AAV News in Brief 20 May 2021

Metrojet, Pratt & Whitney, Sichuan Airlines, VIKING, MSB Design, Skyborne Airline Academy, Embraer, JETS (Bournemouth), ASL Aviation, Honeywell, SR Technics Malaysia, Unisys, GEODIS, Geven, Egis, Air Astana, Boom Supersonic, Enaire, Indra, AirAsia

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(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

https://www.bigmarker.com/series/ebace-connect/series_summit?utm_bmcr_source=MediaMetrojet softly opens new Clark facility: Metrojet Engineering Clark (MEC), the Philippines based maintenance, repair and overhaul station of Hong Kong-based Metrojet, has completed its official “soft” opening of Metrojet’s largest single investment in nearly a quarter of a century – a state-of-the-art aircraft parking and maintenance facility. To mark the occasion, MEC welcomed the first aircraft into the new hangar – a Gulfstream G650, with a ceremonial “Water Salute”. “We are grateful for the excellent support we have received from the local Philippines authorities, including the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), and the Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) Corporation,” said Sarith Vaikuntan, general manager of Metrojet Engineering Clark.  “With our strong and dedicated team of professionals, we are confident that over time, MEC will become the MRO of choice in the region.” The new hangar with over 7,100 m2 of floor space, has the capacity to accommodate up to 10 long-range business jets including Boeing Business and Airbus Corporate jets. Workshops, stores, staff and customer offices and lounges with available space for a dedicated Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) encompass a 2500 m2 two-storey annex building on the rear of the hangar. Coupled with 11,000 m2 of apron area in front of the hangar with an exclusive private taxiway, the world-class facility has been designed to the highest international standards including typhoon and seismic loadings which meet current Philippine codes.

Pratt & Whitney celebrates 1,000th planes with GTF engines: Pratt & Whitney recently celebrated delivery of the 1,000th aircraft powered by GTF engines to Sichuan Airlines. GTF engines power three aircraft families in service today: Airbus A320neo, Airbus A220 and Embraer E-Jets E2. The 1,000th aircraft marked the 30th A320neo family aircraft in the Sichuan fleet with 51 more to be delivered. In addition to GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft, the airline also operates 87 A320ceo family aircraft with V2500 engines. “We are honored to take delivery of the 1,000th GTF-powered aircraft,” said Li Haiying, chairman of Sichuan. “We offer our congratulations on this milestone, which is a testament not only to the unmatched economic and environmental performance of GTF engines, but also the long-term relationship we have enjoyed with Pratt & Whitney.” Powering 54 airlines around the world, GTF engines have saved more than 490 million gallons (1.8 billion litres) of fuel and avoided over 4.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions, while accumulating more than 8.9 million engine flight hours of experience.

VIKING makes material breakthrough with YouSafe aviation suits: VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has launched the first pilot and air crew suits with the flame-retarding properties of GORE PYRAD technology at their core and the intrinsic flexibility, breathability and durability aviators have asked for. Developed by the VIKING PPE design team after crew consultations and aircraft visits in the UK and Norway, the VIKING YouSafe Aviation suits are fully authorised by EASA. The fabric’s flame-retarding properties are not based on a chemical treatment, but are inherent and last for the product’s lifetime. Lighter in weight than traditional flame retardant materials, the new high-visibility VIKING YouSafe Aviation suits are also antistatic, waterproof and windproof. As an added benefit, the material complies with the ISO 20471 standards for high visibility work wear, eliminating the need for safety vests.

Antonov Airlines delivers aid to India: Antonov Airlines has safely transported 70 tonnes of oxygen concentrators from Tel Aviv, Israel to Delhi, India for its Indian general sales agent Flywell Aviation and supply chain service provider, Delhivery. The journey from Tel Aviv included a technical stop in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for refuelling. The 2,500 concentrators were loaded on board one of Antonov Airline’s seven AN-124-100 aircraft with a payload of up to 150 tonnes. “Antonov Airlines is well prepared when it comes to transporting urgent medical equipment within a short time frame thanks to our many years of working on humanitarian aid programmes and disaster relief projects,” said Andriy Blagovisniy, commercial director, Antonov Airlines. “Our AN-124-100 aircraft provided rapid loading and unloading of this urgent cargo with its ramp access and large cargo capacity.” Ukraine-headquartered Antonov Airlines cargo airline operates seven AN-124-100 “Ruslan” aircraft with payloads up to 150 tonnes, a 60-tonne payload AN-22, the unique 250-tonne payload AN-225 “Mriya”, which is the largest aircraft in the world, and smaller AN-74 and AN-26 aircraft.

MSB launches new Zero Gravity lift assist for bizjets: MSB Design, a division of MSB Group, the Montreal-headquartered aerospace engineering and design company, is launching a new Zero Gravity side-ledge conference table following nearly three years of extensive research and development work. Consisting of three components, MSB has engineered the Zero Gravity lift assist system to reduce weight, noise, and shock impact during deployment and stowage of the table. The streamlined system supports configuration of a six-seat dining table which incorporates three distinct components: a table that folds away into the cabin side-ledge, a two-place table which, when lowered, becomes an ottoman, and a conference table which seats four. The two-place table component can be articulated to perform a rotation followed by a conversion motion, using just one easily accessed control button, to close the gap over the main aisle and to connect to the four-seat conference table. The newly designed Zero Gravity lift assist pull-out table is made to feel virtually weightless, and deploys to join the extended two-seat tabletop to complete the dining table.

Skyborne launches DGCA CPL pilot programme: Skyborne Airline Academy is launching a DGCA pilot programme offering dual US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Commercial Pilots Licences at its new Vero Beach training base in the United States. Trainees will undergo 272.5 hours of commercial pilot training over 14 months. The programme is split into two phases: the first phase, at Skyborne Airline Academy Vero Beach, Florida, provides training to obtain a US FAA Part 141 Commercial Pilot License (CPL) with Instrument Rating (IR). The second phase enables trainees to take the DCGA-examined flight test to convert their US flying licence to a DGCA CPL with IR. This part of the programme will be completed in India with a recognised Skyborne partner. Applicants must be aged 18 or over on the first day of the selection process, be an Indian national or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) holder and be eligible to hold a US Visa for the purpose of study. In addition, Skyborne recommend cadets hold a DGCA computer number, having successfully completed their DGCA CPL theory exams (Air Regulation, Navigation and Meteorology) prior to the commencement of flight training.

Embraer Appoints JETS (Bournemouth) as authorised service centre: Embraer announced JETS (Bournemouth), located in the United Kingdom, as the new Embraer Authorised Service Centre (EASC) for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 family of executive jets. Strategically located in southern England at the Bournemouth International Airport, JETS (Bournemouth) will support customers from the EMEA region. “We are pleased to announce this new partnership with JETS, which will help to bolster the network of the ever-increasing fleet in the Western European region, offering an additional option for maintenance of the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 aircraft,” said Frank Stevens, Embraer’s MRO global vice president for services and support. The new EASC will perform scheduled and non-scheduled maintenance, component and part exchange, and inspections at different levels of complexity for those aircraft platforms. “Having been in business for 17 years, JETS has built its reputation on always putting customers first, building upon the knowledge and capabilities gained through our support provided to a well-known Portuguese operator as a LASC. We are delighted to enter the next chapter of our relationship with Embraer, being chosen as the latest Authorised Service Centre in the UK. JETS looks forward to providing industry leading service from AOG and line support through to heavy base maintenance that ensures the Phenom family of aircraft remain the best-selling business jet in its’ class for many years to come,” said Daniel Rogers, CEO of JETS (Bournemouth).

ASL Aviation names new fleet and leasing director: ASL Aviation Holdings has announced the appointment of Fergus Wilson as ASL’s Group Fleet and Leasing Director. Wilson has joined the ASL Group from Aer Lingus where he was chief technical officer. ASL Group Chief Executive Dave Andrew said that Wilson is an ‘excellent addition’ to the ASL management team. “Fergus is a highly skilled and accomplished aviation professional and is well-respected throughout our industry”, said Andrew. “Fergus has had a 42-year career of achievement and success in Aer Lingus including being a long-term member of the Aer Lingus Executive Team. Fergus joins ASL at an exciting time and we look forward to his leadership of our newly restructured fleet, engineering and leasing teams in the implementation and fleet renewal and expansion plans.

Honeywell and SR Technics Malaysia sign deal: SR Technics announced that its subsidiary SR Technics Malaysia has signed a five-year Authorized Repair & Overhaul License Agreement with Honeywell as an authorized  licensee for both mechanical and avionics components. SR Technics Malaysia will support worldwide air transport and commercial  airline customers and engine shops. Since opening in April 2014, SR Technics Malaysia has significantly grown their capabilities and their expertise. From initially focusing on the Airbus A320 family, the A330 and A340, and the Boeing 737NG, the company also focuses on engine components for CFM56 and PW4000 to support its engine shop in Zurich as well as other engine shops. The company operates an 8000 sqm facility in Shah Alam, Selangor, employing over 50 highly skilled technicians and engineers. With an average 12-day turnaround, the company offers services on more than 750 different part numbers.

Consortium opts for Unisys on baggage deal at Australian airports: Unisys announced that an international airline consortium operating to and from Australia has agreed to a six-year engagement with Unisys to provide an advanced Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS) at seven international airports at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide and the Gold Coast. The contract was signed in the first quarter 2021. The Board of Airline Representatives Australia (BARA), an industry representative organisation for airlines, manages the engagement with Unisys on behalf of the group of airlines. Unisys has worked with BARA since 2004 to provide the Baggage Reconciliation System that links passengers with their bags, tracking both as they move through the system. This latest engagement includes additional data security measures that use artificial intelligence to quickly identify and contain data breaches to further secure the sensitive passenger data associated with the baggage that is handled by the Baggage Reconciliation System. It also supports a new, easy to use, Android-based interface for the hand-held scanners used by baggage handlers. The Unisys Baggage Reconciliation System is also ready to help airlines support end-to-end tracking of bags throughout the journey, in line with IATA’s Resolution 753 on baggage tracking. This helps airlines to minimise baggage mishandling and is achieved by tracking bags through key points of the journey: spanning passenger handover to airline, loading to the aircraft, transfers to connecting international flights and the final return to the passenger.

GEODIS opens an airside cargo station at Paris-Charles de Gaulle: GEODIS announced the opening of a new 6,000sqm site within the cargo area of Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to provide certified services, especially for customers in the health and luxury goods sectors. The new complex will have immediate airside access.  It will be located near Air France’s main warehouse (G1XL) and other main service providers at the airport. The latest generation of cargo handling technology, highly secure and certified CEIV[1] and TAPA[2] Level A, will offer a level of service excellence targeted at the pharmaceutical and luxury goods sectors. The complex will be equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure for the processing of temperature-controlled products, including negative temperatures. “With this investment, GEODIS confirms its ability to provide a high-quality air cargo offering. Thanks to the strategic location of this new cargo station, we are able to accelerate processing times for the flow of goods, both for export and import, while ensuring rigorous safety standards for the products entrusted to us by our customers,” says Massimo Norcaro, director of the Freight Forwarding line of Business of GEODIS in France.

Geven launches new Economy Class seat SuperEco: The SuperEco has been conceived to cater to the most basic and essential needs of the high-density cabin world, offering maximum comfort and living space within the most confined spaces, whilst keeping lowest weight, low cost of ownership and a simple and easy-to-maintain nature. Ideal for narrow-body high-density application, its simplicity and basic nature do nothing to diminish either the comfort or the fresh and young twist of this new Italian design seat. Featuring a new benchmark weight of 7.9kg per pax, it optimises comfort and superior living space due to an unparalled shin and knee clearance. Pitched at 28”, the seat leaves space to an unexpected generous legroom thanks to the redesigned supporting structure. This achievement is the result of Geven’s multidisciplinary team approach. The cooperation between the R&D, Engineering and Operations departments, leads to an innovative, comfortable, lightweight and reliable seat model with full optimised operation and efficient production processes.

Egis to support new upgrade for Hong Kong’s three-runway system: To cater for Hong Kong’s long-term air traffic demand, Hong Kong International Airport is developing into  a  Three-Runway  System  (3RS)  that  includes  the  construction  of  the  Third  Runway, modification of the  existing North Runway and construction of  airport  support infrastructure, utilities and facilities. To support the 3RS implementation, new air navigation service (ANS) equipment and replacement/upgrade of existing ones are required.  In light of the complexity and scale of this project, by global opening tendering, the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has engaged the Egis/ADP Ingénierie consortium to provide professional services for ANS equipment implementation. The technical consultancy and engineering services provided to the CAD by Egis and its partners will include  consultancy  on  procurement,  design,  safety  assessment,  cutover  and  transition  of  new  and upgraded/replaced ANS equipment; as well as on-site technical support/assistance during installation, integration, testing, commissioning cutover, transition and decommissioning as necessary. Egis Asia-Pacific Aviation director Antoine Bonnaud said, “We’re delighted to have been chosen by the CAD  Hong  Kong  for  this  important  project  that  is  needed  to  support  the  implementation  of  ANS equipment for the Three-Runway System at the Hong Kong International Airport. Leading a consortium with ADP Ingénierie, we have assembled a tailored team of more than 20 engineers and experts who will set up a local system engineering office and deliver in-house support to the CAD.”

Air Astana earns APEX audit diamond status: Air Astana is the first airline from the CIS and Southeast Asia to successfully pass an APEX audit, with Diamond status being awarded for minimising and preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus during flights. The APEX audit was developed in collaboration with SimpliFlying and covers categories including pre-departure testing of passengers and crew, contact tracing of infected passengers, ground handling, precautions during a flight and the quality of preflight cleaning. The audit evaluated compliance of mandatory sanitary rules. Air Astana flight attendants replace their face masks every two hours, sanitise hands before and during inflight service and ensure passengers do not change seats. Due to the pandemic, onboard cleaning has also changed dramatically, with every surface in the cabin and in the galley now decontaminated prior to every flight.

BoomBoom Supersonic adds to advisory council: Boom Supersonic announced that it has named Dr Mark Lewis, executive director of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies Institute, to its Advisory Council. The Boom Advisory Council includes world-class leaders in aerospace, design, sustainability, and wellness: Tim Brown, Phil Condit, Dan Javorsek, Dr. Lourdes Maurice, Tekedra Mawakana, and Andrea Morgan. Lewis is a researcher and public servant who is one of the nation’s foremost experts on hypersonics. He currently leads the Emerging Technologies Institute, a non-partisan think tank focused on the future of national defence. Lewis formerly led the Science and Technology Policy Institute, an organization that helps the White House determine national science and technology policy priorities. He was also the longest-serving Chief Scientist in the history of the United States Air Force and led basic research across the various defence agencies.

Enaire and Indra to launch satellites for ATM: Enaire and Indra have created a public-private initiative project for satellite technology innovation. Once the validation phase has taken place, the project’s objective is to create and deploy a network of more than 200 small satellites at a low altitude to improve air traffic management with a global service vision over the entire planet. The incorporation of Startical, the name of the company formed by Enaire and Indra for the development of this satellite project, has been approved by the Council of Ministers and will allow Spain to position itself in the sector of satellite provision of global air navigation services. The new partnership aims to develop and launch satellite platform into orbit, which will extend surveillance and aircraft communication coverage, especially to vast oceanic regions and remote areas which are not covered by ground-based air navigation systems. Along with its aircraft position monitoring services (ADS-B), Startical will be the first satellite platform for air navigation to include a VHF radio communication system between the controller and the pilot in accordance with aeronautical standards; this is a differentiating factor compared with similar initiatives. It is, therefore, a pioneering project worldwide, offering integrated surveillance and communication. These new services will increase flight safety, capacity, efficiency and punctuality, with clear benefits for both airlines and passengers. In addition, this new technology will be applicable to other modes of transportation.

AirAsia unit names new CEO: airasia super app (previously known as airasia.com) announced the appointment of Amanda Woo as its CEO, reporting to Aireen Omar, president (airasia Digital) AirAsia Group. Woo joined AirAsia in 2012, and has spearheaded commercial initiatives across various entities under the AirAsia ecosystem. With over 15 years of experience in e-commerce, lifestyle brand and retail marketing with prominent global brands, Amanda’s leadership has been instrumental to the expansion of AirAsia’s business in key Asean markets, and her notable achievements include AirAsia’s entry into new markets in Indochina and turnaround of the Indonesian market. Woo was promoted in early 2019 to chief commercial officer where she was part of the founding team of the airasia super app, and as CEO will continue to accelerate the growth of airasia super app.

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