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International News

DOT tentatively approves Norwegian UK air permit

Air Transport World has reported that the US has tentatively granted low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian UK a foreign air permit, saying it sees no persuasive basis to deny the application.

This comes more than 18 months after Norwegian filed its application in December 2015. The application was met with considerable opposition from US major carriers and their union groups, including the Air Line Pilots Association. The labour groups object to Norwegian’s flight crew hiring processes.

But in its decision announced late July 14, Department of Transportation (DOT) said that Norwegian had demonstrated it was financially and operationally fit to perform the services authorised; and found that the applicant was substantially owned and effectively controlled by citizens of the European Union (EU), meaning that the application is covered by the US-EU Open Skies agreement.

The UK government also supports Norwegian UK’s application.

Read the full story at ATW online >


Boeing bullish after $1.8 billion 2Q net profit

Boeing reported a second-quarter net profit of $1.8 billion, reversed from a net loss of $234 million in the 2016 June quarter when the company incurred several pre-tax charges—including R&D charges related to commercial aircraft programs—that weighed down earnings.

Boeing’s 2017 second-quarter revenue dropped 8.5% year-over-year (YOY) to $22.7 billion, but the revenue dip was outweighed by a 17.5% decrease in expenses to $18.4 billion, producing an operating profit of $4.4 billion, up 83.3% over operating income of $2.4 billion in the 2016 June quarter.

Read the full story at ATW online >


UK Small RPAS mid-air collision study published

The Department for Transport, the Military Aviation Authority and British Airline Pilots’ Association commissioned a study into the effects of a mid-air collision between small remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, commonly known as a drones) and manned aircraft.

The study was conducted by QinetiQ and Natural Impacts using laboratory collision testing and computer modelling. This report was authored jointly by the commissioning stakeholders in order to summarise the findings of this work performed by QinetiQ, and give consideration to how the results will be used.

This study aimed to find the lowest speed at collision where critical damage could occur to aircraft components. Critical damage was defined in this study to mean major structural damage of the aircraft component or penetration of drone through the windscreen into the cockpit.

The study has indicated that:

  • Non-birdstrike certified helicopter windscreens have very limited resilience to the impact of a drone, well below normal cruise speeds.
  • The non-birdstrike certified helicopter windscreen results can also be applied to general aviation aeroplanes which also do not have a birdstrike certification requirement.
  • Although the birdstrike certified windscreens tested had greater resistance than non-birdstrike certified, they could still be critically damaged at normal cruise speeds.
  • Helicopter tail rotors are also very vulnerable to the impact of a drone, with modelling showing blade failures from impacts with the smaller drone components tested.
  • Airliner windscreens are much more resistant, however, the study showed that there is a risk of critical windscreen damage under certain impact conditions:
  • It was found that critical damage did not occur at high, but realistic impact speeds, with the 1.2 kg class drone components.
  • However, critical damage did occur to the airliner windscreens at high, but realistic, impact speeds, with the 4 kg class drone components used in this study.
  • The construction of the drone plays a significant role in the impact of a collision. Notably, the 400 g class drone components, which included exposed metal motors, caused critical failure of the helicopter windscreens at lower speeds than the 1.2 kg class drone components, which had plastic covering over their motors. This is believed to have absorbed some of the shock of the collision, reducing the impact.
  • The testing and modelling showed that the drone components used can cause significantly more damage than birds of equivalent masses at speeds lower than required to meet bird strike certification standards.

Read the full story at UAS Vision > 


Qatar Airways backs away from American investment

Qatar Airways said it will no longer pursue buying a stake in American Airlines, contending “the investment no longer meets our objectives.”

Doha-based Qatar Airways surprised the global airline industry in June when it announced its intention to acquire up to a 10% stake in Dallas/Fort Worth-based American valued at about $800 million. American made no secret of its discomfort with the proposed unsolicited bid. American chairman and CEO Doug Parker called the potential investment “puzzling, at best, and concerning, at worst” in a letter to employees.

“Qatar Airways has taken the decision not to proceed with its proposed passive financial investment in American Airlines,” Qatar Airways said in a statement. “Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives. Qatar Airways will continue to investigate alternative investment opportunities in the United States of America and elsewhere that do meet our objectives. Qatar Airways will continue to seek opportunities to invest in global aviation to support the airline’s goal to offer the best possible travel experience for its customers.”

Read the full story at ATW online > 


EU airlines urge hard line response to Brexit

Major continental European airlines are actively lobbying their governments to make the UK aviation sector’s exit from the European Union (EU) difficult, the CEO of Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair said Aug. 2.

Michael O’Leary claimed that carriers such as Air France and Lufthansa would be happy to see services disrupted between the UK and the rest of Europe for a period of weeks or months, in order to damage UK carriers such as British Airways and UK LCC easyJet.

The damage suffered by major European carriers if there was a major disruption of flights would be relatively small, but much more extensive for UK airlines, O’Leary said. Those would include Ryanair, which has a major network of routes between the UK and the rest of Europe.

The European airlines—he named Air France, Lufthansa and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), among others—aimed to achieve this by lobbying for tough conditions to replace the EU Open Skies agreement which the UK, as matters currently stand, will have to exit when it leaves the EU in March 2019.

An agreement on air services will have to be agreed to by September 2018 at the latest, as airlines publish their schedules a year ahead and autumn of that year will be the last available date for any changes.

Read the full story at ATW online > 


Singapore acquires anti-drone radar

The Republic of Singapore has acquired an advanced radar system which is able to detect and track even small consumer drones within a radius of 5km. The Gamekeeper radar, a counter-drone detection system, has been installed near the Singapore Flyer.

According to Aveillant’s website, Singapore is the “second installation in (a) major urban environment”, after Monaco. France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport is the third location to have installed the system.

The Gamekeeper system is designed to detect, track and classify targets the size of a small consumer drone — with a cross-section as small as 100 cm sq — in 3D and has a range of up to 5km.

Unlike a traditional radar system that scans an area, the Gamekeeper continuously “floodlights” a volume of space, gathering 3D positions and motion information of every object detected, according to a statement on Aveillant’s website.

Permits are required to fly unmanned systems that weigh more than 7kg. Users of lighter drones must seek approval to operate them for business purposes or within restricted zones.

Read more at UAS Vision >


Indian pilot becomes world’s youngest female commander of a Boeing 777

Stuff recently reported that an Indian woman has overcome the misgivings of her local community to become the youngest female commander of a Boeing 777 aircraft in the world.

Anny Divya took the command of a 777 at the age of 30, proving wrong those who had tried to convince her parents it wasn’t a viable career option.

Growing up in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh in India, Divya knew she wanted to be a pilot, even if most of her classmates planned to follow their parents’ advice to become doctors and engineers.

“I fought hard to achieve my dreams,” she said.

She enrolled in flying school Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi at the age of 17 with her parents’ support, earning a scholarship and completing her training at 19.

Hired by Air India, she worked her way up the ranks, learning to fly a Boeing 737 in Spain. She had the option to take command of the 737, but decided to hang out “a bit longer” for the 777.

“It’s the plane I always wanted to fly,” she said.

Read the full story on Stuff > 
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