Iceland’s meteorological office (IMO) lowered the risk level for an eruption at the Bardarbunga volcano to orange from red on August 24, but warned that there are “no indications that seismic activity is slowing down.” A day earlier, scientists had raised the threat warning to red.
Air navigation service provider Airways New Zealand said August 15 that horizontal air traffic separation standards in Mongolian airspace will be reduced to 20 nm from the current 60 nm beginning in September. The move comes two years after the Mongolian civil aviation authority introduced radar ATC separation to the region. An Airways New Zealand spokesman said the goal is eventually to reduce separation to the ICAO standard of 5 nm.
In its relatively new role as Europe’s ATC “network manager,” Eurocontrol achieved its time target for en route flight delays in 2013. But more so than in the previous year, air traffic controller job actions prevented better performance, the agency said.
Under threat of another volcano erupting in Iceland, Eurocontrol said it is better prepared to deal with air travel disruptions caused by volcanic ash than it was in 2010 when the Eyjafjallajökull eruption grounded flights across Europe.
Eduardo Campos, a political contender for the Brazilian presidency, was one of seven people who died when a Brazilian-registered Cessna Citation XLS+ crashed on August 13. The aircraft was preparing to land at a military field in the coastal city of Guarujá 53 miles southeast of São Paulo. Early reports said the aircraft was attempting to go around after an approach in rainy, windy weather when it struck the ground, damaging several homes.
In moves that appear counter to the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), Zambia and the Ivory Coast have issued bans on air travel between their territories and three West African countries in which Ebola outbreaks have occurred. Meanwhile, Nigeria has suspended all flights by Gambia Bird Airlines into its airports, citing the carrier’s failure to take sufficient measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The governments of Australia, Malaysia and China jointly announced that Australia has awarded a contract to a private company to continue the search of the southern Indian Ocean sea floor for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The company plans to use two ships towing deep-water vehicles to conduct the search, which is expected to take up to 12 months.
The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) has concluded in a draft report that extreme cold most likely caused a lithium-ion battery on an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 to malfunction in January 2013, The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported. The board plans to release a final report in September or later.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued safety regulations July 31 for transporting lithium batteries by air, a move intended to harmonize existing U.S. rules with international standards. The Air Line Pilots Association praised the action as recognition of the serious risk unregulated shipments of lithium batteries pose to all who depend on air transportation.
North Sea helicopter operators expect to deploy improved emergency breathing systems (EBS) progressively, beginning in the middle of this month, to comply with CAA rules issued to improve the safety of offshore helicopter operations in the North Sea. The Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) expected the first batch of approved equipment to arrive soon after the UK CAA approved the system, which had not taken place as of early last month. Training will be based on a classroom session lasting a maximum of 90 minutes.