Airbus has recently signed the biggest contract in the history of civil aviation with the Indonesian Lion Air. The French President François Hollande has hailed the deal as “historic” and told the press that it would create 5,000 jobs. The recent aircraft order is made up of 109 A320 Neos – to be delivered in 2016, according to Hollande – the planned more environmentally friendly version, 65 A321 Neos and 60 A320s, the latest model – to be delivered 2014.
The planned shutdown of up to 238 air traffic control towers across the USA under federal budget cuts will strip away an extra layer of safety during takeoffs and landings, leaving pilots to manage the most critical stages of flight on their own. The towers slated to close are located at smaller airports with lighter traffic, and all pilots are trained to land without help by communicating among themselves on a common radio frequency. It’s not just private pilots in small planes who stand to be affected. Many of the airports in question are serviced by major airlines, and the cuts could also leave towers unmanned during overnight hours at some big-city airports such as Chicago’s Midway and General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee.
Last week at the Abu Dhabi Air Expo, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a National Security Advisor and the Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Association (IAOPA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA) UAE agreed on joint plans to further the development of the general aviation industry in the UAE. The two organisations put together a set of initiatives and principles that will enable effective cooperation and support their efforts to attract new members. One of the key terms agreed upon was that the members of the AOPA in Europe and the United States would be entitled to the same privileges as the UAE’s AOPA. In addition, a set of functions and events are to be jointly organised in Abu Dhabi within the coming year to exchange knowledge and expertise as well as further promote general aviation locally and regionally.
Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov has called on the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to speed up the legislation that would allow foreign pilots to work in Russian airlines, despite the strong opposition from local unions. Sokolov, who took part in a meeting dedicated to regional aviation development chaired by Medvedev on Wednesday at the prime minister’s suburban residence, said the draft of the legislation on foreign pilots would allow Russian companies to hire a total of up to 200 foreign pilots annually. He added that the Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets had previously expressed her support of the proposed legislation.
Brazilian officials have recently expressed the country’s position to renegotiate certain points of the aviation agreement it signed with the EU in March 2011. Two years after the negotiations were rounded up the agreement has yet to be signed. The idea of the agreement is to progressively lift the existing restrictions in terms of tariffs and traffic rights between the parties. Brazil seems to be in a position of strength as the EU and its airlines want the agreement to enter into force as quickly as possible. The main reason is the two major upcoming events in Brazil, which will make up a large share of the traffic: the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Brazil is keen on lowering the share that Europeans could hold in Brazilian airlines. Under the agreement, Europeans would be entitled to hold up to 49% of a Brazilian airline, in contrast with the current 20% limit. This was a major demand from the EU – at the time the EU had in fact gone as far as asking for the possibility of a 100% stake.
The Philippines have been removed from the list of those with aviation safety concerns following an audit from the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). “The ICAO has officially delisted the Philippines from its tally of member states with unresolved Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs),” the DOTC said in a statement.
EASA has certified the Falcon 2000S and Falcon2000LXS large-cabin business jets on Monday, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier has announced today during the firm’s annual press event in Paris.