanes, nine on a short-term lease.
Piedmont Airlines and SkyWest Airlines will each receive $600,000 from the FAA as part of a $5 million program to fund in-cockpit runway safety systems, in this case electronic flight bags (EFBs), in exchange for the operational data those systems would generate. Under the plan, each airline will install the technology by May 15 next year. Each agreement remains in effect through September 2011.
Embraer in late August celebrated the first delivery of E190s to two new customers–China’s Kunpeng Airlines and TACA Airlines of El Salvador.
Embraer and Flybe Aviation Services have signed a five-year contract that names the UK regional aircraft maintenance company an authorized service center for the ERJ 145 and E-Jet series. Flybe serves as an Embraer parts pool program customer, and now joins the company’s aviation services network.
The European helicopter safety team (Ehest) released the preliminary results of the first European-wide helicopter accident study on October 13, during a conference in Cascais, Portugal. The Ehest is now transitioning from analysis to the development of an action plan. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016, consistent with the goals of the international helicopter safety team (IHST).
Semia, a French manufacturer of maintenance equipment, was at Helitech 2008 exhibiting the Syntham 5000, a new engine vibration-check device that can monitor several channels simultaneously.
In Portugal, state-owned helicopter operator Empresa de Meios Aéreos (EMA) seems happy with the six Kamov Ka-32 A11BCs it acquired for firefighting and search-and-rescue operations (SAR). The 12-metric-ton Russian design, relatively rare in the Western world, can carry four tons of water. And it is much less expensive than its competitors, according to pilot and media officer João Manuel da Silva dos Santos.
Helicopter operator Inaer introduced Einforex, a system that updates 3-D maps with firefighting information such as fire front location, past water drops and populated areas. The government of Spain tested the system last summer. Einforex will cost U60,000 ($80,000) for a three-month campaign.
Start-up manufacturer Hélicoptères Guimbal delivered its first Cabri G2 two-seater to French-based operator Ixair on September 19. The company claims this aircraft brings new technology to the Robinson R22 and Schweizer 300 market, notably in terms of safety.