Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
Demand for air travel in the U.S. grew slowly in 2013, a year that started “with a good deal of uncertainty that never really let up,” the Federal Aviation Administration states in its latest 20-year aerospace forecast. Nevertheless, the U.S. airline industry posted a fourth straight year of profits, thanks to changes it implemented after the 2008 global recession. The biggest change is that airlines have shifted from efforts to increase their market share to improving shareholder returns, the FAA said.
India’s next government needs to press ahead with the development of domestic air routes, according to a new report published by consultants KPMG last week. India’s Five-Year Plan for the period 2012 to 2017 included a policy to improve flight connections between second- and third-tier cities, but progress all but stalled due to the political inertia that has gripped government ahead of elections to be held in April and May. At the same time, the recent downgrading of the country’s aviation authorities to Category 2 by the U.S. FAA has compromised India’s ability to develop further international air service.
Honeywell Aerospace signed agreements with two Indian airlines on the second day of the India Aviation show in Hyderabad. The first memorandum of understanding involves Air India agreeing to evaluate its SmartRunway/SmartLanding avionics system. The second was signed with GoAir, which has agreed to help with the development of the EGTS electric taxiing system jointly designed by Honeywell and Safran.
U.S. airlines and airports fell into opposing camps over the Obama administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for the Federal Aviation Administration, which would raise the cap on the passenger facility charge (PFC) airports are entitled to collect for every boarded passenger from $4.50 to $8.
The Qantas Sale Amendment Bill, which serves to repeal part of the Qantas Act and effectively removes restrictions on foreign ownership and stipulations affecting Qantas’ business operations, passed Australia’s Lower House of Federal Parliament on Thursday by a vote of 83 to 53.
Rick Ochs, chairman of Columbus, Ohio-based Spirit Aeronautics, knew he wanted to work in aviation since high school. Doggedly pursuing his dream, Ochs holds FAA certificates for airframe mechanic and repairman, an FCC license, an NCATT Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) rating, and is an instrument-rated pilot who flies his company Cessna 182 to make sales and service calls.
Etihad Airways appears close to making a final decision as to whether or not to buy an equity stake in Alitalia. Speaking during a March 3 conference call about the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s latest quarterly financial results, CEO James Hogan confirmed that Etihad has entered the final stage of due diligence in evaluating the struggling Italian flagcarrier.
The DOT’s office of inspector general (IG) wants to know whether the FAA has established adequate regulations governing the use of flight-deck automation. Some current and former ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives transportation and infrastructure committee and its subcommittee on aviation who are concerned about the growing reliance of flight crews on flight-deck automation approached the IG about conducting an audit, which the IG confirmed it would launch early this month.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) granted Norwegian Air International an air operator certificate (AOC) on February 13 for its long-haul carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle, for routes between Europe, Asia and the U.S. The European Cockpit Association said it is worried the IAA will not be able to provide adequate oversight of what it calls a “complex new” airline structure.