AAV News in Brief 1 April 2021

Hong Kong Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines, Rusada, Antonov Airlines, ACR Electronics, International Cargo Handling Coordination Association, NiuSky Pacific, Aireon, Erickson, Air Charter Service, IBA

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Airlines in Asia-Pacific are seeing some additional domestic traffic but quarantines still remain a barrier to travel. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneHong Kong Airlines trials health pass: Hong Kong Airlines will trial a digital health passport as part of the carrier’s ongoing contributions towards the safe reopening of borders and international travel. Developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a globally-recognised trade organisation and advocate for airlines, Travel Pass will provide travellers with easy access to COVID-19 entry requirements for their destination and accredited testing centres at their point of departure. The app also enables passengers to link their COVID-19 test results to a digital version of their passport created through the app. Under this trial, Hong Kong Airlines will work closely with IATA to test its Lab App, a key module in Travel Pass. Passengers on a selected route will be invited to participate by first downloading the app and creating a digital profile before selecting a participating medical service provider for testing. A secure, encrypted channel will then enable the registered laboratory to verify the passenger’s identity and directly send the outcome of the COVID-19 test, or proof of vaccination to the traveller’s mobile device. This will then be checked against IATA’s global registry of COVID-19 health requirements, a system used by the majority of airlines and airports globally, to ensure regulatory requirements are complied, before the passenger receives an “OK to Travel”.

US-Bangla Airlines chooses Rusada’s ENVISION: Bangladeshi carrier, US-Bangla Airlines, has selected Rusada’s ENVISION as its Airworthiness and Maintenance software. US-Bangla Airlines, based in Dhaka, is the country’s largest private airline with a growing fleet of Boeing 737’s, ATR 72’s, and De Havilland Q400’s. Current destinations include India, China and Singapore, with flights to Saudi Arabia, Japan and the United Kingdom planned for the near future. US-Bangla has selected Rusada’s software to manage their day-to-day airworthiness and maintenance activities, as well as their long-term planning and forecasting. The airline has selected seven of ENVISION’s modules including Line Maintenance, Inventory Management, and Technical Publications to further drive efficiencies into their operations.

Antonov Airlines carries COVID-19 vaccine machinery: Antonov Airlines has transported essential pharmaceutical machinery from Germany to the USA, where it will be used for the production of COVID-19 vaccines. The carrier safely operated six flights of the cargo from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, Germany, to the USA – including Baltimore, Maryland, and Kinston Regional Jetport, North Carolina – with some flights having to navigate poor weather conditions in the USA caused by snowstorms. Heavy snowfall across the USA meant a change in arrival airport for one of the flights from Baltimore to Stewart International Airport, New York, was required to ensure the safe delivery of the cargo. Antonov Airlines used AN-124 planes, each with a payload of 150 tonnes, to carry the machinery, with each consignment weighing 100 tonnes. The cargo was loaded and unloaded onto the AN-124s using external cranes and unique loading equipment that was developed by Antonov Airlines’ in-house engineers. DHL Global Forwarding chartered the Ukrainian-headquartered carrier to undertake the moves.

ACR Electronics secures ARTEX ELT 5000 (DT) deal: ACR Electronics has signed an agreement with Boeing to supply its new distress tracking ARTEX ELT 5000 (DT) with crash survivability, enabling compliance with the new Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) regulations. The next generation ARTEX ELT will be available to support Boeing production aircraft to meet the new International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) GADSS initiative recommendations that are being adopted into regulations by various regulatory bodies, such as EASA. Triggered by a potential distress condition from independent aircraft monitoring, the 406 MHz ARTEX ELT 5000 (DT) intelligently activates and will automatically begin transmitting 406 MHz distress messages with the current location in real time while the aircraft is in-flight. The distress tracking provides the precise location of the aircraft to assist the relevant monitoring bodies in order to respond to the alert quickly and effectively.

ICHCA International appoints Richard Steele as new head: The International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) has named Richard Steele as the new head of ICHCA International. He will take over the role with effect from 1 July 2021, on the retirement of the current postholder Richard Brough. ICHCA provides a focal point to help improve cargo handling throughout international supply chains as well as representing its members, and the cargo handling industry, in front of national and international agencies and regulatory bodies as a recognised non-government organisation. Steele is a safety and skills professional with a master’s degree in training and development who has been involved in the ports industry for over 21 years.  He is currently the chief executive at Port Skills and Safety, an organisation that he has led for 11 years.

NiuSky Pacific begins operational usage of Aireon data: NiuSky Pacific Limited (NSPL), formerly PNG Air Services Limited (PNGASL), the sole provider of Air Navigation Services for Papua New Guinea, announced that it has deployed Aireon’s global, real-time, space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) for air traffic surveillance services. NSPL had previously relied on ground-based infrastructure for its surveillance capabilities. However, because of Papua New Guinea’s extremely mountainous and difficult terrains, unpredictable and inclement weather and fairly large oceanic airspace, it was a challenge to provide efficient surveillance services for the region using ground-based technology. NSPL is now operational with Aireon’s space-based ADS-B air traffic surveillance data over the entirety of the Port Moresby Flight Information Region (FIR). Port Moresby shares common borders with Brisbane FIR, managed by Airservices Australia, the Oakland Oceanic FIR, managed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Ujung Pandang FIR, managed by AirNav Indonesia.

Erickson wins US contracts: Erickson announced three new USFS Firefighting contracts for the upcoming 2021 wildfire season. The USFS cooperates with CAL FIRE, US Department of Interior agencies Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs, on aerial firefighting contracts. Erickson has been working for the US Forest Service on firefighting contracts since 1995 and is a global leader in aerial firefighting, with current firefighting contracts in USA, Canada, Australia, Greece, Italy, and South Korea. The company said that two S-64F Air Crane helicopters to be based in Fresno, CA and Kitchen Creek, CA and one Bell 214ST will be based at Lucky Peak, ID, which represents the first Bell 214ST firefighting contract for Erickson.

Ben Dinsdale named ACS director: Air Charter Service has appointed Ben Dinsdale as the company’s global director for humanitarian and government services, a new role designed to develop further ACS’s already proud history in the field. Dinsdale joined ACS almost 18 years ago and has been an integral part of the cargo division ever since. During his time at ACS, he also oversaw the establishment of the Paris office’s cargo department and in 2016 became business development director for Europe. Justin Bowman, CEO at Air Charter Service, commented: “Ben has a huge amount of experience in humanitarian aid and has helped to established ACS as a leading supplier for a number of organisations in the sector. Ben is a well-known and well-respected figure in this industry and works closely with ACS’s legal team to make sure that ACS is the most compliant company of its type in the world when it comes to government business.”

IBA names sales head for China: IBA has appointed David Jiang as its general sales manager for greater China. This is a new position that IBA has created to meet growing demand for its aviation intelligence, asset management and valuations services from companies within greater China. Jiang will work alongside Dezhi Zhu, IBA’s vice president for commercial – greater China and Jie Zhou – senior aviation analyst to oversee IBA’s business development activities and to support its customers’ requirements in the region. He joins IBA from Cirium, where he was sales director, head of greater China.

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