A celebrity pilot who advocates for general aviation and a determined senator were no match this week for the FAA’s plans to close the towers at up to 238 U.S. airports in an effort to trim costs required under the budget sequester. The FAA planned to announce a finalized closure list on Monday, but the agency delayed its release until tomorrow due to the overwhelming number of appeals to keep the towers open.
Two helicopters, understood to be a Eurocopter EC155 and a Eurocopter Super Puma, crashed after a midair during windy snowfall today near the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. One pilot was killed and four people were severely injured, according to local news reports. The two helicopters, along with a third that was not involved in the accident, were participating in a crowd-control training exercise. Accident investigators were on scene at press time.
As the fleet of PC-12s approaches 1,200 worldwide, with approximately 70 percent of them in the U.S., Pilatus Aircraft is expanding its service network to meet the demand for customer support. The company recently named Northern Air, based at Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a satellite service center under the sales and service region managed by Londonderry, N.H.-based Pro Star Aviation. Million Air Houston was also added as a satellite service center under Tempus Aircraft Sales and Service of Englewood, Colo.
Embraer has named Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering (Staeco) of Ji’nan, China, its authorized service center in China. Staeco will provide line and heavy maintenance for E-Jets in accordance with China Civil Aviation Regulation Part 145 standards.
The Chinese regional aviation market will be responsible for 15 percent of worldwide deliveries of 61- to 120-seat jets in the next 20 years. Embraer forecasts a demand in China for 1,005 new jets up to 2031 in this category (455 jets in the 61- to 90-seat segment and 550 jets in the 91- to 120-seat segment).
Gardner Aviation Services is offering a general aviation fixed-wing and rotorcraft product support catalog that features avionics, instruments and pilot supplies, including the latest in digital displays, communications and ADS-B technologies. The new catalog serves as a buyer’s guide for selecting equipment designed for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Product photos and descriptions identify hundreds of items and their function.
The FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) for the Cessna 750 Citation X prompted by reports of loss of displayed airspeed.
Hundreds of exhibitors at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, to be held in Hamburg, Germany from April 9 to 11, are from the business aviation sector. Among some 60 new exhibitors is Satcom Direct, a global satellite communications provider. Other exhibitors range from smaller suppliers such as U.S. window treatment specialist Lou Martin & Associates to heavyweights such as cabin completion and MRO provider Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg.
Irish low-fare carrier Ryanair on Tuesday committed to buying 175 new Boeing 737-800NGs worth nearly $15.6 billion at current list prices. The deal, still subject to confirmation, supports Ryanair’s plan to expand the size of its uniform fleet of 737-800s from 305 to some 400 airplanes and serve more than 100 million passengers per year across Europe by the end of the delivery stream in 2018.
Embraer expects to see substantial sales activity over the next few months involving 70- and 76-seat E-Jets as U.S. major airlines respond to relaxed union limits on regional jets among their regional airline partners, according to the manufacturer’s CEO, Frederico Curado.
The European Commission proposed yet another package of measures to strengthen passenger rights last week, but not without a nod to airline concerns over the resulting costs. The commission designed the new rules to make passenger life easier when things go wrong, without putting airlines out of business by demanding too much care or compensation.
“[A passenger] will have a right to information about what is going on after half an hour [in the event of a flight delay],” said EC commissioner for transport Siim Kallas.