Friday, July 26, 2013

Garuda to spin off cargo division into separate business entity

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia plans to make its cargo division an independent entity next year so it can expand its cargo business with more flexibility.

President director Emirsyah Satar said the separation of Cargo Garuda Indonesia would help boost its annual cargo revenue by more than 20 percent.

“We see a lot of opportunity in cargo because domestic logistics demand continues to increase every year in Indonesia,” he said, adding that the separation would help the Garuda business group as a whole because the spin-off would help it to concentrate on other businesses. “We are still preparing everything, we will be ready next year.”

The preparations by the airline include the expansion of its cargo terminal at the country’s main gateway Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to 4,625 square meters last year , which will cost about Rp 5 billion (US$485,000), as well as the opening of more service centers in big cities across the country. There are up to 40 service centers slated to be opened this year, including in Yogyakarta, Semarang, Medan, Surabaya, Kupang, Jayapura and Biak.

According to recent data from business consultant firm Frost & Sullivan, Indonesia’s logistics sector is projected to grow by 14.5 percent to Rp 1,634 trillion throughout this year.

Compared to other sectors, air freight volume is expected to see the highest increase — of 19.6 percent — and reach 1.16 million tons from 970,000 tons in 2012.

The airline had previously separated its low cost flight services into a separate company — PT Citilink Indonesia — in July last year so it could better compete in the growing budget flight market.

After separating from Garuda, Citilink’s business grew significantly. It doubled the number of planes it operates, from 10 planes in 2012 to 22 planes as of July this year, which fly to 20 domestic destinations.

Garuda has a number of subsidiaries such as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company GMFAeroAsia, hotel operator Aerowisata, travel agency Aerotravel and catering arm Aerofood.

The firm has also announced it plans to spin off GMFAeroAsia in the next few years.

Garuda recently signed an agreement with Amsterdam-based trucking company Jan de Rijk to help expand its cargo network in Europe.

Through the agreement, the airline will be able to send its cargo to 30 destinations across Europe including Paris, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, London, Barcelona, Roma and Madrid.

The firm is seeking more partnership with global companies in the second half of this year.

Cargo Garuda Indonesia transported 233,000 tons of cargo in 2012, up by 12 percent from the previous year. The cargo division aimed to book $240 million in revenue this year, up from $209 million in 2012.

The national flag carrier began the operation of its newest Boeing B777-300 Extended Range (ER) aircraft early this month flying the Jakarta-Jeddah route that was traditionally served by the aging B747-400s.

With this sophisticated aircraft, the carrier is upgrading its service by delivering a premium first class service with onboard WiFi connection that enables passengers to browse the Internet, use social networking sites and send instant messages during the flight. Garuda’s B777-300ER has 314 seats, eight of which are in first class, 38 seats in business class and 268 seats economy class.


Paine Field an option for Boeing 777X big wing factory


by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News Aviation Specialist 

EVERETT -- Governor Jay Inslee toured a site on the west side of Everett's Paine Field that could easily accommodate a big composite wing plant for Boeing's new 777X program.

Boeing's Everett factory has been home to the 777 program since it began in the 1990s.  The company has now built more than 1,000 of the big jets used worldwide mostly for long distance international flights.

The aerospace giant says it plans to decide by year end if it will go ahead and build a newer, more fuel efficient model. Much of the upgrade is based on a long wing built of composite plastic and carbon fiber materials like the 787. But unlike aluminum wings, the composite wing would need to be made in one large assembly that would be difficult to transport. The 777 is a larger plane than the 787 Dreamliner, and it has its composite wings built in Japan and flown into Everett aboard large modified 747-400 freighters.

But it will be sometime next year before Boeing decides where to build the 777X. Industry analysts such as Leeham & Company's Scott Hamilton says it makes sense for Boeing to build the jet in Everett. Others aren't so sure.

Last week, the Governor legally declared winning the 777X an issue of "statewide significance" because it would benefit the economy through the workforce in Everett and a network of suppliers who build parts.

But Everett is likely to have some competition. When asked if he was handicapping places like N. Charleston, South Carolina, which already has a 787 factory, Gov. Inslee responded. "I'm not in the job of handicapping, I'm in the job of winning. I want to win as many projects as I can. I believe our team needs to focus on what it can control."

One of the things the state and local governments can control is speeding up the permitting process for building such a plant, which was detailed for the governor by Paine Field Airport Director Dave Waggoner.

"We want to provide them options," Waggoner said of Boeing. "And we want to provide a short permitting and environmental review time. We want to have asked all those questions and talked to the agencies to see what mitigation is necessary and have it all in hand so they (Boeing) have a predictable time line."

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New York Trooper Winton I. Martindale Jr. will be laid to rest Tuesday: Piper PA28-180 (N5275L) and Piper PA24-250 (N7757P), Accident occurred May 09, 2011 in New Hampton, New York

Trooper Winston Martindale died on Wednesday from injuries he sustained responding to a May 2011 collision of two small planes. Martindale stayed at the crash scene for six (6) hours, despite his injuries. He had fallen on a piece of equipment, causing internal abdominal bleeding.

Trooper Winton I. Martindale Jr.
 (New York State Police photo) 
Martindale underwent several serious medical procedures before dying at the age of 40 on Wednesday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.


MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — The funeral for state Trooper Winston I. Martindale, Jr., who died this week from injuries he suffered on duty two years ago, will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Christian Faith Fellowship in Middletown.

Martindale will be buried in the Orange County Veterans’ Cemetery in Goshen, as he was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves and served in Afghanistan.

Martindale died at the age of 40 on Wednesday, 26 months after he was injured at the scene where two small planes had crashed in the Orange County town of Wawayanda. He fell on a piece of equipment at the crash site, causing internal bleeding in his abdomen.

The pilots of both single-engine planes died from injuries they suffered in the crash.

Martindale, who had been assigned to state police Troop F in New Hampton, underwent numerous medical procedures in the two years after he was hurt and died Wednesday night following surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, according to state police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico.

The wake for Martindale will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home in Middletown.


NTSB Identification: ERA11FA291A

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 09, 2011 in New Hampton, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N5275L
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB Identification: ERA11FA291B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 09, 2011 in New Hampton, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N7757P
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The two accident pilots arrived at the airport in a Piper PA-24-250 (PA24), with the intention that one of the pilots would ferry a Piper PA-28-180 (PA28) back to the departure airport. The PA28 departed first for the return flight, followed by the PA24; however, the PA24 was faster and caught up to the PA28 within 5 minutes. The PA24 approached from below and behind the PA28 and was likely not visible to the pilot of the PA28.

Witnesses near the accident site observed the airplanes flying in the same direction when they “clipped” each other. The PA28 entered an immediate right spiraling dive, while the PA24 entered an “angled nose dive” toward the ground. The PA28 was found inverted with the fuselage crushed; the outboard portion of the right wing was separated and showed damage consistent with propeller strikes to the aft wing spar and flap. The majority of the PA24 was consumed by a postimpact fire. Examination of both airplanes revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

It was not known if the accident pilots were attempting formation flight or were in communication with each other. However, 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 91.111(a) states that “no person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.” In addition, 14 CFR 91.113 stipulates that the pilot of an overtaking airplane (in this case, the PA24) “shall alter course…to pass well clear” of the overtaken airplane. The PA24 should not have passed over, under, or ahead of the PA28 unless it was well clear.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the PA24 pilot to maintain adequate clearance from the PA28 resulting in an inflight collision. Contributing to the accident was the PA24 pilot’s decision to overtake the PA28.

Bermuda: Universal Aviation To Close FBO, 10 Jobs Lost

Universal Aviation announced today [July 26] that it will be closing its general aviation FBO at L.F. Wade International Airport effective Aug. 31, 2013, and that all ten staff members will be affected.

“We have made the extremely difficult decision to close our Universal Aviation Bermuda ground support location effective August 31, as traffic did not meet the level we expected,” said Adolfo Aragon, Senior Vice President, Universal Aviation.

“Universal Aviation would like to thank our loyal employees for their dedication. We would also like to thank the local airport authorities, and government officials for their support and for giving us the opportunity to provide ground support services over the last year.”

Universal Aviation Bermuda officially began operations Aug. 9, 2012. The company will continue to provide services until the August 31 close date.

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Delaware State University adds helicopter flight training to aviation program

Delaware State University is adding helicopter flight training to its class offerings.

The university is partnering with Horizon Helicopters of Newark. The university says the partnership will be the first in the northeastern U.S. between a helicopter training entity and a university or college aviation program, and will open up training in Delaware.

DSU already provides fixed wing flight training toward an aviation/professional pilot degree. The new agreement will add helicopter training as an option in the university's aviation program.


Winemaker Toasts Miraculous Emergency Landing On I-5: Cessna 177RG Cardinal, N34226, Accident occurred July 24, 2013 in Sutherlin, Douglas County, Oregon

Marc Girardet of Girardet Wines in Tenmile, Oregon


WILBUR - Second-generation winemaker Marc Girardet of Girardet Wines in Tenmile came home, poured himself a glass of wine, and toasted to coming through a miracle without so much as a scratch.

Girardet, 38, was flying his Cessna 177RG Cardinal airplane when it lost power, forcing him to make an emergency landing shortly before 2 p.m. on Interstate 5 near Milepost 131 north of Roseburg on Wednesday.

He landed safely with the help of his passenger, Doug Denham of Aloha, who looked below for a clearing in southbound traffic, the men told The News-Review in an interview at the scene.

“At first we were in disbelief and thought, ‘This isn’t happening,’” said Denham, 56. “We started to set down and thought, ‘Oh, my god, will (the cars) see us?’ And then all of the sudden, there was room.”

The plane coasted onto the median and out of traffic lanes. There were no injuries and traffic was not blocked, according to the Oregon State Police.

“My instructor trained me for this (situation) many times,” Girardet said. “I’m just really thankful no one got hurt.”

Girardet and Denham said they took off from the Roseburg Regional Airport and were about 15 to 20 miles north of Roseburg when the engine started losing power. The plane was at 3,500 feet and climbing when the trouble began.

“We didn’t notice anything at first. On a hot day there is not as much lift and power,” Denham said. “Then, the plane lurched, and we lost a lot of power.”

Girardet, who was flying Denham to the Portland area for a physical therapy appointment, turned the plane around to head back to Roseburg. He said he realized the plane wasn’t going to make it to the airport and decided to make an emergency landing.

Girardet radioed the Roseburg airport to alert officials of their situation, then lost contact, he said.

“The RPMs kept getting lower and lower. I tried to see if I could restart the engine, but nothing was working,” Girardet said.

The engine stopped entirely as soon as the plane set down, Girardet said.

A bystander, LaVerne Huntley of Sutherlin, said she was driving south to Roseburg when she saw the plane descending.

“The airplane landed on the freeway, right in front of me. I thought it was going to crash. It looked wobbly. But it landed and kept going down I-5,” Huntley said.

The plane narrowly missed power lines as it came in for its landing, Denham said.

The Oregon State Police, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Sutherlin Police Department, Oregon Department of Transportation and firefighters responded.

Denham said the plane had undergone all of the required safety checks before the men departed.

Even so, the men discovered after landing that the plane was leaking oil.

Girardet said today that his plane was towed to Western Oregon Aviation at the Roseburg airport, where it is being examined. Preliminary inspections found that the engine lost compression in at least one, if not three, cylinders.

The cause has yet to be determined.

“It’s a big mystery at this point,” Girardet said.

It could be a week or more until Western Oregon Aviation can take the engine apart, he said.

“I know there is major internal damage. I’m going to need a new engine,” Girardet said. “I want to come out with a new wine to start an engine fund. I came home last night, had a couple glasses of wine and started brainstorming.”

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Probe continues: Military plane part crashes into backyard of San Antonio home


SAN ANTONIO -- The investigation continues into what caused a part of a military plane to break off and land in the backyard of a northwest-side home on Thursday. 

Military officials said the Boeing C-17 had undergone maintenance at Boeing's hangar in Port San Antonio and was on its way back to McChord Air Force Base in Washington State.

The part fell out of the sky and landed on Nate Martinez's barbecue grill just before noon Thursday.

"Was just a hard scraping sound, a loud thud," said Martinez.  Other witnesses said they heard a popping sound and saw the object falling.

Photos sent in to KENS 5 from viewer Robert Coultress-Rodriguez showed the large object in the back of a truck in the 6500 block of Spring Hurst Drive.  He initially told KENS 5's Joe Conger he was walking home and saw an object "clinking and clanking" in the sky.

"A piece seemed to have detached itself from the main object and began to freefall down," Coultress-Rodriguez said. "And as it hit, it made a loud thunderous roar of sorts and shut off power in the area. It was quite a sight to see, sir."

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Journal-Standard Letter: Stop taking farmland for Peotone airport

Governor Pat Quinn, whose polling numbers are in the gutter, recently held a press conference where he bragged about spending more money on the proposed Peotone airport. He signed legislation giving the Illinois Department of Transportation authority to form a public-private partnership to build the airport. The state has already spent $40 million to purchase land, and has another $71 million in next year’s budget to take more land from unwilling sellers. Since the state does not pay property tax, that burden is shifted to other taxpayers.

Quinn apparently believes his efforts on the airport prove that he is not incompetent. However, all airlines refuse to go to Peotone, the city of Chicago plans to open a gigantic cargo hub at O’Hare, and the Gary/Chicago airport is moving forward with local, state and federal support. Also, the MidAmerica airport near Mascoutah, another politically driven project built by IDOT, has sat virtually empty, at taxpayer expense, for the last 14 years. Building another white elephant would be an immense blunder.

Out in farm country, we don’t believe in putting the cart before the horse. The Federal Aviation Administration has not approved the Peotone airport and no private investors are on board, yet Quinn continues to take family farms from unwilling sellers through eminent domain. It would be far wiser, and a whole lot fairer, to first have
Federal Aviation Administration approval, a commitment from a major airline and guaranteed funding for the airport and surrounding infrastructure, before taking homes and farms.

Quinn’s failure to recognize farming as an industry and farmland as an irreplaceable resource, demonstrates contempt for farmers and future generations.

— George Ochsenfeld, president of Shut This Airport Nightmare Down, Monee


Airline pilot accused of possessing and trading child porn: St. Petersburg, Florida

ST. PETERSBURG — Federal authorities arrested an airline pilot this week on charges that he possessed and traded hundreds of images and videos of child pornography.

Donald Edwin Gallagher, Jr., 51, was booked Wednesday afternoon into the Pinellas County Jail after an FBI task force served a search warrant at his St. Petersburg home.

During the search, federal agents and local police officers confiscated a Toshiba laptop.

Gallagher confessed he used the computer to look at videos and pictures of prepubescent girls having sex with men, according to a federal complaint.

"He admitted to using the current program to search for pornography and initially claimed that he accidentally downloaded child pornography, but later stated that he downloaded and viewed child pornography out of curiosity," the complaint said.

Investigators began looking into Gallagher in January after they noticed his computer was using software to access child porn. Some of the files had been accessed as recently as Tuesday, officials wrote.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Gallagher has been a pilot since 2011. The database does not list the name of his employer.

He is currently in the Pinellas County Jail without bail.


Worker Says Aircraft Parts Maker Faked Tests: Courthouse News Service


Courthouse News Service
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Curtiss-Wright fired a longtime machine operator for refusing to lie about its practice of falsifying safety tests for commercial and military aircraft parts, the former employee claims in court.

Martin Caraballo sued Metal Improvement Company (MIC) and its parent company, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, in Federal Court.

Caraballo claims he was fired after he told an MIC attorney that if he were asked, he would tell the truth in a whistleblower lawsuit about the company's practice and encouragement of skirting required safety tests for commercial and military aircraft parts.

Caraballo worked for the defendants for 35 years, he says in his wrongful-termination lawsuit.

MIC's primary business is "shot peening" parts, which "involves shooting round metal balls at a designated part to reduce imperfections in the part and strengthen the metal of the part so that it does not fail under stress. In order to achieve this process, MIC's customers designate the type of shot that is to be used on a particular part, and the desired intensity at which the shot must strike the metal surface of the part. A customers' designation of the shot and intensity is called a specification," Caraballo says in the complaint.

Customers can designate certain parts as "Frozen Planning," which means "the type of shot and the intensity called for in the specification must be followed. In addition, many of the Frozen Planning specifications further designate a part as 'Flight Safety' and/or 'War Critical.' Flight Safety means the particular part is critical to the flight safety of the aircraft where it will ultimately be installed. War Critical means the aircraft has been designated by the government to be used in war," according to the complaint.

MIC uses an "Almen Test Strip" to provide its customers with confirmation that the proper shot and intensity were used. Federal Aviation Administration inspectors employed by MIC are supposed to be physically present during the shot peening process to determine that it is done correctly, Caraballo says in the complaint.

Caraballo's claims that he and other machine operators were told to fake compliance with customers' specifications by bending test strips instead of putting the strips through the proper process. Documents were falsified to suggest that inspectors had overseen the process, Caraballo claims.

"Management at MIC made clear that superficially appearing to demonstrate compliance was more important than actual compliance," Caraballo says in the complaint.

Caraballo claims that on July 9, 2012, a manager told him that his deposition had been requested for former employee Anthony Jackson's wrongful termination-whistleblower lawsuit. Caraballo was told to meet with MIC's attorney, Johnnie James, before being deposed, he says.

"One of the main issues of the Jackson whistleblower lawsuit was Jackson's claim that MIC employees wrongfully bent Test Strips to make it appear a part had been processed in accordance with the specifications," Caraballo says in the complaint. "Mr. James asked plaintiff if he bent Test Strips. Plaintiff acknowledged that yes, he and virtually every machine operator at MIC had been required by MIC to bend Test Strips.

"Mr. James asked plaintiff other questions about bending the Test Strips and stated that it would not be good for MIC if plaintiff testified at the upcoming deposition that Test Strips were bent. Mr. James indicated that plaintiff should reconsider what he was saying and testify differently. Plaintiff stated that he would testify truthfully, and if asked, admit that he and other MIC machine operators were required to bend Test Strips to make it appear they had accomplished the shot-peening process and met the specified intensity.

"After telling Mr. James that he would testify truthfully, plaintiff was told that he was suspended pending further investigation."

Less than two weeks later, in a meeting with several MIC managers, Caraballo claims he was asked again how he would testify in the lawsuit.

"He was instructed by MIC's management to reconsider his intended testimony. When plaintiff stated that he would not lie, but would testify honestly and if asked would admit that he and other employees, including management employees, had been required to bend Test Strips to falsify compliance, he was informed by MIC's management that his employment was terminated," according to the complaint.

Caraballo wants his job back, and punitive damages for wrongful firing and pain and suffering.

He is represented by Jonathan D. Miller with Nye, Peabody, Stirling, Hale & Miller, of Santa Barbara. 


Bid to make Assam Flying Club operational: India

GUWAHATI: In a bid to boost the aviation industry in the NE region, Assam Flying Club Revival Committee will pressure the government to make the Assam Flying Club operational at the earliest.

The Cessna 152 and Pushpak MK-1 trainer aircraft, available at the club located in at LGBI Airport here, are lying unused for over 10 years now. Set up in 1958, the club enjoyed the distinction of being the lone flying club of the NE region to issue private and commercial license to pilots, but it started facing hurdles in the early nineties.

Now the committee, under the leadership of Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority chairman Robin Bordoloi, has urged the state government to take urgent measures to make the club functional.

"We want development of the aviation industry in Assam and the northeast. Across the world, this industry is considered to be lucrative, but unfortunately due to lack of scope, aspiring flyers from NE have not been able to get flying training in the region. So, we want the government to take necessary steps to make the flying club operational once again," said Bikrom Singha Lahkar, general secretary of the committee.

He urged the state government to pay the dues to Airports Authority of India (AAI) as lease amount. "The AAI may not allow execution of the revival plans of the club if the lease amount remains unpaid," he said.

"At present, the space where the club exists is used by Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited and by AAI. The two aircraft are dumped in a corner. Pushpak MK-1 is permanently grounded and de-registered, while the Cessna 152 is temporarily grounded. The Cessna 152 was allotted to this club by Aero Club of India. Now, the Aero Club has re-allotted this aircraft to Bombay Flying Club," added Lahkar.

An official of the club, however, said it has become difficult to resume training program at the airport due to increased air traffic at LGBI Airport.


Exclusion of ex-dean from panel adds to seaplane row: India

Trade unions representing fish workers have protested that the state government failed to honor the commitment that K S Purushan, former dean, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) will be included in the expert committee constituted to study the controversies related to the much celebrated seaplane project.

The expert committee includes Madhusoodhana Kurup, VC, KUFOS, K G Padmakumar, former director of Regional Agricultural Research Station, Kumarakom, Suman Billa, tourism secretary, S Anil Kumar,general manager, Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited and an expert from CMFRI.

T J Anjelose, former MP and president of the Kerala State Fish Workers Federation(AITUC) said that there was a meeting on Tuesday in Thiruvananthapuram to discuss the controversies related to the seaplane project.

According to him, a consensus was reached in that meeting, which was attended by the Minister of Tourism, the Minister of Fisheries, tourism secretary, other senior officials and senior trade union leaders, about the formation of the committee.

“All trade unions unanimously suggested the name of K S Purushan, who is considered an expert in fisheries sciences and the coastal economy. The ministers and other officials had agreed to this. But later, his name was omitted and S Anil Kumar, a key official behind the project was included. His name was not discussed in the consultation between trade unions and the government”, Anjelose said.

He added that AITUC would not cooperate with the committee if the government fails to honour the initial commitment.

“I have formally written to the tourism minister”, he said. V V Sashindran, general convenor, Kerala Fisheries Coordination Committee said that he will also write to the government to stick to the initial stand.

 “The tourism department lacked transparency and was undemocratic from the very beginning of the project. Initially, they promised that they would launch the project only after proper consultation with the fishing community. But they launched the operations in an arbitrary manner and thus it was met with militant protest from the people”, he said. A P Anil Kumar, Minister for Tourism, said that the newly constituted committee will look into all dimensions of the controversy objectively.


New Zealand: There is no pilot skill shortage, Government says (With Video)

Published: 7:17AM Friday July 26, 2013 
Source: ONE News

The Government says there is "no skill shortage", despite Air New Zealand saying it does not currently have enough qualified pilots and is looking to hire foreign pilots to fill the gap.

Air New Zealand requires pilots have a minimum of 500 flying hours, including 25 hours of night flying, and says there are not enough with the necessary experience here.

The national carrier says it has applied to have pilots added to the Immigration Department's skills shortage list to ensure they have sufficient numbers to meet the needs in the medium to long term.

However, the application before Immigration New Zealand has outraged many local pilots who argue the move is not necessary, a comment backed up by the Government.

Minister Steven Joyce said: "With regards to airplane pilots, I understand that Immigration's preliminary view is that there is not a current skill shortage."

He said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is currently undertaking the scheduled 2013 review of skills shortage lists.

"Every business has had the opportunity to nominate areas of skill shortage. My understanding is that pilots are included at the nomination of Air New Zealand," he said.

Mr Joyce said that the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission will be providing input into the final decisions on the skills shortages lists, particularly in the case of pilots.

"Due to the considerable work they have done in the aviation education area over the last couple of years," he added.

Air New Zealand said it has applied as a precautionary measure and it also has various other pilot recruitment initiatives.

"Any changes to immigration policy relating to the pilot profession would not disadvantage any sufficiently qualified and capable New Zealand pilot," Air NZ said in a statement.

Kiwi pilots struggle to find jobs

Pilots have told ONE News the industry is very hard to break into at the moment and many students are already going to Australia.

Helena Chesworth said that she has been flying for four years but cannot find a job as a commercial pilot so she is looking further afield.

"I'd really like to stay in New Zealand. The fact is the industry is really tough to break into at the moment and a lot of our students are going over to Australia," she said.

Phil Hooker, chief instructor at Bayflight International in Tauranga, told Newstalk ZB this morning that the country has got many eligible pilots right now who are trying to get into Air New Zealand but are being forced to go overseas to find jobs.

"There's a saying in New Zealand that it's easier to get into NASA than into Air New Zealand."

Similarly, Ardmore Flying School, which produces around 70 qualified commercial pilots each year, says there is a responsibility to support those homegrown students.

"For the good of the New Zealand situation and for all those students who have invested a lot of money in their future it's a good opportunity now for some of these students to get some payback and so we think there's a responsibility at some level to support that," said Ardmore Flying School's Mike Newman.

The Aviation Association says the number of pilots available will reduce with the Government clamping down on student loans for pilots, meaning they will need to come up with around $100,000 for a career in aviation.

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Air France-KLM Loss Narrows on Recovery Plan: Cuts Start to Pull Airline Out of Red as Company Plans Tough New Measures

Updated July 26, 2013, 3:54 a.m. ET


The Wall Street Journal

PARIS—Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM said Friday its Transform 2015 efficiency plan is starting to pull the company out of the red, but said it needs to take new, tough measures to deal with its unprofitable medium-haul and cargo operations.

The airline said its recovery plan introduced more than a year ago to slash fixed costs, reduce head count and win back paying customers has helped to shrink its operating losses so far in 2013, and predicted that the improvement will continue through the remainder of the year.

"Our results have improved quarter after quarter, in spite of the persistently tough economic environment," Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement. "Nevertheless, revenues remain below target at this stage and the turnaround of the medium-haul and cargo businesses in particular are taking longer than expected," he said.

Air France-KLM plans to unveil "additional major measures" in the autumn that will be implemented early next year to address these weak areas, and said the plan would include voluntary departure plans as well as unspecified "industrial and commercial decisions."

The turnaround in Air France-KLM's fortunes was apparent in the second quarter of this year. The airline group's net loss shrank to €163 million ($216 million) in the three months from an €897 million loss in the same period a year before, when the red ink was swelled by a €368 million restructuring provision.

"We are on the right track," Mr. de Juniac told some journalists ahead of a news conference to present the results, adding he was particularly pleased that unit costs had fallen by some 5% year on year.

Chief Financial Officer Philippe Calavia concurred, commenting: "We are getting out of the woods."

The better performance was helped by a 7.7% reduction in the company's fuel bill compared with the second quarter of 2012, but the head-count reduction nevertheless trimmed its wage bill—the main cost center—by 0.6%. Revenue rose 0.6% year on year to €5.16 billion, and passenger operations swung into the black at €93 million, compared with a €57 million loss in the second quarter of 2012. Overall, the group posted an operating profit of €79 million, a €158 million improvement from the previous year.

Using the assumption of continued strict capacity discipline, solid bookings for the summer season, slightly higher revenues from passenger operations and a fuel bill of around $4.8 billion, Air France-KLM said it is aiming to improve its operating income in the second half of this year in line with the €239 million improvement achieved in the first half. Continuing that trend could allow the airline group to post a small operating profit for all of 2013, as in the second half of 2012 the company reported a €337 million operating profit.

Reducing Air France-KLM's debt load is one of Mr. de Juniac's goals for the period through 2015, and in the first half of this year the debt was cut by €630 million, thanks in part to €1.03 billion of positive cash flow that came partly from a steep reduction in capital expenditure. 


Half Moon Bay Airport (KHAF) updates safety, layout plan: Manager says ‘slow growth’ in store

Photo courtesy San Mateo County
Half Moon Bay Airport managers expect slow growth in the foreseeable future.

The Half Moon Bay Airport is in the midst of updating two plans related to its operation and land use, the latter of which hasn’t been revamped in nearly two decades.

The airport layout plan should be finalized later this summer in compliance with a Federal Aviation Administration requirement for grant funding that mandates such plans be updated every three years. It involves the maintenance of airport infrastructure, such as runways and buildings. Airport manager Gretchen Kelly says the long-term plan for the airport is “slow growth.”

“We’re going to paint the terminal building, update the sign and keep the pavement painted, but we don’t need a whole lot out there other than what we already have,” Kelly said.

She added that a proposal to build a parallel taxiway was nixed because it was deemed unnecessary.

The airport compatibility plan is a more complex matter. It involves determining the use of the land around the airport, including drawing safety zones that limit what kinds of buildings, if any, can exist on certain pieces of land. The plan is midway through completion and should be finalized by early 2014, Kelly says.

Sandy Wong is the executive director of the City/County Association of Governments, which is advising the airport on drawing up the latest compatibility plan. She says a couple key differences from the 1996 compatibility plan include the decibel allowance, which will increase from 55 to 60 decibels, and the safety zones.

Wong says that this plan will not impact existing uses for this land, but cites that a lot of the Princeton area is included in one particular safety zone. That zone prohibits residential use except for low density and infill housing, schools, hospitals and several other potential uses.

Kelly believes that whatever changes are made to safety zones will have little impact on neighbors.

“Most of the safety zones are on airport property,” she said. “Those safety areas increased a little, but remain on airport property, (so) there will be no significant impacts to our neighbors.”

San Mateo County planner Summer Burlison says she is unsure yet how the compatibility plan may affect the Princeton planning effort, but it will certainly be taken into consideration.

“Once there is an updated plan, we will definitely need to consider what the adopted plan is to make sure any of our local policies are consistent with the compatibility plan of the airport,” she said.

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Bees, beasts and a blaze plague Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (KCLT), North Carolina

First it was the bees – a soccer ball-sized swarm that surrounded a tug and stopped a US Airways jet from taking off Wednesday while Charlotte airport officials scrambled to find a beekeeper.

Then it was a fire, with flames shooting out of a moving walkway on Concourse E, filling the area with smoke and forcing an evacuation. Nearly half the 36 gates on the concourse were closed about four hours until 9:15 p.m.

And airport officials were almost reluctant to talk about the coyotes spotted near a runway. They caused only a minor delay.

Oh, yes – don’t forget about the flight to Rome that had to be diverted back to the United States.

“Today has been a tough day,” said Brent Cagle, who has been interim airport director for a week.

The problems were all temporary, and all parts of the airport will be open for business Thursday.

And the good news is that operations appear to be normal at 6:45 a.m. Thursday.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is in the middle of a power struggle between the city and the state. The state legislature passed a law last week giving control of the city’s airport to an authority. But a judge has issued an injunction that leaves the city in control, at least for the time being. And Jerry Orr, the airport director since 1989, is out of a job.

But airport officials spent Wednesday sorting out problems of a different nature.

One problem didn’t develop at the airport.

US Airways Flight 720 left Charlotte for Rome at 6:10 p.m., but it was diverted to Philadelphia, according to several flight-tracking websites. Those sites show the flight never left Philadelphia overnight.

Two people e-mailed the Observer, saying the flight had encountered mechanical problems over the Atlantic Ocean and was sent back to the United States.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of headaches on the ground in Charlotte.

The bees – apparently a wandering queen and her minions – accosted a tug, which pushes planes from the gate, around 1:15 p.m.

The bees were docile and just looking for a new home, said beekeeper Jimmy Odom, who came to the rescue.

But the ground crews didn’t know that. So Flight 2690 sat.

Already delayed a half-hour by a maintenance problem, the passengers had been loaded, the doors locked and the jet bridge disengaged.

Then the pilot came on the intercom: The front of the plane was under attack by bees, said Observer motorsports writer Jim Utter, who was aboard en route to Sunday’s Brickyard 400.

The cabin grew stuffy. A clarification came – the tug, not the plane, had been swarmed. The crew seemed flummoxed, Utter said by phone.

“We haven’t seen a single bee,” from inside the plane, he said.

By 3:45 p.m., passengers had been aboard the jet – but stuck at the gate – for more than two hours as temperatures inside the aircraft climbed. The flight finally took off at 4 p.m., US Airways spokesman Davien Anderson said.

At least one coyote was spotted by a runway in the afternoon, too. Wildlife officers were dispatched, but the coyotes weren’t captured or spotted again.

But the tough day wasn’t over.

Firefighters received an emergency call just before 5 p.m. Flames were coming out of a moving walkway on Concourse E, where many of US Airways’ regional jets take off.

The fire was put out by firefighters, but not before the area filled with smoke. The concourse was evacuated and the fire doors were lowered.

No one was reported injured, and airport officials say the fire was quickly contained.

Airport spokeswoman Lee Davis says investigators determined the fire was confined to the motor of the moving walkway. That walkway was still out of service early Thursday. Concourse E was reopened shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday.

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National Transportation Safety Board Chief Hersman Unsure She’ll Keep Job as Term Ends

 Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg 
 National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman has been the public face of the board's two highest-profile investigations this year.

By Angela Greiling Keane - Jul 25, 2013 7:00 PM ET
Deborah Hersman’s term as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board ends Aug. 3, with no word on whether she’ll be retained, during the accident investigation agency’s busiest stretch since the 1990s.

Hersman, 43, will conclude her second term as chairman as Congress leaves Washington for a five-week recess. Asked when or whether she’ll be renominated, Hersman said it’s out of her control.

“I don’t know the answer to that question,” she said in a telephone interview. “That is a decision that the White House will make. Right now I’m focused on the work that’s in front of us from this past week.”

Matt Lehrich, a White House spokesman, said the administration won’t “speculate on possible future personnel announcements.” Hersman’s term as a board member extends through Dec. 31.

The safety board chairman, who must be confirmed by the Senate, is the top U.S. transportation accident investigator. The position provides a platform to lead probes, hold hearings and recommend safety improvements without authority to implement them.

Hersman has been the public face of the board’s two highest-profile investigations this year -- its probe into what caused battery fires on the Boeing Co. (BA) 787 Dreamliner that prompted the plane’s grounding, and the July 6 crash in San Francisco of Asiana Airlines Inc. Flight 214, the first fatal commercial plane accident in the U.S. in four years.

Rockefeller Endorsement

She was passed over to succeed Ray LaHood as U.S. transportation secretary despite an endorsement in a Twitter messsage by her former boss, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller, one of Congress’s most senior Democrats. President Barack Obama instead chose Charlotte, North Carolina, Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Rockefeller leads the Senate Commerce Committee, where Hersman was the senior Democratic staff member before being appointed to the safety board in 2004 by Republican President George W. Bush. Obama named her chairman in 2009 and reappointed her two years later.

Nominations for the board and, separately, its chairman require Senate confirmation.

There is a scenario that could effectively keep Hersman in charge if Obama doesn’t act before her chairman’s appointment expires.

Board rules dictate that if there’s no designated chairman, the vice chairman serves as acting chairman. The vice chairman position, held now by Christopher Hart, doesn’t require Senate confirmation.

Vice Chairman

Hart’s term ends Aug. 24. Because that is so soon after Hersman’s term ends, Obama could name her vice chairman, said Ted Lopatkiewicz, who retired in 2011 as the board’s top spokesman. Vice chairmen have served as acting chairman on other occasions after a term expired, he said.

While Hersman has inspired fan blogs for her expertise and calm demeanor before television cameras, pilot unions in the U.S. and South Korea have criticized her handling of the Asiana investigation, saying she’s disclosed too much information and put excessive focus on pilot errors.

Hersman has said she’s been careful to stick to facts.

“We are the advocate for the traveling public,” Hersman said at a briefing earlier this month. “We think it’s important to show our work.”

Mobile Phones

Hersman’s call to ban the use of mobile phone in cars, even with hands-free devices, went beyond the position of LaHood, who made distracted driving his signature cause as transportation secretary. She failed to gain Transportation Department support to lower the blood-alcohol content limit for drunken driving to 0.05.

The board is working on at least 16 major-accident investigations opened this year including the Asiana probe. It’s also looking into the failure of landing-gear on a Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) plane in New York, a train crash involving hundreds of commuters in Connecticut, two highway-bridge collapses, and an auto accident that sent a car over the side of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge. 

 Yesterday the board announced a two-day forum in September on whether transportation operators have a “safety culture.”


Airport Manager Brings Career in for a Landing: Tom Tominack retiring after 31 years of service -- Wheeling Ohio County (KHLG), West Virginia

Photo by Shelley Hanson
 Wheeling-Ohio County Airport Manager Tom Tominack on Tuesday stands in front of a World War II-era plane parked in front of the airport terminal. Tominack plans to soon retire from his position.

After 31 years of service, Tom Tominack is retiring as manager of the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport.

Tominack said he actually was eligible to retire last year but decided he wanted to stay and see some projects through, mainly the expansion of the runway safety area and the terminal museum expansion.

''I don't like to leave loose ends,'' he said.

Tominack said an exact date for his retirement has not been set, but he noted it would be soon.

He said he alerted the Ohio County Commission a year ago of his intention to retire. The commission began advertising the position as open this past Sunday.

''The fact that we were able to maintain a high standard of safety is one of my most proud accomplishments,'' Tominack said.

Tominack, 55, a Triadelphia resident, said he plans to spend more time with his family during his retirement and pursue other interests.

During his tenure, Tominack oversaw $20 million in federally funded projects at the airport. The county-owned airport consists of 1,000 acres and is located 9 miles north of Wheeling. It also is home to the 150th Aviation Battalion of the West Virginia National Guard and an Army National Guard base, as well as the Civil Air Patrol.

Commissioner Randy Wharton said Tominack will be missed, but he hopes Tominack will be available for advice and consultation in the future.

''I'm sorry we're going to lose him. He's a great airport manager. He's done a lot of good up there. ... He's also been a great supervisor for us. He's a hard-working guy - he's not taken a lot of vacation days, sick days or a lot of time off,'' Wharton added. ''The airport is a whole lot better place because of him. He's going to be hard to replace, and he's a good friend.''

Commissioner Tim McCormick said Tominack took care of the airport like it was his own.

''He did an outstanding job of getting grants, and he made it the best small airport around. He's done an outstanding job up there,'' McCormick said.

McCormick noted that although Tominack knew best, he always consulted the commissioners when issues would arise at the airport.

''He was the ultimate professional,'' he added.

Commissioner Orphy Klempa said he also was impressed with Tominack's ability to seek and receive grants for projects to avoid putting the burden on county taxpayers.

''His legacy will be there forever because of all he's done and the pride he's taken in it,'' Klempa said.

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Air Combat USA and Blimp to Return to Woodbine Municipal Airport (KOBI), New Jersey


WOODBINE - Mayor William Pikolycky is pleased to announce two return visitors to the Woodbine Municipal Airport.

For the fifth year Woodbine Municipal Airport is one of the 25 cities hosting Air Combat USA.

Established in 1988, Air Combat USA is the original civilian dog fighting school in the world, the innovators of air combat training for civilians. With over 19 years of experience and over 38,000 guest pilots flown, Air Combat USA is the largest, most recognized air combat school in the world. Their guest pilots fly real military fighters with licensed pilots in the cockpits with them. All aircraft are outfitted with high-end digital multi-cameras systems to capture fighter pilot experience. No pilot’s license is required for the guest. They work hand-in-hand with the Federal Aviation Administration and other governing agencies to define parameters and establish safety guidelines used to regulate the air combat industry.

Air Combat USA will be at the Woodbine Municipal Airport, 660 Henry DeCinque Boulevard, from Aug. 10 to 12, 2013. For more information call 800-522-7590.

Meanwhile, the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) Blimp will also be visiting the Woodbine Municipal Airport again in July and August.

It will dock here from July 23 through July 28 and again from Aug. 13 through 18.

The airship invites onlookers to visit the airport when it is in dock.

“Once again we are glad to host the Blimp at our airport and encourage visitors and residents to come out and see it while in dock, along with the other activities at the airport,” added Mayor Pikolycky. “At the same time I welcome Air Combat USA to their fifth visit to Woodbine Municipal Airport and wish them many return visits to our facility. Stop by our airport and give them a look-see.”


Woodbine Municipal Airport (KOBI):