NTSB calls for anti-ground collision devices
The National Transportation Safety Board on Sept. 5 recommended the Federal Aviation Administration require large airplanes to be equipped with an anti-ground collision
device, such as an on-board external-mounted camera system, to provide pilots a clear view of the plane’s wingtips while taxiing and avoid clipping other planes or objects.
Pilots of large planes cannot see the wingtips from the cockpit unless the pilot opens the cockpit window and extends his or her head out, which is often impractical, NTSB said.
The safety agency said anti-collision equipment should be installed on newly manufactured planes and existing large planes should be retrofitted with the equipment.
“While collision warning systems are now common in highway vehicles, it is important for the aviation industry to consider their application in large aircraft,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in a statement.
The recommendations follow three recent ground collision accidents in which large airplanes collided with others while taxiing. In May, for example, the right wingtip of an EVA Air Boeing 747-400 struck the rudder and vertical stabilizer of an American Eagle Embraer 135 regional jet while driving at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
The NTSB forwarded its recommendations to the European Aviation Safety Agency, which sets standards for aircraft manufacturers in Europe.
Lufthansa cuts carbon. In August, Lufthansa Cargo announced plans to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent from 2005 levels in eight years.
Measures being taken by the cargo airline include use of lighter, composite containers, more fuel-efficient flight procedures and investments in new aircraft such as the Boeing 777F to replace its MD-11 fleet.
Switching from aluminum containers enabled Lufthansa’s cargo division to reduce CO2 emissions more than 700 tons in May and June, the company said. More than half the standard LD3 containers used for freight and baggage are now made from composite materials. The lighter weight (about 13 kilograms) also reduces fuel consumption, saving the company money.
In the next few years Lufthansa Cargo plans to replace about 5,000 air freight containers.
Cincinnati’s runway. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently provided a $17.6 million grant to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to rehabilitate a runway and taxiway.
The airport is the 11th largest airport for cargo in the United States with 2.8 million pounds handled there last year, up 16 percent from 2010.
The runway and taxiway are more than 20 years old and the pavement has reached the end of its useful life. Paving work is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.
The total cost of the project is $23.5 million.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport has two other parallel runways and a crosswind runway that will remain open during construction.
The grant comes from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, which provides $3.35 billion in annual funding.
Central Asia’s aviation reform. The International Air Transport Association has called on the governments of Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Caucasus to use air transport as a driver for economic growth and development.
“Kazakhstan sits at the crossroads of East and West. And with double-digit growth in air traffic demand across the whole of Central Asia and the Caucasus it is an emerging success story — a Silk Road in the Sky. But turning the long-term potential of the region into reality requires urgent attention to safety and the provision of cost-efficient airport infrastructure,” IATA Director General Tony Tyler said in an address to the Central Asia and Caucasus Aviation Day held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Tyler noted that the accident rate for the Commonwealth of Independent States is three times worse than the global average – one accident for every 940,000 flights – and deters travel. Governments in the region should adopt international standards and accept IATA safety audits as part of their aviation system, he said.
Improving safety could open the door for the European Union to review its list of banned carriers from countries such as Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
Tyler also was critical of airport infrastructure in Central Asia, saying it is expensive to use and not keeping pace with demand.
IATA is working with the Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications to ensure that 15 of the country’s 20 airports comply with IATA requirements by 2020.
IATA is also pushing the Kazakhstan government to eliminate differential charges between domestic and international carriers and institute independent economic regulation of the aviation sector.
“It is 18 percent more expensive to turn around an Airbus A320 in Almaty than at similarly-sized airports in Europe,” Tyler said. “And the differential rises to 43 percent for a Boeing 767. My concern grows when you see that costs are increasing, instead of becoming more competitive.”
UPS serves Canada, Russia. In recent weeks, UPS has made enhancements to its network in Canada and Europe.
The Atlanta-based package carrier and freight logistics provider opened a 50,000-square-foot logistics facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia as part of its Atlantic Canada expansion strategy across eight cities this year.
Halifax is a growing gateway for international trade.
The integrated logistics provider also has added air capacity to the region to give businesses more shipping flexibility and speed.
The company also launched a direct flight between its European hub in Cologne/Bonn airport in Germany and Vnukovo airport near Moscow. The new Boeing 737-400 flight coincides with Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization.
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