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Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

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Italian and French airports combine to create vertiport company

Italy’s Rome, Venice and Bologna airports have teamed up with France’s Aeroports de la Côte d'Azur in Nice to create Urban Blue, a company which will be dedicated to building and managing infrastructures for eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) flying taxis in the four Italian and French cities according to REUTERS news agency.

Atlantia's Aeroporti di Roma, Aeroporto di Venezia, Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi di Bologna and France's Aeroports de la Cote d’Azur said that Urban Blue will be open to other industrial, technology and financial partners for the gradual expansion of the project in Italy, France and elsewhere.

Urban Blue will be supported by EDF Invest, a shareholder in Aeroports de Côte d'Azur, while also teaming up with German eVTOL flying taxi specialist Volocopter. While there are no financial details available for the project, it is understood that 2024 is being targeted for vertiports to be operational in Nice, Venice and Rome.

Marco Troncone, the CEO of Aeroporti di Roma, a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia, said Urban Blue was working with a "challenging but possible timeline, to allow Rome to be among the first cities in Europe to activate this type of connection". Rome is seen as the third-most suitable city for urban air mobility (UAM) development and on Wednesday, October 27, Volocopter will be showcasing one of its battery-powered aircraft at Riome’s Fiumicino Airport.

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Mammoth Freighters collaborate with MTU Maintenance for GE90-110/115B engine maintenance support

MTU Maintenance and Mammoth Freighters have signed a cooperation and support agreement designating MTU Maintenance as the preferred partner for all engine maintenance needs for Mammoth Freighters’ B777 P2F conversion programme. This agreement covers scheduled and unscheduled GE90-110/115B engine maintenance, on and off-wing support, engine leasing, engine trend monitoring and engine ground support equipment needs and requirements.

“Engine performance and fuel efficiency for our next generation 777-200LRMR and -300ERMF freighters are primary selling features of our conversion programme. We are delighted to be partnering with MTU Maintenance for our GE90-110/115B needs,” says Bill Tarpley, co-CEO, Mammoth Freighters. “MTU and its highly customised support strongly enhances our conversion programme offering. Teaming with MTU will enable our customers to access world-class GE90-110/115B engine technical support and cost-effective solutions for both the conversion process and following the delivery of our aircraft.”

Mammoth Freighters specialises in Boeing 777-200LR and -300ER passenger to freighter conversions.

Lockheed Martin reports third quarter 2021 financial results

Lockheed Martin has reported third quarter 2021 net sales of US$16.0 billion, compared to US$16.5 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Net earnings from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2021 were US$614 million, compared to US$1.8 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Cash from operations was US$1.9 billion in the third quarter of 2021 and 2020.

Third quarter 2021 net earnings include a noncash pension settlement charge of US$1.7 billion related to the purchase of group annuity contracts to transfer US$4.9 billion of gross pension obligations and related plan assets to an insurance company and unrealised gains of US$98 million due to increases in the fair value of investments held in the Lockheed Martin Ventures Fund.

The company expects 2022 net sales to decline from expected 2021 levels to approximately US$66 billion and 2022 total business segment operating margin to be approximately 11.0%. Cash from operations in 2022 is expected to be greater than or equal to US$8.4 billion, which excludes a potential decrease in 2022 cash from operations of up to US$2.0 billion if the provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that eliminate the option to immediately deduct research and development expenditures in the period incurred and requires companies to amortise such expenditures over five years is not modified or repealed by Congress before it takes effect on January 1, 2022. Although the company continues to have ongoing discussions with members of Congress, both on its own and with other industries through coalitions, it has no assurance that these provisions will be modified or repealed.

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FAA selects SITA's FANS-1/A-based datalink solution to manage United States' vast oceanic airspace

In August 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded the Oceanic Data Link (ODL) contract to SITA, a leading IT provider to the air transport industry, to provide its Future Air Navigation System (FANS-1/A)-based datalink solutions for the management of air traffic across the United States' vast oceanic airspace. SITA’s proven solution will be vital in supporting accurate, real-time communication between pilots and air traffic controllers across the world's busiest oceanic airspace, supporting safer and efficient flights.

Air traffic controllers operating from the FAA's bases in Anchorage, New York and Oakland will be able to send up to 1,200 messages per hour – including multiple messages concurrently – vastly speeding communication with aircraft when compared to older datalink solutions. This will help controllers better detect conflicts between aircraft and offer more optimal routings for aircraft.

Using SITA’s Automatic-Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C) and Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) managed services, pilots and air traffic controllers can communicate directly using standardised digital text messages that appear on an aircraft's control display unit. These text messages, sent via SITA's ATC Datalink Service, provide aircraft position, route, requests and guidance for routing, speed and altitude changes, as well as weather and traffic advisories. They are visible to all flight crew as they are sent.

The oceanic airspace links the United States to Europe and Asia, covering 62,4-million square kilometres of airspace. The North Atlantic is by far the world's busiest oceanic air traffic route, with about 2,000 aircraft crossing the ocean between the east coast of the United States and Europe every day. Despite a COVID-induced downturn, traffic on this route is predicted to increase by 50% over the next decade.

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Avia Solutions Group acquires FBO and MRO base at London Biggin Hill Airport

Avia Solutions Group, a leading global aerospace services group, has acquired Biggin Hill Hangar Company, the owner of Hangar 510, a premium Fixed Base Operations (FBO) and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) centre of operations at London Biggin Hill Airport.

Built in 2011 to the highest standards, Hangar 510 is a state-of-the-art unit located at one of the United Kingdom’s leading business aviation airports. London Biggin Hill Airport has been the No. 2 top UK business aviation airport after Farnborough in the year-to-date 2021. Over the same period, the airport serviced 18.6% of flights from the Top 10 UK business aviation airports.

Hangar 510 boasts several top global business aviation names as its tenants; Signature Flight Support, the world’s largest network of Fixed Based Operations with over 200 locations worldwide, providing high-quality services for business and private aviation passengers and Bombardier, a world-leading manufacturer of business jets, provides aircraft maintenance services at the site.

Field Aerospace upgrades more than 50 USAF T-1A flight decks

Field Aerospace has completed over 50 CSO and Special Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) aircraft and 14 simulators on time and on budget for the USAF as part of the Air Force Avionics Modernisation Programme (AMP) contract to upgrade the fleet of 178 T-1As over a period of seven years.

Field Aerospace was selected by the USAF as the prime contractor and teamed with subcontractors Nextant Aerospace, Collins Aerospace, HEBCO and FlightSafety International to bring advanced capabilities to the next generation of US Air Force pilots. The modernisation included updating the T-1A to the Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21 system, which enables the aircraft to meet the FAA’s ADS-B Out mandate eliminating avionics obsolescence issues for the aircraft.

The T-1A aircraft are medium-range, twin-engine jets used for advanced-phase training of airlift and tanker pilots. They are stationed across five US operating bases.

IAI makes significant milestone in converting first B777-300ER aircraft

Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Aviation Group is marking a significant milestone in the process of converting the first Boeing B777-300ER aircraft, cutting an opening in the hull to install a cargo door. The part of the cabin removed from the aircraft is 7 metres long and a third of the aircraft’s circumference. This important milestone comes shortly after the beginning of the aircraft’s structural modification, a process that will take approximately 130 days, at the end of which the passenger aircraft will be converted into a cargo aircraft.

The cargo conversion process includes modifying the aircraft structure, including the installation of a new cargo door, replacing and reinforcing the cabin floor, installing reinforcements in the cargo door area and adapting the electric network and other systems to enable a safe and convenient operation. In addition, this process includes receiving certification for the converted aircraft from the Civilian Aviation Authority and the US’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Swiss-AS opens new office in Tokyo in cooperation with Lufthansa Systems

The “Land of the Rising Sun” has just welcomed its first AMOS office in cooperation with Lufthansa Systems. The expansion to East Asia has been approved by the management board of Swiss AviationSoftware and will result in the establishment of a new business location in Tokyo as of October 1st, 2021. The Tokyo office is an extension of the existing Singapore branch and its staff will report to and closely cooperate with the AMOS Asia-Pacific Business Unit.

The establishment of the new East Asia office in Japan is the result of several factors that make this country the perfect candidate for such an expansion. Since the opening of Swiss-AS' Singapore office in 2013, the APAC customer base has grown by over 400%. Even though Singapore is a key Asian hub, East Asian countries, such as China, Japan, Taiwan and North and South Korea, can be reached more efficiently from the new Tokyo office. The new office location also benefits from a more favourable time zone difference with Oceania.
Secondly, it is safe to say that there are major cultural differences between East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, which require specific approaches for the different sub-regions. Splitting the responsibility for business development into smaller regional areas allows for a more focused strategy and customer approach, while at the same time fostering the long-term growth of Swiss-AS in the region.

Japan is not only the third largest economy in the world and the fourth to sixth largest aviation market (depending on the metric), it is also the sixth largest venture capital investment market in the world with strong government initiatives to accelerate the growth of the aircraft maintenance industry (Okinawa Aviation Industry Cluster) and IT start-ups (Start-up City Fukuoka).

Though the Asian-Pacific region is currently pre-occupied with combatting the pandemic, Swiss-AS is convinced that the Asian-Pacific aviation market will again become a driving force in the global aviation market; against this background, we consider our growing presence in the Asian-Pacific market key to our long-term success.
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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
Phone: +1 (788) 213 8543
Tamar