A United Airlines Boeing 777 turned back to Newark International Airport 45 minutes after departure on January 16 after five flight attendants were injured following an encounter with severe turbulence. The cabin crew had just begun service activities at the time the turbulence hit. No passengers were injured as all were still belted in their seats following the takeoff.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker believes the only way to solve the growing ATC congestion problems in the Middle East is to develop a single air traffic management system similar to Eurocontrol’s Single European Sky concept. Qatar is among several countries in the region searching for a congestion solution to support regional airline expansion plans.
A first step in developing guidelines to safely integrate UAVs into U.S. civil airspace could come from efforts the FAA recently initiated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics. The organizations signed an agreement on January 12 to ensure continued safe operation of model aircraft that comply with a Congressional directive requiring an organization other than the FAA to help regulate model aircraft flying activities.
Piaggio Aero Industries’ new industrial plant in Villanova d’Albenga, Italy, a future production facility for the Avanti II twin turboprop, is expected to be completed soon and fully functional by the first quarter of next year, the aircraft manufacturer told AIN. Originally set to be up and running last year after its 2011 groundbreaking, the factory is the linchpin of Piaggio’s single-production-site strategy intended to improve the efficiency of its aircraft manufacturing and MRO activities.
A no-reserve auction held on Friday in a warehouse just a mile from Avantair’s former Clearwater (Fla.) Airport headquarters raised a “couple of million” dollars for the estate of the bankrupt fractional aircraft company, according to auctioneer Starman Bros. Auctions. Citing rules under bankruptcy laws, auctioneer president Steve Starman told AIN that he couldn’t provide a more detailed account of the funds raised.
Quest Aircraft recently delivered three Kodiak turboprop singles to TAME EP Airlines in Ecuador, the Sandpoint, Idaho company announced yesterday. The aircraft will be used for passenger transport and eco-tourism, in conjunction with the Ecuadorian Amazon Connectivity Project, an initiative of the Ecuadorian government to offer reliable transportation to and from remote areas of the country. With these latest deliveries, the Kodiak is now approved in 14 countries, said Quest, which expects more new certifications this year.
The U.S. lags other countries in allowing commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), delaying a substantial economic opportunity, witnesses told a Senate hearing on January 15. Some senators questioned the reasons behind the delay; others expressed concern over privacy rights at the hearing, which was held to consider both safety and privacy issues.
The Chinese airline industry is attracting scores of South American pilots who see far better opportunity for career advancement with fast growing and startup airlines in the People’s Republic than in their home countries.
Greenpoint Technologies has signed a second completion customer for a private Boeing 787. The customer’s name is confidential. Greenpoint signed its first 787 completion contract in December last year, and these contracts follow years of preparation for 787 completion programs.
A record-high 2,600 people are expected to attend the 2014 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, which opened this morning at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans and runs through Friday.