Launch customer Qatar Airways released photos of the first Airbus A350-900 it expects to receive this year, freshly painted at the manufacturer’s assembly plant in Toulouse, France. The airline has ordered 80 of the new widebodies: 43 A350-900s and 37 -1000s.
Pilatus Aircraft has signed a 10-year agreement with Tata Aircraft Systems Ltd. (TASL) for assembly of PC-12 aerostructures at TASL’s facility in Hyderabad, India. Under the deal, TASL will deliver the first complete PC-12 NG structure in the second half of 2016. The project includes tooling, jigs and training of TASL’s personnel at Pilatus facilities in Switzerland.
An EASA rule that takes effect in October opens the door to offshore oil-and-gas helicopter passengers’ using personal electronic devices (PED), but operators seem unlikely to go ahead with the much-desired change. The Annex 4 of Part-CAT grants exceptions to the general principle–no PED use in flight–and makes it clear that implementation is at the discretion of the operator. A company can thus allow the use of PEDs during all phases of flight, though transmitting PEDs such as cellphones are not allowed to be used during taxi, takeoff and landing.
The healthy crop of new airliner orders announced by Boeing during July’s Farnborough International Air Show made a big impact on U.S. trade figures. New Department of Commerce data on manufactured durable goods revealed that orders announced at the biennial show for at least 228 new Boeing aircraft saw total orders in this sector rise by 22.6 percent in July to total $300.1 billion.
Singapore-based aircraft leasing company BOC Aviation said it was responding to Asian airline customers that are expanding or replacing their older aircraft by placing its largest-ever order with Boeing.
The association of collegiate training institutions (ACTI)–the group that represents 36 FAA-authorized air traffic-collegiate training initiative (AT-CTI) colleges and universities–criticized the FAA last week for eliminating preferential hiring for AT-CTI graduates. It said the move could potentially undermine safety and threaten the viability of the schools.
Last December, the FAA halted the preferential treatment of AT-CTI graduates and purged a list of more than 3,000 students who had already passed the agency’s hiring tests in place at the time.
Last week’s FAA notice to airmen (Notam) restricting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region, which includes all of Syria, is further evidence the agency is watching airspace over the world’s hotspots more closely since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in June.
The FAA is still struggling with the software required for deployment of the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), according to a report released on August 14 by the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG). Stars computers are being deployed at 11 large terminals to modernize ATC functions.
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.
Federal and city officials in the Los Angeles area have been unsuccessful in their attempts to identify the owner/operator of a small drone seen by the pilots of an airliner on August 4 while they were on final approach into Los Angeles International Airport The pilots reported the drone 10 miles east of the airport at 4,000 feet, well inside the airport’s Class B airspace.