In the annual announcements by Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer and other aircraft manufacturers about the half-million or so additional pilots who will be needed to fill cockpits over the next 20 years, often overlooked is the need for an even greater number of maintenance technicians: about 600,000 by 2031, according to Boeing’s most recent forecast. So if there is already, or will soon be, a shortage of qualified pilots, is there not also a shortfall in maintenance personnel? And not just in commercial aviation but business aviation and civil helicopter operations as well?
Significant numbers of business aircraft operators have made little or no progress in complying with key avionics mandates, according to new research commissioned by Honeywell Aerospace with data gathered from AIN readers. The survey identified the mandates for ADS-B out, 9FANS/PM-CPDLC datalink capability and FANS-1/A (North Atlantic region) as the most pressing concerns.
Private charter operator Qatar Executive is set to open a new FBO at Doha’s Hamad International Airport shortly, having already moved its headquarters there. The company plans to strengthen its core Middle East, Far East and African markets next year, its new head, executive vice president David Edwards, told AIN.
TrueNorth Avionics is on track to receive the first FAA technical standard order (TSO) certification for its new FANS 1/A-capable Simphone data link unit (DLU), which enables FANS-over-Iridium communication over oceanic routes. The new DLU has already achieved RTCA DO-178B level-D software certification, and the TSO is expected shortly.
The world’s leading business jet manufacturers posted financial results for the first quarter of 2014 in the weeks leading up to this year’s EBACE show. Overall, the latest numbers are somewhat encouraging in the context of the industry’s slow recovery but there are significant variations in the details. Here AIN provides a summary of the main conclusions.
Bombardier Aerospace: Bizjet Deliveries Up, Backlog Grows
For many companies, the private charter and management sector has not been an easy place to earn a living over the past six years. But this largely accurate generalization conceals the fact that some firms have remained successful even during the lean years, in some cases benefiting from the market consolidation that followed the financial crisis of 2008.
Air BP announced several service initiatives to support business aviation operators heading to Brazil for the World Cup tournament that begins next month. At all 16 airports where it operates in the host country, Air BP will institute a “fast-track” fuel service, which will guarantee the arrival of a refueler within 20 minutes of an aircraft’s landing, given three hours’ advance notification, or alternatively, will allow operators to book predetermined fueling time according to their schedules.
The U.S. Navy has not determined how to fit a “due regard” radar on its unmanned MQ-4C Triton, which will likely start initial operations in 2017 without the subsystem intended to help protect it from midair collisions. But the Triton will enter service with more capability than any other unmanned aircraft to “detect and avoid” other aircraft, the Navy’s program manager asserts.
Speaking Wednesday at the 39th annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford called for a fundamental shift in the “model” on which pilot unions negotiate for compensation, characterizing the imbalance of pay between first officers and captains as irrational and counterproductive.
Seemingly bucking the trend suffered by most of the rest of the regional airline industry, Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has managed to attract a fair share of qualified pilots to accommodate its seemingly unlikely growth. But while speaking Wednesday at this year’s Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, CEO Jonathan Ornstein made certain to ensure no one came away from the briefing with any doubt about his position on the new legislation that requires new hire first officers to carry an air transport pilot certificate.