Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cayman Islands: Court rules against helipad (With Video)

The Chief Justice has ruled that the Civil Aviation Authority failed to comply with international regulations when it approved the use of a helipad on North Church Street. The helipad is being used by Cayman Islands Helicopters for commercial helicopter tours.

But Axis, the company which owns a neighboring building, challenged the decision to grant the permit. That building houses business offices on the first three floors and a residential apartment on the fourth.

Axis argued the grant of the certificate was unreasonable on the grounds of safety and nuisance.

Watch Video:

SkyBahamas Saab SF-340B, C6-SBJ, Flight Q7-9561: Runway excursion at Marsh Harbour International Airport (MYAM), Bahamas

At about 1:45 pm on June 13 and in the midst of a stormy afternoon a Sky Bahamas flight carrying 21 passengers on route from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour crash landed on the runway and came to rest safely without serious harm to any passengers or crew. 

 According to one passenger as the airplane – a thirty-four passenger Saab 340 – approached the runway from the west to land it landed very hard and bounced off the runway three times. He said on the third bounce the right wing and landing gear broke and what appeared to be fuel poured onto the wing and the engine caught on fire.

At this point the passenger said the plane spun down the runway finally coming to rest almost directly across from the airport terminal and south of the runway. He grabbed his daughter and told his wife to head to the opposite side of the plane because of the fire on the right side and he and his family, along with passengers and crew safely exited the plane.

Several passengers and onlookers applauded the quick thinking of the pilot who, as soon as the wing broke, cut power to the engines and turned on the foam extinguishing system. Between the foam and the heavy rain the fire was quickly extinguished.

Traumatized passengers were helped by emergency response personnel and were eventually reunited in tearful but thankful embraces with waiting family members.

CEO of Sky Bahamas, Randy Butler expressed thankfulness that passengers and crew were able to walk away from the crash landing and said he was preparing to go shortly to Marsh Harbour to “see the passengers and reach out to them and just be available to assist them.”

He said from his understanding there was no equipment failure but that the cause may be weather related.

“I am thankful for the many people that were praying and I am thankful for all the wonderful people that did a good job and more than thankful that nobody got hurt,” he said.

According to Keith Major, Chief Operations Officer at the Department of Civil Aviation said that Marsh Harbour International Airport will be closed until the plane is removed and the damage to the runway is repaired. At present there is not a time frame on when that will be. Investigation into the cause is underway.


The Tribune

As of Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Sky Bahamas flight skidded off the runway in Marsh Harbour this afternoon as it attempted to land in a heavy rain storm.

According to eyewitnesses, the plane, which was arriving on the island from Ft Lauderdale, hit a large puddle of water on the runway causing it to veer off course.

Another eyewitness said there appeared to be a fireball that shot up in the air as the plane skidded off the runway and it looked like one of the wings twisted, before the plane came to an abrupt stop.

At this time there has only been reports of minor injuries and every passenger has been able to walk away from the plane. 

The aircraft itself is reported to have sustained some damage to one of its wings.

Marsh Harbour Airport is at this moment closed as investigators begin their work at the scene.

Story and Photo:

3 Disorderly Israelis Removed from Charter Flight

An Israeli, his wife and son were removed from a charter flight to one of the Greek islands, Thursday, after they misbehaved and cursed the plane's crew. 

The captain decided that they posed a threat to the flight and should be left in Israel. 

The security staff removed the passengers and their baggage and the flight proceeded.

Cebu Pacific Airbus A319-100, RP-C3197, Flight 5J-448: Runway Excursion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport

MANILA, Philippines - A Cebu Pacific plane took out several runway lights as it landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Thursday, airport officials said.

The NAIA Safety Division said Cebu Pacific flight 5Z448 safely landed from Iloilo but skidded as it slowed down due to heavy rains.

Five runway lights were damaged in the incident.

No passengers were injured and the plane was able to safely proceed to NAIA Terminal 3.

For Airbus and Bankers, Big A340s Pose Sizable Risks: Airlines Shun the Jets, Citing Operating Costs; Financing Terms Threaten Losses

Updated June 13, 2013, 6:50 p.m. ET


The Wall Street Journal

As Airbus prepares to celebrate as early as Friday the first flight of its A350, which already has attracted more than 600 orders, the European aircraft maker and its bankers are facing what could be hundreds of millions of dollars of losses on the new airplane's failed predecessor.

In 2002 Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. founder Richard Branson unveiled the first big Airbus A340 jetliner at a glitzy spectacle, with supermodel Claudia Schiffer on hand to draw attention to the $200 million plane.

Last fall, however, Virgin sent the huge jetliner back to Airbus, with its metallic silver-and-purple exterior repainted generic white. Now, Airbus is negotiating to sell the plane to a Maltese leasing company for less than $20 million, a steep markdown, according to people close to the talks.

Virgin isn't alone in ditching its big A340s. Leading airlines from Canada to China have unloaded the massive planes after just a few years of use, and new takers have been few. The four-engine intercontinental jets cost too much to operate, the airlines say.

"Unfortunately," says Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, the A340 isn't an old car "that you can just throw away." He said a deal to shed the four A340s that Qatar owns collapsed because the potential customer wanted extra cash to take the planes.

Plunging A340 values are hitting major European banks that finance many Airbus sales. More than 10 European banks are pressing Airbus to compensate them for losses on A340 deals or do more to find homes for unwanted aircraft, according to people close to the talks.

While Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., EAD. and U.S. rival Boeing Co. have both suffered recent setbacks in advanced technologies and manufacturing, the A340 faces a more-classic business problem. Airbus relied on aggressive sales campaigns and generous financing terms to close deals, say financiers involved and former Airbus officials. Now, hidden costs of those deals are coming due.

Airbus executives say the A340's current situation simply reflects market conditions and that the planes will find new users.

Airbus is financially exposed to A340s largely through guarantees it gave customers on the future value of its planes. If the resale price of the planes falls below certain thresholds, Airbus may need to make up the difference.

Nigel Taylor, Airbus senior vice president for finance, says the big A340s "got more intense financial support than other Airbus aircraft," partly because of weakness in the trans-Atlantic market after 2001, when deliveries began.

EADS has set aside more than $1 billion to cover guarantees on its products, the company said in its 2012 financial statement. It also said Airbus is "taking mitigation action to reduce the impact of asset-value guarantees falling due in the coming years relating to A340s in particular."

The continuing losses from those price guarantees come on top of the money Airbus spent developing the A340, which it stopped building in 2011.

Airbus doesn't disclose the financial performance of its individual models, but it defends the A340. The big planes "delivered the required capabilities to the operators who needed the payload and range," says Chris Emerson, Airbus's senior vice president for marketing.

Boeing also has faced headwinds selling a competing ultra-long-range version of its popular 777 model, but the U.S. aerospace company has been more conservative in the financing it offers, according to aviation bankers.

Airbus, too, has grown more cautious, partly because of the A340 debacle, current and former executives say. But the company continues to sell new aircraft aggressively, and banks facing losses on A340s complain that the new sales undercut the value of planes that they helped Airbus sell just a few years ago.

"Some of the banks involved in financing see a conflict of interest in Airbus's role as manufacturer, remarketer and financier," says Owen Geach, commercial director at IBA Group Ltd., an aviation consulting firm advising banks on A340 deals.

Airbus has tried to defuse such tensions in part by tapping a veteran salesman to focus on finding homes for returning A340s. Airbus officials concede that this may mean accepting low prices.

The A340 once looked like a low-risk project. In the 1980s Airbus developed two initial versions. By the 1990s it wanted bigger versions to compete with Boeing's new two-engine 777. In 1998, Airbus decided to expand the A340 with two larger, longer-range variants, the A340-500 and A340-600. It invested roughly $3 billion, including roughly $600 million in preferential government loans, to stretch the plane's body and develop giant new wings, Airbus and other industry officials say.

To woo hesitant customers, Airbus offered unusually generous guarantees and other terms that today are allowing airlines including Virgin, Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Dubai's Emirates Airline to walk away from dozens of the planes, executives at the airlines say. Airbus and its bankers face obligations of potentially tens of millions of dollars per plane.

"It's a sad case," says Emirates President Tim Clark. Airbus must take back Emirates's 10 big A340s because it is "locked in" to the planes' financing, he said.

The plunge in A340 values has disrupted the usual trajectory for aging jets, which are traditionally traded down the food chain from major airlines to lower-tier carriers over a period of about 25 years. But the owner's ability to finance the planes depends on expected resale prices. If demand for a particular model collapses, its owners must write down the value of the planes.

Airplane-valuation specialists say big A340s are now valued at below $20 million. But some owners carry those jets on their books at between $40 million and $140 million apiece, using traditional financial models and judgments of professional airplane appraisers, people involved in the issue say.

EADS, which had revenue of roughly $75 billion last year, says the potential hit to the company is "manageable." Its exposure is limited partly because the A340s flopped. Airbus delivered only 131 of the larger derivatives, far fewer than expected. Rising fuel prices and the Boeing 777 had killed demand by 2005.

The 777 is "a much better airplane," Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy conceded at a conference earlier this year.

EADS hasn't disclosed the financial performance of the big A340 derivatives, but outside analysts estimate that little of the initial investment was repaid.

These days, Airbus is pinning its hopes on the new A350, which appears to be on course for commercial success. But, as part of a deal in October to sell A350s to Singapore Airlines, Airbus agreed to buy back the carrier's 10 A340-500s, both companies say.

Singapore Airlines had leverage because Airbus in 1998 guaranteed the planes' resale price, and by last year their market value had sunk below the guaranty level, according to a person familiar with the deal. To cover the difference, Airbus took back the planes and compensated the carrier, this person says.

Airbus isn't the only company buying back A340s. China Eastern Airlines Corp. last year persuaded Boeing to buy its five A340-600s as part of a deal to sell it 20 new 777s. The airline said the planes had a book value of about $142 million apiece. The complex transaction with Boeing will help China Eastern avoid having to declare a substantial accounting loss, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Boeing plans to sell the decade-old A340s as scrap, this person says. In 2011 they carried a catalog price of about $275 million each, but most big A340s sold for less than $150 million, according to people in the industry.

Virgin can shed its 18 A340-600s, because it merely leased them. While leasing airplanes is common, Virgin's first several A340s were leased through Airbus itself, rather than a third party, something the manufacturer hasn't widely acknowledged.

To lease the A340s to Virgin, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Airbus established a company called Avaio Ltd. in the Isle of Man, a tax haven between Britain and Ireland.

Airbus limited its exposure by persuading a group of European banks to finance the Virgin deals. As an incentive, Airbus guaranteed minimum future resale prices for many of the planes. The banks are now pressing Airbus to pay up on those guarantees, people involved in the talks say.

Airbus executives say they are addressing the issue but won't discuss details.

Virgin, meanwhile, is shifting to smaller models from Airbus and Boeing. "The A340 didn't turn out to be as successful as we thought," Virgin's Mr. Branson said in a recent interview.

—Marietta Cauchi, Jon Ostrower and Joanne Chiu contributed to this article. 

A version of this article appeared June 14, 2013, on page B6 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Big Jets Threaten Airbus, Bankers. 


Cessna 337B Skymaster, Southern Aircraft Services, C-FZBW: Accident occurred June 12, 2013 near Crawford Bay, British Columbia

A pilot is dead after a plane crashed Wednesday in the Kootenays.

The pilot was the sole occupant of the Cessna 337 that was en route from Nelson to La Ronge, Sask.

Investigators are on the way to the site of the crash on a mountainside northeast of Crawford Bay, Transportation Safety Board spokesman Bill Yearwood said Thursday.

The pilot did not file a formal flight plan but had shared his itinerary. He took off from Nelson airport at about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, but did not arrive in Saskatchewan when he was expected.

“A concerned citizen phoned and the Rescue Co-ordination Centre started the search in the afternoon. The plane was found late last night,” Yearwood said. The pilot was found dead.

No name has been released.

Piper PA-14 Family Cruiser, C-FXOB: Accident occurred June 13, 2013 at Cameron McIntosh Airport, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada

Charles "Chuck" Buchanan, 63 (left) and his son Shane Buchanan, 43 were killed when Shane's float plane crashed in North Battleford Thursday.
Supplied photo, courtesy the Whitehorse Star

North Battleford RCMP covered the wreckage of a Piper PA14 aircraft that crashed at the Cameron McIntosh Airport in North Battleford with a tarp.
Photo Credit: Gord Waldner , The StarPhoenix

Royal Canadian Mounted Police  are not allowing any access to the Cameron McIntosh Airport after a airplane crashed there this morning. Photograph by: Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix

Royal Canadian Mounted Police blocking road to airport where 2 people died in a plane crash. 
Geoff Smith/CJNB

Shane Buchanan, the 40-year-old owner of an outfitting company that specialized in hunting trips to Northern B.C., and his 63-year-old father Charles “Chuck” Buchanan were killed Thursday when a small float plane crashed at Cameron McIntosh Airport in North Battleford. 

The crash happened around 10:20 a.m., said Battlefords RCMP Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky

The single-engine float plane, a Piper PA-14, took off from a small lake just metres north of the airport terminal and crashed just 200 metres north of the lake before it could complete its ascent. The plane started on fire within moments of hitting the ground, Grabinsky said.

“Emergency was very quick to attend to the location and put the fire out as soon as possible. The plane was entirely engulfed in flames when fire services, ambulances and RCMP arrived,” he said.

There were people at the hangars and the terminal who witnessed the crash, he said.

The identities of the two dead men were confirmed to the Whitehorse Star by RCMP Thursday after the family had been notified.

Shane was owner-operator of Moon Lake Outfitters, based in Whitehorse. According to the company website, he grew up in the Canadian North as part of a family of hunters. He is survived by a wife and two children.

The occupants were removed from the scene mid-afternoon and media were allowed on the runway shortly after.

The plane was covered in a blue tarp when media arrived. The tarp was placed over the plane to protect the investigation as rain and wind hit North Battleford shortly after the crash.

It was only lightly raining at the time of the crash, Grabinsky noted.

Airport staff were unavailable for comment Thursday and the airport has been shut down.

It will remain closed until investigations by the RCMP and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are completed and the plane can be removed from the area.

“We do not want to risk any further endangerment. The runway is in direct line with the location of the crash. We would like to ensure the safety of all and therefore the airport is not accepting planes at this time,” Grabinsky said.

Two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will leave from Winnipeg Friday morning by car, and are expected to arrive on the scene Friday evening, said Chris Krepski, spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. The plane was headed to Whitehorse.

This is the second fatal small plane crash in as many days in Canada. On Wednesday night, a Cessna 337 crashed just outside Crawford Bay, BC, killing the sole occupant, according to the Canadian Press. The plan was bound for La Ronge, Sask.

Cameron McIntosh Airport is about 2.8 kilometres east of North Battleford, and is owned by the city. There are no commercial flights out of the airport.

Shane Buchanan, owner of an outfitting company that specialized in hunting trips to Northern B.C., was one of two people killed in a small float plane crashed at Cameron McIntosh Airport in North Battleford. 

The crash happened around 10:20 a.m., according to Brian Wilson, deputy fire chief for North Battleford Fire and Emergency Services.

The single-engine float plane, a Piper PA-14, took off from a lake near the airport, according to Chris Krepski, spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. It was bound for Whitehorse.

It crashed shortly after, about 200 metres from the takeoff point, according to Wilson.

By the time fire crews arrived, the plane had been engulfed by flame. The fires were quickly extinguished and the two passengers were found inside.

RCMP confirmed Buchanan's identity Thursday afternoon after his family had been notified.

Buchanan was owner-operator of Moon Lake Outfitters, based in Whitehorse. According to the company website, he grew up in the Canadian North as part of a family of hunters. He is survived by a wife and two children.

The other occupant, whose identity is not yet known, was not from North Battleford according to Mayor Ian Hamilton.

Two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will leave from WInnipeg Friday morning by car, and are expected to arrive on the scene Friday evening, said Krepski.

This is the second fatal small plane crash in as many days in Canada. On Wednesday night, a Cessna 337 crashed just outside Crawford Bay, BC, killing the sole occupant, according to the Canadian Press. The plane was bound for La Ronge, Sask.

The airport has been shut down, according to the City of North Battleford.

Cameron McIntosh Airport is about 2.8 kilometres east of North Battleford, and is owned by the city. There are no commercial flights out of the airport. 


 Two people are dead after a small float plane crashed at Cameron McIntosh Airport in North Battleford. 

 The crash happened around 10:30 a.m., according to Brian Wilson, deputy fire chief for North Battleford Fire and Emergency Services.

The single-engine float plane, a Piper PA14, took off from a lake near airport, according to Chris Krepski, spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. It had two occupants and was bound for Whitehorse.

It crashed shortly after takeoff.

Two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will leave from WInnipeg Friday morning by car, and are expected to arrive on the scene Friday evening, said Krepski.

This is the second fatal small plane crash in as many days in Canada. On Wednesday night, a Cessna 337 crashed just outside Crawford Bay, BC, killing the sole occupant, according to the Canadian Press. The plane was bound for La Ronge, Sask.

The airport has been shut down, according to the City of North Battleford.

Cameron McIntosh Airport is about 2.8 kilometres east of North Battleford.


A small plane has crashed at the Cameron McIntosh airport at North Battleford killing two people. WPD Ambulance confirmed the deaths. There is no confirmation on who the two people are that died. North Battleford deputy fire chief Brian Wilson says the float plane was taking off from slough at airport when it crashed. The airport has been shut down and the road to it closed. RCMP and Transport Canada are investigating.

Two people are dead after a small plane crashed Thursday at the North Battleford, Saskatchewan, airport.

The City of North Battleford said the plane crashed in the morning at the Cameron McIntosh Airport.

A local ambulance service confirmed that there are two dead.

Paramedics said when they arrived at the airport, the plane was engulfed in flames.

Two people were pulled from the crash, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

The city is asking people to stay away from the airport.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Transport Canada are investigating.

One-legged drugs smuggler caught with cocaine hidden in his prosthetic limb

The man was carrying 750g of cocaine inside a prosthetic limb. 
Photo: Policía Nacional 

Spanish police on Tuesday arrested a man who tried to smuggle cocaine into the country inside his fake leg.

The narcotics agents were carrying out a routine drugs inspection at Madrid's Barajas airport when they spotted the man behaving suspiciously.

These doubts proved to be well-founded. The man, a passenger from Panama, was carrying two packages of cocaine inside his prosthetic limb.

The leg contained 750 grams of the drug and the criminal was immediately arrested.

In another incident on June 4th at Barajas airport, an airport employee and a passenger arriving from Peru were both arrested for trying to smuggle 10kg of cocaine into Spain.

The passenger's nervous attitude prompted police to check his suitcase where the drugs were found.

When the man was arrested, he admitted that he was planning to hand the drugs over to a member of staff at the airport. 

Spain's close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine-producing region, have made it a key entry point for the drug in Europe.

Last year police seized two tonnes of narcotics, mostly cocaine, and detained 461 people for drug trafficking at Barajas, Madrid's main airport.

Just over 45 million passengers passed through the airport last year, making it Spain's busiest.

Story and Photo:

Aircraft mechanic taking off ... Ready to conquer the world

Aircraft maintenance apprentice Dylan Pereira will represent Canada at the World Skills competition. 

Brandon Sun
By: Murray McNeill

Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Aircraft maintenance apprentice Dylan Pereira will represent Canada at the World Skills competition.

About 18 months ago, Winnipegger Dylan Pereira turned his back on a potential career as a dentist after discovering what he really wanted to do was fix airplanes, not teeth.

And it's looking more and more like he made the right decision.

Not only did Pereira excel in the first year of Red River College's 18-month diploma course for aircraft maintenance engineers, he won a gold medal at a provincial and national Skills Canada competition in his trade category.

And in about two weeks, the newly minted graduate will be off to Europe to represent Canada in the 42nd biennial WorldSkills Competition in Leipzig, Germany.

Skills Canada and it's provincial arms, which include Skills Canada Manitoba, are not-for-profit, charitable, organizations that work with employers, educators and governments to educate youth on the benefits of working in the skilled trades and technology sectors.

Gold-medal winners from the national competition go on to represent Canada at the WorldSkills Competition. Pereira will be among more than 1,000 young people from about 50 countries who will be competing at this year's Olympic-style event.

This is the first time Manitoba has had an aircraft maintenance engineer competing at the world level. And while he's a little biased, Pereira's RRC instructor believes his prize student has a good shot at winning a gold, silver or bronze medal.

"Each country is sending their best," Dennis Turney said of the 12 others Pereira will be competing against during the four-day competition. "But he's given it everything he's got (in training for the competition)... and I'd bet money on him."

He noted that every weekday for the last year, Pereira has been arriving at RRC's Stevenson Campus at 6:15 a.m. to squeeze in a couple of extra hours of practice before starting his classes. And for the last few weeks, he's also been going in for a few hours during the evenings and on weekends.

Pereira had to beat out three other students to win the Manitoba competition in his category, and five others to take home gold in the Canadian competition.

"Then you get a year to train and prepare for it (the World Skills Competition)," he said. "I wouldn't say I'm nervous yet. I try to focus instead on what I have to do to win the competition."

The Sisler High School graduate said his parents wanted him to go into dentistry, so after high school he enrolled in physics and science courses at the University of Manitoba.

"But I didn't really care for the courses much. I've always been a hands-on kind of guy. I like ripping things apart and fixing cars and stuff like that."

So he talked to a university counsellor, took an aptitude test, and the results indicated he'd be better suited to a career in avionics. So he left the U of M, enrolled in the aircraft maintenance engineer's program at RRC and quickly discovered that's his true calling.

While Pereira said Turney has played a big roll in his success, Turney said skill and hard work are why Pereira has excelled so far. Now the next step in his career is to land a job as an apprentice and complete 29 months of on-the-job training to earn his aircraft maintenance engineer's licence.

Turney is confident Pereira will have no trouble finding a company to apprentice with when he returns home.

"I'm sure when this competition is over, he'll have more job offers than he can handle. Employers are looking for people who have something more than average, and Dylan does have something more than average to offer." 

Story and Photo:

Concern over SA Airways' cadet program: No white males for SAA pilot training program

While SAA lifted a ban on pilot applications from white males in August, no white men were selected for its cadet program this year.

"In essence, it would appear that the ban on the employment of white male trainee pilots has not been lifted in practice," the FW De Klerk Foundation said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the foundation, of the final 40 candidates for the 2013 intake for South African Airways's cadet pilot development program, not a single white man was selected. The Foundation claims that this is because the candidates fall under the category of previously disadvantaged individuals as defined in the Employment Equity Act.

The group reportedly consists of 10 black men, four black women, nine colored men, one colored woman, seven Indian men, two Indian women and seven white women.

The foundation has criticized SAA's selection, saying that the airline should keep in mind that aptitude, ability and qualifications of applicants must play a central role in their employment decisions – regardless of race or gender.

It said the airline should also not create "an absolute barrier carrier" by completely barring groups that do not fall under the Employment Equity Act.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali has stated that, "it is important to note this [the choice of cadets] in the context of the current reality and measures that need to be taken".

Tlali further stated that "the cadet program is the airline's effort to transform not only its own but also the country's flight deck community, which is nowhere close to reflecting the country's demographics".

Story and Comments/Reaction:

June 13 2013 at 06:37pm  -By SAPA
Johannesburg - The DA expressed its concern on Thursday about SA Airways' decision to exclude white men from its pilot cadet program.

“Our economy is dependent on the airline industry, especially in the creation and retention of jobs. We must therefore extend opportunities to participate in the airline industry to all South Africans, regardless of race,” said Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Michael.

She said it was of the utmost importance that South Africans honor their past, “but equally, we must be allowed to own our future”.

On Monday, SAA announced that 40 candidates had qualified for its cadet pilot program: 10 black men, four black women, nine colored men, one colored woman, seven Indian men, two Indian women, and seven white women.

The FW de Klerk Foundation said aptitude, and not just race, had to be considered by SAA when it selected cadet pilots.

It was understandable that SAA wanted to make its flight decks reflect the country's demographics, said the foundation's Jacques du Preez.

However, the state-owned airline also had to consider other factors when selecting candidates.

“It must ensure that ability... is given sufficient weighting in its employment decisions. The relative aptitude, ability and qualifications of applicants must play a central role in SAA's employment decisions, regardless of race or gender,” he said.

Du Preez said the first requirement had to be for the candidates to be excellent pilots, irrespective of their race.

“It must consider the prohibition against unfair discrimination on the grounds of race and gender in section nine (four) of the Constitution and the requirement to prove, in terms of section nine (five), that each instance of discrimination is fair.”

He said SAA should consider section 16 (four) of the Employment Equity Act. The section stated that employers “are not required to take any decision... that would establish an absolute barrier to the prospective or continued employment of people whether or not they are from designated groups”.


Eva Lake cottagers object to busy flight school activity: Thunder Bay college has tried to lessen the impact on campers, spokesperson says

The activity by Confederation College's flight school on Eva Lake is bothersome, some campers say.

CBC News

Posted: Jun 13, 2013 9:28 AM ET
Last Updated: Jun 13, 2013 9:14 AM ET


Cottage owners on a northwestern Ontario lake say Confederation College has disrupted the enjoyment of their summer properties now that the college has moved its float plane training base westward from Shebandowan to Eva Lake.

Camp owner Wayne Miller said he's never seen the amount of air traffic over Eva Lake as he did last Saturday.

“It was pretty crazy,” he said.

A local outfitter has also used the lake to launch and land planes for a number of years.

Miller has been spending his summers at Eva Lake for nearly three decades and is one of a group of campers upset with the college for using their lake to train pilots.

“There's the social aspect of course, [with] the boaters, kayakers, canoeists and with the lake travel where it was happening,” he said. “I think it's a safety factor [too].”

College limiting frequent use of lake

The executive director of Advancement and Communications at Confederation College College said the training base falls within Transport Canada guidelines, but added the college has tried to make accommodations to lessen the impact on campers.

“We actually don't operate until 9 a.m. on Saturday,” Sue Prodaniuk said.

Saturday was a particularly busy day for the college's planes launching and landing because it was a testing day where students had to take off and land multiple times in a short period, she said.

Prodaniuk said the college will only use Eva Lake as frequently as it did on Saturday about twice a month.

“We don't operate on Sundays [and] typically we would have in the past," she added. "We won't operate on any long weekends. So we've already made those changes.”

She said that on most days the students take off from Eva Lake and do most of their flying elsewhere — only landing at Eva Lake to refuel.

Camper wants college to use ‘different lake’

Prodaniuk noted the college will continue to listen — and respond to — campers' concerns.

The college is taking questions and concerns from cottagers and the public online at The college held an open house in late May to hear from cottagers and plans to hold another one in July.

Miller said he's been in touch with area politicians about his concerns and is urging other cottagers to do the same.

“I would like to see the college go ... onto a different lake,” he said. “They picked one of the most populated lakes in the area to put a flight school on, and I don't think that's right.”

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Opinion: Blame Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for Davao mishap, too -- Cebu Pacific Airbus A320-200, RP-C3266, Flight 5J-971

On June 2, 2013, a Davao-bound Cebu Pacific aircraft failed to land properly, endangering the lives of the 165 passengers on board. Unfortunately, the airline company appeared to have failed in training their flight crew in terms of proper aircraft operations and crisis management. According to accounts of passenger-survivors, the airplane pilot and the flight crew took a long time before deciding to let them out of the plane. Making matters worse, they were met by emergency personnel only much later.

Apparently, the management of the Davao City International Airport was also remiss in responding to the clear emergency that occurred. Officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) are not absolved of any liability in this incident; after all, CAAP is the licensing agency of the government with regard to air transportation utilities. Investigations may be underway.

Nonetheless, the seemingly delayed response of every entity and agency concerned with air transportation is so obvious based on the accounts of the passengers. Also, the national government seems to have given little attention to what happened. It must have forgotten that the airline industry and air transportation sector are vested with public interest.

Instead of merely giving out media statements that are not yet accurate, the CAAP and the people in Malacañang should assure the public that safety measures to avoid any similar future incident are being crafted at the moment. Merely shoving the blame on the airplane pilot and the airline is no solution at all.



Lion Air Readies Challenge to AirAsia: WSJ

 Updated June 13, 2013, 10:54 a.m. ET

The Wall Street Journal 

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Riding on orders for hundreds of new jets, Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air hopes to challenge regional rival AirAsia Bhd. in Malaysia with a startup carrier offering premium amenities at budget prices.

Malindo Air, which began flying in March with a fleet of mainly Boeing Co. 737s, aims to lure customers from AirAsia and Malaysian Airline System Bhd.  with hot meals, roomy seats and touch-screen television sets at rock-bottom fares.

Malaysia-based Malindo Air says it can keep costs low because it is able to procure aircraft cheaply from Lion Air, which holds a 49% stake. National Aerospace & Defence Industries Sdn. Bhd., a Malaysian aircraft-maintenance, -repair and -overhaul company, owns the remaining 51%.

"Given a choice, everyone wants to fly a full-service carrier. The only limitation is price," Malindo Chief Executive Chandran Rama Muthy said in an interview on board the airline's packed inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to the eastern tourist town of Sibu, Malaysia, this week.

Therefore, he said, "there is a niche market in between" premium and low-cost carriers, referring to his airline's hybrid operating model. Unlike other low-cost carriers, Malindo also offers business-class cabins on domestic flights.

Malindo's success is crucial to Lion Air's ambitions to establish operations across the region to compete with AirAsia, which dominates the Malaysian market and is the biggest low-cost carrier in Asia. Lion Air, which accounts for 45% of the Indonesia market, is setting up a unit in Thailand and has formed a full-service carrier, known as Batik Air, in its home market.

Lion Air, now Indonesia's largest airline after launching in 2000 with only one plane, has expanded rapidly by sticking to low-cost domestic flights across the island nation. It is now banking on its new affiliates to underpin international growth.

Lion Air was little known internationally until it surprised the industry last year with record-setting orders for 230 Boeing 737s, followed by a separate order for 234 Airbus A320 jets in March, deals likely to help fuel its regional expansion.

AirAsia and Lion Air have together ordered more than 1,000 planes in the past two years as they prepare for a more liberal civil-aviation market in Southeast Asia.

Malindo Air, which has adopted Lion Air's logo on its planes, plans to increase its fleet to 10 aircraft—six Boeing 737-900 jets and four turboprops—by the end of this year from the current four planes, said Mr. Chandran, who added that the carrier's planes on average are 80%-filled.

The airline could take more planes next year as needed from Lion Air, which itself will take delivery of 34 aircraft in 2014, said Mr. Chandran, a former Lion Air executive.

"Our objective is to make Kuala Lumpur a transit hub in the region. We will connect people from Indian cities, Dhaka to Kuala Lumpur," Mr. Chandran said.

Subject to approval from Indian regulators, the airline plans to start flights to New Delhi in August and hopes to launch flights to other Indian cities. It is also planning flights to China.

Despite its lower cost base, Malindo's hybrid business model has yet to prove successful elsewhere. India's Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. tried to lure passengers with premium services at low fares but failed because the airline expanded too rapidly. The airline was finally grounded last year over unpaid bills and high debt.

"Malindo may struggle to generate sufficient yields and revenues to cover its higher unit costs and pay for the frills it provides," consultancy CAPA-Centre for Aviation said in an earlier note.

"Trying to undercut AirAsia may not be a sustainable strategy alone and it has yet to be seen whether added frills will attract travelers who are extremely price-sensitive," CAPA said.

Malindo passengers can currently book tickets on sectors served by Lion Air and Batik, and the airline is also in talks with more carriers in the region to offer connecting flights.

Unlike most budget carriers, Malindo aims to offer baggage transfers to other airlines to connecting customers, Mr. Chandran said.


Timehri woman killed by aircraft propeller at Ekereku

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday June 13, 2013 – The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) says it will conduct an investigation into an incident in which a 22-year-old woman was killed after she was struck by the propeller of single engine Cessna 172 aircraft late Wednesday.

The GCCA said the incident occurred “on the ground at Ekereku bottom, Region Seven” and that officials will travel to the area on Thursday to “conduct an investigation into the incident.

The Guyana Police Force in a statement said that Raquel Joseph, was killed when she ended up in the path of the propeller of the single-engine Cessna that had just landed at the Ekereku Airstrip on Wednesday afternoon.

The police said that the circumstances were still unclear and that investigations were underway.


New charter company sets up shop in CamBay, Yellowknife: Montreal-based Nolinor to work with Kitikmeot Air

June 13, 2013 - 8:35 am


A new alliance of charter air companies plans to bid for lucrative charter business in western Nunavut.

Kitikmeot Air Ltd. announced June 12 the conclusion of a long-term contract that will see Nolinor Aviation of Montreal provide aircraft for charters from bases in Cambridge Bay and Yellowknife.

Nolinor Aviation has based two of their Convair 580 airplanes in the North, to be followed by a Boeing 737 later this year, a news release said.

Nolinor has been operating chartered flights into and around northern Canada for more than 20 years.

“We’re very excited to be working with our new partners,” said Bill Lyall of Cambridge Bay, who is the president of Kitikmeot Air. “They’ve been working up here for a while now, and our companies can both trace their roots to the bush pilots that contributed to the growth of this region many years ago.”

Kitikmeot Air, which is registered with the Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti policy and with Nunavut Tunngavik an Inuit firm, lists René Laserich of Cambridge Bay’s Adlair Aviation Ltd. as its regional manager.

The Convair 580 is a robust airplane that can get in and out of the short runways of the North, needing just 3,500 feet to land and take off and can carry up to 49 passengers, with lots of room for baggage in the cargo holds, the news release said.

The aircraft can be operated with various configurations of passengers and cargo, as a freighter, and also as a tanker, delivering bulk fuel products to remote locations.

“We’ve been looking to become more active in the western Arctic for a while now,” said Nolinor’s present Jacques Prud’homme. “We just needed to wait for the right partner to come along. We’re very happy to be working with Mr. Lyall, and the Laserich Family.”

Laserich’s company Adlair maintains hangars in Cambridge Bay and Yellowknife.

Adlair, which had done air ambulance emergency medevac work since the 1970s, in late 2011 lost a Government of Nunavut contract it had held since 2002.

The GN said it could not grant Adlair any bid adjustments on the basis of the NNI, a policy designed to encourage Inuit-owned businesses in Nunavut.  

This decision gave rise to a long, loud controversy over GN procurement policies, and a still-unresolved lawsuit filed last December by Adlair against the GN.

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Beech B200 Super King Air, G-SYGA: Serious Incident Occurred September 15, 2012 at Glasgow Airport, UK

Summary:  On approach to Glasgow Airport, the crew inadvertently activated the go-around mode as they approached a cleared altitude. The distraction of this, coupled with their lack of experience on this type of B200, caused a short breakdown in crew situational awareness and the aircraft descended below the cleared altitude.
Safety Actions:  As a result of this incident, the operator has introduced procedures to ensure that pilots who have not flown a mechanically instrumented aircraft within 90 days receive an expanded differences briefing from a training captain before flying the aircraft. The CAA has amended Section 4, Part H of CAP 804 to include guidance on differences training for pilots converting from EFIS to mechanical instruments.

Conclusions:  The incident followed a loss of situational awareness by the crew, caused by a combination of distraction and an unfamiliar cockpit layout.

Incident Report:

Incident Report (pdf):

Africa: Survivors of Coton-Tchad Aircraft Crash at National Social Insurance Fund Hospital in Yaounde -- Cessna 208 Caravan, TT-BAU

The four survivors of the Coton-Tchad aircraft crash that occurred in Ngaoundere on Monday June 10, 2013, are presently receiving treatment at the National Social Insurance Fund (NSIF) Hospital in Yaounde. At the NSIF hospital on Wednesday precisely at the Orthopedic surgery ward where the survivors are being treated, the atmosphere was normal.

One of the victims, Raphael Yamiri, 15, was seen moving in the corridor to check on his father, the pilot. He said he is feeling much better but for some pain on his left side of his body. Another survivor, Moussa Bobe, 40, Cameroonian, said he sustained injury on his head but his situation is improving. The pilot, Yamiri Doumngar, also sustained a fracture on his right leg and several injuries on his heels, shoulders, wrists and the head.

The Director of the NSIF Hospital, Caroline Edjangue, said the victims were brought to the hospital on June 11, 2013 at 2:00 a.m. She said treatment began immediately they arrived at the hospital. The victims, according to her, are responding to treatment. "Their lives are not in danger because they are well catered for," she said.

The Cessna 208 Caravan plane matriculated TTBAU belonging to the Chadian cotton producing company, COTON TCHAD, crashed near the Ngaoundere airport in the Adamawa Region. The plane was flying from Ndjamena to Douala for maintenance and had five passengers on board at the time of the accident. Among the five passengers was the pilot and two of his sons who were going to Douala for holidays. One of the passengers, the co-pilot, died after being having been transported to the Ngaoundere regional hospital. The Minister of Transport Robert Nkili, visited the survivors on Tuesday June 12, 2013 to comfort them. Robert Nkili was accompanied by the Secretary of State for Transport, Mefiro Oumarou.


Runway and roads to riches or ruin?


Last updated June 14, 2013

Economic game changer or big white elephant? Only time will tell. But of all the think-big projects Wellington could be throwing its energy behind right now, adding a modest 300 metres to the city airport’s 2000m runway appears to be the popular choice.

‘‘We can’t be the coolest little capital if we’re the best-kept secret in the world,’’ Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says.

‘‘Head and shoulders, it is the No 1 priority for growing Wellington. We should build it tomorrow,’’ property developer Ian Cassels says.

‘‘Attracting long-haul flights is a major key to rebuilding the region’s economy,’’ Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Raewyn Bleakley says.

Wellington Airport certainly thinks so too and the market research to date paints a pretty picture.

An extra 35,000 overseas visitors flying into Wellington each year, injecting $44 million into the local economy, creating 372 new jobs. International students could also bring in a further $70 million a year and 1200 jobs.

All that for just one easy payment of $300 million dollars.

Wellington City Council, which owns a third of the airport, is obviously convinced. Eleven councillors voted last month to put $1m towards resource consent expenses, covering about half the cost.

So now the airport can go off and prepare its resource consent application, and in doing so, will figure out exactly how the runway extensions will be built, what the final cost will be and how it will be paid for.

There is confidence in the smile of John Howarth, the airport’s general manager of infrastructure, facilities and planning, as he gets ready to embark on this process.

‘‘If someone didn’t have the foresight to extend the runway 300 metres to the south in 1972 and we lost our connections to Australia ... then imagine where we would be now,’’ he says.

‘‘We don’t want people to look back in 30 years’ time and say, ‘What a missed opportunity’ ... you’ve got to have that foresight.’’

When asked if he thinks Wellington is a big enough market to sustain daily flights to Asia, Mr Howarth points to the 1000-plus people who now pass through the airport each day – either heading to or heading home from long-haul destinations.

It seems like plenty considering the airport will only be looking to fill about 250 to 300 seats a day.

Airport head of communications Greg Thomas shares Mr Howarth’s confidence.

‘‘We know the market is there. We’ve been talking to a number of airlines and they know what the market potential is, and we’re confident a daily long-haul flight is viable. You wouldn’t be embarking on a process like this if you weren’t in close discussions with the airlines.’’


But start talking to other industry insiders and that feeling of confidence begins to wane.

Centre for Aviation senior analyst for the South Pacific and Africa, Roeland van den Bergh, says the big issue for Wellington Airport is that it will only be flying to one hub in Asia, whereas Auckland offers the ‘‘big four’’ — Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

There may be 1000 long-haul passengers passing through Wellington Airport each day, but chances are they are not all heading to the same destination, he says.

‘‘Really, you’ve almost got to quarter the numbers coming out of Wellington and then they don’t look nearly as spectacular.’’

The next issue will be finding a suitable airline for Wellington.

Businessmen don’t tend to fly budget airlines, so Wellington’s options are somewhat limited to the likes of Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines or Air New Zealand.

China Southern Airlines, based out of Guangzhou, about 120 kilometres northwest of Hong Kong, is also an option and has shown interest in the past.

‘They have all got services that go directly to Auckland and those services are well fed by Air New Zealand’s domestic network,’’ Mr van den Bergh says. ‘‘So why would they want to duplicate the services they already offer in Auckland, quite successfully and profitably, and take a risk moving any part of that to Wellington?

‘‘So it’s not quite as simple as ‘build it and they will come’.’’

But Mr van den Bergh points out that markets develop quite quickly in aviation and even some of the more seasoned analysts are not sure just how big Asia is going to be in the next decade.

The Chinese market is five times the size of the United States and is growing astoundingly fast. Other Asian countries like Indonesia and Vietnam are also shaping as important growth markets, he says. ‘‘So there are opportunities arising that cannot be accurately forecast, other than to say they will be much bigger than we expect.’’

Those emerging Asian markets, combined with the arrival of the Boeing 787 and the competing Airbus A350, could make smaller routes like Wellington a more attractive proposition in seven to nine years when the runway extension is complete.

‘‘It is still a risk, but there are a lot more real opportunities arising at the end of this decade which could make the extension viable,’’ Mr van den Bergh says. ‘‘It is not necessarily as prohibitive as it was a decade ago.’’

The solution to making Wellington an attractive proposition is likely to be a juicy incentive package for any long-haul airline willing to land in the capital, which could come in the form of a loss-underwrite, Mr van den Bergh says.

‘‘Is Wellington Airport ever going to earn enough landing charges from that one daily flight to pay $300m worth of development? I suspect that answer is no and that’s where the ratepayer or taxpayer funding comes in.’’

Mr Thomas says it is no surprise that airport landing charges alone will not pay for the runway. ‘‘Which is why we’re talking about both public and private spending, because there’s ... a hugely significant economic benefit for the region.’’

In terms of what incentives might be offered, Mr Thomas says any discussions the airport has along those lines with airlines is  commercially sensitive. But it is standard policy for the airport to waive its landing charges for any new  long-haul carrier for the first three years, he says.

John Beckett, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand, says that is a cause for concern if you are an airline already operating in New Zealand, and it should be a concern for regular flyers in and out of the capital.

According to Mr Beckett’s calculations, which he bases on Wellington Airport’s pricing formula, the airport will need a 20 per cent return on capital per annum, or $50 million a year, after the runway extension is built. That $50m is likely to come from airlines already using the airport through landing and terminal charges.

From there, the natural next step is for that cost to creep into the price of their airfares in and out of the capital. The end game is that airlines may start cutting back services they cannot fill, Mr Beckett says. ‘‘Which is counter-productive to what I think this whole thing is about, which is stimulating Wellington.’’

Mr Thomas says it is a bit too early to be talking about how its charges will be affected by the runway extension.

But he points out they form a ‘‘very small’’ component of airfares and any changes would be consulted on and assessed by the Commerce Commission.


Another issue the airport will have to deal with is the disadvantage of  being located in the middle of the country.

Wellington is not a natural start or end point for people visiting this country.

Tourists prefer to start in Auckland and make their way down to Queenstown before flying out of Christchurch, or vice versa.

That is why Singapore Airlines was able to make long-haul flights out of Christchurch viable when budget airline Air Asia X could not, Mr Beckett says.

This is because Singapore Airlines can fly tourists into the country at one end and out at the other.

Wellington may have a lot of events worth seeing, but if you cannot convince tourists to start or end their journey in the capital then you have a problem, he says. You only have to look at the international-standard runways in Hamilton, Rotorua and Invercargill to get a feel for how it can all go wrong.

‘‘Wellington [Airport] needs to weigh up just what the benefits of a runway extension would be if the proposal went ahead, compared to what would happen if the frequency of its connecting services to Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne were improved.

‘‘Wellington needs a lot, and has got a lot going for it, but it doesn’t need an investment that is going to be poorly utilised.’’

Again, the airport does not see its location in the grander scheme of things as a big problem. Mr Howarth has plenty of faith in the pulling potential of Wellington,which has been growing for years now at home and abroad.

And who is to say that any long-haul flight into the capital will not be brimming with business people when it touches down?

After all, Wellington is an affluent city full of people who travel a lot. It has the highest GDP per capita, higher wages than much of the country and the highest proportion of business travellers in the country.

It is also the capital city, which does not hurt if you want to do business in this country.

A plane full of suits is the ideal scenario from an economic point of view and the main reason for pushing ahead with the runway development, Wellington businessman Ian Cassels says.

"You don't really want a plane full of tourists coming in if you've only got one plane a day from Singapore. You want a plane full of chief executives, people with ideas and the potential to set up offices.

"An office worker is worth 250 tourists. The tourists only stay for a day and a bit. The office workers are here all year."

Auckland's "office" is about the same size as Wellington's, he says. "They need to connect to Singapore and Hong Kong, and so do we. It's preposterous that we can't.

"The airport, the way it is at the moment, is almost like a door that's nailed shut."

Mr Cassels does not see the predicted cost of the runway becoming a burden on the city.

It is possible that Wellington's value could increase by 20 per cent if it can develop good, strong international links with Asia, making it a $15 billion to $20b rateable value city, he says.

In a perfect world, the extension would pay for itself through the rise in value of Wellington.

"It's not as simple or as magical as that, necessarily. But what happens is, you become more attractive [as a city] and you attract more business. The business [community] rents more space, rents go up a little bit, the ability of the city to pay rates goes up a little bit and the recovery just occurs."

Mr Cassels says the runway extension to date has been sitting on the "missed opportunity" pile.

"We should have done it 10 years ago. Then we wouldn't be having any difficulty at all. We would be leading the country.

"You can make the case for the airport on international students alone. We get very few international students in Wellington, because it's too hard for them to get here.

"We wouldn't be taking them from Christchurch and Auckland; we would just be getting more people. New Zealand would be getting more people.

"A city with an office population like ours and an intelligent population like ours, and a creative sector that's adding quite significantly to all sorts of endeavour, must connect.

"It's almost idiotic that we haven't done it already."


Another reason to forge ahead with the airport runway extension, may well be the roading equivalent of a red carpet that is about to be rolled out in front of it.

If the economic projections are to be believed, the suite of major roading projects it has planned between the airport and Levin, otherwise known as the Wellington Northern Corridor, will be an economic boon.

Some of the region's most talked about and contentious infrastructure projects - think Transmission Gully and the Basin Reserve flyover - are part of the package that is one of the Government's seven roads of national significance (RONS).

The Northern Corridor alone is predicted to generate $900m of economic growth for the Wellington region in the 30 to 40 years after completion, through improved distribution links.

Wellington should also prosper from the $300 million it will save each year in reduced travel costs and fewer deaths on our roads.

Construction will create thousands of jobs and improving access to employment hubs such as Paraparaumu Airport, Lincolnshire Farm, Miramar and the Seaview/Gracefield area, which is where half of the region's available industrial and commercial space is, will create thousands more.

Mr Howarth is one of those who cannot wait to see the northern corridor built.

"There's no point in us growing unless that connectivity can grow as well, because it just strangles that advantage," he says. "That's why we're, as a company, really keen on the RONS. If you're going to come into Wellington and spend an hour in traffic then you might as well do business in Auckland, because that's the same as going from Auckland Airport to the centre of the city."

The roads of national significance program is not universally popular, however. There are some - opposition political parties included - who feel that splashing $11 billion on new highways and expressways up and down the country is overkill, especially with KiwiRail in all sorts of financial bother.

Then there are those - members of Wellington City Council included - who cannot reconcile it with the visual impact these new roads will have.

The Government says the roads are key to this country unlocking its economic potential, principally through the speedier movement of freight. But it is worth keeping in mind that the Wellington region is no economic powerhouse when it comes to generating large amounts of freight, nor is it predicted to be in the next few decades.

So are Transmission Gully, the Kapiti expressway, the Basin Reserve flyover and all the other parts of the northern corridor going to be good for Wellington or just good for promoting business between Auckland and Christchurch?

Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley, who is based in the capital, says the answer is both.

"Yes, Wellington is doing it for the greater good, but also for its survival."

Businesses in the region are being "throttled" by the lack of a fast passage between Wellington Airport, CentrePort and the rest of the region, he says.

"It's becoming a nightmare, especially if you're trying to get logs to the port. That's why they start work at 3am up in the forestry country around the Wairarapa. Because no-one wants to be on the roads after 3pm."

Mr Shirley acknowledges that a big part of why the Government is sinking money into the Northern Corridor, is because it will provide a smoother link between Christchurch and Auckland. But he maintains there is also economic value for the Wellington region, even if it is not necessarily as a result of freight movements.

"If we are going to establish manufacturing or hi-tech nodes in the Wellington and Hutt Valley region, they will be increasingly dependent on good connectivity to the rest of the country."

In a funny sort of way, Wellington's lack of freight production is actually attracting some businesses to the region already, because there is more chance of getting cheaper freight rates on trucks returning to the top of the country, Mr Shirley says.

Jenny Chetwynd, the NZ Transport Agency's central region director, says Wellingtonians should not simply focus on the dollars and cents when searching for the benefit of this major infrastructure project.

Recent studies led by Greater Wellington Regional Council, have predicted a major earthquake would sever State Highways 1 and 2. This would leave most of the region without gas and wastewater for nearly three months, without power and water for anywhere between three weeks and two months, and without phones for 10 days.

Having a second road out of Wellington in the form of Transmission Gully, could prove quite handy in that scenario.

There is also the flow-on effect the Northern Corridor is predicted to have on Wellington's public transport.

For the capital, separating state highway traffic from local traffic has been identified by several studies as the key to solving congestion around the Basin Reserve, and in turn, the city's public transport "spine" between the CBD railway station and the hospital in Newtown.

Next week, the transport agency, in conjunction with the Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council, will reveal detailed business cases for three shortlisted public transport modes of transport to service that spine for the coming decades.

A light rail system is still in the mix, alongside a bus-priority system (better bus lanes) or a bus rapid-transit system (better bus lanes and bigger buses).

Alongside the potential runway extension, the public transport spine will be the next major target of taxpayer and ratepayer infrastructure dollars in Wellington.

It also shows the region has not been forced out of the limelight by Auckland and Christchurch, Ms Chetwynd says.

"There has been a lot of money gone into the thinking behind that - a million dollars into the study around what our public transport spine will look like," she says.

"For the next 10 to 15 years that will translate into investment in infrastructure and services that will take Wellington's public transport into the next phase.

"There's a whole lot of investment on Wellington's doorstep right now, that's about to come on stream for Wellington. It's an exciting time," Ms Chetwynd says.

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Aero Commander 1121B, N972TF: Why was that scrap plane towed at that unholy hour?

By: Leadership Editors on June 17, 2013 - 1:45am 

Again, the nation’s aviation ministry is in the news for the wrong reasons. A disused plane with registration number N972TF formerly owned by the late Apostle Gabriel Oduyemi of Bethel Ministries, Ajah, Lagos, was on Thursday last week abandoned at a filling station located in Igando, a suburb of Lagos. Reports said that the plane was being towed from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) to Badagry before it had a burst tyre, which forced those towing it to abandon it. Not surprisingly, this incident caused panic among the residents who thought that the plane had crash- landed.

It is not out of place to ask: why was that scrap plane towed at that unholy hour?   

Is it the practice within the aviation industry for scrap planes to share the same road with cars?  Why was the disused plane not dismembered before it was taken to its new abode?  With the size of that aircraft, would it not have caused traffic logjam, given the nature of traffic on Lagos roads, irrespective of the time of night it was being towed?  Did those who were towing the disused aircraft obtain clearance from the appropriate authorities before embarking on the trip?

There is an urgent need for the Lagos State government to investigate this development and prosecute any person or group of persons who might have violated the law. Law enforcement agents should no longer continue to fold their hands and watch a few individuals and organizations flout laid-down rules and procedures with impunity. The nation is being ridiculed in the eyes of the civilised world. The explanation by the authorities of the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) that the scrap plane was until last Wednesday within its facility is not tenable. Both NAMA and the person or persons the scrap plane was released to ought to have known the best practices the world over. Nigeria cannot be an exception. NAMA cannot claim ignorance of what the rule books stipulate on an issue like this. Not long ago, its officials had cause to ground planes conveying state governors on the excuse that the pilots of those aircraft failed to meet operational guidelines. Why did the same NAMA authorize the towing of a disused plane from its facility even when it was aware of the associated hazards?

Many of the nation’s airports are littered with disused planes.  Some have been there for over a decade. This not only constitutes an eyesore but an embarrassment to the nation and its first-time foreign visitors. The authorities involved should speedily work to rid our airports of this junk in the most acceptable way possible.


By: Nkem Osuagwu on June 16, 2013 - 6:05am
The American Registered aircraft N5972TF which has become a bone of contention between its new owner, Captain M.J Ekehinde and Mr.  Oladapo Coker, owner of Dapsey Oil, the filling station where the aircraft stalled its journey on Thursday might reach its destination today. This is according to sources who said both parties have reached an agreement and that the plane might be towed to Badagry early today or on Monday if they are able to get a tow van.

The source said as at last night, the aircraft owner has yet to pay the compensation to Cocker but was still working on the sum which remained a secret.

Yesterday when our correspondent visited the Filling station in Igandu, the aircraft which was allegedly impounded by the owner who was aggrieved due to lost businesses remained a tourist attraction. However onlookers watched the plane from a distance following the presence of stern looking security officials.

There are more than 30 abandoned aircraft in airports across the country. Analysts said these aircraft still have economic value and each can be sold at between N800,000 to N1.5 million.

The aircraft which caused some speculations is a junk aircraft belonging to late Apostle Gabriel Oduyemi of Bethel Ministries.

The new owner took delivery of it from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on Wednesday and was towing it to Badagry when a burst tyre stalled its movement.

Story and Photo:


The Lagos State Deputy Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Damascus Ozouani, on Thursday explained that a private jet with registration number N972TF at Dapsey Filling Station, Igando, did not crash land.

Ozouani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the disused jet was being towed from the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, to Badagry when one of its tyres burst.

NAN correspondent at the filling station observed that the jet which can accommodate about eight passengers, has the inscription "Gabriel Oduyemi World Crusades" on its tail board.

The filling station had become a Mecca of sort to passers-by the time NAN visited the area.

Ozouani said at about 12:45 a.m., the command got a directive to escort the jet from MMA Ikeja to Badagry (by road).

“The operation was led by one Capt. Matthew Ekehinde, but in the process of the journey, one of the jet's tyres burst at College Bus Stop and the jet could not move.

“It was parked at Dapsey Filling Station along Igando for repairs .We have  provided security for the plane until it is moved to Badagry,'' he said.

Ozouani said that the movement of the jet to Badagry from Ikeja was in response to the Federal Government's directives that plane owners should remove non-operational aircraft from the nation's airsides and tarmacs because they constitute security and safety risks. 

NAN observed that the right flank tyre of the jet had already burst while the two front ones and the left flank tyres have begun to deflate.

Also, some parts of the right and left wings of the jet had been cut with saws to reduce its with in conformity with what could be towed on a motorway.

Also speaking, Mr Supo Atobatele, General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), confirmed that that there was no record of any plane mishap.

"It must have been one of those junks being removed from the MMA airside, following a directive from the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

"There is no record of any missing plane in the airspace from our Total Radar Control of Nigeria (TRACON) facilities,'' Atobatele said on phone.

Also, Mr Tunji Oketunmbi, the spokesman of the Accident investigation Bureau (AIB), debunked claims of any air crash when contacted on phone.

Meanwhile, the petrol station manager, who refused to disclose his name, said: “We came in here this morning to resume work only to meet the private jet here.”

He lamented that the incident had caused the station a drop in patronage as motorists could not drive into the station to buy fuel.

Also, Mr Olugbenga Adeoye , a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), who led policemen to the scene, said that he was not authorized to speak to  the press.

"Yes, I am on ground here to lead other policemen to control crowd and traffic movements and not to speak to the press,” Adeoye said. 

Published on June 13, 2013 by pmnews

A junk plane belonging to flamboyant preacher and founder of Bethel Ministries, the late Gabriel Oduyemi, triggered panic across Lagos, southwest Nigeria, on Thursday when it was sighted on the ground far from the Lagos airport, leaving many people wondering if another plane had crashed.

The American registered aircraft, marked- N972TF, with inscription G O, Gabriel Oduyemi Crusades, was towed from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja area of Lagos and dumped near Dapsey petrol station in Igando area of the state.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Engineer Nnamdi Udoh said in a statement that the aircraft belonging to the late clergyman had long been parked at a NAMA facility up till Wednesday night when it was eventually removed.

Udoh said the aircraft was released to Captain M.J.Ekeinde who will be using it for educational purposes in Badagry, Lagos. He said a cross section of the wings was removed to ease transportation to its new location.

“This morning, we were inundated with phone calls and enquiries over a crash involving a small aircraft but there is nothing like that It is a hoax because our system did not capture any missing plane,” Udoh said.

Before Udoh’s explanation, the social media were awash with millions of people making calls to friends and family members who were either at airports or on their way to board planes.

Residents of Igando for instance were scared with many of them thinking that the jet had crashed in the night at the filling station. Many residents gathered at the filling station wondering how the jet managed to get to the place.

An official at the scene even claimed that the jet was being taken to Badagary area of Lagos before one of its tires burst.

Many residents who spoke to P.M.NEWS said when they woke up this morning and saw the plane, panic gripped them.

According to a resident who identified himself as Emmanuel John, nobody could explain how the plane got there. He said they immediately contacted the police. The security agents were  trying to bring sanity at the scene and to control the passage of vehicles on LASU road in Igando. They placed notice board on the road explaining to the public that it was not a crashed plane. So widespread was the rumor that the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, issued a statement.

The rumour circulating on social media Thursday morning about a plane crash in Lagos is one of the “evils of social media,” the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said Thursday.

Social media was awash with unconfirmed reports of an aircraft crashing at Igando, a Lagos suburb; with a particular tweet saying that the “plane crashed breaking its two wings.”

Ibrahim Farinloye, NEMA Spokesperson for South-West, debunked the rumor, saying that it was a scrap airplane being evacuated from the airport.

“It was just the scrap of an aircraft that was being evacuated from the airport. The Federal Government had issued a directive that all scrap aircraft be evacuated from all airports, as well as scrap ships from our waterways,” Mr. Farinloye said

Mr. Farinloye said that the rumor was “one of the evils of social media.”

“The evacuation is usually done at night to forestall this kind of public misinformation by mischief makers. We were there at 11.20 p.m. yesterday,” he added.

Gabriel Oduyemi was a Nigerian pastor and the founder and general overseer of Bethel Ministries Inc.  He was described as a flamboyant speaker who believed in financial prosperity for Christians.

One of the peculiar events during his services was when he would instruct the people in attendance to wave white handkerchiefs above their heads, in order to realize their miracles of becoming millionaires.

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Published: Thursday,  June 13,2013

An earlier unconfirmed report with the headlined BREAKING NEWS: Plane Crash At Lagos of a plane crash in Lagos has been confirmed as untrue after all. It has been confirmed that a scrap private plane belonging to Bethel Ministries Inc. stirred panic on Thursday morning as the rumor spread that another aircraft had crashed in Lagos.

On hearing the news, hundreds of residents trooped out with their camera phones and queued behind the gate bar of Dapsey Oil filling station at Igando where the plane was parked to take shots.

A senior officer of the filling station said the plane was being removed from the Ikeja Airport to Badagry when one of the tires burst and it had to be packed around 2am.

The police are having tough time controlling the swelling crowd and a young man has been arrested by the Igando police station.

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NEMA said crash rumor is one of the “evils of social media.

The rumor circulating on social media Thursday morning about a plane crash in Lagos is one of the “evils of social media,” the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said Thursday.

Social media was awash with unconfirmed reports of an aircraft crashing at Igando, a Lagos suburb; with a particular tweet saying that the “plane crashed breaking its two wings.”

Ibrahim Farinloye, NEMA Spokesperson for South-West, debunked the rumor saying that it was a scrap airplane being evacuated from the airport. He clarified that the aircraft was at Mangoro and not Igando as was being circulated in social media.

“It was just the scrap of an aircraft that was being evacuated from the airport, the federal government had issued a directive that all scrap aircraft be evacuated from all airports, as well as scrap ships from our waterways,” Mr. Farinloye told PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr. Farinloye said that the rumor was “one of the evils of social media.”

“The evacuation is usually done at night to forestall this kind of public misinformation by mischief makers. We were there at 11.20 p.m. yesterday,” he added.

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