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The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

International aviation news

Passenger numbers to increase at London Stansted 

London Stansted Airport has been given the green light to increase annual passenger capacity to 43 million, reports Air Transport World

The 23 percent increase has been approved by the District Council. It only applies to passenger numbers, and will not see an increase in the number of flights. The additional capacity is expected to attract long-haul flights to China, India and the United States. 

London Stansted Chief Executive Officer Ken O’Toole said: “Today’s decision offers London Stansted and its airline partners the long-term clarity we need to make further investment decisions at the airport, but also importantly provides the local community with the assurance that our future growth will be delivered in a measured and sustainable way.” 

London Stansted Airport currently handles 27 million passengers annually. It is going through a £600 million upgrade.

Read the full story HERE.


Industry challenges lead to drop in profits for Ryanair 

Rising fuel prices and strikes led to a seven percent drop in profits for Irish carrier Ryanair, reports The Guardian

The low-cost airline reported a fall in net profits to €1.2 billion in the six months to 30 September. Its average fare decreased by three percent, to less than €46. 

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the industry is being hit hard by oil prices, interest rates, the rising US dollar and low airfares. 

He told The Guardian that some of the smaller European airlines will struggle to continue operating. “It is inevitable that more of the weaker, unhedged European airlines will fold this winter.” 

Read the full story HERE.


Drone incidents levelling off in Australia

Drone incidents in Australia are levelling off despite increased usage and popularity, according to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). 

CASA chief executive and director of aviation safety Shane Carmody said reports on drones and aircraft interactions have plateaued.

“We hope that this is at least in part due to a strong educational campaign,” said Carmody, speaking at a recent Australian Airports Association conference. “There is a lot more work to do and an awful lot of focus goes into this. The safety issue I am hearing less than I did 12 months ago.” 

According to CASA regulations, drones in Australia are not to be used within 3nm or 5.5km of an airport. 

Read the full story HERE.


Audit reviews FAA’s ability to manage drone authorisations 

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ability to manage air traffic control for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is in the spotlight, reports Aviation International News

An audit of the FAA’s role in authorising small UAS operations is being carried out by the US Department of Transportation. Specifically, FAA’s procedures for coordinating and communicating UAS airspace approvals and notifications are under review. 

The impact of the Low Altitude Authorisation and Notification Capability (LAANC) system, which automates the application and approval process for airspace authorisations below approved altitudes, is also included.

In announcing the audit, the Department of Transport’s Inspector General said the FAA is “challenged to keep pace with the volume of requests for UAS to operate in controlled airspace near airports”. 

Read the full story HERE.



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