Thursday, September 12th, 2019


Heathrow braces itself for climate change drone protest this Friday

London’s Heathrow Airport is on high alert as climate change protestors look to fly drones in proximity to the airport’s runways this Friday. The protesters, Heathrow Pause, are an offshoot of the larger Extinction Rebellion climate change group. They are protesting principally against the proposed third runway necessary for Heathrow’s expansion. Extinction Rebellion’s co-founder, Roger Hammond commented on the Heathrow plans, saying it would be the: “biggest carbon-intensive infrastructure project in Europe”.

Recent changes to drone flight laws, introduced after the chaos caused by drones at Gatwick Airport prior to Christmas 2108 which saw over 100,000 passengers’ flight affected, now forbid drones to be flown above 400ft and no closer than 1km from an airport. Heathrow Pause will be operating drones closer than 1km to runways, but have liaised with police, advising that they would only be flown at head height. However, the Metropolitan Police has warned protesters that this would constitute a criminal act and would lead to an arrest.

“Far from this being a lawful protest, this is the deliberate and criminal targeting of an essential part of the UK’s national infrastructure that thousands of people rely on every day and it will not be tolerated,” deputy assistant police commissioner Laurence Taylor warned, adding: “We would urge anyone planning to take part in this activity to reconsider. Airspace around all airports is restricted for public safety and security, and we take the flying of a drone within airspace used by passenger planes very seriously. Anyone caught flying a drone without permission must expect to be arrested and prosecuted.” Passengers who intended to use Heathrow this Friday have been urged not to change their travel plans for that day.

Werner Aero

Nasmyth Ferndown makes significant investment in new component inspection and design equipment

Nasmyth Ferndown, part of the global engineering Nasmyth Group, has made a significant
investment in new equipment which will significantly enhance its component inspection and design process.

The new Hexagon Absolute laser arm will improve the efficiency of the inspection process by approximately 50%. Providing much greater accuracy across more dimensions supported by the RS5 Laser Scanning/Probe kit, compared with traditional equipment, enables a more accurate comparison with drawing requirements. The software can also produce full dimensional reports
automatically, saving a great deal of time compared to the current manual creation of such reports.

This new equipment will also help Nasmyth Ferndown to further enhance its international
reputation for the reverse engineering of legacy components for the aviation industry. For aircraft dating back to the 1950s, where drawings are not available, the only way to re-make a particular part is to physically re-design it from a sample. This process will now be significantly easier with the
introduction of the latest scanning equipment.

Nasmyth Ferndown is a dynamic and forward-thinking engineering support partner for many
of the world’s leading OEMs across a range of complex sectors.

West Star Aviation announces retirement of Robert Rasberry

After nearly 20 years, Robert (Bob) Rasberry, Chairman of the Board, is retiring from West Star Aviation.  Rasberry will continue with West Star’s Board of Directors as Chairman Emeritus and join Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a middle-market equity investment firm and parent of West Star Aviation, as a Senior Advisor supporting NEP’s continued interest in aviation-related investment

Rasberry in collaboration with his co-founders, Sam Haycraft, Jim Swehla and Mike Durst, acquired the small MRO, Premier Air Center, in East Alton, IL in 2002.  West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, CO was added in 2005, and ultimately, the companies were united and rebranded as West Star Aviation.  The Company has grown from 150 employees to over 1,400.


Norwegian reports increased unit revenue and higher load factor in August

Norwegian has carried more than 3.5 million passengers in August. The unit revenue increased by 3% while the load factor was 90%, up 0.4 points. Total traffic increased by 5% and capacity growth was 4% compared to the previous year.

S7 Technics launches aircraft seat cover repair facility

Russian aircraft maintenance provider S7 Technics has launched a new facility for the repair and refurbishment of cabin components for western-built aircraft at its Novosibirsk Tolmachevo maintenance base. In doing so it becomes the first of its kind beyond the Urals to be able to help airlines in Siberia, the far east of Russia and in the central Asian regions to efficiently ensure their
aircraft cabins are in good condition.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has extended its approval to the Tolmachevo facility as part of a broader agreement for the production and repair of aircraft cabin components which includes two other dedicated workshops which produce plastic details for passenger seats, metal parts, soft inventory (such as seat covers, curtains and soft partitions) and placard stickers for external and internal use.

The new facility’s launch customer is S7 Airlines, which has had its Airbus A320 leather seats refurbished. There are currently five specialists working in the cabin component repair shop, all of whom underwent extensive training and also received hands-on experience at S7 Technics’ Moscow production base where a similar facility, the first in Russia, has been in operation for several years. The annual capacity at the Novosibirsk facility is 4,300 components.

TP Aerospace

Finnair and LATAM Airlines Group launch codeshare partnership

Finnair and LATAM Airlines Group have implemented a new codeshare agreement on flights between Finnair’s hub in Helsinki and LATAM’s hubs in São Paulo, Brazil, and in Santiago, Chile, via five European gateways: London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and Milan. 

As part of the codeshare agreement, Finnair’s AY code will be added to LATAM’s transatlantic flights between Finnair’s gateways in Europe and LATAM’s hubs in São Paulo and in Santiago. The cooperation will offer new destinations for Finnair customers, as LATAM’s flights will be the first ones flown to South America with a Finnair code. Likewise, LATAM’s LA code will be added to Finnair’s flights between Helsinki and London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and Milan, providing LATAM passengers with access to Finland. 

The new codeshare flights to São Paulo and Santiago will start October 1, 2019. 

Locatory.com to invest US$10 million in engine stands leasing business

Locatory.com, an aviation IT company primarily acting as an aircraft parts locator, a part of Avia Solutions Group, has invested in a new business. The company is spreading its services portfolio and has started the leasing of aircraft engine stands globally. It is planned that in five upcoming years Locatory.com will invest over US$10 million.

The company partnered with AGSE for their stand manufacturing. They will start its service by providing two options – stands for CFM56A/B and CFM56-7 engines. Locatory.com will offer a high-quality equipment lease for a preferred period so that the clients all around the world could productively carry out maintenance operations. In addition, the company will offer worldwide shipping services for all leasing orders.

The first operations already started in Europe and will advance soon enough as the first orders are being planned for Asia in 2019.


Valsoft enters aviation vertical with acquisition of Commsoft Oases

Valsoft Corporation (Valsoft), a Montreal-based company specializing in the acquisition and development of vertical market software businesses, has acquired Communications Software (Airline Systems) Limited (Commsoft OASES), a leader in the aviation engineering and maintenance software market, based in Tiptree, UK.

Founded as a software house in 1971, Communications Software (Airline Systems) Limited won its first airline contract in 1975 with industry innovator Laker Airways in the UK, leading to the launch of the predecessor to OASES (Open Aviation Strategic Engineering System) the following year. Since its first association with the airline industry over 40 years ago, Commsoft has been continually developing its MRO IT system, now called OASES - a process that has been shaped in large part by feedback from its clients.

The directors will remain involved to ensure a smooth transition, while Nick Godwin, will continue to lead the company as Managing Director. The company will continue to develop and support OASES, as well as all other products and services, providing a robust software solution to customers.

Royal Aero

IAMA welcomes first Advisory Member to the alliance

IAMA, the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance, has announced that aviation supplier EURO-COMPOSITES® has signed a Letter of Intent to join as IAMA's first Advisory Member. EURO-COMPOSITES, a leading parts supplier and EASA 21J Design Organisation in the aviation aftermarket, has operations in Luxembourg, Germany and the United States.

IAMA, which was launched in early April by EAD Aerospace, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering and Lufthansa Technik, advocates for trustworthy STCs (Supplemental Type Certificate) in the aviation retrofit market.

"Our recent achievement as a Design Organisation (EASA Part 21J Certification) was an important milestone for us, and becoming an Advisory Member of IAMA is another key step in our business strategy," said Rolf Mathias Alter, CEO of EURO-COMPOSITES. "With our extensive interiors, machined parts and panels, we are joining IAMA to help advance STC quality. Bringing our valuable know-how, manufacturing capabilities and R&D resources to the alliance will benefit current and future IAMA members and more importantly, aircraft owners and operators."

Once IAMA is a legal entity, at the end of 2019, it will be open to all aviation market participants including aircraft manufacturers, airlines, suppliers and lessors. IAMA offers three primary types of paid memberships: Full, Advisory and Basic. Members have access to specific benefits depending upon their role in the aviation ecosystem, and their membership level. Full and Basic memberships are for organisations with STC capabilities, while Advisory memberships are for airframe and system OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).

Airlines, banks and lessors may join for free. Members can shape the alliance's direction through participation in a variety of working groups. Those already established are: STC Standard, Certification and Authority Affairs, IAMA Community and Aligned Information campaign, and the
Intellectual Property working groups.


GA Telesis’ increase in product demand leads to increase in Q3 engine and airframe inventory levels

GA Telesis Component Solutions Group (CSG) has acquired one CFM56-5B, six CFM56-5A, two CF6-80C2B engines, two 777-200ER and two 737NG to meet the demand of its customer inventory requirements. The inventory will be used to support the GA Telesis SNAP, ACCESS, and Flight Hour Programs, as well as day-to-day replenishment requirements of the Company’s Airline and MRO customers worldwide.

The company further stipulated that its Q4 production might exceed its announced Q3 scope. Alex Tuttle, Chief Operations Officer at GA Telesis stated, “Our team has seen a dramatic increase in demand for our products and services and we have had to step up our game. Customers, globally, have communicated their need for increased levels of inventory to support their operational needs and their expectation of GA Telesis to support their increasing levels of seat capacity.”

GA Telesis

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MRO Europe
October 15 - 17, 2019 – ExCel London, London, UK

Advanced Engineering 2019
October 30 - 31, 2019 – NEC, Birmingham, UK

EyeforTravel Revenue Optimization and Marketing Summit
November 26 - 27, 2019 – Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, Amsterdam, NL

Manufacturing World
February 26 - 18, 2020 – Makuhari Messe, Chiba-city, Japan