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The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter.

International News

Harsher penalties for laser pen users

As in New Zealand, laser misuse is of growing global concern for pilots and the wider aviation industry. In Britain, recent legislation has just been passed with harsher sanctions for people caught pointing laser beams at aircrafts, boats or vehicles.

From July 10 this year, perpetrators will face up to five years’ imprisonment or considerable fines for misusing laser pointers, including pointing lasers at air traffic controllers.

The Register reported that new legislation, the Laser Misuse Act, removes the requirement to prove that a person ‘intended’ to cause a safety hazard.

This wording change is intended to make it easier to prosecute for this type of offence.

“Lasers are not toys. If you have one and don’t have a legitimate reason for owning it, or if you have bought one for your kids, we suggest you take the batteries out and throw it away,” said Steve Landells, spokesperson for the British Airline Pilots Association.

For the full story, visit HERE.

Additional fleet part of Rolls-Roycs quality audit

The scope of inspections has widened as further issues are found with Boeing 787 engines, reported ATW Online. Rolls-Royce is also looking into issues with the high-life Package B model engines.

Rolls-Royce is currently undertaking ‘one-off inspections’ to the Package B Fleet, of which there are 166 engines in operation.

These inspections are in addition to the current inspections underway on the Trent 100 Package C engines – found to have cracks in the blades of the intermediate pressure compressor rotor.

It was reported that further inspections to the Package B fleet are likely to add to frustrations and delays for 787 operators.

For the full story, visit HERE.

Holiday makers face potential disruption as French air traffic controllers prepare to strike

Up to 300 flights were due to be affected in the early days of July as French Air Traffic Controllers prepared to strike – threatening to cause mayhem around Europe.

Although the strike did not eventuate, Ryanair and Easyjet decided to cancel a number of their flights to prevent delays.

Because of the last-minute flight cancellations, a number of these could not be rescheduled despite ATC’s calling off industrial action. Travellers whose holidays were disrupted by the signalled strike action may be eligible for EU-backed compensation.

The Chronicle reported that it was the seventh weekend in a row this year where flights have been cancelled as a result of the French air strike.

For the full story, please see HERE.

Heathrow airport to get a new runaway

Following a landslide majority vote in the House of Commons late last month, the British Parliament finally approved £14 billion (NZD27 billion) plans to extend Heathrow Airport, London’s main airport and a central airline port into the UK and Europe.

Stuff reported that parliament approved funding to develop Heathrow’s third runway, allowing for a significant increase in traffic. UK Prime Minister Theresa May expects that this proposed expansion will boost economic growth into the UK by increasing avenues for international trade.

The Prime Minister explained to Parliament that this was a vital transport link as UK prepares to leave the European Union.

Not a new initiative, the third runway proposal had been in the pipeline for a number of decades. Earlier concerns were raised by those living near Heathrow and environmental groups in regard to the potential effects of noise and pollution. This lead commentators to predict that this decision would likely be subject to challenge in the UK courts.

For more information, visit HERE.

No longer considered science fiction, Boeing revealed a new hypersonic passenger plane concept at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aviation Forum 2018 in Atlanta in late June, and it could have military or commercial uses, the company says.

Aviation Week reported that Boeing had joined forces with hyper-sonic specialists to study a passenger aircraft that would have capacity to cross the Atlantic in just two hours, or the Pacific in three.

The proposed aircraft would travel at speeds of Mach 5 (about 6,713 kilometres per hour) and cruise at some 95,000 feet. This is more than 2.5 times faster and 30,000 feet higher than achieved by the Concorde.

Full story HERE.

Record number of planes in the air at one time

Newshub reported that on June 29, 2018 there were 202,157 flights tracked worldwide - breaking the 200,000 mark for the first time, according to Flight Radar 24, a website that tracks planes in real-time.

The International Air Transport Association reported that around 4 billion passengers fly each year. That’s expected to double over the next two decades.

Air New Zealand says its top 10 days each year usually happen between December 20 and mid-January.

Flight Radar 24’s site tracks any plane in the air with a transponder. Concurrent flight numbers usually peak around 16,000 in July or August.

Despite the growing number of flights, Newshub reported the Aviation Safety Network saying that 85 aircraft have disappeared without trace since 1948. The latest passenger flight to do so was Malaysia Airlines flight 370 in 2014.

Full story HERE.

Advisers say safety regulations too tough on drones

An American science academy has called out safety regulators for being too cautious about the risks posed by drones, reported The New Zealand Herald.

The National Academics of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), who advise the United States Federal Government, released a report in June outlining the risk-adverse approach of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). NASEM alleged that the FAA was prohibiting the use of commercial drones and did not consider the benefits that drones could have by reducing risks and potentially saving lives.

The report used an example where health and safety risks could be reduced by the use of a drone to inspect towers instead of requiring humans to climb them.

The FAA responded to this report saying that they were working on finding ways to safely integrate drones into airspaces.

For the full story, visit HERE.



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