Leonardo teams with Falcon for rotor terminal in Dubai: Leonardo and Falcon Aviation Services announced that they have started building the new rotorcraft terminal that will facilitate the mobility to and from the Expo 2020 site in Dubai. The terminal design is based on a new concept, combining a helipad, exhibition and lounge areas in a single city-based heliport. The terminal will be supporting the development of a network of point-to-point connections for both urban transfers and connections between cities, meeting the growing demands for sustainable and modern vertical lift mobility as well as greater access to urban areas. VIP and charter services users and passengers will be provided with levels of service typically available only in larger private airport facilities far from downtown and urban areas. The rotorcraft terminal features strong environmentally friendly design and modularity using recyclable materials and, if required, it can be transported. Falcon Aviation Services will use the terminal to deliver helicopter transport services.
AVIAGE SYSTEMS passes FAA audit: After a three-day video meeting, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finished the audit of an AVIAGE SYSTEMS repair station, which was the first Video and Communication Technology (VCT) audit in 2021 in China. AVIAGE SYSTEMS passed the audit and received the Air Agency Certificate on 20 February from the FAA and now will become a repair station for avionics with both CAAC and FAA certificates. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the formal FAA audit originally scheduled in last April at AVIAGE SYSTEMS was cancelled. The FAA previously only allowed approved repair stations to conduct audits through the Video and Communication Technology last year. AVIAGE SYSTEMS was selected to be the first repair station to have the final Performance Assessment (PA) audit through VCT in China. During the three-day audit meeting, FAA officials followed their processes, finished the verification of 12 inspection areas and people evaluation.
EPCOR extends APU support service: EPCOR, the AFI KLM E&M subsidiary specialising in APUs and pneumatic components announced the expansion of MRO services to the worldwide operators of the Airbus A220, equipped with the GTCP131-9C auxiliary power units (APUs) manufactured by Honeywell. The offer includes APU repair and maintenance including warranty repairs. Although EPCOR will be the sole repair shop located in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India region for the GTCP131-9C, they will provide global service coverage certified by Honeywell. The Honeywell GTCP131-9C APU, used on the Airbus A220, is the sole APU certified on this aircraft type. The GTCP131-9C is derived from Honeywell’s 131-9 model, the most commonly used APU well known for its great efficiency and reduced fuel burn. The main unique components are the ECU, the Low e-Combustion system, the Accessory Gearbox, and the wiring harness. The majority of the parts in the -9C are common to the -9A and -9B models on which EPCOR already has a solid knowledge and know-how.
Aireon and Avinor agree on ADS-B for helicopter surveillance: Aireon and Avinor Air Navigation Services announced that an agreement has been reached to deploy space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) to monitor helicopter operations in the Bodo Oceanic Flight Information Region (FIR) and adjacent relevant airspace. The area spans the Norwegian Basin and Barents Sea and the data provided for surveillance will focus specifically on ground-level helicopter movements through flight level 100. Avinor is a wholly owned, state limited company under the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications and is responsible for 44 state-owned airports and travel support for approximately 50 million passengers annually. With the deployment of space-based ADS-B, Avinor will now have real-time traffic visibility throughout the region, providing an immediate increase in safety and search and rescue operations. This is the first space-based ADS-B use case specifically targeted for the monitoring and surveillance of helicopters. In this region, helicopters are required to be equipped with ADS-B antennas, making this low-flying traffic visible by the Aireon system. Aireon data will be transmitted in real-time to Avinor’s facilities and will be integrated into their air traffic automation platform.
Avsoft releases 787-8 aircraft systems online course: Avsoft has created a Boeing 787-8 aircraft systems online pilot course, which is already in use for airline pilot recurrent training at an Asian carrier. The course includes 24 modules that cover all the major aircraft systems, including components, operations, controls, and indications associated with each system. The course covers both the General Electric GEnx-1B engines and the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines. In addition, there is an option for metric or imperial units of measurement. Avsoft developed the 787-8 online course to meet the training syllabus requirements of EASA and FAA regulatory authorities. This course delivers around 28 hours of instruction and is suitable for ground school theory study towards a type rating, as well as for periodic recurrent training. Each of the modules concludes with a test, and when the course is successfully completed, a certificate is generated. Airlines and ATOs have the option of editing test questions, as well as creating a final exam.
EHang EH216 completes trial flights in Beijing: EHang, a producer of autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) and which has recently come under fire from a short-seller, announced that it recently successfully completed the first trial flights of its EH216 in Beijing, claiming it was the first time a passenger-grade AAV flew over the capital of China. These unmanned trial flights obtained the official approval from the airspace regulator. EHang said two units of its EH216 completed a total of five unmanned trial flights over the frozen Yanqi Lake in Beijing at an air temperature of minus 14 degrees Celsius. EHang believes trial flights in extreme weather and diversified environments demonstrate the safety and reliability of its cutting-edge AAV technologies. EHang has tested the EH216 with a series of successful trial flights in extreme conditions such as low temperature, hot desert, heavy fog and typhoons.
First group of Air New Zealand employees to receive vaccine: Among the Kiwis prioritised to receive the first batches of COVID-19 vaccines are 3,800 Air New Zealand front-line workers, some of whom will receive their first vaccination on Thursday (25 February). Air New Zealand Chief Medical Officer Dr Ben Johnston says the airline welcomes the arrival of the vaccine and is pleased its employees have been prioritised to receive it. “Our employees have been among the most impacted by COVID-19 safety requirements including following isolation protocols offshore, undergoing regular testing, wearing PPE at work, or isolating on return from duties, all the while keeping New Zealanders connected to each other and New Zealand connected to the world.” All of the airline’s cabin crew and pilots, plus airport, cargo and line maintenance employees in Auckland and Christchurch will be first in line for the vaccination which is happening in a staged approach over the next few weeks. Air New Zealand also announced it has reached an agreement to continue supplying air travel services to New Zealand government agencies for a further two years as part of a panel of airline carriers. The renewal will see Air New Zealand continue to partner with government agencies to match their specific needs for both domestic and international travel from 1 March 2021.
Akbar Travels signs deal with Sabre: Sabre and India’s largest travel agency, Akbar Travels, announced a new long-term, strategic partnership agreement to further expand Sabre’s footprint in the Indian subcontinent while driving operational efficiencies to increase productivity and profitability for Akbar. Under the extended and expanded agreement, Sabre will continue to be Akbar’s preferred global distribution (GDS) partner in India, ensuring that the firm, which is the largest travel company in India in terms of IATA-approved branches, staff numbers and business turnover, can continue to access real-time, rich content from hundreds of thousands of airlines, hoteliers and other travel providers through Sabre’s intuitive Sabre Red 360 interface. In addition to this latest renewal, Akbar and Sabre will also be working more closely together through the appointment of software company Benzy Infotech, a subsidiary of the Akbar Group, as Sabre’s partner for 15 states in India to promote and develop Sabre’s business in these markets and strengthen its presence across the Indian subcontinent.