The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) published a further “special bulletin” late last week in its investigation into the controlled ditching of a Bond-operated EC225 medium twin in May in the North Sea, confirming an earlier hint by Eurocopter that the emergency lubrication system gave the pilots a false failure warning.
Aviation in the United Kingdom
A study commissioned by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and released yesterday outlines business aviation’s significance in Europe and quantifies how its activities directly and indirectly contribute to the region’s economies. The report, which was compiled by Oxford Economics, confirms that business aircraft primarily carry key corporate decision-makers on high value-added trips.
The EASA management board’s decision today to re-examine how general aviation (GA) is regulated in Europe has been hailed by the U.S. and European GA manufacturers associations–GAMA and EGAMA, respectively–and the AeroSpace & Defence Industries Association of Europe.
New data published by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) appears to confirm the widespread view among executive charter operators that few people are prosecuted for illegally flying for hire in Britain. Between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2012, the CAA pursued 16 prosecutions for various breaches of UK aviation rules, only one of which was for illegally conducting a public-transport flight without holding an air operator certificate (AOC).
Oil and gas giant Shell has excluded Bond Offshore Helicopters from a tender for helicopter services in the North Sea in which Bond was participating. Shell explained that the recent Eurocopter EC225 ditching event requires additional review, a process it has deemed too lengthy for the tender’s timeline.
Gama Aviation announced today that the Scottish Ambulance Service has again selected the company to be its dedicated provider of air ambulance services, extending its contract for seven more years, to 2020. Gama’s Scottish fleet includes a Beechcraft King Air 200C at both Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports and a Eurocopter EC135T2 at both Glasgow and Inverness. The two EC135s will be replaced with two new EC145T2s next year.
British politicians have demanded that the UK government reject current proposals on revised flight duty and rest times from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
EASA’s new regulations for pilot training and issuance of European pilot licenses, ratings and certificates took effect yesterday.
This summer’s London Olympics dominated the agenda at the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) annual conference on March 6, with the group’s patron, Prince Michael of Kent, reminding members that this is an opportunity for the industry to shine. While the high-security event poses plenty of challenges, it should provide a welcome boost to a largely service-based industry that generates almost $3.2 billion for the UK economy each year.
While last year produced a “mixed bag” of modest growth that favored mainline airlines over regional carriers and international over domestic travel, the FAA predicts that airline passenger travel will nearly double over the next 20 years.