The U.S. congressional delegation from Kansas last week appealed to House and Senate leaders to provide the general aviation community temporary relief from aviation fuel taxes. Congress previously suspended aviation excise taxes, including both the ticket and fuel taxes, for commercial aviation through the end of the year under the CARES Act, but fuel taxes remained in place for private aviation.
The Coronavirus impact on the aviation Industry
The Covid-19 crisis is exacerbating the shortage of new aviation maintenance technicians, according to Crystal McGuire, executive director of the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC). During a Helicopter Association International (HAI) webinar on May 14, McGuire warned that of the 181 FAA-certified Part 147 aviation maintenance technician schools, half expected graduations to decrease in 2020 by 25 percent and fully 60 percent said enrollment would drop by 28 percent.
While 2019 was a very successful year for Swiss airframer Pilatus, the company is readying for any Covid-19-related downturn, it said in an annual report released today. The OEM set a new production record last year, delivering 83 PC-12NG turboprops, 40 PC-24 light jets, and 11 PC-21 military trainers, with an operating income of CHF153 million ($157 million).
The EASA will recommend that passengers and crew wear medical face masks for the duration of a flight—except during security checks or border control—and those masks replaced after four hours of wear with a safe disposal process in place, according to the draft EASA “Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol” obtained by AIN.
Dassault Aviation has focused on ramping its production lines back up after a short suspension to accommodate new health and safety measures and, despite the ongoing uncertainties surrounding Covid-19, is working to keep its Falcon 6X program on track with first flight still anticipated next year, according to a senior company executive.
The U.S. Senate Aerospace Caucus co-chairs introduced a bipartisan bill that would provide for federal assistance to help aviation manufacturers maintain their employment levels during the Covid-19 pandemic. Kansas Republican Jerry Moran and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner unveiled the measure, S.3705, this week to create private-public partnerships to preserve jobs of employees that otherwise would be at risk for furlough or layoff.
Western Aircraft has completed the first installation of the Component cabin purification system from Aviation Clean Air (ACA) on a Dassault Falcon 900, the Boise, Idaho-based MRO announced this week. “Since the COVID-19 issue arose, we have received a great deal of customer interest in the ACA Component,” said Western Aircraft's sales and marketing director Kerry Heiss.
According to data released today by WingX Advance, global business aviation activity is down 58 percent month-to-date versus last year, but is still better than the 70 percent decline recorded in April. Notably, there has been a consistent increase in the seven-day average daily activity since mid-April, and it is now trending at 5,900 flights per day worldwide.
Delta Air Lines will retire its 18 Boeing 777s by the end of the year as it accelerates a plan to simplify and modernize its fleet as part of wider Covid-19-related changes to its business strategy, the company announced Thursday.
Universal Weather and Aviation has launched a new Covid-19 standards program for its preferred suppliers across the top 100 destinations frequented by its trip support customers. The first phase of the plan covers three core logistical components that involve physical contact of passengers and crew: FBO ground services, in-flight catering, and ground transportation—all areas in which the company operates its own divisions.