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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Vector Aerospace Africa (Pty) Ltd., a StandardAero company located in Lanseria, Johannesburg has secured European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) aircraft maintenance organisation (AMO) certification for its engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility. Opened in 2010 and located at Lanseria International Airport, the shop is a Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A Designated Overhaul Facility (DOF) with distributorship rights. The newly awarded AMO certification from EASA adds to a long list of existing approvals for the Lanseria facility, which already holds authorisations from the South Africa Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and Transport Canada (TCCA). The facility also holds local AMO approvals from the civil aviation authorities of Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Jason Gallant, General Manager of Vector Aerospace Africa said: “We are pleased to add the convenience and assurance of EASA AMO certification for existing and prospective PT6A customers. This additional approval will simplify maintenance approvals for those customers operating under EASA certification, especially those outside of South Africa. As the sole independent Designated Overhaul Facility for the P&WC PT6A-140 engine worldwide, we have received significant interest from operators of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX and upgraded Caravans wanting us to support their powerplants and the receipt of EASA AMO approval will facilitate our ability to support a broader customer base worldwide.”
Contact E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 011 082 110031 March Rand Airport Easter Adventure Rally
Join in the fun of flying a pre-planned route into the deep south with possibly a border crossing into the Free State. This route will be a discovery of many interesting features and take you over some areas uniquely rich in flora, fauna, history and of course industrial prowess. You will need to recognise some ground features, solve various riddles and find a few ‘Easter Eggs’ along the way.
Contact: Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032.
7 April Ermelo Airshow
Contact Andre van Rooyen E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 417 0174
12 to 14 April SAPFA Rally Nationals and Fun Rally at Brits Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
14 April Robertson annual Fly-in breakfast
Contact Alwyn du Plessis E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 270 5888
AERO dedicates itself to offering a significant collection of aviation related products and accessories. Exhibitors will be showing engines, modern ultra-lights, powered aircraft, avionics and related products and services. Over the years, this show has gained a huge reputation from all over the world and the positive reaction from the attendees have motivated the exhibitors to improve the existing range and manufacture more such effective spare parts and products.
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org April to 1 May NAC annual fly-away 10th edition
Contact Deneys Potgieter E-mail: email@example.com or Cell: 082 891 4354
27 to 29 April EAA National Convention Vryheid Airfield over the last weekend in April. Besides a great expected turnout of aircraft, a fantastic venue and a superb function being organised by the Vryheid Wings Club, you can also win a trip to the world’s greatest aviation event – Oshkosh AirVenture! Would you like to fly to Vryheid on a Douglas DC-3? The price is
R1 250 per seat, it will depart from Rand Airport on Friday morning and return to Rand Sunday morning. By making sure you are an EAA (South Africa) member, pre-registering and attending the event, you will stand in line to win this exciting prize! The draw will take place at Vryheid at the awards dinner on the airfield.
Contact Marie Reddy E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 703228 April Wings & Wheels Uitenhage
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 320 2615
5 May SAAF Museum Swartkops Airshow theme ‘Our Indomitable Spirit’
Contact Officer Commanding E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 012 351 2290
7 to 9 May Airport show in Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Contact Reed Exhibitions Middle East E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Grant Rousseau Cell: 082 329 3551E-mail: email@example.com to 13 May Battlefields Country Lodge Annual fly-in Website: www.battlefieldslodge.co.za
Contact Dave O’Halloran Tel 079 496 5286 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 May Lowveld Airshow at the Nelspruit Airfield Tel: 013 741 6412
Contact Monica Fourie E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 619 3597
12 May Swellengrebel Flying Club 60th birthday fly-in
Contact Pieter Venter E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
15 to 18 May NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show near Bothaville, Free State
Contact Wim Venter Tel: 086 004 7246 E-mail: Wim@grainsa.co.za
16 to 18 May Drone Con 2018 Vodaworld Centre in Midrand
Contact E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Josephine Zhu E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com May CAASA Conference to be held at Lanseria
Contact Louise Olckers Tel; 011 659 2345 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
24 to 26 May President’s Trophy Air Race Tempe Airfield, Bloemfontein
Website: www.sapfa.org.za E-mail: Race@sapfa.org.za
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 7032
Race director Robin Spencer-Scarr: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Riaan van Vuuren E-mail: email@example.com Tel: +26 771 66 120129 to 31 May European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.
Contact Bianca Dorneanu E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +32 2 766 00 72
6 to 8 November Dubai Helishow Royal Pavilion Al Maktoum Airport
Contact Mr Abel Bajamunde E-mail: email@example.com
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
According to Sahara Reporters, the aircraft in Lagos airport was hit by ground handling equipment belonging to the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) damaging the left side leading edge of horizontal stabilizer of the Boeing 737-700 on the ramp of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) in Lagos. According to the official statement by the airline, the plane was later repaired by engineers and returned to service.The other Arik aircraft was grounded shortly before take-off after it suffered technical issue during pre-departure procedure at the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri on the same day. Passengers on both planes were eventually transported to their destinations with different aircraft. Arik officials said that the two incidents were reported to Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.
Last week Tecnam announced that Akagera Aviation, based at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda is establishing Flight Training Organisation with a fleet of four Tecnam aircraft. In addition to its initial order for three Tecnam P92JS and one four-seater P2010 SEP, Akagera Aviation are also investing one SoftekSimflight flight simulator. The simulator, manufactured by SoftekSim, with computer-based training software, will allow students to achieve familiarisation on both P92 and P2010.
Akagera Aviation is a private company based at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda. It started its operations in 2008, mainly doing helicopter charter flight operations, aerial photography and surveys, scenic flights and HEMS. In 2013, Akagera Aviation services expanded to flight training and started ab-initio training of helicopter pilots. Akagera Aviation ATO is the only helicopter flying school in East Africa. To meet the growing demand of pilots in Rwanda and Africa at large, Akagera Aviation is working on starting fixed wing pilot training.
On 22 November 2017 the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a framework for collaboration to boost the aviation sector in Africa. Under the MoU, IATA and the AfDB will work in partnership to further Africa’s economic and social development by helping build a safe, secure and efficient aviation industry. The two organisations commit to create and implement programmes and projects, including technical cooperation for capacity building. Priority areas will include improving connectivity, safety and aviation infrastructure.
Aviation in Africa currently supports $72.5 billion in economic activity and 6.8 million jobs. Over the next 20-years, aviation is forecast to grow at nearly 6% per year. This creates significant opportunities but achieving this potential will not happen by chance; strong partnerships are key. The MoU with ADB will help facilitate the growth and development of Africa’s aviation industry. In so doing, it will expand prosperity and change peoples’ lives for the better in the continent’s 54 nations.
The MoU was signed on the side-lines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation World Aviation Forum; Financing the Development of Aviation Infrastructure in Abuja, Nigeria by IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre de Juniac, and African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.
Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority said that it will open an investigation into the incident.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Boeing’s new 737 MAX 7, the smallest member of Boeing’s upgraded narrow-body jetliner range, successfully completed its first flight on 16 March. The aircraft will now start several months of flight trials before entry into service which is scheduled for 2019. According to an official press release by Boeing, the MAX 7, piloted by the company’s test and evaluation captains, completed a successful three-hour + flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton. During the flight, the airplane was put through tests on its flight controls, as well as checks of its systems and handling qualities.
The airplane is the third and newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family to be produced, able to carry 153 passengers in two-class configurations, with a maximum capacity of 172 passengers. The aircraft has a range of 3,850 nautical miles, the longest of any MAX family airplane, which includes the MAX 8, MAX 9 and MAX 10. According to Boeing, the shortened 737 aircraft is designed for flying at high altitudes and hot climates or longer journeys than larger narrow-body jets. The MAX 7 remains on schedule and will now begin a comprehensive flight test programme leading to certification and delivery expected in 2019.
The Lion Air Group took the very first delivery of Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 on 21 March 2018. The airplane will go into service with Thai Lion Air, where its added capacity will help the airline launch several new international routes. The Thailand-based budget carrier already operates the 737-900ER and the 737-800, as well as the A330-300. According to Seputro, the 737 has been ‘the backbone’ of the airline’s business since its launch several years ago. The Group was also the first operator to place the MAX 8 into service and has announced a commitment for 50 MAX 10, with an additional 200 737 MAX models on order. The Lion Air Group is one of the world’s largest operators of the 737. With total fleet of 112 aircraft, its airlines operate the 747-400, the 737-800, the 737-900 ER and the A330-300.
According to Boeing, the 737 MAX 9 is designed for a capacity of up to 220 passengers and has a maximum range of 3,550 nautical miles. The aircraft provides operators added capacity with three additional seat rows compared to the 737 MAX 8. The aircraft incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays and other features. The Max is the fastest-selling airplane in the company’s history, with more than 4,300 orders from 95 customers worldwide.
Pilot Andrew Hill, who was flying a Hawker Hunter jet that went down during a performance three years ago at the Shoreham Air Shore has been charged with 11 counts of gross negligent manslaughter and one count of endangering an aircraft related to the accident. Hill is scheduled to appear in Westminster Magistrates’’ Court on 19 April.
During the show in 2015, Hill had attempted a loop manoeuvre during the show in the jet, which was manufactured in 1955. The UK Air Accident Investigation Branch listed the cause of the accident, which fatally injured 11 people on the ground, as pilot error. In bringing the charges, the Simon Ringrose of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it “has considered a full file of evidence received from Sussex Police in relation to the deaths of 11 men at the Shoreham airshow in 2015. The aircraft failed to complete the manoeuvre and crashed onto the A27 dual carriageway. Eleven men who were either in vehicles on the carriageway or standing by the roadside were killed in the incident. Mr Hill was thrown clear of the aircraft and although seriously injured he survived. Sussex Police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into the incident and in November 2017 submitted a full file of evidence to the CPS in relation to the actions of the pilot, Andrew Hill.
With a fleet of 429 Boeing 737s, Ryanair is both one of the largest airlines in the world and a loyal customer of Boeing. However, that loyalty could be changing in a near-future, as Ryanair acquired Laudamotion, a company flying 15 A320 and planning to purchase more. Using a single model of plane is a common strategy in LCC market. It saves money and time on maintenance, with engineers and spare parts being readily available. But in a surprising move, Ryanair seems to be willing to keep that small Airbus fleet flying for now. When acquiring the airline, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary declared: “The Laudamotion will support a fleet of Airbus aircraft which is something we have hoped to develop within the Ryanair Group for some years. “The use of Airbus planes by Laudamotion has even been presented as an argument for its acquisition by the Irish airline.
Aside from the fifteen A320s that Laudamotion is planning to acquire, nothing hints that Ryanair would conclude a big deal with Airbus. But even if until now, the Irish giant of low-cost flights has been a loyal customer of Boeing, Airbus new management team could push for more collaboration in the future. Ryanair changing a decades-old policy shows that nothing is written in stone in the aviation market.
CEO of the Russian flag carrier Vitaly Saveliev told Rossiya 24 TV Channel on 15 March that Aeroflot wants to be the first customer of a new civilian supersonic aircraft. This version would be in demand for transatlantic flights and long-distance home routes. Only two supersonic jets: Concorde and Tupolev Tu-144 ever entered service as civilian airliners. But they turned out to be unprofitable and were eventually retired. In Saveliev’s opinion, those jets ‘were born before their time’, but today, with new technologies and composite materials in place, there is an opportunity to create a new, economic jet.
According to Vesti news, Saveliev believes supersonic flight ‘is a vital necessity’. The head of Aeroflot says a supersonic airliner would be of interest to those who would like to fly from Russia’s capital Moscow to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East in three hours, instead of a journey that currently takes eight to nine hours. According to him, the civilian version of the military supersonic Tu-160M would be more suitable for business aviation. Saveliev also believes that it is possible to modify the Tu-144, a supersonic passenger liner created in the USSR in the late 1960s. Since supersonic passenger travel, which died out with the demise of the Concorde in 2003, may be coming back soon, it is no surprise Russia would want to join the race together with many other entities, such as NASA, Lockheed Martin or General Electric, developing supersonic jet projects.
South Korea’s Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) announced a decision to tighten the conditions for opening of a new Low-Cost Carrier (LCC). Now, the required initial capital has to be of $28 million (double the previously required sum) and the starting fleet of at least five planes (three more than before). However, the current criteria that a company is eligible for international flights only after 20.000 domestic flights without accident will be abolished.Aero K and FlyYangYang saw their business licenses rejected in December 2017, because of concerns from the MOLIT about their financial strength. The two companies already announced that they would abide by the new legislation. As for active airlines, the government can now revoke a business license if an airline sees more than 50% of its capital impaired for two years. A review of the current South Korean market will determine in the months to come a new distribution of traffic rights, which will favour companies that are reliable and show corporate social responsibility, according to the ministry.
With six domestic low-cost carriers operating in South Korea, the land ministry considers the market to be saturated. That concern is also shared by the already active airlines that saw the rejection of Aero K and FlyYangYang as a sensible measure. The objective of that new legislation is to bring stability to the market and also establish a fair competition between the airlines.
Thai Airways is in the midst of controversy over its new policy to ban overweight passengers from its business class. The airline is putting waistline restrictions on its newly acquired Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners citing safety reasons. Business class seats aboard the Dreamliners have new Zodiac Cirrus seats, which in accordance with US Federal Aviation Administration include a new safety belts and airbag system which can deploy a case of emergency. This means that passengers with a waist wider than 56 inches (142.24cm) cannot fasten the seatbelts. The new system also bans parents travelling with small children that have to be held on an adult’s lap during take-off and landing. The new policy generated backlash on social media and in response the airline apologised for the inconvenience on twitter.
According to the Manchester Evening News, activist Srisuwan Janya, from Association of Thai Constitution Protection threatened to sue the company over its discriminatory and demeaning policy.
This is not the first-time airlines have faced heat over their policies regarding overweight travellers. In 2017 Finnair started weighing its passengers in a voluntary scheme to gather data about passenger loads. Hawaiian Airlines also conducted a voluntary survey in 2016 asking flyers to step on a scale with their luggage as part of a fuel-saving, weight-distribution and safety measure. Back in 2013 now defunct Samoa Air announced that the airline would charge passengers based on their body mass.
According to Tehran Times, the five top managers of Iran Air are women. Currently 16% of women working for the company are among the middle-ranking officials. Iran’s flag carrier Iran Air revealed plans to start recruiting female pilots for the first time in history of the country. The announcement was made by Iran Air’s CEO Farzaneh Sharafbafi; the first woman to hold that position at the airline. Once a year, the airline announces its job openings and this year’s main feature in the announcement let women know that they are welcome to apply to be pilots.
In Iran, women are permitted to pilot aircraft, but they have never been allowed to fly the flag carrier’s planes. Sharafbafi, who was also the first woman to acquire a PhD in aerospace engineering, said that the first women pilots hired by Iran Air will begin as co-pilots. headquartered in Teheran, Iran Air flies to 25 domestic destinations and dozens of other cities in Asia and Europe.
On 22 March France had a massive public-sector strike where teachers, rail workers and air-traffic controllers took the streets of every major cities to express their disagreement with Emmanuel Macron’s reforms. The consequences on the skies of France are pretty massive: the Direction générale de l’Aviation civile (DGAC), French civil aviation authority, has announced that a third of the flights coming to and going from Paris main airports – Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Orly (ORY) and Beauvais (BVA) – would be cancelled.
The call of Usac-CGT, the main union of civil aviation workers, has been answered not only in Paris but also in the other main cities such as Nice, Lyon and Marseille. The union is calling for an increase in recruitments.
Air France has announced that a 100% of the long-haul flights would operate. However, only 75% of medium-haul and 60% of short-haul would fly. EasyJet has announced that 104 flights would be cancelled, affecting not only French cities but also Geneva and Basel. Ryanair had not communicated on which flights would be cancelled but reminded its users that flights only passing through the French airspace would also be affected, for example between London and Barcelona or Lisbon. Wizz Air moved its operations from Beauvais to Charleroi for the day, with shuttle buses set up to Paris.
Ryanair and several other companies have called the European commission to act on those frequent strikes of the French air controllers. Another strike was planned by Air France pilots on 23 March 2018. Unlike what was initially announced, the pilots of its subsidiary HOP! should not participate. The French national company has not communicated yet on which flights would be affected.
The cockpit voice recorder from a Russian airliner that crashed outside Moscow in February captured the desperate last words of the pilots as they tried to reverse the aircraft’s downward course shortly after take-off, a news report says. The Moscow Times report that 27 An-148s are operated in Russia. Saratov, Rossiya, Angara airlines and the Russian Aerospace Forces will be affected by the order to ground the aircraft. In addition, following the inspection of the Saratov Airlines, Russian federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia limited the validity of Saratov’s certificate until 27 April 2018.
The Russian An-148 airliner, on a domestic flight, crashed in the Moscow Region on 11 February 2018, killing all 71 people onboard. Investigators maintain that wrong data of flight speed, apparently due to icing, could have led to the crash. The yet unanswered crucial question is whether the pilots failed to switch on the heating unit or was it a technical issue that led to speed sensors’ malfunction.The flight recorders found on the crash site indicate that two gauges displayed different speeds of the plane before the crash – one was rising rapidly while the other one displayed zero. The emergency situation occurred approximately two minutes into flight. With the difference of speeds displayed widening, the crew switched off autopilot and started manually piloting the aircraft, which unfortunately crashed few minutes later, six minutes after take-off.
Emirates will have to compensate thousands of passengers after the Supreme Court refused airline’s permission to appeal against a ruling related to delay compensation which resulted in missed flights. The airline faces payments of €600 to each passenger who missed their connections because of delays or arrived at their destination more than three hours late. The court ruling concerns European Union legislation EC261 which states that compensation is due for delays over three hours. However, Emirates and four other airlines argued that since the flights originated from outside of Europe, the EU legislation did not apply.
In 2007 Business Traveller reported that Emirates was told to pay in 60% of cases taken to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), but refused 74% of them. Now, the UKCAA said that it will progress its enforcement action against the Gulf carrier, demanding that the airline revise its policies and pay the claims which have been refused.
An Emirates spokesperson said, “We are very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling denying us leave to appeal against the earlier judgement of the High Court in relation to the application of Regulation EC261 to flights of non-Community carriers originating outside of the EU. “As one of the world’s largest airlines, we always comply with all legal requirements and based on the judgement, we will advise customers of our approach in due course.”
Marius Stonkus, the CEO of flight compensation company Skycop said according to the data of OAG that in 2017, a quarter of Emirates’ flights were behind the schedule, meaning, around 11,8 million airline passengers reached their destinations behind schedule. “Connections have always been a grey area of the EU air passenger law EC 261 and airlines like Emirates, Eithad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines and American Airlines would naturally rather stay it that way. However, the Court of Appeal’s ruling in October 2017 was clear-cut; passengers of non-EU airlines, who miss connecting flights outside EU are entitled to up to €600 flight compensation.
Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline, released its annual financial report for 2017 on 15 March 2018, stating the group had achieved the ‘best result in its history’, benefiting from the bankruptcy of its smaller rival Air Berlin in 2017. However, the company’s growth plans for this year are less optimistic with ongoing issues, meanwhile, competition in Germany’s market increases. The Lufthansa Group reported its profits soaring 70 percent to some €3 billion in 2017. The Group said its cost-cutting programme had prompted the jump in profits but expects earnings to slip this year primarily due to fuel price increases as well as lack of pilots and crew.
According to its financial statement, Lufthansa Group, which includes Swiss, the newly purchased Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and budget brand Eurowings, achieved its best-ever results in 2017, with total revenues amounting to €35.6 billion ($44 billion), a 12.4% increase on the previous year, while margins rose almost three percentage points to 8.4 percent. According to Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa, “Our endeavours of the past few years are paying off. Our modernisation has a sustainable impact. We have achieved the best result in the history of our company.”
According to IATA, the number of travellers will continue to rise in 2018. Airline passenger numbers are expected to increase to 4.3 billion, so airlines should also expect growth in the number of new aircraft in the market. In recent years we have been hearing a lot about economic growth. The Daily Journal states that 120 countries enjoyed economic growth in 2017, creating the broadest global expansion in seven years. World trade is expanding and consumers are more confident. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that global growth in 2017 was the most substantial since 2011 and is forecasting a further 3.9% growth for this year and in 2019.
This has led to the International Air Transport Association’s statement that airlines should expect a rise in passenger numbers to 4.3 billion in 2018. The association noted that this would be a 6% rise from the 4.1 billion recorded in 2017. “The number of passengers is expected to increase to 4.3 billion in 2018. The traffic of passengers is expected to rise 6.0%, slightly down on the 7.5% growth of 2017 but still ahead of the average of the past 10-20 years of 5.5%, which will exceed a capacity expansion of 5.7%,” the association’s experts state in their forecast for 2018. This means that there will be a huge growth in the number of new planes in the market. Boeing confirms that in 2018 it will need approximately $139 billion for the funding of new aircraft, which is $17 billion more than in 2017.
Despite the optimistic forecasts for 2018 that IATA made at the beginning of December 2017, there are some indications that things could be less favourable than planned. In the first place, IATA estimated that in 2018 the price of crude oil (Brent) would be quoted at UD$60 / barrel. But according to the aviation consultancy CAPA, this cost will be US$70 / barrel. Already on 26 December 2017 the price reached US$67 / barrel and although it was the result of oil pipeline accidents in Libya, the situation in the Middle East is expected much more unstable than in the past ten years, which may cause the price of oil go beyond what was predicted. It is no secret that the price of crude oil is, perhaps, the most important input in the cost structure of airlines and, according to this consultancy, it is at US$80 / barrel the limit at which airlines begin to make adjustments and decide drastic savings and restrictions.
Apart from this, the distortions and peculiarities of the airline industry, which make it unique globally, prevent the competitive adjustments that any other industry achieves and even its economic cycles are diverse. While an industry such as steel is governed by very predictable cycles and since it is a more or less liberalised global market, it is possible to adjust its growth based on supply and demand.
The case of aviation is very different because of the regime it continues to maintain globally, through bilateral agreements and with strong governmental interests that in each country take different paths, but that ultimately keep air transport services out of the country. In this sense, today we have new elements that have driven the increase of air traffic. The unprecedented growth of the Chinese market and the Chinese airlines in their international traffic; the emergence of the low-cost phenomenon is also creating a kind of bubble that does not seem to have a horizon to deflate dramatically, but that can be pressured by the rise in fuel prices and eventually, the increase in the prices of tickets. According to Bank of America, the expectations of the airlines have improved a lot, so much that in recent weeks the prices of shares of American, United and Delta have increased significantly.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Egypt’s military operates a number of UAVs, including the Chinese ASN-209 and CH-4, as well as other types such as the jet-powered Northrop Grumman M324 Scarab. 56 of the latter were delivered in the 1980s and 1990s by Teledyne Ryan. In 2015 Egypt expressed interest in producing Sagem Patroller UAVs but it is not clear if anything came of this.According to AeroVironment, the Puma II is equipped with an electro-optical and infrared camera and illuminator, but can also carry other payloads such as communications relay, geo-location or laser market. Flight is either manually controlled or the aircraft flies a GPS-based route. Endurance is more than 3.5 hours and range 20 km.
According to data provided by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and published in a State of Drone Report in South Africa, by the end of 2017 South Africa had registered 663 remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) with 686 remote pilot licences (RPLs) issued. The report notes these numbers are likely to increase due to growing market demand and expertise increasing in the regulatory, operator and training environment. SACAA says Remote Pilot Operator approval time to be 90 days
According to the report, the most popular drone is the DJI Phantom series which accounts for 29% of RPAS registered in 2017. Along with the Inspire (13%), EBEE (six percent), Bathawk and Matrice (both three percent) these five models account for 54% of the current registered market. The remaining 46% is divided among more than 100 different models. Four of 18 ROC operators in South Africa own and operate over 20% of the current registered national fleet of 663 RPAS. The report also notes ‘within the top four owners most focus on training, indicating the aim is still to grow the industry significantly through upskilling and equipping’.
Sixty-two percent of RPAS companies utilise drone technology for survey, mapping, inspection as well as film and marketing activities. In addition, the report found operators active in the training, film and marketing segments of the drone industry to be the fastest growing ones. Agriculture, surveillance and security are seen as emerging growth points for South Africa’s drone sector if the SACAA approves more complex operations for remotely piloted aircraft and if the SACAA approves ‘more complex’ operations for unmanned aircraft.
Should you miss out on any edition of APAnews, please visit the website: www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the APAnewslink on the front page. All past weekly APAnews publications have been archived on the website.Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)
African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.