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Friday, August 7th, 2020

FAA to fine Boeing US$1.25 million for exerting undue pressure on staff performing FAA tasks

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to fine Boeing US$1.25 million for managers at its South Carolina plant exerting undue pressure on staff who were carrying out safety oversight on behalf of the FAA. It is alleged that certain managers put pressure on workers to perform inspections on an aircraft before it was eligible for inspection, that staff were harassed into speeding up inspections, workers were threatened with replacement and retaliatory measures taken against a unit manager who filed an undue pressure report.

Subsequent to the two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes the FAA has come under criticism for deploying a common practice of delegating certain of its certification tasks to manufacturers of the aircraft and there have now been questions raised about the program. In two civil penalty notices issued to Boeing by the FAA it is further alleged that the planemaker Boeing failed to ensure administrators could effectively represent the FAA’s interests and that a number of Boeing managers “exerted undue pressure or interfered” with people performing FAA tasks. In response, Boeing said the proposed fines “are a clear and strong reminder of our obligations” under the Organization Designation Authorization program, or ODA. “Undue pressure of any type is inconsistent with our values and will not be tolerated,” it added.

According to Reuters news agency, Boeing employees tasked with handling certification work on behalf of the FAA - so-called ODA unit members - at Boeing’s South Carolina factory were subjected to undue pressure or interference from at least four Boeing managers between September 2018 and May 2019. A 2016 Boeing survey released by a congressional panel found nearly 40% of 523 employees handling safety-certification work perceived “potential undue pressure” from managers, such as bullying or coercion. A group of international regulators which was reviewing 737 MAX certification also pinpointed evidence of “undue pressure”.


Bombardier Aviation reports revenue of US$1.2 billion in second-quarter 2020

Bombardier's Aviation-segment has reported revenues of US$1.2 billion during the second-quarter, reflecting a lower level of production activity and deliveries as the corporation suspended business aircraft operations in Canada and key aerostructures operations in Mexico and Belfast due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting in the last weeks of April and through the month of May, operations gradually resumed with new safety measures in place, allowing Aviation to deliver 20 business aircraft during the quarter, including five Global 7500. Bombardier’s worldwide customer service operations have continued to operate largely uninterrupted throughout the pandemic. Service centres have shown resilience maintaining a high level of activity at maintenance facilities, partially offset by lower revenues related to the decrease in customer flight utilization.

Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBIT margins of 4.5% and (1.6%), respectively, reflect lower volumes during the quarter as result of disruptions from the global COVID-19 pandemic, combined with low contribution of early Global 7500 units. Reported EBIT of US$442 million during the quarter reflects the US$496 million accounting gain on the disposal of the CRJ Series aircraft program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.

As operations recover in the second half of the year, aircraft deliveries are set to accelerate relative to the first half of the year, towards a seasonal peak in the fourth quarter supported by Aviation’s US$12.9 billion backlog


AEM Limited achieves JOSCAR accreditation

AEM Limited has achieved JOSCAR accreditation. JOSCAR (the Joint Supply Chain Accreditation Register) is a collaborative tool used by the aerospace, defense and security industry to act as a single repository for pre-qualification and compliance information. Using JOSCAR can determine if a supplier is “fit for business”.

AEM Limited, an independent European overhaul and repair facility, has been in the business for over 60 years. The company has built a solid reputation in the aerospace industry, providing a broad range of services to international and regional airlines, helicopter operators, air frame manufacturers and military organizations.

United now cleaning flight decks with UVC lighting

United Airlines is now cleaning pilot flight decks with Ultraviolet C (UVC) lighting technology on most aircraft at its hub airports to disinfect the flight deck interior and continue providing pilots with a sanitary work environment. The airline is using handheld, AUVCo blades from the American Ultraviolet company to kill any viruses that may reside on sensitive switches and touch screen displays within the flight deck.

United has tested a variety of uses for UVC lighting as a disinfectant and consulted with its United CleanPlus partners at the Cleveland Clinic to determine that the flight deck was the most effective use of the technology.

"Safety is our highest priority and we continue to research, test and roll out new technologies to keep our aircraft and terminals safe for both customers and crew," said Bryan Quigley, United's senior vice president of flight operations. "Flight decks have many working parts, screens and components that are challenging to clean with traditional hand wipes and liquids, especially for someone who isn't a pilot. The UVC lighting gives us a faster, more effective disinfection of one of the most important areas of the aircraft."


Finnair traffic picking up in July

In July, Finnair carried 145,300 passengers, which is 90.0% less than in the corresponding period of 2019 but 163.0% more than in June 2020.

The overall capacity decreased in July by 88.7% year-on-year. Finnair operated 93 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average which was 24.4% compared to July 2019. The differences between capacity figures are explained by the shorter operated flights on average and by smaller operated aircraft compared to July 2019. Finnair's traffic decreased by 94.8%. The assenger load factor decreased by 48.2% points to 41.4%. All passenger traffic figures were still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic related capacity reductions, which was visible especially in the North Atlantic figures as there were no related scheduled flights in July.

The ASK decline in Asian traffic was 88.6%. The North Atlantic capacity decreased by 100.0%. In European traffic, the ASKs were down by 87.0%. The ASKs in domestic traffic decreased by 73.9%.

GE Veteran Russell Shelton joins GA Telesis

GA Telesis has announced that former GE Managing Director of Services Sales, Russell Shelton, has joined the company as President of its Engine Strategy Group. Shelton will oversee the company’s long-term engine MRO Strategy, coined, Turbine Visio. This will also include the leadership of the company’s Engine Services operation in Finland.

Shelton recently retired from GE, where he led the services sales team's reconstitution to refocus on services growth. He created a global team while re-integrating the commercial leadership responsibilities from other organizations. This resulted in double-digit yearly revenue and margin growth from 2015 forward.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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