Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Airport director resigns following aeronautics board meeting: Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International (KAZO), Kalamazoo, Michigan

KALAMAZOO, MI — Clifton Moshoginis is no longer director of the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport following today’s special meeting of the aeronautics board.

Following a closed session, the board voted to accept Moshoginis’ voluntary resignation. It also voted to appoint David Reid as interim director of the airport. Reid currently serves as assistant director of operations and maintenance for the airport.

Moshoginis’ employment status has been in question for nearly a month since it was reported an airport employee had filed a harassment complaint against him.

Moshoginis had been on paid leave while the board reviewed the complaint against him.

Check back later for details on the separation agreement between Moshoginis and Kalamazoo County.

Exec Jet Club expands to Ocala International Airport (KOCF)

OCALA - Gainesville-based Exec Jet Club recently opened an aircraft maintenance, management and charter operation at Ocala International Airport.

Ed Rennia, Exec Jet Club general manager, said the company is doing maintenance on general aviation craft at the airport with four full-time employees and two floating between Gainesville and Ocala.

Rennia said Exec Jet Club's coverage includes North, Central and South America, adding the company has its own jets as well as jets it manages for other people.

“We go wherever charters are, but we're trying to develop a charter market out of Ocala, as well,” he said.

“We've done a few trips out of there sporadically, but we want to try and build the business up to where local people who need a charter will call us direct.”

A key target market is Marion County's horse industry, Rennia said.

The move fills a need of aircraft maintenance in particular, according to Matt Grow, director of Ocala International Airport.

“We push the notion of a full-service facility, and to have a full-service facility, you need to have a full-service maintenance operation,” Grow said. “Exec Jet Club provides that.”

Rennia said Exec Jet Club is exploring the idea of adding service featuring smaller, turboprop planes, as soon as the new year.

“If someone wants to go to Orlando or Miami or Atlanta, that would be more competitive than a jet on a short trip like that,” he said. “That would be another service we would look to expand to Ocala.”

Original article:

Lockheed F-35’s Quality Failings Cited by Inspector General

The Pentagon’s inspector general has flagged hundreds of deficiencies and corrective actions needed for Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter, the military’s costliest program.

The watchdog office’s “quality assessment” outlines what it calls ineffective management by Pentagon oversight personnel and insufficient attention to quality assurance in the design and manufacturing phases of the $391.2 billion F-35 program, according to a summary obtained by Bloomberg News. The full report may be issued as soon as Sept. 30.

Since May 2012, the inspector general has been reviewing adherence to quality assurance standards by Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed and five subcontractors: Northrop Grumman Corp., BAE Systems Plc, L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., Honeywell International Inc. and United Technologies Corp.

The inspector general’s audit said the F-35 program office should modify its contracts to “include a quality escape clause, to ensure the government does not pay for nonconforming product,” according to the summary.

Lockheed and the subcontractors are taking specific steps to respond to 343 findings and recommended corrective actions, the summary said, without disclosing the nature of the failings found.

As of yesterday, 269 of the 343 “corrective action plans” have been fully implemented, according to data provided to the inspector general by the Pentagon’s F-35 program office.
STORY: Air Tractor's Crop-Duster, Other Planes Revamped for Military Use

All of the corrective action plans are scheduled to be in place by April, according to Laura Siebert a Lockheed spokeswoman.

Price Tag

The Pentagon’s projected price tag of $391.2 billion for a fleet of 2,443 aircraft is up 68 percent from the projection in 2001, as measured in current dollars. The number of aircraft also is 409 fewer than called for in the original program.

Kyra Hawn, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon’s F-35 office, said in an e-mailed statement that “partnering with the IG offered an additional expert look at manufacturing processes, oversight and compliance that will improve F-35 quality moving forward.”

Siebert, the Lockheed spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement that the report “is based on data that’s more than 16 months old and a majority of the corrective action requests” in the document “have been closed.”

“When discoveries occur, we take decisive and thorough action to correct the situation,” Siebert said. 

Original article:

Federal Aviation Administration making demands on Warren County, Ohio


The Federal Aviation Administration has attached strings to funding for a new $3.4 million taxiway at the Warren County Airport.

Airport authority officials met with the Warren County commissioners Tuesday to discuss plans for further expansion at the airport and FAA demands. The FAA is apparently uncomfortable with the county’s arrangement with Bob Henderson, who owns and operates the airport. The county owns the runway and land to the east of the runway.

Bill Simmons, retiring president of the Warren County Port Authority, says the FAA would essentially like the county to force Henderson to sell his portion of the airport to the county. He said the feds don’t like public improvements that benefit private businesses.

“The FAA would prefer us to own the whole thing, to basically confiscate the property,” he said.

Simmons said they are in the process of drafting an “Operations Alternatives Study” for the FAA that outlines why the current setup with Henderson is preferable. If the FAA allows the status quo to continue, Simmons said the county will undoubtedly have to renegotiate the contract with Henderson.

“We will probably be forced by the FAA to negotiate a more cumbersome contract with the Warren County Airport that will define the cost of services provided to the county in return for a defined value to the Warren County Airport of their access to the government owned airport,” he wrote in a report to the commissioners. “The FAA’s primary issue is private commercial access to publicly funded facilities and potential anti-competitive practices.”

Henderson has recently spent $2.3 million expanding his side of the runway. The airport authority pays Henderson $27,600 a year to run the airport. The county — which is required by state law to operate a county airport — has spent $764,892 purchasing properties and easements so that trees can be downed and a pond filled in, to meet FAA requirements and extend the usable length of the runway.

The FAA wants the county to construct the taxiway on the east side of the runway and bring new development on the county-owned land. The county would have to abandon the dilapidated taxiway on the west side, which would be problematic for the planes housed on Henderson’s land, according to Simmons.

Commissioner Dave Young said he has no problem with developing the east side and he has been approached by developers. He said while the county is very satisfied with the arrangement with Henderson, if the airport operation on the other side of the runway were ever sold, they might be stuck with someone who won’t be as cooperative and it’s a good thing to keep their options open.

“I don’t think philosophically we’re too far off (with the FAA),” he said. “It’s almost the chicken or the egg, they are saying go ahead and build all this and then they’ll come. We’re saying we don’t want to build it until we have to and then run it, but we are willing to do that.”

Original article:

How Government Aviation Taxes Negatively Impact Caribbean Tourism

The following is the text of a speech given by St Kitts and Nevis Tourism & International Transport Minister Richard Skerritt to the ICAO Plenary Session in Montreal on Wednesday.

Mr President, Mr Secretary General, fellow delegates, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor for me as Minister of Tourism & International Transport to address this august body on behalf of the twin-island Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, located in the warm Caribbean.

In the 6th Worldwide Air Transport Conference earlier this year, it was concluded that States and relevant international organizations need to take a broad homogenous and sustainable approach to air transport and tourism policy. As we consider the numerous challenges and opportunities facing the global community in aviation both now and in the future, and as we work to develop policy for the upcoming triennium, I would request that this Assembly takes into account the peculiar vulnerability of small island states to the negative impact that taxes on aviation can have on tourism growth.

Mr President, it has been well documented that tourism is a key driver of sustainable economic development. According to the UNWTO, world travel reached one billion international tourists for the first time last year. Over half of these tourists arrived at their destination by air, including a high proportion on long-haul flights to developing countries such as the islands of the Caribbean. Those arrivals helped to create and maintain jobs and incomes. Unfortunately, global travelers can not choose to take a bus or a train to get to the Caribbean.

Mr President, the 2013 Economic Impact Report issued by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) ranks the Caribbean as the most tourism dependent region in the world. It is number 1 in terms of the relative size of tourism’s contribution to GDP. In 2012, the total contribution from travel and tourism to the world economy represented 9.3 percent of global GDP and accounted for 1 in 11 jobs. In St. Kitts & Nevis, the total contribution of travel and tourism to our economy is 25.9 percent of GDP and it accounts for 1 in every 4 jobs. In some other Caribbean islands, tourism provides practically the only means of economic growth.

Recognizing that the development of aviation is one of the cornerstones of our tourism growth, our Government has been involved in a systematic build-out of air bridges to key international airport hubs and targeted markets, including investing in airline guarantees whenever necessary to ensure year-round service at competitively priced tickets. This airlift build-out has resulted in significant air service increases that now place St. Kitts among the Caribbean islands with the best supply of international airlift, especially for our small domestic population size.

However, no matter how smart smaller nations like St. Kitts & Nevis work to transform our economies by building air-bridges and creating tourism demand from our key source markets, the revenue-generating aviation policies of related governments are threatening to have a deleterious impact on our tourism efforts in the Caribbean.

Mr President, for example, the US Federal Government’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal increases five aviation taxes and imposes a new departure tax which will cost airlines and their customers an additional $5.5 billion annually. According to Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization of the principal U.S. airlines, U.S Federal taxes would then constitute 25 percent of airline ticket prices, or an average of $100 on a $400 ticket. The TSA security fee would double to $5 per leg in 2014 and increase further to $7.50 by 2019, with 60 percent of the revenue generated from the fee increase to be allotted to deficit reduction.

This comes in the face of the US Government’s recently passed Full Fare Advertising law, wherein fares quoted in airline advertising will have to include the Base Fare plus the 7.5 percent excise tax, plus all additional government-imposed taxes and fees that are collected and distributed to various government agencies. What does the consumer see? Just a higher overall fare that either causes them to demand a higher return on their total travel investment from their chosen destination, or a ticket price that limits their choice to a more affordable short-haul destination.

As stated by A4A’s President and CEO Nick Calio, (QUOTE) “The proposed U.S. budget represents an unprecedented tax grab on the backs of airlines and their customers, who already pay more than their fair share of taxes. Our fragile US economy and the millions of middle-class Americans who rely on air travel every day simply cannot afford tax increases that will drive up the cost of flying or limit service options.”(END OF QUOTE)

Meanwhile, in the UK, we have the best example of aviation taxation inequity with the Air Passenger Duty (APD), whose distance-related banding system has not only been prejudicial to nations of the Caribbean, but has sent the ratio of taxes to ticket fares to an unprecedented high. With another increase added earlier this year, the UK APD became the highest flight tax in the world. Mr President, none of the massive proceeds of the APD go to funding travel or tourism specific expenditure and the British APD is therefore the most conspicuous evidence available that international aviation is now a major source of taxation. The consequence to us in the Caribbean is that the APD banding levels now makes it harder than ever for us to compete for UK tourists when they can travel closer to home for much less.

In Europe, the inclusion of aviation in the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS), originally proposed for implementation in 2012, has been called a “blatant revenue grab” that will not be effective in reducing carbon emissions, but will simply lead to increased air fares. What is of greater concern is that it is also a jurisdictional grab, openly violating the sovereignty of other nations and treaties governing international aviation and commerce in a unilateral action that is a preemptive setback to the direction of a global scheme to reduce emissions through a sectorial approach that could be agreed upon by the international community and adopted by ICAO. It is imperative for ICAO to make progress towards a global deal to avoid the reintroduction of this tax.

Mr President, my Government is as keen as the rest of the international community to reach an equitable resolution to the complex issues surrounding carbon emissions and global warming. But it is also our hope that any means that are adopted for reducing and mitigating the effects of carbon emissions would not have a disproportionate impact on the world’s smaller developing nations, such as the island nations of the Caribbean.

Mr President, today’s tourism marketplace is truly a global one, and the smaller nations of the Caribbean region are heavily dependent on aviation to bring visitors to our shores. Considering the future increases likely to be passed through to consumers from the US aviation taxes, the continuously increasing UK APD tax, and possibly the proposed EU carbon emissions tax, it is only a matter of time before the airlines serving our region again raise fares. Further airfare increases would be certain to hurt the price-sensitive tourism and travel market, and subsequently our small vulnerable economies.

On a related matter, I ask that while we deliberate on policy issues, we bear in mind the theme of this session of the ICAO Assembly, which is “Uniting Aviation”. I also remind you of the conclusion of the World Air Transport Conference in March this year that there is a need for a broad, homogeneous and sustainable approach to air transport and tourism policy. It is in this same spirit that I would like to welcome the presence of the delegation from Chinese Taipei as invited guests at this Assembly and to use this opportunity to express the unequivocal support of the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis to Chinese Taipei in their bid for more meaningful participation in ICAO.

Mr President, in closing, allow me to re-emphasize that, in our search for environmental solutions, we must be careful to ensure that the growing imposition of aviation taxes do not work against our best efforts to grow local economies and reduce poverty. More specifically, I ask that you consider the negative impact that global policies can have on smaller more vulnerable island economies which have little or no choice but to employ tourism as a key strategy for transforming our local economies. Thank you.

Original article:

Boeing Working to Fix 787 Glitches: WSJ

Updated September 25, 2013, 3:50 p.m. ET


The Wall Street Journal

The head of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA said Wednesday that Boeing Co. is sending a team to Norway to probe the technical problems that have afflicted its two 787 Dreamliners, and will store spare parts at four airports used by the low-cost carrier.

Ray Conner, head of the Boeing Commercial Airplane unit, also traveled to Oslo to meet with Norwegian Air Chief Executive Bjorn Kjos to review the problems, with other 787 operators also suffering from glitches.

Norwegian Air has been forced to delay some flights and withdraw its two 787s from service several times in recent weeks amid technical problems that include power-supply glitches and indications of brake system issues.

"If this continues, it's totally unacceptable," said Mr. Kjos in an interview after meeting Mr. Conner. "This is very damaging not only for Norwegian's reputation, but also for Boeing's."

Mr. Kjos said Boeing had promised quick action to remedy the problems, and as an interim measure planned to store more spare parts at Norwegian Air's Oslo base as well as in Stockholm, New York and Bangkok, where the airline flies its 787s.

The two companies have yet to agree on any compensation for the problems, said Mr. Kjos.

Mr. Conner's appearance in Oslo signals the seriousness of the 787's reliability issues. He is reprising a role seen earlier this year when he shuttled back and forth to Japan during the 3½ month grounding of the 787 following twin incidents with its lithium-ion batteries.

He and other Boeing executives hosted news conferences and offered repeated apologies for the Dreamliner's disruptions. Japanese carriers, who were the first to take delivery of the jet two years ago, account for the largest share of the 787's operators today.

Boeing has delivered 85 Dreamliners to 14 customers, with this month marking the second anniversary of the first arriving at Japan's All Nippon Holdings Inc.

Boeing said airlines are operating around 200 flights a day with 787s. The company has sought to harness the 787's onboard health monitoring technology to bolster the aircraft's dispatch reliability, keeping a live stream of data coming from the aircraft alerting the airline and its manufacturer to potential problems.

"How the 787 performs in service for our customers is paramount for the entire Boeing team. Any impact to our customers' operations is not satisfactory to us," said a Boeing spokesperson. "We are working airline-by-airline to ensure we have the right support in place to help each airline through the entry-into-service process."

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, a regular critic of Boeing and Airbus over technical and commercial issues, had remained supportive of the 787 during this year's grounding, but has turned critical as issues have hurt the reliability of the Gulf carrier's own Dreamliners.

"There are so many teething problems. although it is not anything major that would require us to ground our aircraft, it is enough to give us grief on our dispatch reliability," said Mr. Al Baker, according to a report in aerospace industry publication last week.

LOT Polish Airlines SA was forced to halt flights on its Dreamliners after engines on two jets were found to be missing fuel filters. In August, Polish Treasury Minister Wlodzimierz Karpinski met with the U.S. ambassador to Poland, Stephen Mull, to ask for assistance in negotiations between LOT and Boeing over earlier damages stemming from the grounding, which the government previously estimated at above $30 million.

LOT and Norwegian have anchored their long-haul ambitions solely on the Dreamliner, encountering significant financial and operational disruption when the jet has run into problems common for new aircraft, forcing each to rely on older less-efficient leased jets. Mr. Kjos said Wednesday he didn't know how much the 787 problems had cost Norwegian. Analysts and investors have shrugged off the 787's technical problems and remain focused on the rising revenues and falling costs of the Dreamliner program. Boeing shares are up 57% so far this year and have hit all-time highs in recent sessions. The stock was recently down 0.4% at $118.48.


Sangster airport in Jamaica seeking US$40m runway extension

(Jamaica Observer) Negotiations are underway for an over US$40 million runway extension at the Sangster International Airport aimed at attracting heavier aircraft from fast growing tourist regions.

The development — separate from the recently completed runway resurfacing — would be the amongst the largest investments in that airport since privatization in 2003, according to Elizabeth Scotton.

Currently the company and Government are in discussions on the design and financing, she said.

“The cost is complicated,” said the chief commercial officer at MBJ Airports Ltd, which operates the airport located in Montego Bay. “It will require the acquisition of land, additional lighting, a lot of infrastructure. It will cost over US$40 million because its a very significant project. We hope to conclude discussions by the end of the year.”

The runway would be extended by some 15 per cent to just under 10,000 feet (3 kilometres), which would put it on par with rival destinations in the region.

She indicated that a longer runway would facilitate increased entry of travelers from Eastern Europe, one of the island’s fastest growth market in tourism.

The airport’s total passengers hit 3.38 million in 2012 in line with the annual two to three per cent growth.

“It’s not to say we will automatically get those travelers but by adding the additional runway length it would open us up to new markets and increased capacity,” she summarized.

Most commercial aircraft can rotate at Sangster, she reasoned. However aircraft heavy on fuel returning to Russia are constrained by the runway length and may opt to reduce the plane’s load factor by imposing passenger or luggage requirements.

Later she clarified in a message: “You can actually say if you wish that some aircraft, like the A330-300 and A340 operated by airlines like Aeroflot could not likely operate from here with the existing runway length to that distance”.

Scotton said that extending the runway is not part of MBJ Airports concessionaire requirement. However, she declined to indicate whether the Government of Jamaica would shoulder any of the cost.

“The discussions on how it will be financed are continuing with Government,” she said in a telephone interview with the Observer. “We also continue discussions with our lending partners at the IFC — the lending arm of the World Bank.”

MBJ Airports recently completed its US$18.5 million runway resurfacing project. The IFC in its annual report indicated that it disbursed some US$7.5 million towards that project. Scotton said that the resurfacing would extend the runway life by some 20 years, which is a part of requirements under its concessionaire agreement.

“The runway resurfacing is separate from the the runway extension. It is still under discussion,” she said.

MBJ Airports is a consortium led by Spanish based conglomerate Abertis and Vancouver Airport Services. The consortium made an initial investment of US$112 million when it acquired the airport in 2003 from the Airports Authority of Jamaica.

Original article:

Demolition of hangar begins at T.F. Green Airport (KPVD): $980K project part of airport safety improvements

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) -- A major demolition project got underway at T.F. Green Airport Wednesday.

Construction crews began tearing down a hangar which had stored planes at the airport since the 1940s.

The $980,000 project marks a milestone in the larger Airport Improvement Program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration last year, which also includes the long-awaited runway extension at T.F. Green.

The project manager tells Eyewitness News the longer runway will allow the airport to accommodate coast-to-coast and international flights.

The entire project is expected to be complete by 2017.

Original article:

Emporia Municipal Airport (KEMP) Reopens

The Emporia Airport reopened to air traffic Tuesday afternoon after being closed for almost 45 days while the main runway was being resurfaced. 

As the final striping was done and barricades were being removed, planes were already lining up to take off.

The airport had been closed since Aug. 12 to allow for Shears Construction to complete the resurfacing. The project consisted of milling and then putting a 2-inch overlay on the runway. The project cost more than $1.2 million and hadn’t been done in more than 20 years.

During the runway closure, there was only one incident.

“A plane was trying to get to Lawrence but because of bad weather, couldn’t, so at 10 p.m., with no runway lights, they landed on the runway,” Adams said. “Only after they pulled up and saw the blinking constructions lights did they realize the airport runway was closed.”

Emporia receives significant air traffic and the closure left Emporia pilots having to move their planes to other airports to be able to use them during the closure. Other pilots left their planes grounded during the resurfacing.

Emporia Flight Instructor Brian Cornell said he was excited to have the airport open again. During the interim, he had to use the Burlington airport to train students.

“Burlington made us feel welcome, but it was more difficult to get people trained since they had to travel 30 minutes to get to Burlington,” Cornell said. “Other students receiving instruction just decided to wait until the Emporia Airport opened again.”

There is still more work to do, but most of it can be done while the runway is open.

“The airport will need to be closed for one day at the end of October to put down some permanent striping,” Airport Manager Ken Adams said.

As a celebration of the runway’s completion and improvements, the airport will host a Wings and Wheels open house for the community on Oct 26. Cornell, one of the event organizers, has lined up single and multi-engine planes, jets, vintage aircraft, hot air balloons, gliders, helicopters, powered parachutes and more for the open house.

“This will be a great opportunity to showcase all the improvements and things happening at the Emporia Airport,” Cornell said.

Original article:

San Francisco International Airport (KSFO) Runways Shut Down For Debris Cleanup

More than 100 volunteers will fan out across two runways at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday to pick up debris that could damage aircraft, a spokesman said.

The volunteers, mostly SFO employees, are taking part in the airport’s annual effort to clear its major runways of “foreign object debris,” or “FOD,” SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said.

FOD refers to any object that does not belong on an airfield and could cause damage by getting sucked into an airplane’s engines, such as rocks, pieces of pavement or mechanical parts, Yakel said.

The Runway FOD walk is meant to bolster runway inspections that SFO safety officers conduct on a daily basis, and involve a wider swath of employees in safety practices, Yakel said.

Air traffic control will halt all airplane traffic on two runways between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. so the team of volunteers can sweep the area.

The Runway FOD walk is not expected to cause any flight delays, as the operation will take place during light air traffic, Yakel said.

Original article:

New fixed based operator opens at Lone Star Executive Airport (KCXO), Houston, Texas

Construction on the Lone Star Executive Airport main runway extension officially commenced Monday.

Meanwhile, the new Galaxy fixed base of operations opened for business Friday.

Located at the southern end of LSEA’s main runway, Galaxy FBO features two hangars, each totaling 76,000 square feet. The hangars can fit about four large cabin jets and 15 to 20 mid-sized business jets.

Built at a cost of $15 million, Galaxy operations are a subsidiary of Black Forest Ventures, an investment firm in The Woodlands.

The main building has 25,000 square feet that will house Galaxy’s operations, provide office space and a restaurant with a seating capacity of 130.

The runway project extends the existing primary landing runway from 6,000 feet to 7,500 feet, to accommodate bigger corporate jets.

Of the $17.830 million for the runway extension, $15.28 million is provided through the Texas Department of Transportation. The remaining $2.543 million is the county’s match.

Work has begun creating turnarounds that vehicle traffic could use when each side of Airport Road is permanently severed by the runway extension.

“Having those cul-de-sacs will make it easier for school buses and other vehicles to turn around at the airport right of way,” said Airport Manager Scott Smith.

A temporary cement plant is beginning to be erected on the southeast side of the airport property.

Closure of the airport is to take place in mid-to-late October, Smith said.

Other construction deadlines with the runway project include taxiway reconstruction (Dec. 2014), instrumentation approach (Sept. 24) and substantial completion (June 2014).

Related Content


    Cost (includes construction, construction management, testing, on-site project representation, and project closeout:)

    Total cost: $17.830 M

    TxDOT Funds .... $15.286 M (85.7 percent

    County Funds $ 2.543. M (14.3 percent)

    Major project elements:

    • Extend and mark runway 1,500 ft. with signs, lights

    • Extend and mark taxiway 1,500 ft. with signs, lights

    • Construct and mark holding apron at new runway end

    • Reconstruct section of runway and sections of taxiways

    • Relocate FAA approach lighting system

    • Relocate FAA Instrument Landing System equipment

    • Install new Precision Approach Path lighting aid

    • Relocate existing Precision Approach Path lighting aid

    • Relocate utilities for runway extension

    • Terminate section of Airport Road

    • Upgrade medium intensity runway edge lights to high intensity for RW 14-32

    • Install fencing

    • Clear runway protection zone

Original article:

Collier commissioners don’t renew contract for Airport Director Chris Curry


The Collier County Airport Authority’s top executive will soon be out of a job.

On Tuesday, county commissioners voted not to re-hire Chris Curry.

“I can’t say I’m surprised,” Curry said.

County commissioners took two contentious votes regarding his position on Tuesday.

First, they decided to hand his authority to County Manager Leo Ochs.

“He’s got a whole county to manage not just an airport. Now, he’s got three airports,” said County Commissioner Donna Fiala.

Second, in a three to two decision, commissioners voted not to renew Curry’s contract.

“I think that it’s setting them up for failure,” Curry said.

“If I were them, I would be embarrassed,” Fiala said.

Curry says his job performance speaks for itself. He called it a personal vendetta.

“I think the writing has been on the wall with three of the commissioners for some time,” Curry said.
One that Curry says may have started early on in his three-year contract back in fall of 2011.

Commissioner Georgia Hiller and then-candidate Tim Nance were seen driving with an airport tenant in a restricted area on the runway at the Immokalee Airport. It was a violation of airport security.

“I think some of that maybe some of the embarrassment that was associated with that incident has continued to play a role,” Curry said.

At the time, Hiller claimed she was checking out the tenant’s claim he was being mistreated by the airport authority.

Tuesday, Hiller claimed the commission’s decision came down to money.

“It makes sense. Operationally, it always makes sense to consolidate,” Hiller said. “We have duplication of staffing that’s really unnecessary.”

It is six days and counting before Curry packs up and moves out.

But he says he’s not moving on yet.

“I’ll certainly keep all options on the table as it deals with Collier County from a legal perspective,” Curry said.

Original article:

Indonesian firm is lone bidder for P800-M PAF plane contract

MANILA, Philippines -- An Indonesian aircraft manufacturer was the only firm to bid for a Department of Defense contract to supply the Philippine Air Force with two medium-lift transport planes worth more than P800 million.

This was first revealed by reliable military sources and later confirmed by Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo who, when asked, said in a text message that the “big is (still) being evaluated.”

He did not elaborate.

According to one source, three companies bought bid documents but only PT Dirgantara Indonesia/Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) and Sikorsky Aircraft submitted offers.

When the bids were opened at the DND in Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday, only PT Dirgantara qualified as a bidder. It offered a price of P812,550,000.

Another source said Sikorsky had offered the C27 Skytruck while PT Dirgantara offered the NC21-200 Aviocar.

“Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez has given the (Air Force’s) technical working group seven days to evaluate (PT Dirgantara’s) bid,” he said.

The Indonesian firm describes the NC-212-200 in its website as “a light transport that was designed to operate in areas lacking in infrastructure and unpaved runways. It has a high-wing configuration and fixed landing gear, is fitted with twin turboprop engines, and has excellent Short Take Off and Landing capability.”

The firm was established in 1976 and bills itself as “one of the indigenous aerospace company in Asia with core competence in aircraft design, development and manufacturing of civilian and military regional commuter aircraft.”

Original article:

Cobb County Commission votes to aid McCollum Field (KRYY)

Cobb County, GA —   A military helicopter taxis down the runway, its tail wheel barely making contact with the pavement. A business jet has just arrived and is making its way along the taxiway toward the ramp. A twin-engine Cessna holds short of the taxiway, headed for the departure end of the runway.

Like most urban airports, Cobb County’s McCollum Field needs a traffic cop. That’s why there are controllers in the tower that overlooks the single-runway airport. But because of uncertainty over Washington’s ability to enact a spending plan by the end of the month, Cobb County is making ready for the worst.

“It’s like having an insurance policy,” said McCollum Airport Manager Karl Von Hagel. That policy is a move by the Cobb County Commission to allow the airport to pay for a skeleton crew of air traffic controllers to keep the tower open, albeit on a curtailed basis, should the federal government shut down as threatened Oct. 1.

But that’ll be enough, said Von Hagel. The county voted Tuesday night to spend more than $261,000 that will fund controllers through the next 12 months if necessary, protecting the airport’s $112.4 million contribution to the local economy.

It’s not entirely clear whether that is necessary, but it’s sufficiently unclear to have a Plan B, Von Hagel said. While air traffic controllers directly employed by the Federal Aviation Administration will stay on the job – they’re considered essential personnel and are therefore exempt from furloughs during government shut-downs – it is not at all clear whether controllers who are employed by companies that contract with the FAA are covered.

“We’re preparing for any unintended consequences,” said Von Hagel.

The federal government has shut down 17 times since 1976. The longest shutdown was 21 days in 1995-1996 as President Bill Clinton battled Congress over spending.

In this face-off, approximately half of all the approximately 2,000,000 people who work for the government could be sent home until lawmakers reach a budget agreement starting Oct. 1.

Story and Comments/Reaction:

Man facing charges for shining laser light at landing aircraft: Court orders arrest after accused does not turn up for hearing

A magistrate this morning ordered the arrest of a man who failed to turn up for a court hearing against him.

David Camilleri of Rabat was due to be charged with careless or negligent behaviour and endangering an aircraft and its passengers when he directed a laser beam at it from Mosta. The incident happened on June 16 at 9.30 p.m. while the aircraft was coming in to land. 

Police Inspector Martin Sammut confirmed to Magistrate Carol Peralta that Mr Camilleri was informed of the case. He said the accused told him he worked nights, found it hard to wake up in the mornings and would be turning up late for the sitting, due at 9am.

Police Inspector Edwin Cushcieri said, however, the accused told him he should be in court by 9.45am.

However, the accused was called six times between 10.30 and 10.40am and did not appear.

The magistrate ordered that he is arrested on Monday night and brought to court on Tuesday.

(Mr Camilleri in comments to said he was conducting an astronomy session and had been pointing out a star. He also explained his absence from court)

Original article and comments/reaction:

Federal Probe: Did Asiana Fail to Help Families After Crash?

In the first investigation of its kind, federal transportation officials are reviewing whether Asiana Airlines failed to meet legal obligations to help the families of passengers after one of its planes crashed at San Francisco International Airport.

Three people died and dozens were injured when Asiana Flight 214 clipped a seawall while landing July 6 following a trip from South Korea, where the airline is based. Under U.S. law, Asiana was required to provide a range of services to family members of the 291 passengers, from the prompt posting of a toll-free number to gather and distribute information, to providing transportation and lodging so family members can comfort injured loved ones.

Congress created the rules in the late 1990s following crashes where airlines were roundly criticized for ignoring family members. However, the government rarely audits the plans to check whether airlines can deliver the assurances they make on paper, and an Associated Press review of documents filed by two dozen foreign airlines found cases in which carriers did not update their plans.

Asiana's plan was last updated in 2004. After the crash, problems with the airline's response were almost immediately apparent.

Staff with the National Transportation Safety Board, which helps coordinate the "family assistance" response after major crashes, quickly raised concerns with counterparts at the U.S. Department of Transportation and presented additional evidence of problems about three weeks later, said Paul Sledzik, director of the board's Transportation Disaster Assistance Division.

Asiana spokeswoman Lee Hyomin declined to discuss the airline's family assistance plan, other than to say that Asiana publicized toll-free numbers in the U.S., Korea and China and used emails and phone calls to communicate with the families of passengers.

Citing the ongoing investigation, both the DOT and Sledzik declined to detail specifics. A review by the AP of the "family assistance plan" Asiana filed with the government showed the airline did not keep several important assurances, including that it would keep its emergency contact information current and post a public information number within an hour.

The first record AP found of a publicly circulated number was just over three hours after the crash, but that was to an automated Asiana reservations line. The following day, the airline posted a different number, which it then changed several days later.

"Imagine the panic of a family member who realizes their loved one was on Asiana calling each hospital, calling the airport, calling anyone they can," said Robert A. Jensen, CEO of Kenyon International Emergency Services, which has contracts with hundreds of airlines to help after a crash.

The day after the accident, the NTSB called Jensen to ask if Kenyon was assisting the airline. The answer was no; Asiana had dropped the firm in 2008 and apparently did not sign up a substitute.

The airline also promised the NTSB a list of emergency contact names and numbers for "key management officials." The safety board said that information in Asiana's plan was not current, and that the airline had ignored a request in June 2012 for an update.

Attorney Michael Verna represents passengers and family members who are suing the South Korean airline.

One client, Hector Machorro, was waiting at the airport for the arrival of his wife and young son. After the crash, he was taken to an airport lounge where he waited "for hours not getting any information," Verna said, despite the requirement that airlines provide families with timely updates on passengers.

Machorro finally got word from his wife, who called his cellphone from San Francisco General Hospital, where she and their 8-year-old son were being treated for bruising. It wasn't until several days later that Asiana called Machorro, according to Verna, and then the airline's representative asked only about his son.

In looking at Asiana's performance, the AP reviewed the plans of other foreign airlines and found instances of outdated information, as well as the failure to file required updates. Many of the documents were just a few pages long, and contained not much beyond a list of assurances that the U.S. government has little way of knowing whether an airline can keep.

For example, Malaysia Airlines last updated its plan in 2000 and did not file a required addendum in 2004, after Congress updated family assistance requirements. The DOT was unaware of this until an inquiry from AP. Malaysia's last plan on file lists Kenyon as its emergency services provider, but that is no longer true.

When AP pointed out the lack of an updated plan, DOT spokesman Bill Mosley said the agency was giving Malaysia Airlines 21 days to refile, which on Tuesday he said it had done. The airline declined comment.

Asiana's case is the first time in 10 major accidents covered since U.S. family assistance laws were passed that the NTSB had relayed concerns to regulators at the DOT, and the first time the agency has investigated. "In every past instance, it was clear that the carrier was complying, so our process was to go no further," DOT spokesman Mosley wrote in response to emailed questions.

Airlines face up to a $27,500 penalty for each family assistance law violation.

Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, and news researcher Barbara Sambriski in New York contributed to this report. 

Original article:

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA120 
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 129: Foreign operation of Asiana Airlines
Accident occurred Saturday, July 06, 2013 in San Francisco, CA
Aircraft: BOEING 777-200ER, registration: HL7742
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 6, 2013, about 1128 pacific daylight time, Asiana Airlines flight 214, a Boeing 777-200ER, registration HL7742, impacted the sea wall and subsequently the runway during landing on runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Francisco, California. Of the 4 flight crewmembers, 12 flight attendants, and 291 passengers, about 182 were transported to the hospital with injuries and 3 passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The regularly scheduled passenger flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 129 between Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea, and SFO. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

Henrico County, Virginia: Did you hear a low-flying plane last night?

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – The low-flying plane heard circling Henrico County Tuesday night was a police plane.

Henrico Police were investigating after a home break-in was reported in the area of Brigham and Townes Rds., between Skipwith and Glenside Rds., in the West End.

The thieves, police on scene said, were stealing copper wiring from a vacant home.

Police have not yet said whether they found the suspects.

Call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 if you have any information in this case.

Original article:

Cleveland Hopkins nonstop to Austin launches this morning

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- New nonstop service between Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Austin, Texas, begins this morning with a flight leaving Cleveland at 8:40 a.m.

The flight is scheduled to arrive at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 10:50 a.m. The returning flight departs Austin at 2 p.m. and arrives in Cleveland at 5:55 p.m.

"With this new service, we will be connecting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Live Music Capital of World," Airport Director Ricky Smith said in a statement.

Scheduled flight information on the airport's web site shows the Austin nonstop leaving Cleveland on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The new service will operate with United's 50-seat CRJ-700 aircraft.

Evan Koppel, United's regional sales director, said the new service "will connect Cleveland travelers to one of the Southwest region's most vibrant cultural and economic centers," as well as bring Austin travelers to a United hub with over 60 nonstop destinations.

United and United Express operate about 175 daily flights out of Cleveland Hopkins, about 75 percent of the airport's daily outbound flights. Before the 2010 merger of United and Continental, the two airlines flew a combined 210 flights out of Cleveland.

Story and comments/reaction:

Delivery of first China jetliner delayed again


The delivery date of China's long-delayed first commercial jet airliner has been pushed back again, the manufacturer said Wednesday, the latest setback for China's ambitions to challenge market leaders Boeing and Airbus.

Originally promised for 2007, the plane was most recently expected late this year, but Comac Chairman Jin Zhuanglong said it will now be ready in mid-2014.

"The development will not always go smoothly, and the program cannot be accomplished at one stroke," Jin was quoted as saying in comments released by the company.

Jin blamed delays in the ARJ21 program on China's inexperience in designing, building and certifying commercial jetliners. But he said the program is still on track for delivery next year to launch customer Chengdu Airlines, a small Chinese regional carrier that has ordered 30 of the planes.

Delays in the 90-seat ARJ21 could have knock-on effects for the development of the bigger and more ambitious C919, intended to compete with Boeing's 737 and the Airbus A320. The U.S. Federal Aviation Agency will not issue crucial U.S. certification for the larger plane until the ARJ21 is certified.

Beijing has built up state-owned "national champions" not only in aviation but in industries from oil and telecoms to steel and banking with monopolies, low-cost bank loans and other favors. The government defends the privileges as necessary for creating companies that can compete globally but they are no guarantee of success, with Chinese state firms still lagging far behind Western competitors.

China launched the ARJ21 project in 2002 as rising household incomes sparked a massive expansion of the domestic airline industry that continues to this day. State-owned Comac was formed to build the aircraft in Shanghai and a host of foreign contractors signed on to provide avionics and other crucial systems.

Jin said four prototypes have made 2,000 flights. Two customer aircraft are in final assembly and another is under construction, he said.

Despite its problems, Comac already has about 240 firm orders and options for the ARJ21, mostly from domestic carriers, but also from GE Capital Aviation Services and Lao Airlines. It has even more, about 380, for the 174-seat C919.

Beijing prioritizes homegrown industries, which likely has given a boost to the sales. Beijing must approve all major airplane purchases and has considerable power over financing and other inducements that could sway domestic airlines into ordering the jets.

Equipment maker Honeywell has contracts with both planes, and its Asia-Pacific president for aerospace, Briand Greer, said delays are to be expected given the complexity of bringing together global suppliers and given China's newness to the Western certification process.

"It's a very, very complex thing to do. From my perspective, working with Comac isn't any more difficult than working with the other guys," Greer said in a recent interview.

In some ways, working with Comac is better than with established companies such as Airbus and Boeing because the Chinese company has greater appreciation for suggested improvements, Greer said. "They're much more open to what the suppliers are saying."

Greer said he has no doubt of the Chinese aircraft's eventual viability, given the government's massive backing.

"They made it a national agenda. They're putting hundreds of millions of dollars into it. It will be successful," he said.

Most of the customers for the ARJ21 will be Chinese carriers and a few small airlines in developing countries tempted by generous prices and financing terms, said Greg Waldron, Asia Managing Editor at Flightglobal magazine in Singapore.

However, both it and the C919 are "as much about gaining experience and know-how as they are about building competitive airliners," Waldron said.

"China is very serious about being a global aerospace player, and its current programs should be viewed as long term investments that will only start bearing fruit decades from now," Waldron said.

Original article:

Lockheed Fighter Jet Gains Momentum: South Korean Move Reflects a Shift in the Industry

Updated September 24, 2013, 7:15 p.m. ET


The Wall Street Journal

A U.S. Marine F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jet sits in a hangar after the rollout ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in February 2012.

South Korea's decision Tuesday to delay a multibillion-dollar fighter-jet deal reflects a shift in the industry in favor of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Joint Strike Fighter. Despite Lockheed's high-profile travails, its competitors now face an even steeper climb to achieve success.

The South Korean decision was a blow to Boeing Co., whose revamped F-15 fighter—known as the Super Eagle—had been expected to win the 60-plane deal valued at up to $7.7 billion. South Korea's air force already flies the F-15, and of the three bids submitted, only Boeing's fit under the country's budget cap.

But South Korea's defense ministry said it would reopen the fighter contest because Boeing's jet didn't meet Seoul's need to counter North Korea's nuclear threat with radar-evading jets.

The decision gives Lockheed and its partners in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project more time to cut their jet's cost and rebid for the contract, which has been contested for nine years and is one of the biggest fighter-jet contracts now open.

Analysts say that competing fighter programs face challenges that could eventually leave the F-35—which has Pentagon backing—as the only Western advanced fighter available.

Boeing is working through an order for 84 F-15s from Saudi Arabia signed in 2011 that is expected to keep its production line running through 2019, and earlier this year it sold 12 of its EA-18G Growlers—a version of the F-18—to Australia. Winning the South Korean order would have extended the F-15 line until 2021 or 2022. Boeing still sees opportunities in the Middle East and Asia to sustain the jet and the F-18, according to a senior industry executive.

Boeing is also looking at the potential for developing a sixth generation of jets that would come after the F-35, though any business wouldn't come until the late 2020s or beyond.

Richard Aboulafia, who tracks the market for Teal Group, a Fairfax, Va.-based consultant, said any move out of the market by Boeing "will mark the end of an era and the end of competition in the U.S. market."

Budget cuts in the U.K. and Germany, meanwhile, have limited sales of Europe's Eurofighter Typhoon. The consortium building the jets—led by BAE Systems PLC, units of European Aeronautic & Defence & Space Co. and Finmeccanica SpA and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC—continues to pursue orders in the Middle East, but some analysts believe the plane won't survive.

"You could say all they're doing is delaying the inevitable," said Rob Stallard of RBC Capital Markets. Like other defense-industry analysts, he believes a similar fate awaits the only other large Western jet-fighter program—the Rafale from France's Dassault Aviation SA —after it fulfills a long-awaited order from India.

Eurofighter and Dassault both say they have no plans to end their fighter programs. They continue to battle for limited overseas business, including a long-delayed order from Brazil and opportunities in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Fighter-jet makers in the U.S., Europe and Russia are expected to produce jets valued at $16.9 billion this year, having averaged $15.7 billion over the past five years, according to the Teal Group. With the increase in F-35 production, Teal expects that to rise above $20 billion a year toward the end of the decade.

Lockheed accounted for almost a quarter of the market this year. The F-35 is scheduled to officially enter service with the U.S. Marine Corps starting in 2015. Analysts forecast the plane that year will account for 15% of Lockheed revenue, which hit $47.2 billion last year. Teal Group projects the F-35's market share will be 68% by 2022.

Changing military priorities and the emergence of perceived new threats in both regions—notably China and Iran—have made air power a top priority for defense planners, even in an age of budget austerity.

The F-35 Lightning II is what's known as a fifth-generation fighter, with stealthy radar-evading abilities as well as the latest electronic hardware. That gives it a crucial advantage over less-advanced jets and enables it to coordinate with army and naval forces.

Boeing and Eurofighter contend their jets have elements of fifth-generation aircraft, but U.S. military planners apply the designation only to the F-35 and the F-22 Raptor, an advanced fighter developed by Lockheed and Boeing. The F-22 finished production in 2011 after the Pentagon cut its order to 187 from an original plan for 750.

"If we are to be a global power capable of deterring and defeating possible threats, then we need fifth-generation aircraft, " said Gen. Mike Hostage, head of the U.S. Air Combat Command, last week.

The F-35, led by Lockheed, Northrop Grumman Corp., and the Pratt & Whitney arm of United Technologies Corp., has become notorious for design problems and cost overruns since the consortium was picked over Boeing in 2001.

That hasn't deterred the Pentagon from lining up the jet as the sole replacement for an array of aging fighters. The U.S. services plan to order over 2,700 of the jets in the next 30 years, and nine other nations—including the U.K. and Japan—have committed to buy the planes.

Still, Lockheed and its partners face big challenges. The F-35 has to deliver its promised performance and become far cheaper to buy and run. The latest batch ordered by the Pentagon cost just under $100 million each—without engines.


Search suspended for missing pilot, plane near Yakutat

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Eagle River pilot remains missing as the official search for a plane last located in Southeast Alaska has been suspended.

47-year-old Alan Foster was flying a Piper PA-32 en route from Yakutat to Merrill Field on September 9, when the plane dropped off radar about 42 miles northwest of Yakutat, near the Malaspina Glacier. Yakutat is about 225 miles northwest of Juneau and 220 miles southeast of Cordova.

On Monday, the Commander of 11th Air Force, under recommendation by the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, suspended search efforts.

“Few leads and poor weather in the early days of searching hampered efforts, but eventually the entire search area was saturated with aircraft in an attempt to find the missing pilot,” said SMSgt Robert Carte, a senior controller with the 11th Air Force RCC.

According to the RCC, there were 197 searchers in 57 aircrafts that flew 84 sorties and accumulated 279.1 flight hours while searching for Foster.

The plane did not have a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter, which would have alerted authorities by satellite upon crashing.

Search parties included members from the United States Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Air National Guard, the Alaska Civil Air Patrol, which included CAP squadrons from Birchwood, Fairbanks, Eielson, Merrill Field, Kenai, Valdez, and Juneau.

“The AKRCC has researched and resolved all possible leads and exhaustive search efforts in the area have proven unsuccessful,” said SMSgt Carte.

Original article:

Pilot transports stranded turtle from New Jersey to South Carolina

A private pilot from New Jersey stepped up to the plate to transport a threatened sea turtle to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program for treatment.

William Kindle, a board member for the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey, flew the 75-pound juvenile loggerhead to Charleston on his Cessna Citation II aircraft on Monday. The injured sea turtle is now receiving treatment at the Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital, bringing the total number of patients to seven.

More on the new turtle patient:
The loggerhead sea turtle was found in early September at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Forked River, New Jersey, missing the majority of its right rear flipper.

Upon admission, staff at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center discovered that the turtle was not using its left rear flipper, essentially leaving it with no back flippers. The Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital staff, having just released three sea turtles back into the wild, responded to the Northeastern Sea Turtle Coordinator’s request for help for the sea turtle with long term treatment. Rehabilitation for the turtle will include physical therapy of the paralyzed limb and cold laser therapy for the wounded limb.

How to Help:
You can help care for sea turtles during recovery in the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program by going to and making a donation. You can also find out more about visiting the hospital as part of a behind-the-scenes tour now offered twice daily, seven days a week, both schedule and more information are available online.

Original article:

Boeing sends out layoff notices

Boeing on Friday issued layoff notices to 447 employees across the company, 266 of them in Western Washington. At the same time, a separate group of engineers learned that more cuts are looming. 

Boeing on Friday issued layoff notices to 447 employees across the company, 266 of them in Western Washington.

The layoffs, to take effect Nov. 22, are part of the wave of cuts Boeing management announced in the spring, when the company said the Puget Sound-area work force would be reduced this year by about 800 machinists and 700 engineering staff.

Of those who got layoff notices locally on Friday, about 220 were in the commercial-jet division, 30 on the defense side and the remainder from smaller corporate-support units. The commercial-jet unit’s layoffs include about 80 production workers, members of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union; about 70 engineers, members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) union; and about 60 technical staff, also SPEEA members.

Separately on Friday, a large group of Boeing engineering staff responsible for configuring aircraft interiors was informed by management that cuts to their unit are looming.

The chief engineers responsible for the aircraft interiors on all the different jet programs sent out a joint letter to their engineering staff saying that because the new 787 and 747-8 airplane programs have moved from development to production, the consequent reduction in work means staffing cuts.

“In the next month, the managers and skill teams will be speaking with many of you regarding redeployment to another group or program, releasing some of our contract labor force, and in some cases, layoffs,” the letter stated.

Original article:

Mandalay-Based Two Cessna Planes Will Serve As Charter Flights

A couple of  Cessna planes (Grand Caravan) made in USA will reach Myanmar on 28 October 2013 and both will be based on Mandalay for flight, said U Khin Nyein, Deputy General Manager of Myanmar Airways.

The two planes will be placed in the former Chanmyathazi airport of Mandalay Region and the flights will launch as soon as permission has been given by Department of Aviation. 

“We’ve sent pilots and engineers to Wichita in Kansas State of the US to attend the training course there so that they can operate both planes,” U Khin Maung Nyein said adding that a couple of planes will serve as both charter flight and sightseeing tour.

“Both flights have a capacity of 14 seats each, but we carry only 12 passengers. If we want to carry more loads, we will need to reduce the number of passengers. A plane can carry 8,750 lb the most,” said an official of Myanmar Airways.

This kind of plane is known to be used for taking sick or injured people, aerial photography, project and rescue.

“It is good to hire them as both charter flight and sightseeing tour. This sort of light plane is a private flight. Sometimes, some families visit Myanmar in such flights,” said an air controller of Yangon International Airport.

It is reported that the two planes equipped with high-tech electronics manufactured by Cessna Company in USA and their engines, PT6A-114A Pratt & Whitney were made in Canada.

Original article:

Doing business on the fly

When George Fendyk flies his Cessna light aircraft to Elmore field days next week, he'll be in very familiar territory.  

As co-founder of Burder Industries at Wangaratta, Mr Fendyk, 68, has been coming to the event for the past 25 years and sees it as an invaluable marketing exercise.

Even though son Adam has long since taken the managerial reins at Burder, Mr Fendyk still enjoys a hands-on role.

"I was born in Germany in 1944, but raised in Stanley and Beechworth," he said.

"I started my working life as a PMG telephone technician in the city, but when my dad, who was a butcher in Beechworth, rang one day to ask whether I'd like to come and work with him, I said I'd love to.

"I butchered then for another 23 years and eventually bought the business. Dad retired and it went on from there.

"When I was about 43, I took a break from butchering and bought in with Fabian Burder to enter the agricultural area," Mr Fendyk said.

"We started with five staff and a $350,000 turnover and I did the promotional work while Fabian took care of the engineering side.

"We made a good product, so it was easy to sell.

"Over 15 years or so, we grew to a $9 million turnover and 80 staff before Fabian stepped out about 10 years ago.

"My son, Adam, and I bought him out. Adam's now taken over from me, which is brilliant - he's grown the business enormously since then.

"I'm still managing director of the company, but Adam's been the CEO for nine years.

"I basically work under him, which is great - it means I can back off and do other things."

A pilot with some 30 years experience, Mr Fendyk regularly flies around the country in his near-new Cessna from his Beechworth home.

"I incorporate business everywhere I go," he said. "If I'm in a town, I make sure to drop in on the dealer. I've taken the plane as far as Perth and Karumba, up in the Gulf Country, and across to Tassie.

"It's a nice little aircraft which does about 120 knots at the best of times. I'll fly in to Elmore next week to stay the full three days.

"Over the years, I think the field days have been the only real way to get people to remember what you do.

"It's a very solid way of getting your product out.

"You meet people at the grassroots - the real farmers who know what's going on.

"We've been going to Elmore for about 25 years and, these days, do just a few regular ones each year - Henty, Elmore and Warragul, plus one other in Queensland."

Mr Fendyk has taken charge of some specialty product lines at Burder. Making race car trailer transporters and the Hodgco scraper are in his department.

"We've made a heap of trailers since we took over a company in Corowa about 12 years ago in the interests of diversification," he said.

"We now make about three of those a year.

"Over the years, we've tried not to put all our eggs in one basket - we've been involved in real estate and subdivision, plus a retirement village project.

"I play golf, I go fishing and camping and take it up to the young bucks in pool comps.

"I like to keep busy."

Original article:

Hruban awarded Wright Brothers award

STEVENSVILLE - John R. Hruban of Easton has been awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  

The award was given on September 14 by FAA employee Sandra McClure at the Bay Bridge Airport.

It recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 or more years.

Recipients are awarded a certificate and a lapel pin. They are also recognized in a Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Roll of Honor that can be accessed online.

Hruban has been actively involved in most aspects of general aviation, including Airport Management, flight instruction, commercial flight operations, and sales. He has done marketing for several aircraft companies, importing and exporting aircraft worldwide.

He has worked as a Mooney aircraft dealer.

Hruban worked as a federal aviation investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, where he determined “probable cause” for over 580 accidents.

He and his wife Elva Pierce are now retired and living in Easton.

Original article: