Weekly Wrap-up Video Update 3/25/16
Here are the top aviation news stories that you may have missed this week. Let us know what you think by commenting below. Be sure to subscribe on Youtube to be the first to get the Weekly Wrap-up Video Updates. Also, if you missed last week’s Wrap-up, you can catch it here.
After last week’s crash of FlyDubai Flight FZ981, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered an examination of Russia’s current aviation safety rules. The examination will be utilized to determine if reforms could be made to increase safety and reduce risk. Medvedev stated, “If there are some technological issues, then they should be analyzed and, at the conclusion of that analysis, proposals should be made to the government so that some amendments can be made to technical equipment, if that’s needed, or to the rules that exist in our country’s aviation.”
The aircraft’s flight data recorder has been recovered mostly intact. The cockpit voice recorder however, is significantly damaged and will need to be restored – a process that could take weeks. 62 passengers and crew were killed when the Boeing 737-800 crashed while on approach to Rostov-on-Don. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
ICAO responded to the bombing of Brussels Airport on Tuesday, that claimed the lives of over 30 people, stating that it “deeply regrets that civil aviation operations and facilities continue to be considered as valid targets by terrorist groups worldwide.” Additionally, the agency stated that threats to international passengers at any stage in their journey are of tremendous concern to ICAO.
Despite the magnitude and lethality of the attack, it is unlikely that rapid changes to worldwide airport security standards will occur. The agency suggested that the current practices provide the right balance between “effective and sustainable security measures and an unobtrusive travel experience for passengers.” However, the agency may make adjustments in the future that maintains the balance between the two.
NBAA Pushes FAA Bill
In a statement released by NBAA and CEO Ed Bolen, members are called to rally behind the newly released FAA bill. NBAA has shifted and became a strong proponent of the bill after provisions for ATC privatization were removed. The organization also pointed to measures to streamline certification for aviation technologies, the acceleration of a long awaited NextGen air traffic management system and third-class medical reform as positive steps forward.
Ed Bolen stated that “[S. 2658] includes many important, targeted solutions designed to ensure the U.S. remains the world leader in aviation.” Bolen added “By contacting your members of Congress today on this issue, we can call upon lawmakers to say ‘yes’ to smart FAA reauthorization and modernization, and ‘no’ to a distracting and unneeded debate over ATC privatization.”
IATA Enters Fight
IATA announced that it has become a complainant in an investigation into alleged abuses of dominant positons by aviation OEMs. The organization claims that members are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of flexibility for aftermarket services due to the limited number of equipment vendors.
IATA made no claims for monetary damages but stated, “Our focus is on the future… Our members want to be able to negotiate contract terms more effectively and with more options than the OEM community will entertain today.” In 2015, European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition (DG-COMP) sent surveys to assist in determining the validity of the claims.
Airbus in the US
The first Airbus manufactured in the US launched on its maiden flight this week. The Airbus A321 departed from Mobile Aeroplex, the site of Airbus’ manufacturing plant in Mobile, Alabama. During the flight, test pilots performed systems and engine tests and evaluated overall structural performance. The aircraft continued to New York, where it will receive additional testing before eventually being delivered to JetBlue.
Airbus invested over $600 million building out the Mobile manufacturing plant which is located at former Brookley US Air Force base (decommissioned in 1969). The facility is strategically located near Mobile bay, allowing for equipment transported by sea and utilizes the airport’s 9,618-foot runway.
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