Aviation News in Brief 27 November 2020

IATA, Routes, ACI World, NAVBLUE, SARSYS-ASFT, AXIS Flight Training Systems, Simtech Aviation, Hutchison, Singapore Component Solutions, Cathay Pacific, Vietjet, Sovico, Utility Air, ATPCO, Bii.aero, Nomad Aviation, Embraer, Airways International, Christchurch Airport, Etihad Airways, SITA

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(IMAGE: Shutterstock)

Use thiscovid-19-iata-calls-for-relief-for-african-middle-eastern-airlinesIATA launches carbon exchange: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched the Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE) to help airlines meet their climate commitments. ACE is the first centralised, real-time marketplace that is integrated with the IATA Clearing House (ICH) for the settlement of funds on trades in carbon offsets. IATA’s Clearing House ensures that ACE can offer a seamless and secure settlement system which guarantees payment and delivery of the carbon credits. Airlines reiterated the industry’s commitment to cut net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050 in a resolution of the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM). A key step is the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) which will deliver carbon neutral growth for international emissions from 2021. Airlines are also buying carbon credits as part of individual carrier commitments or to offset domestic operations.

Routes, ACI World announce partnership: An exclusive partnership designed to help airports recover from the most challenging period the aviation industry has ever faced has been signed by Routes and Airports Council International (ACI) World. The formal agreement between the two organisations will provide platforms and guidance for airports at a world level, recognising the vital role they will play in driving economic recovery in a post-pandemic era. The coming together of Routes, the organiser of the world’s leading route development forums, and ACI World, the association that advances the interests and acts as the collective voice for the world’s airports respectively, demonstrates how the recovery of the aviation industry will have its foundation in collaboration. The partnership forged at a global level between Routes and ACI World will support the world’s airports in planning for this season, ensuring they continue to provide the economic and social benefits to the local, national and global communities that they serve.

NAVBLUE and SARSYS-ASFT sign reseller agreement: NAVBLUE and SARSYS-ASFT have signed a reseller agreement for the provision of NAVBLUE’s RunwaySense runway condition reporting data via SARSYS-ASFT’s MIDAS visualisation platform for use by airport operators. This reseller agreement allows airport operators to access highly accurate runway condition data obtained from NAVBLUE’s RunwaySense braking action identification solution, via the SARSYS-ASFT MIDAS visualisation platform which shall integrate the data and present it with other key runway condition information. The integration is on-going and the integrated solution will be operationally available on 15 January 2021. RunwaySense uses the aircraft as a sensor to identify the braking action, based on Airbus aircraft Performance models, against the FAA’s Take-off and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM). The data generated is compliant with the mandatory ICAO Global Reporting Format (GRF), due to come into effect in November 2021. Today, 20 airlines in all continents committed to contribute to RunwaySense, representing close to 1,000 aircraft.

AXIS delivers new ATR 72-600 full flight simulator: Austrian simulator innovator AXIS Flight Training Systems has installed a new ATR 72-600 full flight simulator at training provider Simtech Aviation in Dublin. This is the sixth ATR FFS that AXIS has delivered. As one of relatively few ATR 72-600 simulators, its puts Simtech in a position to serve customers not only in Europe, but also from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where these aircraft are in common use. The new simulator deploys AXIS’ proprietary IRIS rehost avionics solution, as well as many other innovative and proven AXIS design features that give it exceptional robustness and availability. The simulator uses a motion system by E2M and a 200 x 40 degree collimated visual system by RSi. It incorporates LPV, UPRT, steep approach and low visibility capabilities, and simulates the Donegal, Manchester and London City airports. The simulator is owned by funds managed by Falko Regional Aircraft. The new simulator was successfully approved on schedule, to Level D certification in October by the Irish Aviation Authority following an extensive certification check. The first flight by a customer followed two days later.

Hutchison opts for Singapore Component Solutions: Hutchinson has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore Component Solutions, the joint venture between Sabena technics and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, dedicated to component support, to work jointly on the development of their component repair offering in Asia-Pacific. With this partnership, Singapore Component Solutions will be appointed as the only approved repair station for Hutchinson in the region. Both companies will combine their respective skills to offer the market a value-adding MRO service solution Hutchinson product, starting early 2021. Capabilities will include Engine and APU Vibration Isolation Systems, Engine Component Repairs, Cabin Interior and composite and structural repairs.

Cathay welcomes support from government: Cathay Pacific announced it welcomed the Hong Kong SAR government’s commitment to strengthening Hong Kong’s long-term competitiveness as a leading global aviation hub and international logistics centre, as outlined in the 2020 Policy Address given by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Carrie Lam. Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said: “We are grateful to the Hong Kong, Guangdong and Central governments for their commitment to the continued development of the Hong Kong aviation hub. We share their confidence that Hong Kong will continue to prosper as the city has an unrivalled position as part of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), a region that presents wonderful opportunity for Hong Kong, and will be the growth engine for the world economy over the coming decades. We welcome the deepening cooperation between Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and Zhuhai Airport to establish a globally competitive world-class airport cluster, leveraging their complementary strengths. We also look forward to the commissioning of the entire Three-Runway System in 2024, and the completion of the premium logistics centre and the SKYCITY development projects.”

Sovico Aviation bids for Vietjet shares: Sovico Aviation has registered to buy 33 million shares of Vietjet Aviation. The deal is being executed between 12 November and 11 December via put-through and/or order-matching transactions. Such move by Sovico Aviation, Vietjet’s blockholder, suggests its confidence in Vietjet’s recovery post COVID-19 due to the airline’s effective and flexible business solutions in response to the fluctuations in the aviation market. Vietnamese airlines’ stocks were lifted on 10 November as investors believed in the rebound of aviation businesses, which are deemed as the leverage for the other economic sectors. Flight network recovery, cheap tickets and stimulus for tourism demand are measures that airlines are carrying out at the time. Industry experts believe that Vietnam’s aviation is set on the path of positive recovery with Vietjet in particular gaining certain advantages over other carriers. The airline is launching new products and services to meet the increasing demand of the customers. Vietnam has fully resumed its domestic flight network and is ready to reopen international flights as soon as Vietnamese government gives the green light, helping to achieve economic development while taking precautionary measures to prevent COVID-19.

Utility Air plans demo flights: Utility Air in Australia, the exclusive Distributor for Diamond Aircraft in the region, has announced that a new Diamond DA40NG Aircraft is going to commence a demo tour on 5 December through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The timing of the demonstrator tour is critical, with industry price rises coming through next year. Utility Air plans to offer 2021 production slots at 2020 pricing as a call to action for customers who have been sitting on the sidelines during the recent lockdowns. John Oppenheim, a Director of Utility Air, commented, “After the slowdown in flying and events caused by Covid 19, we are excited to be able to invest in the future of Aviation in the region again. Bringing this aircraft to our marketplace shows a commitment not just to Diamond Aircraft but also to all our owners and prospective customers in Australia and New Zealand. It is only through investment in the growth of aviation and marketing that we’ll get back to where we all want to be…Flying.”

ATPCO unveils Architect pricing tool: ATPCO has launched its Architect pricing tool after broad consultation with its airline owners and the larger industry community. The new pricing tool re-imagines traditional fare filing. Architect is able to normalise and standardise content from multiple sources to then implement strategies with a new, streamlined workflow and user interface. The launch of Architect, which is already under contract with Icelandair and LATAM Airlines and undergoing active testing by many other airlines, ushers in a new era of airline pricing. Architect resolves several challenges airlines face with pricing, including making it easier to onboard staff thanks to a modern user experience, enabling first-mover advantage with automated workflows, removing complexity of integrating multiple systems, and providing normalised displays of web fares.

Bii adds A320-A321 interior components to stock: Bii.aero continues to expand its aircraft parts and services for the commercial, governmental/military and rotary aviation sectors, and has boosted its stock of A320 family galley inserts. The combined packages comprising over 1,700 line items include a broad spectrum of sometimes – hard to source – OEM interior components from Zodiac, Airbus, BE Aerospace, Adams-Rite, Holmco, Diehl, and Goodrich amongst others. Components included are vacuum lavatories, smoke detectors, ovens, coffee makers, crew handsets, chillers, faucets, fire extinguishers, lights, and attendant seats. Bii will utilise its carefully selected MRO vendor base in order to recertify the interior cabin/galley material to ensure quality and availability on the shelf. This will further complement the company’s ability to support aircraft with a range of AOG/loan/exchange and outright sale options.

Nomad Aviation adds Embraer Legacy 600: Nomad Aviation has added an Embraer Legacy 600 to its aircraft management fleet which will be operated under the company’s Swiss AOC. The business jet will be available for VIP charter and for MedEvac missions as of 1 December. The aircraft offers comfortable and spacious seating for up to 13 passengers in two sections. In the main cabin guests can enjoy a club and conference seating while in the rear cabin a seating arrangement with a divan and two individual chairs adds to the comfort of air travel. During night, the aircraft’s seats are quickly converted into six full flat beds for maximum comfort. The cabin interior is light and airy with soft creamy coloured leather seats and a light gray carpet. The passengers can enjoy a full entertainment system including airshow throughout the flight. A fully equipped forward galley and a rear lavatory with direct access to the baggage compartment complement the cabin. The unique adaptability of the Legacy 600 aircraft interior allows Nomad Aviation to quickly transform the business jet’s VIP configuration to an Air Ambulance configuration, complete with one or two stretchers while the rear cabin offers space for doctors, nurses or relatives.

Airways International launches new learning platform: Airways International has launched Airways Knowledge Online (AKO) – a virtual training academy for the aviation sector. AKO, a digital learning community for aviation professionals around the globe, is the result of years of investment in online and digital learning technologies for Airways International. With the closure of borders and the inability to deliver face-to-face training to international customers as a result of Covid-19, the company fast-tracked the development of AKO to meet the evolving needs of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and current industry challenges around training. AKO has been developed as a flexible digital learning platform, enabling ANSPs and students to engage and learn on their own terms. It brings Airways’ classroom-based teaching into a virtual environment, where instructor and student interaction is maintained even though courses are being delivered from a distance. The key to AKO is flexibility – customers can choose the learning experience for their students based on their specific training needs. The AKO virtual academy is supported by the AKO Immersive Technologies studio based at the company’s training facilities in Christchurch New Zealand. The studio has been developed with the latest virtual learning technologies to support virtual hosting of training, events and webinars.

Christchurch Airport gains carbon recognition: Christchurch Airport has become one of the first three in the world to be recognised for demonstrating best practice in carbon reduction. Airports Council International (ACI) the Airports Carbon Accreditation (ACA) global standard for airports’ measurement and reduction of emissions. Newly launched ACA Level4/4+ is the highest carbon certification an airport can achieve – and Christchurch Airport is one of the first.  General Manager Planning & Sustainability, Rhys Boswell, says the airport environmental team is proud to have achieved this world first. He says the submission took three months to complete. “We were required to present a verified Carbon Footprint, a Carbon Management Plan in line with the UN Paris Agreement, and a Stakeholder Partnership Plan to influence Scope 3 emissions. All this went to an independently verified accreditor who scrutinises carbon accounting and airports. We provided independently verified proof of all our carbon reduction achievements.”

Etihad, SITA trial biometric check-in for crews: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has partnered with information technology company SITA, to trial the use of facial biometrics in order to check in cabin crew at the airlines Crew Briefing Centre at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The trial will use facial recognition technology to identify and authenticate crew members, allowing them to complete check-in procedures and mandatory pre-flight safety and security questions digitally via their own mobile devices. The new initiative will replace the current kiosk-based check-in process which requires crew to use their staff identity cards as a form of authentication. As part of the airline’s digitalisation strategy, facial biometric technology is expected to improve operational efficiency by speeding up the existing check-in process and automating crew time and attendance management and access controls. Cabin crew will also experience a seamless and contactless check-in experience.

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