Commercial aviation has entered its second century, New Year’s Day having marked the 100th anniversary of the first flight with a fare-paying passenger. To celebrate, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has established 2014 as a year to reflect on the “contribution of aviation to modern life.” St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line flew the 23-minute first service across Florida’s Tampa Bay, using a Benoist Model XIV airboat with St. Petersburg mayor Abram Pheil in the only passenger seat. To mark the centennial, a Hoffman X-4 Mullet Skiff airboat retraced the route on January 1.
The Regional Airline Association elected new board officers for the 2014-15 term during its fall board meeting at Embraer’s Fort Lauderdale facility on November 20 and 21. Officers include chairman Brad Holt of ExpressJet, vice chairman Bryan Bedford of Republic Airways, treasurer Linda Markham of Cape Air and secretary Rick Leach of Trans States Holdings. The RAA also named Piedmont Airlines president Steve Farrow a member of the executive committee.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is partly shifting responsibility for compliance with its operational safety audits (IOSA) to airlines themselves under the new enhanced version of the program (E-IOSA). According to Giancarlo Buono, IATA’s regional director for safety and flight operations in Europe, the E-IOSA process will require operators to continuously monitor their own compliance with the IOSA standards, but IATA itself will still conduct the current biennial “snapshot” audits.
The Russian parliament was presented with legislation last week to allow Russian airlines to begin hiring foreign pilots to meet an expected shortfall in experienced crews. Currently only Russian citizens may fly Russian airliners. The move comes just a month after the crash of a Boeing 737 at Kazan Airport, 450 miles southeast of Moscow, in which it appears the pilots lost control of the aircraft, killing all 50 people on board. Shortcomings in crew qualifications have already been cited as possible factors in that accident.
IATA says air carriers that participate in its operational safety audits (IOSA) had a 62 percent better accident rate than non-IOSA airlines through November 2013. Worldwide, about 65 percent of all commercial flights operate under the IOSA umbrella, including those of 149 airlines that are not IATA members, representing nearly 84 percent of the world’s air traffic. In Africa, which has the highest accident rate by region, only 14 percent of accidents involved IOSA-compliant operators.
Airlines will continue to enjoy ready access to financing for new aircraft acquisitions, as funding sources such as bonds grow in importance as options for financial support, according to Boeing’s seventh annual aircraft finance market forecast. The report, released in London on December 10, said that while export credit agency funding will decline in significance in the coming years, the industry will see a more even balance among carriers’ use of bonds, leases and loans from banks and capital markets.
Riding the favorable winds of increasing passenger traffic, slightly better fuel prices and revenues from ancillary services such as baggage fees, the world’s airlines should post record absolute profits in 2014, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). But some parts of the air transport system, particularly cargo and business-class passengers, remain at pre-recession levels.
The world’s airlines expect to see a 31-percent increase in passenger numbers between 2012 and 2017, according to a new forecast for the period issued Tuesday by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The report shows that by 2017 total passenger numbers will rise to 3.91 billion from the 2.98 billion carried in 2012.
The Flight Operations Risk Assessment System (Foras) was created to quantitatively assess aviation risk factors with more than simple accident rates. As highlighted in the Flight Safety Foundation’s November 2013 AeroSafety World publication, the system breaks down risks into ever smaller elements to simplify analysis.
Strong wind accompanying record storms in Britain, which experts said produced the worst tidal surge in the North Sea for 50 years, forced several airline pilots to conduct go-around maneuvers as they attempted to land. One amateur video recorded two landing attempts (Emirates and Brussels Airlines) at Birmingham Airport in central England, where gusts exceeding 50 mph were reported.