Aviation security strategy

At a meeting in Moscow on 21st and 22nd November, European Member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) committed to a wide-ranging strategy aimed at significantly improving aviation security at the national and regional levels. This Regional Conference on Aviation Security was the third in a series of similar meetings around the world aimed at implementing an ICAO Assembly Declaration on Aviation Security adopted as a global framework to deal with new and emerging threats through greater international co-operation on passenger and cargo security.

EU airports package

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reacted cautiously to the publication on 1st December of the European Commission’s Airport Package of legislation which is aimed at addressing the critical issues of European airport capacity and competitiveness.

IATA highlighted two of the package’s positive features:

  • IATA welcomes the further liberalization of the ground handling market which should allow airlines to provide a better and more efficient service at European airports.
  • IATA acknowledged that by legalizing secondary trading of airport slots, the package provides a regulatory foundation for a practice that has become widespread. Transparent rules will ensure that this is done in fairness to all parties concerned.

Air race and air show safety

It was annaounced from Washington on 2nd December that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is to hold a hearing on air race and air show
safety. During the one-day meeting, the Board will gather information on the safety regulations and oversight in the planning and execution of these events.
Regulators, aviation organizations, industry groups, and airport authorities will be questioned by the Board about safety practices, procedures, and protocols.

Harrier retirement and sale

The sale of 72 Harrier aircraft to the United States was confirmed on 24th november by the UK Ministry of Defence, saving around £1 billion overall. The airframes and associated parts will be used as a major source of spares to support the US Marine Corps Harrier AV-8B Fleet.

Single European sky

It was reported on 28th November that CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, has called on European Member States to provide political leadership and address the key issues delaying progress towards achieving a Single European Sky (SES).

CANSO’s member European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) have reaffirmed their commitment to the SES, and their support for the performance scheme as a mechanism for driving progress.

Science achievement award

A world class innovation to shield Australian Department of Defence ships and aircraft from radar surveillance has earned an Australian scientist the 2011 Minister’s Award for Achievement in Defence Science. The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, on 21st November presented the award to Dr Cheng Anderson from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) for her pioneering role in reducing the vulnerability of Australia’s Defence platforms over three decades.

Next generation of fighter pilots gear up

News was received from Defence Public Affairs that Australia’s next generation of
fighter pilots were set to graduate as F/A-18 Hornet pilots as they prepare to return to RAAF Townsville in North Queensland to participate in Exercise HIGH

The pilots from No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit at RAAF Base Williamtown in
New South Wales are expected to be put through their paces during the final phase
of the six-month long operational conversion course.

News from IFALPA – RVSM

Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) was due to be introduced to the airspace of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on 17th November 2011. It is notable, according to IFALPA, that while the majority of these States will be using Flight Level (feet) based altimetry, Mongolia has opted for a metric application.

Accordingly, IFALPA has published two Briefing Leaflets using data obtained
from the affected States:

nws0299-ifalpa-russian-rvsm-introduction.pdf and


ATSB investigation: total power loss

At about 2010 Western Standard Time on 29th January 2010, a single engine Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, registered VH-NWO, was being operated on a night medical evacuation flight from Derby to Kununurra, Western Australia with four persons on board. The pilot reported that about 56 km after takeoff, as the aircraft was passing through flight level 180, the engine exhibited a number of problems before the pilot turned the aircraft back to the departure airport. The engine failed and the pilot glided the aircraft to land at Derby. There were no injuries. Subsequent inspection confirmed that the engine propeller reduction gearbox had seized.

European Navigation Conference 2011

It is now less than a week away from the opening of the 2011 European Navigation
Conference which will be hosted in London by the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN). The spectacular venue is the new Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in Prescot
Street, London E1 8GP (Tel: 020 7959 5000) close to Tower Bridge and HM Tower of London.

ENC 2011 will run from 29th November to 1st December, with a preliminary day of tutorials on 28th November.

Take a look at the programme.

Further information is available on www.enc2011.org.

RAAF award

A ceremony was held in Brisbane on 12th November recognising the Royal Australian Air Force’s receipt of a top international aviation award. The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN) presented its Grand Master’s Australian Medal to the Air Mobility Control Centre (AMCC) for its work co-ordinating the Australian Defence Force’s air lift responses to a series of natural disasters in early 2011.

Emirates rail

It was announced from London on 2nd November that Lloyd’s Register EMEA had been appointed by Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, as the independent safety assessor (ISA) for the extensive 1,200-kilometre rail line to be constructed across the region, stretching from the Arabian Gulf to the Indian Ocean.

As the ISA, Lloyd’s Register will help to ensure the safety of passengers, operating staff and members of the public at every stage of the railway’s development, from design through to the commencement of stage-one freight services in 2014 and the addition of passenger services during stages two and three.

ECDIS training

It was announced from Singapore at the beginning of November that ClassNK had issued its first Type Specific Training Course approval for an ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) Training Course offered by the FURUNO INS Training Centre in the City. This approval, which coincides with the grand opening of the new training centre, certifies that the course offered complies with the leading classification society’s new Standard for Maritime Education & Training.

Modernisation of Medina Airport, Saudi Arabia

It was announced from Jeddah on 1st November that IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Saudi Arabia expand Medina’s international airport under a public-private partnership project that is the first of its kind in the region and is expected to spur economic development and help accommodate a growing number of religious pilgrims.

Galileo satellites handed over to control centre in Germany

Europe’s first two Galileo satellites have reached their final operating orbits, opening the way for activating and testing their navigation payloads, it was reported by the European Space Agency on 4th November.

Marking the formal end of their LEOP (Launch and Early Operations Phase), control of the satellites was passed on 3rd November from the CNES French space agency centre in Toulouse to the Galileo Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany.

Oberfaffenhofen, operated by the German Aerospace Center DLR, will be in charge of the satellites’ command and control for the whole of their 12-year operating lives, it is understood.

Cockpit image recording on helicopters

Recent technology has produced small, lightweight data recording devices suitable for use in small helicopters that lack traditional flight data recorders. The most popular models of these devices have built-in video recorders that image the cockpit area.

IFALPA pilots, it was reported on 2nd November, have long supported the
use of flight data recorders recognising the potential they hold for improving
flight safety.

Galileo launch progress

On 21st October the first pair of satellites for Europe’s Galileo global navigation satellite system was launched into orbit by a Russian Soyuz vehicle from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, creating a milestone mission, reported ESA.

The Soyuz VS01 flight, operated by Arianespace, started with liftoff from the new launch complex in French Guiana at 1030 GMT (1230 CEST) on 21st October. All of the Soyuz stages performed perfectly and the Fregat-MT upper stage released the Galileo satellites into their target orbit at 23 222 km altitude, 3 hours
49 minutes after liftoff.

The 6th GNSS Vulnerabilities and solutions conference


A Conference Organising Committee comprising The Royal Institute of Navigation, London, the Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy, University of Nottingham, (UK), and the Faculty of Maritime Studies, University of Rijeka, Croatia have extended an invitation to the 6th GNSS Vulnerabilities and Solutions 2012 Conference to be held from 21st to 24th May, 2012 in Baška, Krk Island, Croatia.

After longitude – modern navigation in context

Call for papers deadline extended to 20th October 2011

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, 22nd and 23rd March 2012

Following a successful meeting in 2010, the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Institute of Navigation are planning a second symposium to bring together current research in the history of navigation.

The symposium will explore the wider impact of the ‘discovery’ of longitude and the ways in which navigation has evolved since then. In particular it will aim to investigate the connections between navigational advances and the development of exploration, surveying, commerce and empire from the 19th century to today.

ICAO and industry join forces

On 20th September ICAO presented a proposal to the international aviation community that will assist in the modernization of air traffic management systems
in order to cope with the anticipated doubling of passenger traffic to some five
billion by the year 2030.

Some 500 representatives from States and industry attended ICAO Headquarters
for the Global Air Navigation Industry Symposium (GANIS) from 20th to 23rd September.

ICAO and EC agreement

In order to improve global aviation safety, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Commission (EC) agreed on 22nd September on the use of a single repository and a common categorization scheme (taxonomy) to report all aviation accidents and incidents worldwide, it was announced from Montreal.

Under the agreement, ICAO will promote, among its 190 Member States, the European Co-ordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS), developed by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) for collecting and analyzing aviation safety data as well as the sharing of safety information.

Total power loss – Cessna 208 aircraft

A Cessna Aircraft 208 (VH-UMV) was engaged in parachuting operations from Cairns Airport, Queensland on 31st December 2009. While climbing through 12,500 ft in preparation for a parachute drop, the engine failed. The parachutists exited the aircraft and the pilot completed a glide approach and uneventful landing at Cairns Airport.

RAAF first flight for new air tanker

Australian Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced on 16th September that the A39-002 KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport has completed its first flight in Royal Australian Air Force service.

ATSB investigation

On 18 August 2011, an Aérospatiale Industries AS355F2 helicopter, registered VH-NTV, was operating in an area east of Lake Eyre, South Australia. On board were the pilot and two passengers. The helicopter landed on an island in the Cooper Creek inlet, about 145 km north of Marree, SA, at about 1715 Central Standard Time. At about 1900, the helicopter departed the island, and soon after takeoff it collided with terrain. The pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed by the impact forces and a fuel-fed fire.

New ATSB confidential reporting scheme

Key to an effective confidential reporting scheme is getting the right balannce between disclosing information to improve transport safety while maintaining confidentiality to protect a person’s identity. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) invites comments to help it get this balance right. The ATSB is particularly interested in any concerns readers have about the proposed reforms – whether they agree with the new regulations or would like to see more changes.

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