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Monday, June 20th, 2022

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Airbus and Qantas sign US$200 million Australian Sustainable Aviation Fuel Partnership

European planemaker Airbus and the Qantas Group have agreed to invest US$200 million (£164 million) in Australian-developed and -produced feedstock and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) initiatives, called the Australian Sustainable Aviation Fuel Partnership.

As Australia currently lacks a commercial-scale SAF industry the partnership’s aim is also to help Qantas Group achieve its goal of introducing 10% SAF into its overall fuel mix by 2030. The partnership has come about through Qantas’ recent orders for Airbus A350-1000s for the Australian carrier’s Project Sunrise non-stop flights to both New York and London, as well as the Group’s Project Winston domestic fleet renewal involving A220 and A321XLR jets. The new fleet should immediately reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 25% for both Qantas Airlines and its subsidiary Jetstar.

The partnership is initially for five years with options to extend the duration. Qantas’ financial contribution to the Australian Sustainable Aviation Fuel Partnership includes AU$50 million previously committed to research and development of SAF in Australia.

Pratt & Whitney, whose GTF engines were recently selected by Qantas for its new A220 and A320neo-family aircraft, is also contributing to the venture. The company supports greater use of cleaner, alternative fuels including SAF, while continually advancing the efficiency of aircraft propulsion technology.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce stated that the investment will accelerate the development of SAF in Australia, creating value for both companies’ shareholders while also creating jobs and reducing the nation’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. “The use of SAF is increasing globally as governments and industry work together to find ways to decarbonise the aviation sector. Without swift action, Australia is at risk of being left behind,” Joyce commented.

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SITA Technology enhances communications, efficiency and safty in Polish airspace

The Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) has selected global air transport IT provider, SITA, in a four-year contract to digitally transform air/ground communications and boost air traffic safety and efficiency. Eight of Poland’s international airports will be participating: Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Katowice, Modlin, Wroclaw, Poznan and Rzeszow.

Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), like PANSA, must be able to manage efficient, reliable, clear and important data exchanges with aircraft pilots, such as clearance for departures. To meet this critical need for communicating with air traffic management systems and aircraft, moving from voice to digital departure clearance with SITA’s ATC Datalink Services will enable the efficient and safe running of the airspace overseen by PANSA.

The Departure Clearance (DCL) datalink service supports the digital exchange of departure clearances between the air traffic controller and the pilot and easily interfaces with other systems used by the Air Traffic Controller Officer (ATCO). DCL is faster and more accurate because it reduces misunderstandings often associated with conventional, lower-quality voice communications. It increases safety and reduces delays by ensuring correct, timely clearances reach the intended aircraft.

Lufthansa Technik's "digital corporate start-up" broadens its international set-up

AVIATAR, Lufthansa Technik's digital solutions suite, will soon also be further developed on Spain's east coast: to meet the high demand for digital products, Lufthansa Technik is opening a new location in Valencia on July 1. By the end of the year, an initial team of up to

20 IT experts will be working on data-driven applications ranging from predictive maintenance to automated fulfilment solutions optimising the entire value chain of the aviation industry. 

Valencia, with its leading universities and rising tech company ecosystem, was chosen as the ideal location for growing internationally. An emerging tech scene with more than 900 start-ups, multiple incubators and community events create opportunity for future collaborations. In order to ease its landing and effectively connect with the local business network, AVIATAR has partnered with the Invest in Valencia Office, a joint initiative of the City Council of Valencia and the Official Chamber of Commerce acting as a facilitator and connective link to the city.

At AVIATAR Valencia, the new colleagues will work in synchrony and at eye-level with their counterparts at the headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. Agile software development is applied across the entire organisation and each employee is directly assigned to a product.

This accelerates the onboarding process and allows to have a meaningful impact right from the start. Initially, AVIATAR will settle within a co-working space close to the city center of Valencia. Both, hybrid working and a lively exchange across the two locations are encouraged.

AVIATAR is looking for experienced full-stack developers and software architects who are eager to work in an international environment and driven to disrupt the aviation industry digitally. At a later stage this year, data scientists and junior positions in further disciplines will also be available.

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RBI Hawker Australia receives ISO 9001 and ISO 45001 certifications

RBI Hawker has been awarded ISO 9001 and ISO 45001 certifications for its quality management and occupational health and safety management systems, respectively. Since commencing operations in Australia in 2021, the company continues to build on its capabilities to better meet customer needs.

ISO 9001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system and is used to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. This certification is complemented by ISO 45001 which is the world’s first international standard dealing with health and safety at work. It gives guidance to enable organisations to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as by proactively improving its OH&S performance.

RBI Hawker (Middle East) has been providing maintenance support to both commercial and military helicopter operators in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and wider regions since 2005. Both RBI Hawker locations are authorised Bell CSF and Leonardo service centres with an extensive OEM-approved standard and expanded repair portfolio.

PW127XT-S engine selected to power D328eco™ regional turboprop

Pratt & Whitney Canada and Deutsche Aircraft have announced that the PW127XT-S engine has been selected to power the D328eco™ regional turboprop. The engine will be another model in the XT series which sets a new benchmark in regional aviation, delivering a significant improvement in operating costs and sustainability. The PW127XT-S will be developed according to the D328eco timeline.

“We have worked closely with the D328eco team over a number of years to develop the best engine option for the aircraft,” said Maria Della Posta, President, Pratt & Whitney Canada. “The PW127XT-S provides airlines 40% more time on wing, a 20% reduction in maintenance costs with only two scheduled events over 10 years and a 3% improvement in specific fuel consumption. We support Deutsche Aircraft’s vision of building a green aviation company and we’re confident that the PW127XT-S is the ideal match for the D328eco.”

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Acro picks up pace to fulfil seat order for flyadeal

Shipsets are rolling off the production lines at the new Acro headquarters in Crick, Northamptonshire as, post-pandemic, the company has picked up pace on fulfilment of a 5,670 pax order for flyadeal, the new low-cost airline owned by Saudi flag carrier, Saudia.

The airline, based at the King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, expects to double in size this year and has fleet growth firmly in view to service its fast-expanding network to domestic and international destinations across the Middle East. The Acro seating contract is for line-fit of thirty Airbus A320neo aircraft, with options for a further twenty A320neo aircraft.

Acro Series 6 seating will be used throughout the aircraft, with a premium version, complete with extra comfort covers and styling detail, on the first four and two over-wing exit rows. A new Fixed Recline version of Series 6 was exclusively engineered for flyadeal, with 30” pitch for first four rows, 36” pitch for two OWE rows and 28 to 29” pitch range in the remainder of the cabin; maximising use of cabin space without compromising passenger comfort.

IATA disappointed with FAA's 5G announcement

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed strong disappointment with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) announcement on Friday June 17, on a 5G aircraft retrofit timetable.

The FAA plans to require airlines to replace or upgrade FAA-approved radio altimeters on large commercial aircraft by July 2023 in order to protect against potential interference to aviation safety systems from the rollout of 5G near U.S. airports.

In contrast to the FAA statement, there is no consensus among impacted airlines that making the July 2023 deadline is possible, particularly given that the FAA has not yet approved solutions and the systems providers can not guarantee availability of the new equipment within this time frame. All parties are committed to safety, but ad hoc unilateral and unrealistic pronouncements will not achieve this goal. All stakeholders need to work together to define solutions and deadlines that reflect reality and preserve safety, IATA stated in a press release.

Cirrus Aircraft delivers first training aircraft to United Aviate Academy

Cirrus Aircraft has delivered the first of twenty-five SR Series TRAC20 aircraft to United Aviate Academy. The TRAC20 is an advanced, high-performance aircraft that will be used for initial pilot training at the only ab-initio flight academy operated by one of the largest U.S.-based airlines. In February, the company announced a purchase agreement with United Aviate Academy to purchase twenty-five TRAC20 aircraft with the option to acquire fifty more as the programme grows.

United Aviate Academy’s TRAC20 fleet is equipped with an integrated avionics suite essential for situational awareness and hazard avoidance, such as Synthetic Vision, ChartView, Active Traffic and more. These advanced avionics will prepare United Aviate Academy students for their careers at regional and mainline airlines after graduation. Additionally, the hot weather package keeps students and instructors comfortable in the Goodyear, Arizona training environment. The hazard and traffic avoidance features provide extra safety in this dense flight training area.

United Aviate Academy’s year-long training programme at Phoenix Goodyear Airport sets up students for a career that reflects United’s high standard of professionalism and commitment to delivering a safe, caring, dependable and efficient travel experience. The Academy is part of United’s industry-leading pilot career development programme, which offers aspiring and established pilots the most direct path to a United flight deck. Within the next decade, United aims to hire more than 10,000 pilots and train about 5,000 aspiring pilots to aviation through the Academy.
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