Flying commercially using a single-engine aircraft under instrument flight rules (SECIFR) or at night may be taken for granted in the U.S., but it has not been possible in Europe–until now. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has cracked the door open–first for cargo operators and more recently, in the past few months, for flights carrying fare-paying passengers. It has left the decision to individual countries’ regulators, however, and France and Finland have taken the lead.
Aviation in the United Kingdom
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) recovered the cockpit voice/flight data recorder today from the Eurocopter Super Puma that ditched last Friday, killing four.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an airworthiness directive (AD) calling for either the removal or inspection of the Honeywell fixed emergency locator transmitter (ELT) in Boeing 787s.
The July 12 fire aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at London Heathrow Airport (ELHR) has prompted the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to recommend operators turn off Honeywell’s Rescu 406 AFN emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) aboard the Dreamliner until appropriate airworthiness actions can be completed.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch recommended Thursday that operators of Boeing 787s disable the airplanes’ Honeywell-made emergency locator transmitter following last Friday’s fire aboard a parked Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner at London Heathrow Airport.
The UK’s East Anglian Air Ambulance charity organization and its helicopter operator, Bond Air Services, have been allowed to fly emergency medical service missions at night, using night-vision goggles. The charity believes that it will be able to conduct approximately 30 percent more missions, helping an estimated 300 more patients a year. Special equipment also includes a powerline detection system.
The Air Elite FBO network now numbers 30 locations worldwide with the addition of UK-based Harrods Aviation and the UAE’s Royal Jet. An offshoot of the group that owns the London department store, Harrods Aviation operates facilities at London Stansted and Luton Airports with luxurious guest and discrete VIP lounges, workstations, conference facilities and select Harrods merchandise. In addition to the standard crew amenities, the Stansted facility offers two private crew bunk rooms. Both locations can handle private bizliner-class aircraft, up to a Boeing 747-400 in Stansted’s case.
Prague, Czech Republic-based Aviation Service, a Bell Helicopter service facility, has been granted expanded and updated terms of its design organization approval from EASA. The expansion of the DOA certification allows Aviation Service to perform major changes on the primary structure and cabin interior on all Bell helicopter models.
Oxford Airport, located at Kidlington (just north of the “Dreaming Spires” of the famous university town), has continued to experience growth in business aviation traffic. An 11-percent increase in business traffic during 2012, up from 6,913 movements in 2011 to 7,761, has also contributed to a 13-percent rise in jet fuel sales. This traffic increase has cemented Oxford’s position as the London region’s fifth busiest business destination and the fastest growing.
Signature Flight Support (Booth 364) is again handling all helicopter traffic in and out of Gatwick Airport after the helicopter aiming point (HAP) re-opened earlier this month. The development means that business and commercial aviation operators will again be able to land at Gatwick without a formal runway landing slot (they will need only an HAP slot, so ATC has prior notification) and without having to taxi on the runway.