Time is ticking, and Fairchild Dornier has only two months to find a strategic investor. In the hands of a court-appointed administrator since filing for insolvency on April 2, the company’s prospects may have grown even bleaker when one of its biggest customers–GE Capital Aviation Services–withdrew an order for fifty 728 regional jets last month.
“So this is the post-September 11 face of the international airshow.” That was probably the dominant thought for many visitors to Asian Aerospace 2002 (held February 26 to March 3) as they got in line to have their cars inspected from hood to trunk before having to pass through top-level airport-style screening to enter the show site.
Little more than a week after halting efforts to find outside investors for a majority share in its Avolar business aviation venture, United Airlines parent UAL Corp. pulled the plug entirely on March 22 and announced it is closing down the Chicago-based subsidiary.
Airbus Industrie began final assembly of the first Airbus A318 at its plant in Hamburg, Germany, when on August 9 it joined the 107-seat jet’s forward and aft fuselage sections. The A318, smallest member of the A320 family, will become the third Airbus type assembled outside the company’s primary plant in Toulouse, France. Airbus also builds the A319 and A321 in Germany.
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) received FAA type certification on October 28. The approval came just over three years after the large-cabin bizjet was certified by Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) and clears the way for deliveries in the U.S.
Airbus has hired executive charter specialist PrivatAir to operate a corporate shuttle service linking its facilities in the UK, France and Germany. Starting in April, a pair of 126-seat Airbus A319s will provide the daily midweek service between the Airbus factories at Broughton and Filton in the UK with those at Toulouse in southwestern France and Hamburg in northern Germany.
Shipments of new turbine business aircraft manufactured throughout the world have taken a nose dive since last year. This year’s deliveries totaled 601 units in the first nine months, down 196 (25 percent), from the same period last year, according to figures compiled by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and AIN.
Traditionally, Boeing and Airbus have used the Paris and Farnborough airshows to announce multimillion-dollar sales contracts, in the hope of one-upping the opposition. But at Farnborough this year–the first big post-September 11 air show–neither company had major announcements to make.
The Transportation Security Administration delayed the compliance deadline on its separate and controversial rules regarding stringent new security requirements for on-demand air-taxi operators of aircraft with an mtow of 12,500 lb or more. The comment period on the TSA’s proposed Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP) was reopened for comments through September 30 and the TSA intends to issue a final rule on October 31.
CAE last month inaugurated its aviation training center near Denver International Airport. The new facility, which specializes in the training of regional airline crews, is starting with three simulators: an Airbus A320 and two Bombardier CRJ200/700 devices. Frontier Airlines and Air Wisconsin are the launch customers. A third Bombardier CRJ200/700 simulator will be added next year.