Aviation News in Brief 2 Oct 2019

OJets; SGS & Argus; ST Engineering & Newtec; Airbus; Melbourne Airport; Indra; Frequentis, Dimetor; GE & Lufthansa Technik; Emirates; BOC Aviation; ACI World & Supersonic Flight

OJets adds Bombardier Global 5000 to charter fleet
As per the rest of the OJet's fleet, the Global 5000 will operate under Elit’Avia’s Maltese AOC.

OJets adds Bombardier Global 5000 to charter fleet: OJets, a privately-owned provider of comprehensive business aviation services, announced the addition of a Bombardier Global 5000 to its fleet of charter aircraft. OJets’ all-Bombardier fleet now comprises six aircraft: four Global 6000s, a Global 5000 and a Challenger 650. As per the rest of the fleet, the Global 5000 will operate under Elit’Avia’s Maltese AOC. The company is headquartered at Singapore’s Seletar Airport and has a sales offices in Hong Kong

SGS acquires majority stake in ARGUS International: ARGUS International has announced that SGS, the world’s largest certification, verification, and inspection company, has acquired a majority stake. The acquisition aims to strengthen SGS’s aviation auditing and consulting services and increase market penetration through the organizations’ leveraged synergies. SGS has an extensive history spanning over 140 years in verification and inspection, ensuring organisational safety, quality, and adherence to regulatory standards across a broad range of industry verticals. ARGUS provides a collection of safety audits for both the business aviation and commercial aviation sectors. ARGUS was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Colorado.

ST Engineering completes acquisition of Newtec Group: Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) announced that further to its announcement made on 27 March 2019, its subsidiary Singapore Technologies Engineering (Europe) has completed the acquisition of a 100 percent ownership in Newtec Group NV (Newtec) following the fulfilment of completion conditions, including the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals. This Newtec acquisition, together with the recent acquisition of Glowlink Communications Technology, which possesses advanced satellite communications anti-jamming technology, will enable ST Engineering to create a global satcom business group.

Airbus inaugurates new A320 structure assembly line in Hamburg: Airbus has inaugurated its highly automated fuselage structure assembly line for A320 family aircraft in Hamburg. The new facility features 20 robots, a new logistics concept, automated positioning by laser measurement as well as a digital data acquisition system. For the initial section assembly, Airbus is using a modular, lightweight automated system, called “Flextrack”, with eight robots drilling and counter-sinking 1,100 to 2,400 holes per longitudinal joint. In the next production step, 12 robots, each operating on seven axes, combine the centre and aft fuselage sections with the tail to form one major component, drilling, counter-sinking, sealing and inserting 3,000 rivets per orbital joint. Besides the use of robots, Airbus is also implementing new methods and technologies in material and parts logistics to optimise production, improve ergonomics and shorten lead times. This includes the separation of logistics and production levels, demand-oriented material replenishment as well as the use of autonomous guided vehicles. The Hamburg structure assembly facility is responsible for joining single fuselage shells into sections, as well as final assembly of single sections to aircraft fuselages. Aircraft parts are equipped with electrical and mechanical systems before eventually being delivered to the final assembly lines in France, Germany, China and the US.

Melbourne Airport Terminal 4 goes live with checkpoint scanners: Melbourne Airport, in partnership with Smiths Detection, announced that it has gone live with new checkpoint screening technology featuring Computed Tomography (CT) X-ray in Terminal 4. The technology allows laptops and liquids to remain in bags and has been a huge success with travellers since Melbourne Airport first ran a trial in 2018. This implementation marks Melbourne Airport as the first major airport in Australia to adopt and deploy the latest CT screening systems at its checkpoints. The domestic terminal currently features four new security lanes made up of carry-on baggage scanners, HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX, automated tray return system, iLane.evo, and screening management platform, Checkpoint.Evoplus, all designed to improve speed and security of the checkpoint screening process. Two additional units in T4 and another seven in T2, are expected to be completed over the next two months.

Delhi control centre starts new Indra system operations: Indra has modernised the Delhi air control centre, which manages one of the most complex airspaces in Asia using the company’s Air Automation state-of-the-art system to control the air traffic in Delhi. Its software organises all en route procedures and supports aircraft approach and landing at the country’s largest international airport, Indira Gandhi Airport. It will be managing more than 40,000 movements per month. This means controlling more than 1,100 take-offs and landings every day and supervising an average of more than one flight operation per minute. Indra automation systems are also used at 38 airports located across the country. In addition, its controllers are trained in the company’s approach and tower simulators.

Frequentis, Dimetor partner for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights: Frequentis has partnered with mobile network connectivity specialist and start-up, Dimetor, to enable network connectivity for command and control (C2) and payload data links to ensure reliable and consistent data sharing. The initial introduction of UAV’s to the airspace has been limited to visual line of sight (VLOS) operations. To extend commercial drone applications, BVLOS operations are essential for governmental entities as well as commercial deployments and many countries are now amending their drone policies to allow such flights. This requires accurate, dynamic, and reliable telecommunication data and it is important to have this information from a single source. The connectivity platform from Dimetor, AirborneRF, is deployed at the operational data centres of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), processing highly confidential network data for assuring cellular connectivity for UAV operations. Flight planning tools like Frequentis’ CADAS-ATS and other U-space services can use the constraints in the pre-tactical/tactical phase of a BVLOS drone flight and either approve or reject the proposed flight plan. AirborneRF can also be used to demonstrate network capabilities to airspace regulators and UAV service providers.

GE and Lufthansa Technik open XEOS joint venture: GE Aviation and Lufthansa Technik announced the launch and opening of a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) joint venture XEOS located in Sroda Slaska, Poland near Wroclaw. The new 350,000 sq. ft. facility will perform MRO on GEnx-2B and GE9X engines and is owned and operated by Lufthansa Technik (51 percent) and GE Aviation (49 percent). The two parent companies invested more than US$250 million in XEOS. The new MRO facility consists of an overhaul site, training centre and test cell, which is under construction. XEOS was built in 16 months and inducted its first GEnx-2B engine in April 2019. The facility anticipates inducting about 20 engines this year with more than 200 engines coming in for MRO work by 2023. Today about 300 employees work at XEOS, and it expects to expand to 600 employees over the coming years.

ojetsEmirates launches A380 service to Cairo: Emirates will be operating its A380 service to Cairo International Airport on 2 October 2019, making it the first scheduled commercial airline to operate an A380 flight into Egypt. With the intent to make the world’s largest commercial passenger jet a part of the airline’s scheduled service to Cairo, this inaugural flight will re-affirm the airport’s infrastructure readiness ahead of regular A380 operations. The Emirates A380 service will operate as EK 927 and EK 928, departing Dubai at 08:15hrs and arriving in Cairo at 10:00hrs. The flight will depart Cairo at 13:15hrs arriving in Dubai at 18:45hrs on the same day. All timings are local.

ojetsBOC Aviation delivers new aircraft: BOC Aviation said it has concluded a purchase-and-leaseback transaction with Qatar Airways for three new Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The aircraft are powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines. BOC Aviation also announced it has delivered the third of seven new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners committed for lease to Air Europa under a purchase and leaseback transaction. One more aircraft will be delivered in fourth quarter 2019 with the remaining three aircraft scheduled for delivery by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. All seven aircraft are to be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines.

ojetsACI calls for appropriate ICAO standards and practices for supersonic aircraft: Airports Council International (ACI) World called for appropriate standards and practices for supersonic aircraft to properly address their potential impact on the environment, airport operations, and the public. The reintroduction of supersonics aircraft may occur as early as 2023 and ACI is concerned that manufacturers have not been able to yet present evidence that new supersonic aircraft will be able to meet the latest ICAO standards for their subsonic counterparts. Considering that there is strong pressure on airports to reduce their noise and emissions footprints, and generally reduce the impact of aviation on their communities, ACI insists that the re-introduction of supersonic aircraft not undermine the efforts and achievements of the industry over the past decades. “Public acceptance of aviation rests on our ability to face the operational and environmental challenges currently posed by noise and emissions from subsonic aircraft. The introduction of supersonic aircraft must not destroy that acceptance,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said. “In order to be integrated into the commercial aviation ecosystem, supersonic aircraft must not be noisier than comparable subsonic aircraft of the same Maximum Take Off Mass (MTOM) during their subsonic operations. This is a matter which affects the entire aviation industry and it is essential for the development of Standards and Recommended Practices for supersonic aircraft to respond to the industry requirements while also addressing the potential impact on the community, the environment and airport operations.”

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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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