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LATEST NEWS

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

U.S. House of Representatives committee approves FAA reform bill after fatal 737 MAX crashes

Bipartisan legislation has been unanimously approved by a U.S. House of Representatives committee to reform the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aircraft certification procedures after the fatal crashes of a Lion Air 737 MAX and Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX jet, killing all passengers and crew on board in both instances.

The beleaguered jet has been grounded since March 2019, the month of the Ethiopian Airlines crash. The House of Representatives will vote on the reform measures later on this year. Representative Peter DeFazio, who chairs the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said at a hearing: “Those crashes were the inevitable culmination of stunning acts and omissions within Boeing and the (FAA),” adding that the FAA had failed to ensure the safety of the 737 MAX and described the aircraft certification process as: “a broken system that broke the public’s trust.”

According to Reuters news agency, the bill would require American aircraft manufacturers to adopt safety management systems and complete system safety assessments for significant design changes, ensure that risk calculations are based on realistic assumptions of pilot response time, and share risk assessments with the FAA.

The House Transportation Committee Democrats reported that the two 737 MAX crashes were the “horrific culmination” of failures by Boeing and the FAA. The new bill will also provide added protection for whistleblower protection in the U.S. for manufacturing employees and will require FAA approval of new workers who are performing delegated certification tasks for the agency, and impose civil penalties on those who interfere with the performance of FAA-authorized duties.

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328SSG continues to successfully support Dornier 328 fleet

As part of its continuing global support for the Dornier 328 fleet, 328 Support Services GmbH (328SSG) has released that an EASA certified Dornier 328 Turboprop Full Flight Simulator (FFS) Level DG is now in Germany and will be available for training from October 1, 2020.

The simulator received its certification from the German Federal Aviation Office (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt – LBA) on September 25, 2020. The simulator will be operated in partnership with Simulator Training Solution GmbH (STS) although 328SSG will maintain ownership of the simulator and offer training, on a fixed rate per hour basis. The joint team has been preparing the simulator over the past few months and is now in a position to offer simulator slots and training courses on the Dornier 328 Turboprop aircraft.

SWISS CEO to step down at the end of 2020

Thomas Klühr is to leave Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) at the end of 2020 after some five years at the company and more than 30 years within the Lufthansa Group. He will simultaneously step down as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Edelweiss Air.

Klühr will in future serve on the new and yet-to-be-established Swiss Aviation Foundation. The Board of Directors will decide on his successor as SWISS CEO in the fourth-quarter period.

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Royal Thai Air Force awards Textron Aviation Defense US$162 million contract

Textron Aviation Defense announced a US$162 million contract with the Royal Thai Air Force for an Integrated Training System in support of operations at the Royal Thai Air Force Flying Training School at Kamphaeng Saen air base.

The contract is for 12 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II advanced military training aircraft, ground-based training systems for pilots and maintenance professionals, a mission planning and debrief system, spare parts and ground support equipment. The work in support of this contract will take place at the company’s Wichita, Kansas, facilities.

The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II acquisition is in accordance with the 10-year Royal Thai Air Force Purchase and Development (P&D) Plan published in the RTAF White Paper 2020. The plan focuses on the modernization of key capabilities and promoting the development of the Thai defense industry.

Textron Aviation Defense training of Royal Thai Air Force pilots and maintenance professionals is set to begin in Wichita in 2022 while the 12 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II aircraft — christened the T-6TH in Thailand — are expected to join the Royal Thai fleet between late 2022 and early 2023. Textron Aviation Defense plans to ferry two of the 12 aircraft to Thailand, crating and transporting the remaining 10 aircraft to Kamphaeng Saen air base.

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GA Telesis signs distribution agreement with Honeywell for UV Aircraft Cabin Cleaning system

GA Telesis has teamed with Honeywell and entered into a distribution agreement to act as a global distributor for Honeywell's UV Aircraft Cabin Cleaning system. This partnership is another step in the development of GA Telesis’ Tarmac Solutions Group's ability to offer a fully comprehensive Specialized Tooling and Ground Support Equipment solution for airlines around the world.

This cabin system utilizes Ultraviolet (UV) light to quickly traverse an aircraft cabin, galleys and lavatories in less than ten minutes. In addition to measures already being taken by airlines like the use of cabin air exchange and HEPA filters, this new system, when properly applied, reduces certain viruses and bacteria on airplane cabin surfaces and can assist in creating a cleaner environment for passengers and crew after the airplane lands and before each flight.

Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation receives first ever five-bladed Airbus H145 helicopter

Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first five-bladed H145 to the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation. This new version of the H145 light twin-engine helicopter brings a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission helicopter, increasing the useful load by 150 kg while delivering new levels of comfort, simplicity, and connectivity. It received certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in June and is now ready to take on a wide variety of missions.

The Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, founded by Norwegian doctor Jens Moe in 1978, is the mother company and owner of the Norwegian Air Ambulance. It brought HEMS to Norway by opening a first base near Oslo, using a BO105 helicopter rented from Germany. Today, Norwegian Air Ambulance operates all 13 HEMS bases in Norway and all 4 bases in Denmark using a 100% Helionix-equipped fleet of H135s and H145s. This helicopter is dedicated to support the Foundations important work to improve the HEMS operations.

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CDB Aviation hires Cronan Enright as Head of Strategy

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., (CDB Leasing), announced the addition of Cronan Enright to its Dublin-based executive team in the newly created position of Head of Strategy, reporting to Chief Investment Officer Craig Segor.

Enright has more than two decades of experience in leadership roles focused on strategy, commercial, and advisory, which he gained throughout the aviation value chain, having worked with a broad group of stakeholders, including aircraft lessors, manufacturers, airlines, investors, as well as suppliers.

Enright joins CDB Aviation from Avanti, an aviation consulting firm he founded and led, where his most recent client engagements have centered around strategic planning, growth strategy, crisis impact planning, portfolio strategy, market analysis, aircraft evaluation, fleet planning, investment diligence, airline analysis, aircraft placement, change management, and brand management.

STS Aviation Services creates 60 jobs in Birmingham to support aircraft conversion work

STS Aviation Services, a division of STS Aviation Group, has hired 60 aircraft maintenance professionals in Birmingham to support conversion work on the United Kingdom’s fleet of Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning (AEW) MK1 aircraft.

More than half of the 30 Boeing employees who will be based in Birmingham are already on site alongside their STS colleagues as preparation work ramps up this year. These Birmingham-based employees will join the 50 Boeing employees already working on the Wedgetail program throughout the U.K.

The Wedgetail conversion program was recently awarded to STS Aviation Services by Boeing and it will call upon both STS and Boeing teams to transform multiple 737 Next Generation aircraft into a modern airborne battle management fleet. The new Wedgetails will protect the U.K. through tracking airborne and maritime threats and directing fighter jets and warships. Work for this project will be carried out at STS Aviation Services’ expanding, state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance facility located at Birmingham Airport (BHX).

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Sapura Technics goes live with AMOS

On November 29, 2019, Sapura Technics obtained its first Part 145 provisional approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM). In parallel, the company signed for the AMOS MRO-edition to take advantage of the latest AMOS pure MRO features in order to manage its line and base maintenance activities.

Since January 2020, this new AMOS implementation project consolidates Swiss-AS’ presence in Malaysia and the APAC region. Sapura Technics represents a new born star in the region’s MRO market, and working in a close relationship with its young and motivated team was an exciting and productive way to focus on the key success factor and the potentials of AMOS in its pure MRO business.

After a six month implementation phase, Sapura Technics successfully went “live” with AMOS release 19.6 on July 1, 2020. The completion of this milestone enables Sapura Technics’ supply chain and commercial department to use AMOS productively in its day-to-day operations. It also opens up the AMOS system to the engineering and planning end users for the definition of detailed customer requirements and work instructions, and the facility and resources planning operations respectively.

It is expected that the first heavy maintenance check to be carried out by Sapura Technics will be in the next quarter, assuming that there will not be another major wave of the current COVID-19 pandemic. As agreed with the customer, this launch event will see the AMOS APAC team providing its on-site support at Sapura Technics hangar facilities located at Senai International Airport, provided the easing of the travel restrictions to Malaysia is realized.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar