Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Friend remembers Ex-Air Force Two pilot, father, cyclist killed when hit by SUV

LARKSPUR, Colorado  

A 46-year-old Air Force pilot was killed Sunday evening after troopers say he was hit by a Jeep on a state highway east of Monument. 

Lt. Col., Michael Joyal was riding his bicycle south on Colo. 83 when he was hit around 8:15 p.m. by a 2004 Jeep Wrangler that was also going south, said Trooper Nate Reid, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman.

Joyal died at the scene of the crash, which was just north of the El Paso County line.

A family friend, Lt. Col. Jason Brenneman, said Joyal was married with two children.

"He was a fantastic officer, a wonderful pilot and tremendous husband and father," he said.

Troopers suspect Sjvorne Chapman, 37, of Peyton, was driving the Jeep.

She was booked into the Douglas County jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and reckless driving, Reid said.

According to Joyal's LinkedIn Profile, he was a graduate of the Air Force Academy and retired from the Air Force in 2010 after a successful career as a pilot and intelligence officer.

His career included a five year stint flying Air Force Two -- the plane for the vice president of the United States -- and he flew in 114 countries and six U.S. territories. He logged more than 5,000 flight hours.

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Bhoja Air plane crash: Civil Aviation Authority accused of giving clearance in violation of International Civil Aviation Organization rules

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is learnt to have allowed Bhoja aircraft to land at Islamabad airport when the sky was covered with cumulonimbus clouds - associated with violent events such as lightning, thunder and tornadoes - in violation of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules.

The Meteorological Department had twice issued a weather warning to CAA on April 21 and on both the occasions it warned of an extremely high wind pressure.

CAA disregarded the warnings and allowed the Bhoja Air plane to land.

Flying in cumulonimbus clouds is clear violation of ICAO rules and entering them is akin to committing suicide: Any aircraft flying in the vicinity of these clouds experiences disruptions of communications and navigation equipment, besides facing serious hazards, a senior official of Met Off said on condition of anonymity.

He said that cumulonimbus cloud is one of the largest cloud formation on earth's weather patterns.

Tall, column-like cloud appearance, often with a flat top, can indicate severe lightning, heavy rains and high winds.

"If the CCA had properly followed Met Department's weather warnings and guided the aircraft to land at an alternative airport, the Bhoja plane's crash may have been avoided," he said.


'Gory, indecent, vulgar': Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority admonishes 17 broadcast media outlets for irresponsible coverage of Bhoja Air crash

Pakistan’s electronic media regulator on Wednesday issued a furious rebuke to 17 television channels after they broadcast graphic images of the victims of a plane crash.

A Bhoja Air Boeing-737 came down and burst into flames in fields near Islamabad on April 20 as it tried to land, killing all 127 people on board—the Pakistani capital’s second major crash in less than two years.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Wednesday ordered the channels to explain themselves over what it called “horrific and insane” coverage of the disaster.
In a strongly worded statement, PEMRA said the channels broadcast “unedited live footage of blood, gore, dead and mutilated bodies amid a private plane crash.”

The regulator said it was considering legal action against the broadcasters, calling their approach “extremely unethical and irresponsible.”

“There is no harm in taking edge over other channels in dissemination of timely and accurate news but the quest must not be to take lead in indecency or irregularity,” the statement said. “It’s high time that the channels must realize their responsibility and define the dos and don’ts.”

General Dynamics Says Profit Fell 8.7% on Combat Unit Sales

By Gopal Ratnam
Apr 25, 2012 10:07 AM ET

General Dynamics Corp. (GD) said first- quarter profit fell 8.7 percent, because of a decline in sales and profit at its combat systems unit.

Net income declined $564 million, or $1.57 a share, from $618 million, or $1.64 a share, a year earlier, the maker of Abrams battle tanks and Gulfstream jets, said today in a statement. General Dynamics fell 1.2 percent to $69.19 at 10:04 a.m. in New York trading.

After adjusting for a non-cash charge of 13 cents a share, profit was $1.70 compared with the average estimate of $1.69 a share by 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales declined 2.8 percent to $7.58 billion.

Jay Johnson, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, sees international and domestic demand for Gulfstream jets offsetting weak orders for some of the company’s defense products this year.

The Gulfstream G650, a large-cabin, long-range business jet that’s in development, already has a backlog of more than 200 orders and “it’s a very, very well-received airplane before it ever even hits the market,” Johnson has said.

Defense Cuts

The company’s first quarter result “reflects continued growth in our aerospace segment as well as the challenges presented” by slow defense orders, Johnson said in the statement today.

The threat of automatic defense budget cuts, known as sequestration, is slowing orders for General Dynamics’ military radios, satellites, and information-technology systems, Johnson said Feb. 23.

General Dynamics, based in Falls Church, Virginia, said the European operations of its Combat Systems unit had a $67 million non-cash charge during the first quarter. The company reaffirmed today its forecast for 2012 profit of $7.10 to $7.20 a share made in January, less than the $7.33 a share estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

General Dynamics rose 79 cents or 1.14 percent to $70.06 yesterday in New York trading. They have gained 5.5 percent before today.

Sales at the company’s Aerospace unit, maker of Gulfstream jets, rose 20 percent to $1.62 billion, and profit gained 18 percent to $271 million, the company said.
Gulfstream Demand

Demand for Gulfstream jets was “healthy” in the quarter with “particularly strong interest from North American customers,” General Dynamics said in the statement.

The Aerospace unit had a funded backlog of $16.7 billion at the end of the first quarter, the company said.

In its defense business, the company’s “high exposure to Army spend is a concern,” Douglas Harned, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein LLC in New York, wrote in an April 23 note to clients. In addition to the Abrams tanks, the company makes Stryker combat vehicles for the U.S. Army. Harned rates the stock market-perform.

The Pentagon plans to cut about $490 billion from its planned spending over the next 10 years under budget-reduction legislation, with an additional $500 billion if the automatic cuts take effect starting in January.

Revenue at the Combat Systems unit, maker of Abrams and Stryker vehicles, fell 2.3 percent to $1.91 billion and unit income declined 27 percent to $203 million, the company said.

Sales at the Marine Systems unit, maker of the Navy’s destroyers and nuclear-powered submarines, fell 4.2 percent to $1.61 billion and profit gained 11 percent to $185 million.

Information Systems and Technology sales fell 13.3 percent to $2.44 billion and profit declined 21 percent to $218 million, the company said. 


International Plot to Smuggle US Stealth Tech to China Foiled: Feds

An international plot to provide China with highly classified U.S. military technology has been foiled, U.S. federal agents said. 

Two Taiwanese nationals were arrested after they told American undercover agents they were working for "associates" in the Chinese intelligence community and wanted to buy a surveillance drone and stealth technology related to the U.S.'s F-22 Raptor fighter jet, the FBI said in court documents released today. 

The plot was uncovered during a previous investigation into the pair's alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar counterfeit goods smuggling scheme and crystal methamphetamine operation. The pair, 45-year-old Hui Sheng Shen, also known as "Charlie," and 41-year-old Huan Ling Chang, also known as "Alice," have been charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act along with related drug charges and could face life in prison. 

"The charges... illustrate starkly why we do this work, and what is at stake when the security of our ports is breached for any reason," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. "National security isn't an a la carte enterprise. The same conduits that bring knockoff sneakers flood our communities with illegal drugs and establish dangerous criminal relationships." 

According to the FBI's account, a drug smuggling middleman in Hong Kong unknowingly led undercover agents to Shen and Chang who apparently acted in the U.S. on behalf of a larger drug syndicate. In the summer of 2011, the pair discussed drug smuggling operations with the undercover agents but it wasn't until September of that year that they brought up the drones, the E-2C Hawkeye surveillance aircraft, which they called the "big toy," and the F-22 stealth technology. 

At a meeting held in Las Vegas, an undercover agent told Shen he "would prefer not to make money on something that would hurt the United States," the FBI said. 

Shen replied, "I think that all items would hurt America." 

When the agents tried to learn who exactly Shen and Chang worked for, Chang began to say they had "special status" and could not travel to countries like the U.S. and the U.K., but Shen interrupted and said, "They are spies." 

The undercover operation came to a close in February 2012 when FBI agents met with Shen and Chang to "finalize" a major drug deal and allow the pair to take pictures of some sensitive U.S. military technology.

"The pair planned to avoid law enforcement detection by taking photographs, deleting those photographs, and bringing the memory cards back to China, where a contact had the ability to recover deleted items," the FBI said in the criminal complaint. "The defendants took the photos, but FBI agents were there to arrest them before the photos could be deleted." 

The F-22 Raptor is America's most advanced, and expensive, fighter jet. The Chinese have reportedly begun testing their own prototype for a next generation stealth fighter, known as the J-20.


F-35 a 'serious mismatch' for Canada's North, retired colonel says

By Jeff Davis, Postmedia News 
April 25, 2012 9:30 AM

OTTAWA — A retired air force fleet manager fired a salvo at the F-35 Wednesday, saying the strike fighter is ill-suited for Arctic missions and may become obsolete soon after it enters service.

Retired colonel Paul Maillet, an aerospace engineer and former CF-18 fleet manager, said the F-35 does not meet the needs of the government's Canada First Defence Strategy, a key pillar of which is Arctic sovereignty.

"How do you get a single engine, low-range, low-payload, low-manoeuvrability aircraft that is being optimized for close air support . . . to operate effectively in the North?" he asked.

Maillet called the F-35 a "serious strategic mismatch" to Canada's military needs, and suggested the Royal Canadian Air Force would be better off purchasing a fleet of F-18 E/F fighters.

Maillet, who twice ran as a federal Green party candidate, said the billions the government is planning to spend on F-35s would be better used on schools and health care.

Maillet, who now works as an anti-corruption consultant, said a truly competitive bidding process was never held. Instead, he said, the decision was made by the "Old Boys club of air force generals and politicians" under pressure from allies and the "military industrial complex."

The trend lines in aerial combat, Maillet said, point to manned aircraft becoming a thing of the past. Unmanned drone technology is progressing at a staggering pace, he said, and they will soon be capable of air-to-air dogfights.

Given the pace of drone development, Maillet said, the F-35 could be the last major manned fighter project. With new drone fighters not too far off, he said, Canada could hold off on a major purchase — and extend the life of the aging CF-18s — until these come to market.

"We could do the skip-a-generation thing," he said.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page has asked the federal government for new information about the F-35 fighter jets so he can prepare an updated estimate of their real cost.

Page received a request from Liberal defence critic John McKay to "undertake an update of the life cycle cost estimate of the F-35."

In a letter to the deputy minister of national defence, Robert Fonberg, dated April 23, Page asks that the Department of National Defence hand over "information and documents" that provide a "full life cycle cost" of the aircraft.

Earlier this month, Auditor General Michael Ferguson delivered a report highly critical of the Defence Department's handling of the F-35 project.

A few days later, the government revealed it knew weeks before the last election that the aircraft would cost $10 billion more than the $14.7 billion Canadians were originally told.

The auditor general's report, released on April 3, indicated Defence Department officials twisted government rules, withheld information from ministers and Parliament, and whitewashed cost overruns and delays afflicting the F-35 program.

In the letter, Page asks specifically for "operating and support costs," which the department notably left out of previous estimates.

Page encourages the department to use the U.S. government's $137 million U.S. per aircraft price tag — which he notes has been verified by an independent, non-partisan agency.

The government has two weeks to respond to Page's request.

India's New Delhi airport to be world's most expensive: Industry body

Reuters, 25 Apr 2012 | 08:39 PM

India's New Delhi airport will become the world's most expensive, with its operator GMR Infrastructure Ltd permitted to raise charges, hurting the airport's ambition to become an aviation hub, an airline industry body said.
Earlier on Wednesday, GMR, which received a regulatory approval to raise the airport charges from May 15, called the increase "inadequate" to cover its costs.

Air ticket prices for international flights operating from the airport would rise by an average of Rs 580 ($10.99), while domestic fares would increase by an average Rs 290 , GMR said in a statement.

The revised charges would push up the landing and parking fee for aircraft, apart from raising the user development fee, GMR said, a move that may discourage foreign airlines to operate to and from the Indian capital.

"India's aviation industry is already sick. This increase in Delhi's charges will put it in intensive care from a cost perspective," Albert Tjoeng, assistant director of corporate communications at International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement.

The move may also hurt demand from cost-conscious Indians, who are already battling high inflation and have the option of travelling by much cheaper trains.

Airports Authority of India, Germany's Fraport and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd are GMR's consortium partners for the airport. ($1 = Rs 52.7700 )


American Airlines tells judge it needs more union concessions

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

NEW YORK — American Airlines parent company AMR Corp. told a federal bankruptcy judge in New York Tuesday it is squeezing out savings as it restructures.

A top executive of the carrier told the court that cutting labor costs is the only option it has left on the table.

The future of a storied airline and 13,000 union workers is being laid out in the courtroom more than 1,500 miles from its Fort worth headquarters, in sight of the Statue of Liberty.

Taking the stand on Tuesday was Beverly Goulet, American's Chief Restructuring Officer. She said the company and its consultants have squeezed out all the savings they can from the airline — $4 billion worth.

She said pilots, flight attendants and ground workers must now take a 20 percent pay cut, worth another billion dollars.

Laura Glading, representing the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, said she understands the airline's strategy in the wake of similar restructurings at other airlines. "I think American looked at the other bankruptcies and said, 'We're going to get what we want. Everyone else has. And so we won't be denied.'"

She's right; no other airline has been.

Still, American's unions continue to suggest to the court that a merger is the carrier's only option to save jobs — and the airline itself.

In court, Goulet admitted to union attorneys: "I think there are advantages to larger [airline] networks," but she wouldn't concede that American must merge to grow.

"American Airlines has a business plan going forward," said American spokesman Bruce Hicks. "It isn't like we're trying to follow five different plans; we know what we want. We're heading in that direction. It's the plan that will return American Airlines to sustainable profitability and success."

Tuesday's testimony sometimes got mired in the mundane. The judge half-joked to attorneys: "We'd like to finish this hearing sometime this calendar year. We seem to be hop-scotching around."

One of the flight attendants' lawyers pointed out the problem — that the court is dealing with three different groups, all of them facing an uncertain future — a future that's likely to be decided in this New York courtroom.


GoAir may re-launch late-night flights to attract budget fliers

In order to beat the rising costs and make flight tickets affordable for the budget fliers GoAir is planning to start late-night flight services. The airline is also making strategies of permeating smaller cities and is in talks with many state governments for seeking permission.

Jeh Wadia, MD, GoAir said, “The airline is contemplating tossing back its red-eye flights once again, and it is in dialogue with several state governments to allow it to develop non-capital city routes with lower sales tax on the air turbine fuel (4% as opposed to 27%).” This idea was developed after GoAir successfully launched its flight services to the small town of Nanded in Maharashtra.

JetBlue Takes Off Between Newark and San Juan, Puerto Rico

press release
April 25, 2012, 9:00 a.m. EDT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- JetBlue Airways JBLU +1.07% , Puerto Rico's largest carrier (a), today launched service to its 12th nonstop destination from San Juan's Luis Munoz MarinInternational Airport (SJU), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Flights are on sale now at .

"We've quickly become the largest carrier in the Commonwealth, thanks to the steadfast support from the community and the numerous ties between the two cities," said John Checketts, director of route planning for JetBlue. "We will continue to add more routes and new destinations from San Juan, where we will soon have a new terminal to better serve our customers and expand our operations."

"The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is extremely pleased that JetBlue has taken the Newark Gateway to add seats to San Juan as the new nonstop service will now provide additional air service to one of our main markets," said Luis Rivera-Marin, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. "We look forward to the arrival of visitors traveling from Newark who can now take advantage of the carefully planned departure and arrival times to visit us and enjoy everything we offer as the Caribbean's most diverse and complete destination."

JetBlue's proposed schedule between Newark and San Juan*:

        Newark to San Juan:      San Juan to Newark:
        Depart - Arrive          Depart - Arrive
        9:29 a.m. - 13:29 p.m.   5:05 p.m. - 9:16 p.m.
        - Flights operate daily effective April 25, 2012-
        - All times local -
* First week schedule to vary.

JetBlue operates up to 18 flights a day from Newark, with nonstop service to Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

JetBlue's flights to and from San Juan will be operated with the airline's comfortable Airbus A320 fleet. In Puerto Rico, JetBlue currently serves San Juan, Aguadilla and Ponce, with service to twelve nonstop destinations, eight within the continental U.S.: Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Jacksonville, Newark, New York, Orlando, and Tampa and four within the Caribbean: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and St. Croix.

Customers on all flights will enjoy JetBlue's award-winning service featuring convenient, assigned seating; a first-checked bag free (b); complimentary and unlimited name brand snacks and drinks; comfy leather seats; and more legroom than any other carrier in coach (c).

The airline plans to begin its 13th route from San Juan on May 15, 2012, when service between the island and West Palm Beach International will begin.

About JetBlue AirwaysJetBlue is the largest airline in Puerto Rico flying more seats in and out of the island than any other carrier; known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) and super-spacious Even More Space seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit for details. JetBlue serves 70 cities with 750 daily flights. Next week, JetBlue plans to introduce service to Dallas/Fort-Worth. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For more information or reservations, call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530, 1-801-365-2583, or visit .

(a) As measured by number of seats in and out of Puerto Rico.

(b) Baggage weight and size limits apply.

(c) JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach, based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines.

SOURCE JetBlue Airways

SpiceJet to operate first international flight from Madurai

Published on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 18:02
Source : PTI
Updated at Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 18:50 

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet will become the first airline to operate an international flight from Madurai Airport with the Civil Aviation Ministry approving a proposal for connecting the city with Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told a Tamil Nadu MP that his Ministry has approved operation of a flight from Madurai to Colombo. "He (Ajit Singh) told me that he has cleared a proposal allowing Spicejet to operate between Madurai and Colombo," Virudhunagar MP Manick Tagore said after meet Singh here today.

Tagore has been demanding that the Ministry should allow private operators to fly to international routes from Madurai to facilitate people in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. This would mean Madurai getting its first international connectivity after being elevated as an international airport.

When Spicejet starts the operation, Madurai would become the third airport in Tamil Nadu to operate international flights.


Boeing profit up on stronger airliner sales

Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:14am EDT
By Kyle Peterson

April 25 (Reuters) - Boeing Co posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by an increase in commercial airplane deliveries, and the world's largest aerospace and defense company raised its earnings forecast for the year.

The news from Boeing, which makes commercial airplanes and military products, sent its shares up more than 2 percent in premarket trading.

The company is raising production rates on commercial airplanes to meet increased demand while battling defense budget constraints.

"As of late, investors have turned Boeing into an execution story, and execute they did," said Alex Hamilton, managing director of EarlyBirdCapital.

"We believe investors should be pleased given the performance of all sectors, including defense, which is highly impressive given the backdrop of the defense budget," Hamilton said.

Boeing's first-quarter net profit rose to $923 million, or $1.22 per share, from $586 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a gain from resolved litigation, earnings were $1.11 per share, beating the analysts' average estimate of 94 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Boeing declined to identify the litigation. Earlier this month, a California appeals court threw out Pendrell Corp's potentially $775 million victory against Boeing in a lawsuit over launch and satellite contracts between the two companies.

Boeing had been setting money aside in case of an unfavorable ruling, but the outcome made this provision unnecessary.

Shares of Boeing were up 2.4 percent to $75 in premarket trade after the results.

The company, which competes with EADS unit Airbus for orders, said revenue rose 30 percent to $19.4 billion, topping expectations for $18.4 billion. Boeing said its order backlog at the end of the quarter was $380 billion, up from $356 billion at the beginning of the year.

The company raised the upper end of its 2012 profit forecast to $4.35 a share from $4.25 while keeping the low end at $4.15. It affirmed its 2012 revenue outlook of $78 billion to $80 billion.

Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said in a statement that the company's outlook remained positive.

Revenue at the commercial unit increased 54 percent to $10.9 billion on higher delivery volume and an improved mix of the planes it delivered. Shares of the company typically track commercial orders and deliveries.

Boeing, which gets paid for its airplanes when customers receive them, has said it delivered 137 commercial airplanes in the first quarter, up 32 percent from a year earlier. Most of the growth came from 737 deliveries.

At the defense business, revenue increased 8 percent to $8.2 billion. Sales of military aircraft rose 27 percent to $4.3 billion.

Boeing logged orders for 805 commercial airplanes in 2011, adjusted for cancellations. As a result, it lost the race to Airbus, which had orders of 1,419.

Boeing has pledged to strike back in 2012 with sales of its revamped narrowbody, the 737 MAX, which features a new, fuel-efficient engine. The plane is due to enter service in 2017.

The company booked 412 net orders for commercial airplanes during the quarter, including 301 firm orders for the MAX.

The MAX competes with the Airbus A320neo, which also has a new engine.

Boeing is increasing production rates on its commercial airplane programs, including the 787 Dreamliner, its new carbon-composite aircraft. The first delivery of the Dreamliner came last year after three years of delays.

The company wants increase monthly production of 787s to 10 by the end of 2013 from the current rate of 3.5. Some experts believe that target is unattainable.

The target appeared even less realistic in February after Boeing found a flaw on the fuselage of as many as 55 Dreamliners that needed to be corrected before it could deliver the airplanes.

Boeing said previously that the glitch had resulted in signs of "delamination" on a support structure in the rear fuselage. Delamination occurs when repeated stress causes laminated composite materials to begin to separate.

Harris Corporation to Upgrade Air Traffic Control Communication Systems in the Dominican Republic and Uruguay

press release
April 25, 2012, 8:00 a.m. EDT

MELBOURNE, Fla. & GATINEAU, Quebec, Apr 25, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- --Airports have selected Harris to provide advanced voice communications system.

--Modernized air traffic control (ATC) system will enable airports to support economic growth.

--Contract represents Harris' first ATC business in the Dominican Republic and Uruguay; supports company's international growth initiative.

Harris Corporation HRS +0.55% , an international communications and information technology company, has been awarded contracts to modernize the air traffic control systems in the Dominican Republic and Uruguay.

Harris will supply its Liberty-STAR(TM) Voice Communication and Control System (VCCS) to the Cibao International Airport in Santiago de los Caballeros and to the Aeropuerto de Punta del Este in Maldonado. The Liberty-STAR(TM) VCCS features a modular architecture, open-platform software, and commercial-off-the-shelf hardware that deliver a reliable, scalable communications solution for ATC towers, airline and area control dispatch, flight service stations, and mobile shelters.

Both airport systems will be equipped with touch-screen operator positions, radio and telephone interfaces, and a System Maintenance, Administration and Reconfiguration Terminal (SMART) POSITION(TM). At the Cibao International Airport, the system also will feature a digital recorder and a Liberty-MET weather system.

Harris will install the systems and provide operation and maintenance training for the air traffic controllers and technical staff at both locations.

"Both of these airports are critical to their respective economies. Cibao International is one of the busiest in the region, supporting the Dominican Republic's vital tourist trade. Punta del Este is Uruguay's second busiest airport and serves as a vital hub to their largest trading partners in Brazil and Argentina," said John O'Sullivan, vice president of Mission Critical Networks for Harris Corporation. "The advanced capabilities offered by the Liberty-STAR system will provide our newest customers with a powerful and cost-effective solution for maintaining trade relations through their safe and secure airways."

Harris has extensive experience developing mission-critical solutions that support civil and military air traffic control operations worldwide, including more than 200 customers in 50 countries. While these are the company's first ATC communications contracts in the Dominican Republic and Uruguay, Harris has supplied communications systems for a wide range of countries in the region, including the Bahamas, Aruba, Barbados, and the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, and Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina and Brazil in South America.

About Harris Corporation

Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $6 billion of annual revenue and about 17,000 employees -- including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications(R) products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at .

SOURCE: Harris Corporation

Scared American Airlines passengers abandon flight

2012-04-24 20:49:03
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer


At least 12 American Airlines passengers who were scheduled to depart the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston to Miami, this evening refused to board the aircraft which had mechanical and electrical problems earlier today.

Flight AA2038 was scheduled to depart at 8:45 this morning, but never left until 7:53 p.m.

"They first told us that plane was defective and they had to get some parts from Miami, and the aircraft would leave at 10:00 a.m, then they said 2:00 p.m, which moved to 4:00 p.m and the time went on and on," says Margaret Wadsworth, a passenger who spent 13 hours waiting at the airport.

According to Wadsworth, when she and the other passengers eventually boarded the aircraft at 5:30 p.m, inside the plane was extremely hot.

"Some of us started to panic, and within minutes we were told there was an electrical problem," she said.

The airline was forced to disembark all the passengers, where further checks were made, after which the aircraft departed, but not before the 12 passengers and their bags were delisted.

Cheryl Campbell, a mother with her three-year-old daughter, who was booked enroute to Baltimore, Maryland, said if she had refused to go on the aircraft she would have been forced to wait for the next available flight and that could take several days."

An American Airlines official said once the passengers requested to be taken off, the airline was obliged to adhere to their request.

She also said there was no other flight that could accommodate the passengers all day today.

"Our flights were full, so were the other carriers that they asked to transfer on," said the airline official, when asked about transferring the passengers to Caribbean Airlines.

"There was nothing we could do but to have them wait until the problem was fixed."

Bhoja Air tragedy: Peshawar High Court lambasts government for failing to inspect planes

By Umer Farooq
Published: April 23, 2012

PESHAWAR: It was clearly a case where the judiciary wishes it did not have to say to the government: “We told you so.”

At a hearing of various cases on Monday, Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan expressed his exasperation at the government’s failure to launch an inquiry into the airworthiness of all public and private aircraft in the country’s domestic aviation sector in the aftermath of the AirBlue tragedy two years ago.

“Our orders were defied, but if they had been followed, dozens of innocent lives could have been saved,” said the chief justice, referring to the recent Bhoja Air Flight B4213 crash, which killed 127 people.

It appears that the chief justice was not actually hearing any cases related to either the AirBlue or the Bhoja Air tragedies, but decided to take up the issue with the government’s lawyers on what was the first working day of the court after the most recent crash.

Justice Khan reminded the government that in the aftermath of the AirBlue crash, the Peshawar High Court had ordered the defence ministry to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the flying capacity of all planes in the domestic aviation sector within 90 days, an order that the government pleaded unconvincingly that it had complied with.

“Not even a single step has so far been taken. What is the government doing?” asked the chief justice. “Those orders were meant to prevent incidents like this [Bhoja Air crash].”

The order had been issued on February 21, 2012, during a hearing of the case in which relatives of the victims of the AirBlue crash were suing the airline for negligence and incompetence. The Peshawar High Court had issued the orders to the Civil Aviation Authority – the highest aviation regulator in the country – and the Ministry of Defence, which is the single largest shareholder in the state-owned Pakistan International Airlines. Both authorities had been ordered to hire international experts to assess the capabilities of all planes in the country.

“The cheapest thing in our country is human life,” said the embittered chief justice.

2010 AirBlue crash: Peshawar High Court orders government to suspend Civil Aviation Authority chief. Airbus A321-231, AP-BJB. Accident occurred on July 28, 2010 near Islamabad-Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Pakistan

PESHAWAR / KARACHI: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday issued orders to the federal government to suspend the director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

As hearing resumed into the petitions filed by relatives of AirBlue Crash 2010 victims, the court said that CAA DG Nadeem Khan Yousafzai must remain suspended until, in accordance with an earlier court order, an inquiry is completed by international experts into the AirBlue crash and then into the recent Bhoja Air crash.

Citing Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, the court issued notices to Yousafzai and Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi for violating the court’s writ. They have been ordered to appear in person on May 30.

However, the court issued only a show-cause notice to Bhoja Air’s Managing Director Arshad Jalil, saying that since no representatives of the airline had appeared before the court, taking stricter action would not be correct.

An assistant to AirBlue Counsel Wasim Sajjad told the court that 107 of 152 affected families had been compensated and paid Rs5.5 million each.

However, a petitioner refuted the claim saying that he had presented all documents and certificates but was yet to receive any compensation.

The court then gave AirBlue 20 days to compensate all heirs, saying that in the event that the airline fails to comply with the order, the court will ask the federal government to suspend its activities and withdraw all facilities.

CAA releases crash report

The investigation report on the Airblue plane that crashed into Margalla Hills on July 28, 2010 was released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Wednesday.

According to data recovered from the black box, the aircraft’s captain had ignored the air traffic controller’s suggestions several times.

The report concluded that the crash was a case of Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT), in which aircrew failed to display superior judgment and professional skills in a self-created unsafe environment.

In their pursuit to land in inclement weather, they committed serious violations of procedures and breaches of flying discipline, which put the aircraft in an unsafe condition over dangerous terrain at low altitude.

The complete report can be viewed here.

Satisfied with the television coverage of the Bhoja Air crash? Boeing 737-200, AP-BKC, Flight B4-213, Islamabad, Pakistan

By Atika Rehman  

As the Bhoja Air plane went up in flames on Friday evening, so did tempers within the Pakistani social media crowd.

Along with the “RIP all victims of Bhoja Air crash” status updates on Facebook, there were angry tweets questioning why television channels aired the passenger list and why images of the crash site were being aired.

It seemed that it was easier for people to direct their fury at the media for being “sensational, insensitive and unethical”.

Some from the media circle, however, defended the coverage and retaliated by saying that the reporters were doing their jobs.

This brings to light a few questions: do people realise how television works? Are viewers aware of the challenges of reporting tragedies?

I asked The Express Tribune staff a few questions and recorded them in the video above. Their answers were varied and interesting, especially since they are journalists who have a good understanding of the breaking news cycle.

I hope you can join in and add to the debate.

General Electric would benefit in United order of 200 Boeing 737s

 Bloomberg News
Published 09:45 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, 2012

United Continental Holdings Inc. is negotiating only with Boeing Co. for an order of about 200 narrow-body jets after dropping discussions with Airbus SAS, two people familiar with the matter said.

Talks had been under way for at least six months about a mix of current-generation Boeing 737s or Airbus A320s plus variants with new, more-efficient engines, said the people, who declined to be identified because details aren't public.

An all-Boeing order would also benefit CFM International, the General Electric Co.-Safran SA venture that makes the only engines used on the 737. CFM competes with United Technologies Corp.'s Pratt & Whitney unit on the A320neo model.

The 737 is the world's most widely flown airliner, and Boeing planes account for more than three-fourths of the main fleet of 701 jets at United Continental, which was formed in the 2010 merger between UAL Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc.

"It will be a nice win for Boeing and GE," Jeff Sprague, co-founder of Stamford-based Vertical Research Partners, said in a telephone interview. "Although the new company is called United, it's really being run by Continental management and they've always been a Boeing carrier. It was probably natural for them to go toward Boeing and CFM for fleet commonality."

A United deal would cement ties to a longtime customer and build on Boeing's victory over Airbus in winning a 100-plane purchase from Delta Air Lines Inc. in August. Airbus and Boeing, split a 460-jet order with AMR Corp.'s American Airlines in July. The list value for 200 737s would be about $16.9 billion, based on the $84.4 million retail price of the 737-800.

"If United goes with Boeing for this order we see this as a helpful market-share gain," Robert Stallard, an RBC Capital Markets analyst in New York, said in a note to clients. He has an outperform rating on Boeing, which like United is based in Chicago.

Spokesmen for United, Boeing and Toulouse, France-based Airbus all declined to comment about the status of the latest negotiations.

Boeing slid 0.9 percent to $72.86 at the close in New York as U.S. stocks slumped, while United, the world's largest airline, fell 0.3 percent to $22.85. Airbus parent European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. dropped 4.4 percent to 29.25 euros earlier in Paris.

Aircraft Options

Some of the planes in the 200-jet total may be options for future aircraft, said the people. The value of the order may rise once United settles on terms, because the 737-800 is less expensive than the so-called MAX model with upgraded engines. Airlines typically buy at a discount.

Continental had an exclusive relationship with Boeing dating back two decades. The new United is run by Jeff Smisek, who joined Continental in 1995 and was chief executive officer during the merger talks. United's fleet management group is overseen by Gerry Laderman, senior vice president of finance and treasurer, who joined Continental in 1988.

Boeing is trying to reclaim the top spot in commercial production lost to Airbus in 2003. Airbus had record orders of 1,419 aircraft last year, while Boeing's tally was 805. Airbus has said 2012 orders may fall by half as an initial flurry of purchases of its A320neo wanes.

United is refreshing a single-aisle fleet that includes Boeing 757-200s, with an average age of 18.2 years, and 737-500s that average 16.6 years old. Boeing no longer makes either model.

Before the merger creating the new airline, UAL's United agreed in December 2009 to split an order for 50 wide-body jets between Boeing and Airbus. That deal was for 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the same number of Airbus A350s.