Aviation News in Brief 11 March 2020

ACI service awards, Western Sydney Airport, Aireon, Searidge, Red Wings, Lufthansa Technik, CAAS Singapore, ALSIM, Airbus, Magnetic MRO, BOC Aviation, American Airlines, Skyports, FL ARI Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering


Asia-Pacific and Middle East Airports top ACI’s service awards: Airports in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East took top honours at the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards  with a total of 29 airports receiving recognition for customer service excellence. This year, 84 individual airports from around the world won 140 awards which is the largest-ever number of recipients. The awards recognise airports around the world that deliver the best customer experience in the opinion of their own passengers. Singapore Changi Airport remained consistent in achieving multiple awards, securing its position as a leading airport in customer experience in Asia-Pacific. Oman Airports Management Company dominated the Middle East’s success with four 2019 ASQ Awards. Other consistent winners include Beijing Capital International Airport, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. First time recipients include Mangalore Airport (Mangalore, India) and Supadio Airport (Pontianak, Indonesia). The full winners list can be found here.

Major earthwork begins on Western Sydney Airport project: More than 200 earthmoving machines are rolling onto the Western Sydney Airport site as the next phase of work begins on one of the largest earthmoving challenges in Australian history. Western Sydney Airport Executive General Manager – Airport Infrastructure Jim Tragotsalos said major earthworks will see around 25 million cubic metres of earth moved to make way for construction of the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport terminal, runway, roads and rail. Since initial earthworks marked the start of work to build Western Sydney International in September 2018, around 1 million worker hours have been racked up on the project and 1.8 million cubic metres of earth moved around the site.

Aireon and Searidge partner on ADS-B: Aireon and Searidge Technologies announced that they will partner to bring space-based ADS-B data to Searidge’s air navigation service providers (ANSP) and airport customers around the world in 2020. Searidge has begun integrating Aireon’s space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data into its technology platform. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in June 2019 to commence the collaboration. The Searidge Digital Tower harnesses the power of air traffic management (ATM) data, like Aireon and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance resilience, capacity and efficiency.

Red Wings signs with Lufthansa Technik: The Russian carrier Red Wings Airlines has contracted Lufthansa Technik to provide extensive support for its growing Airbus narrowbody fleet. Within the frame of a contract with another Russian airline, Lufthansa Technik will also provide technical services for the Boeing 737 fleet of SmartAvia. Under a six-year contract with Red Wings Airlines, Lufthansa Technik supports the IAE V2500 and CFM56-5B engines of the carrier’s Airbus fleet with a full range of engine services including engine condition monitoring (ECM). For the duration of the contract, a shop visit is planned for each of the currently 24 engines. Lufthansa Technik will also maintain the landing gears of Red Wings’ fleet of currently eight Airbus A320s and four A321s on a fixed price basis over the next six years.

Singapore tightens entry rules for private aircraft: The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore will implement additional measures for business aviation aircraft that operate into Singapore. Effective 12 March 2020, all air crew (pilots and cabin crew) and passengers on business aviation aircraft will be required to make a health declaration under the Infectious Diseases Act before they are permitted to depart for Singapore. If any air crew member or passenger declares themselves to be unwell, the operator of the flight will be instructed to operate the flight as a medical evacuation (medevac) flight, and the unwell crew member or passenger will be considered a patient. All patients arriving on medevac flights are required to be tested negative for COVID-19 at the source country before they are permitted to fly to Singapore. They would also need to have a hospital in Singapore to receive them. A risk assessment of the patient must be provided to the receiving hospital. This applies also to patients who appear to have conditions that are non-infectious. Business aviation aircraft passengers and air crew members on non-medevac flights who exhibit fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness upon arrival and who are non-Singapore residents will not be allowed to enter Singapore. The aircraft will be required to turn around as soon as practicable, bearing in mind medical and flight safety. Singaporeans (SC), Permanent Residents (PR) and Long-term Pass (LTP) holders arriving on these flights will be required to go through the current arrival screening process which may include a COVID-19 swab test before entering Singapore.

Alsim AL 42-simulatorIstanbul Aviation Academy selects ALSIM AL250: Istanbul Aviation Academy, a Turkish flight training school located in Istanbul, decided to purchase an Alsim AL250 flight simulator. The Alsim AL250 is a generic and compact simulator for single & multi engine piston (SEP/MEP reconfigurable) PPL, CPL & IR training. The device meets all current regulatory standards and responds to training requirements of smaller and mid-sized ATOs, flight schools, and universities. With more than 60 devices installed worldwide (two devices installed in Turkey), the AL250 has a proven track record for cost-effectiveness and helps save numerous aircraft hours.

Magnetic MRO and Airbus sign airframe maintenance agreement: Magnetic MRO, a Total Technical Care and asset management organisation, and Airbus, have signed a long term airframe maintenance agreement for the support and maintenance of Airbus family aircraft. Magnetic MRO provides EASA and FAA-certified Total Technical Care services for aircraft operators and owners in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

BOC Aviation signs deal with American: BOC Aviation said it has signed an agreement with American Airlines for the lease of 22 new Boeing 787-8 aircraft. The aircraft are powered by General Electric GEnx engines, and are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2021. Robert Martin, managing director and CEO of BOC Aviation, said: “We are excited to welcome American as a new customer to BOC Aviation, and to celebrate a new milestone, as this transaction becomes the largest lease commitment in our history. We look forward to working closely with American and to playing a long-term role as a key partner.”

Skyports extends fundraising: Skyports, the urban air mobility infrastructure (UAM) provider and drone delivery operator, announced an extension to its Series A funding to now total £6 million (US$8 million) with an investment from Irelandia Aviation. Irelandia Aviation joins existing Series A investors Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures, Groupe ADP and Levitate Capital in the investment round. Skyports intends to use the funds to continue its  programme of site acquisition for passenger and cargo vertiports in cities around the world, including Singapore and Los Angeles. The company will also expand its team to enable the full commercialisation of its urban and rural drone delivery services.

FL ARI obtains EASA Part 145 certification for line maintenance in China: FL ARI Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Company in Harbin, China, said it has obtained certification approval as an EASA Part 145 Maintenance Organisation. FL ARI is a joint venture between China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC), its mid- to end-of-life aircraft solutions arm Aircraft Recycling International (ARI), and FL Technics, a leading provider of MRO services in Europe. FL ARI is now cleared to provide line maintenance support for aircraft from the Boeing 737 NG series to Airbus A320 families. FL ARI provides MRO services for aircraft in China and Asia. Established in 2018, FL ARI focuses on aircraft line and base maintenance, aircraft disassembly, and engineering services consultation. Currently, FL ARI’s facility holds multiple approvals including the CAAC 145 line maintenance certificate, EASA Part 145 and China’s first accredited aircraft disassembler under the CAAC’s CCAR 145 Civil Aircraft Maintenance Organization Certificate Regulations. FL ARI is currently providing line maintenance and repair services for two airlines in China.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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