Aviation News in Brief 2 November 2020

IATA, Kuwait Airways, Airbus, Virgin Galactic, Nomad Technics, Volocopter, Lufthansa Industry Solutions, Aireon, Aviation Concepts Technical Services, Astronautics

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(PHOTO: Russian Helicopters)

Use this onecovid-19-iata-calls-for-relief-for-african-middle-eastern-airlinesIATA Upgrades Travel Industry Designator Service: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has enhanced its Travel Industry Designator Service (TIDS) and will also no longer charge travel agencies to use the service. With the improved overall user experience, agencies can now self-manage their profile online, simplifying the processes for both themselves and the travel suppliers. TIDS is an IATA programme that provides a unique identification code for travel agents and sales intermediaries (such as meeting planners and event organisers) who are not IATA-Accredited Agents and are located outside of the USA. As new booking sources and platforms emerge in the distribution space, industry suppliers face a growing challenge in identifying booking and sales intermediaries. In response, IATA with the support of its airline members, has revamped the TIDS program to better address the needs of the industry and make TIDS the standard of identification for non-IATA Accredited agencies.

Kuwait Airways takes delivery of its first two A330neos: Kuwait Airways, the national airline of Kuwait, has received its first two A330neos. These aircraft are the first of eight A330neos ordered by the airline. The carrier currently operates a fleet of 15 Airbus aircraft comprising seven A320ceos, three A320neos and five A330ceos. This also marks Airbus’ first A330-800 delivery. The new-generation widebody aircraft is the latest addition to Airbus’ product line. Kuwait Airways Chairman, Captain Ali Mohammad Al-Dukhan stated: “Kuwait Airways takes pride in its continued relationship and cooperation with Airbus for the past four decades. The delivery of the first two A330neos is yet another significant milestone for Kuwait Airways as we progress towards our goals and implementation of our fleet development strategy,” said Al-Dukhan. Kuwait Airways’ A330neo will accommodate 235 passengers, featuring 32 fully-flat beds in Business Class and 203 seats in Economy Class.

Jameel Janjua
Patrick Moran

Virgin Galactic adds pilots: Virgin Galactic announced the appointment of two new pilots into its Pilot Corps, bringing the total number of pilots to eight. Jameel Janjua and Patrick Moran will be based at Spaceport America, New Mexico, and join the Virgin Galactic team as preparations for commercial service continue. Both will embark on an extensive training program before flying SpaceShipTwo. In addition to the Spaceship, the pilots will also train to fly the carrier aircraft, VMS Eve.  VMS Eve provides a way for the pilots to fly simulated parts of the SpaceShipTwo flight trajectory, gaining valuable hands-on training.  Other assignments for the pilots will include flying other company support aircraft, working mission control, flight planning, and support various detailed engineering and project roles across the company. While they will initially operate in a test pilot capacity, they, along with the rest of the Pilot Corps, will ultimately become the world’s first commercial Spaceship Pilots, flying Future Astronauts on their life-changing journey into space and back. Both Jameel and Patrick bring a wealth of aircraft flight and flight test experience; they were picked from a small group of specialised pilots who meet the strict criteria needed to be considered for the role of a Virgin Galactic Pilot. Each of them has flown in both military and commercial roles, involving training, operations and test, as well as flying passengers and managing crew. Jameel has completed over 4,000 flying hours in more than 45 different vehicles throughout his career, which spans over twenty years in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He completed exchange tours for the Royal Air Force and the U.S Air Force and is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Experimental Test Pilots {SETP}. Patrick served as a Pilot in the Marine Corps for twenty years, including roles as a test pilot, test pilot school instructor, and the lead government test pilot for Navy and Marine Corps versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  He then entered business aviation as a broker, consultant, and charter pilot, and joins Virgin Galactic with over 3,000 flight hours in 34 different aircraft.

Nomad Technics receives EASA Part-145 approval: Nomad Technics has received the EASA Part-145 Maintenance Approval Extension to perform Base Maintenance work up to C-checks on the entire Airbus 320 family and the Boeing B737NG series. The maintenance approval extension is issued by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA/EASA). Nomad Technics can now perform Base Maintenance work including C-checks on the entire range of Airbus A320 family aircraft. This includes also A318, A319 , A320 and A 321 Corporate Jets, both Classic and CFM LEAP-1A powered Neo aircraft types. The company is also authorised to carry out Base Maintenance on Boeing B737NG series aircraft, including BBJ, BBJ2 and BBJ3 types. The maintenance services provider offers a variety of maintenance tasks, such as A to C-checks, out of phase work, engine change, implementation and execution of Airworthiness Directives (AD’s) and Service Bulletins (SB’s), avionics and airframe structural modifications, cabin interior upgrades and AOG support.

Volocopter and Lufthansa Industry Solutions cooperate to build VoloIQ: Volocopter, the pioneer in Urban Air Mobility (UAM), announced a cooperation with Lufthansa Industry Solutions. Together they are building Volocopter’s proprietary intelligent and integrated “Urban Air Mobility Software Platform” that will run on Microsoft Azure: VoloIQ. It offers complete digital visibility of the complex UAM ecosystem in real-time. Using artificial intelligence, VoloIQ will enable among others: Global scale air taxi operations; Seamless customer service (such as simple booking) and integration with smart cities, existing mobility providers, and new services; Increase safety and efficiency, decrease costs, and ensure a reliable and smooth user experience off- and online; Optimised aircraft utilisation and an increased lifetime for individual components; Urban Air Mobility connects the complete ecosystem of city authorities, existing mobility options e.g. public transportation and ride hailing, flight and ground operations, as well as customer facing services. VoloIQ will process information of all participating components in the ecosystem and make them and their interdependencies digitally visible at all times.

Aireon launches new products:  Aireon announced the launch of three new commercial data products: AireonFLOW, AireonINSIGHTS and AireonSTREAM. These products aim to provide unique solutions to stakeholders in the aviation industry and beyond—significantly expanding the use cases of Aireon’s high-fidelity, Air Traffic Services (ATS) surveillance-grade data to a global audience. AireonFLOW provides ANSPs and Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) providers with the only single source of gate-to-gate, high-fidelity ATS surveillance data. When combined with flight and airspace contextual information, AireonFLOW is able to offer users enhanced prediction capabilities within and beyond a country’s Flight Information Region (FIR). AireonSTREAM provides gate-to-gate, surface-to-space, high-fidelity ATS surveillance data, combined with flight and airspace contextual information including infrastructure, weather, avionics, aircraft registry and schedule data to enhance tracking, situational awareness and analytical tools. This combination provides the only ATS surveillance-quality and complete flight position source available. The AireonSTREAM interface enables customers across the ATM industry to access both derived and contextual data, and the flexibility to integrate it into their own platform. AireonINSIGHTS provides users with a single-source feed of events and alerts for flights, including airport and airspace events, ongoing flight data, safety events, and location alerts to provide key performance indicators related to a flight’s operational safety and efficiency. Rather than having this data come from varied, disparate data sources, AireonINSIGHTS offers the user a single source of high-fidelity flight information that can alert users in real-time.

Aviation Concepts Technical Services upgrades work: Philippines-based Aviation Concepts Technical Services (ACTSI) announced it recently upgraded its capability to 8A/8C from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With a strong and experienced Gulfstream team, the ACTSI MRO is now capable to provide maintenance services for Gulfstream IV-X (G350/G450) & GV-SP (G500/G550) With Limited Engine – 8A / 8C, 72-month, 96-month, and 144-month inspections. “We are delighted to see the FAA recognise our strength and dedication to providing world-class standards of MRO services here in Subic Bay by approving our 8A/8C from 1A/1C in the first quarter of 2020.  We have been providing services to clients in the region and our international team will continue to work our best to provide well-deserved services to the corporate jets and maintain them as valuable assets,” commented Fernando Gaspar, president of ACTSI. ACTSI, a new facility for aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services recently opened at the Subic Bay International Airport (SFS/RPLB), transforming the former US Navy base into a 24/7 hub for business aviation in the Asia Pacific.

Astronautics gets R&D funding for cybersecurity: Astronautics Corporation of America received additional research and development (R&D) funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to execute the second major phase of its Aircraft Systems Information Security/Protection (ASISP) R&D risk assessment contract. The contract for this portion of Phase 2 includes operational activities consistent with earlier research, including advanced studies of air-ground communications in order to identify vulnerabilities and propose mitigations. Astronautics—a member of the Cyber Safety – Commercial Aviation Team (CS-CAT)—will present information to and acquire feedback from CS-CAT that may be included in the final assessment report being prepared for the FAA.  CS-CAT is an organisation committed to advancing safety in the National Airspace System through a proactive approach that focuses on identifying risk and implementing cost-effective mitigation strategies before cyber-attacks occur. During Phase 1 of the ASISP program, Astronautics established one methodology that identified and categorised potential aircraft security risks to critical avionics systems; then identified and evaluated mitigation alternatives for these risks. In the beginning of Phase 2, Astronautics—working with industry colleagues—ran security risk assessments (SRA) to determine the effectiveness of the methodology and refine the methodology as necessary.

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