The proposed Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system for NATO was scaled back when program officials quietly dropped plans to convert four Airbus A321 airliners after deeming it too expensive. NATO also cancelled development of the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR), which would have been the main airborne sensor for the AGS.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has ruled out introducing taxes on jet fuel for commercial operators for at least three years. In a hard-fought deal struck at the close of the organization’s assembly on October 8, ICAO delegates agreed that no fuel taxes or charges can take effect before its next triennial assembly in the fall of 2007.
SIKORSKY S-76A++, GALVESTON, TEXAS, MARCH 23, 2004–The NTSB has concluded its on-scene investigation of the accident that sent S-76A++ N579EH into the Gulf of Mexico, killing all 10 on board. Ninety percent of the helicopter had been recovered at press time.
Travelers’ Atlanta-based aviation division yesterday announced that it will be expanding its corporate flight coverage to include hull and liability insurance for Part 135 and small business accounts.
Acknowledging that “there is no doubt that the environmental movement we are seeing today could be the greatest challenge confronting [the aviation] industry in quite some time,” National Air Transportation Association (NATA) president James Coyne yesterday announced the creation of the association’s new Environmental Committee.
New England EMS operator MedStar Transport is to equip its EC 135 and BK 117 fleet with Sky Connect satellite terminals, to provide automated tracking and voice com-munications with the aircraft through the Iridium satellite network.
Meanwhile, the Helicopter Association of Australia (HAA) has set up a disaster committee that will help local and international agencies quickly pinpoint the helicopter resources nearest to disaster areas.
Engineers from British consortium FBH (Bristow Helicopters and FR Group) are maintaining two Bell 212s that have been sent from Brunei to Sumatra, to support the disaster relief program following the December earthquake and subsequent tsunamis.
As a result of its ongoing investigation into the November 28 fatal takeoff accident of a Challenger 604 in Montrose, Colo., the NTSB has issued a special alert involving the detection and effects of ice accumulation on aircraft wings.
Bell 407, Newberry, S.C., July 13, 2004–The NTSB blamed the EMS helicopter accident on the pilot’s failure to maintain terrain clearance as a result of fog conditions. A contributing factor was inadequate weather and dispatch information relayed to him.