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Ramp Fees are an Important Part of Running a Successful FBO

Sen. Phil Leventis (D)of the great state of South Carolina recently submitted a bill that would prevent FBO operators from charging ramp fees to transient customers.

The exact wording of the bill is that an FBO “at an airport located in South Carolina may not charge a fee, including a ramp fee, to aircraft that do not use their services and are parked at the airport less than a full day if any local, state or federal funds have been used to fund or improve the airport.”

The idiocy of this idea is really beyond my comprehension.

I worked at an FBO and heard pilot after pilot complain about paying ramp fees for any number of reasons.  On the rare occasion that an aircraft pulls up, drops someone off, and immediately leaves, I can understand not charging anything, IF the FBO decides that the goodwill is a benefit to their business.

While the land may be public, it is leased to private companies that have to turn a profit in any way that they can.  The most important avenue for this income is fuel, but with the rising cost of fuel, plane owners are being much more frugal with their fuel purchases.  This is where ramp fees come in to ensure that the FBO can actually make some money.

I am curious how exactly an aircraft can be parked on an FBO ramp, and not use their services.  From the moment a plane comes onto the ramp, it is likely marshalled by an employee of the FBO.  Upon stopping that same employee will likely chock the plane and approach the crew to offer available services. Even if the crew doesn’t need anything else they have already used the services of the FBO.

Let’s say that the plane parks itself so no marshaller was needed, which is unsafe and should never happen, the aircraft is still taking up valuable space on the FBO ramp.  It’s true that some days there is plenty of space and it really isn’t a big deal, but during busy days when space is at a premium, why should aircraft owners not have to pay for the real estate they are occupying?

I would say that if an airport wants to support an idea like this they could easily designate a transient ramp where there are absolutely no services available, but even then it would have to be monitored to allow passengers on and off the airport.  How will that person get paid?

If a plane is staying for even half a day the crew will have to use some of the services of the FBO to include restrooms, concessions, or a crew car to go and get some food.  Does that mean that FBO’s need to start monitoring their bathroom or drinking fountain to ensure customers are paying for all services used?

Clearly I am being somewhat extreme, but most FBO’s are walking a thin line as it is, and if you take away one of the few fallbacks they have then you are making it even harder on them to make a profit, or even pay their bills.

The only way a crazy idea like this would work is if the FBO were to receive some sort of credit for handling aircraft that “didn’t use their services” from the airport.  But even then it would be a logistical and bookkeeping nightmare.

I can understand wanting to encourage business aviation in your state, but this is not the way.

What other ways could FBO’s recover their costs if they lost the ability to charge ramp fees?

January 31, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Airbus ProSky Offers Integrated Airport Surface Management for Air Traffic Controllers

SMAN was designed for environmental efficiency by the German company ATRiCS and is now offered through Airbus ProSky. A unique feature of this airport surface management system is that it automatically switches on the green taxiway lights in front of the aircraft as it moves forward, to illuminate the correct route ahead for the pilot to follow. Overall, the system reduces taxi time and maximises airport capacity and aircraft throughput, while its intelligent predictive guidance also prevents runway incursions and a ‘wrong-turn’. SMAN thus smoothes overall traffic flow and facilitates a continuous taxi speed. This results in less queuing, less ‘stop-and-go’, and of course, lower CO2 emissions.

Keeping traffic moving efficiently on airport taxiways and reducing emissions

30 January 2012 Press Release

Airports strive for ever more eco-efficient ground operations including safe taxiway routing for pilots, all-weather guidance between the terminal gate and the runway, and control of aircraft and vehicles. Airbus ProSky is responding to this demand by complementing its Air Traffic Management (ATM) offerings with a powerful airport surface management system (SMAN) for Air Traffic Control centres worldwide.

SMAN was designed for environmental efficiency by the German company ATRiCS and is now offered through Airbus ProSky. A unique feature of this airport surface management system is that it automatically switches on the green taxiway lights in front of the aircraft as it moves forward, to illuminate the correct route ahead for the pilot to follow. Overall, the system reduces taxi time and maximises airport capacity and aircraft throughput, while its intelligent predictive guidance also prevents runway incursions and a ‘wrong-turn’. SMAN thus smoothes overall traffic flow and facilitates a continuous taxi speed. This results in less queuing, less ‘stop-and-go’, and of course, lower CO2 emissions.

“Airbus ProSky and ATRiCS share a common goal for improving the efficiency of our airport and aviation systems,” said Wolfgang Hatzack, Chief Executive Officer of ATRiCS. “Our deployments in Incheon, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Frankfurt, Zurich and Düsseldorf demonstrate the safety and cost benefits for the global aviation industry with Airbus ProSky.”

Eric Stefanello, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus ProSky said: “Airbus ProSky is bringing together intelligent ATM components which offer the highest level of performance improvements.” He added: “ATRiCS is a proven leader and innovator in advanced artificial intelligence to assist controllers, and we are delighted to have them as part of our team.”

Airbus ProSky, a subsidiary company of Airbus, is dedicated to improving the performance and efficiency of global ATM. By drawing on the operational know-how throughout Airbus itself, and in particular, bringing together the expertise of Airbus’ subsidiaries – Metron Aviation in the US and Quovadis in France, Airbus ProSky offers more than the sum of these parts to provide the world’s best ATM components to maximize value, efficiency, capacity and environmental sustainability. Part of this team, ATRiCS, based in Freiburg, Germany, is a leader in improving traffic efficiency and controller productivity at airports.

Airbus is the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer offering the most modern, innovative and efficient family of passenger airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus is an EADS company.

January 30, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

American Airlines, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Team Up to Fly 14 Amputee Patients to Ski at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Colorado

Annual Trip Offers Teens Therapeutic Ski Activities, Life-Changing Experiences

FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A group of 14 teenage amputee patients of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children will head for the slopes of Colorado next week, thanks to American Airlines and the hospital. This is the 31st year for the all-expense-paid trip, which is supported by generous Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children donors and air transportation provided by American Airlines. The young patients will participate in a ski adventure featuring activities tailored specifically for them.

The teens will depart Monday, Jan. 30, from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), arriving at Denver International Airport (DEN) that afternoon; they will return to DFW on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The teens will be skiing and snowboarding at Winter Park’s National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), one of the world’s largest outdoor therapeutic recreation facilities. They will be paired with a volunteer instructor from the NSCD for a week to learn to ski, facing such activities and challenges as carrying their skis in the snow while wearing their prostheses. The trip allows the patients the opportunity to have fun while fostering a sense of self-confidence, independence and discovery – attributes that can remain with these young adults throughout their lives.

“All of us at American Airlines are proud to support this annual ski trip and this terrific group of teens,” said Andy Backover, American’s Vice President – Corporate Communications. “Each year, our employees look forward to joining in send-off and arrival celebrations for this wonderful program, which helps these youngsters develop a sense of self-empowerment through skiing. This trip is not only a tremendous growth opportunity – it can be a truly life-changing experience.”

Snow skiing is an activity that is particularly well-adapted for amputees. Dallas-based Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, one of the nation’s leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, encourages its patients to challenge themselves during this experience. With specialized equipment, patients often excel at the sport and, in some cases, become competitive skiers.

“My favorite part of the entire experience is seeing how each patient undergoes their own positive transformation during the ski trip,” said Don Cummings, Director of Prosthetics at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. “As a prosthetist, it is my job to make sure that their prostheses are fitting and functioning well enough for them to reach their fullest potential. When they are on the trip, it is up to them to conquer everyday challenges, and to adapt to new ones like ice, snow and learning to ski. Thanks to American Airlines and other generous donors, each patient is able to walk away with a new sense of pride and accomplishment.”

This is the seventh consecutive year that American Airlines, an official sponsor of the trip, is providing air transportation for the teens, medical staff and chaperones. Travel is being arranged through Miles For Kids In Need® – part of the American Airlines Kids In Need(SM) program, which provides support for a variety of purposes related to the well-being of children and their families.

Founded in 1989, the American Airlines Miles For Kids In Need program offers members of the American Airlines AAdvantage® loyalty program the opportunity to donate their AAdvantage miles to help provide air travel for children and their families via partnerships with some of the world’s foremost entities dedicated to caring for children. The American Airlines Kids In Need programs support numerous organizations, including Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Something mAAgic Foundation’s annual mAAgic flight.

American, American Eagle and Admirals Club® employees are hosting a special send-off party the morning of Jan. 30 for the teenagers and their families in Terminal C at DFW Airport. Festivities will include snow-themed decorations and activities, refreshments and brief remarks from representatives of American Airlines and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Upon their arrival in Denver, employees will welcome the group with snacks and beverages. On their departure to Texas on Feb. 4, employees will invite the group to enjoy the amenities of the Denver Admirals Club.

A special guest at the DFW send-off will be First Officer Tom Marquardt, an American Airlines pilot and a Major in the Air Force Reserve. Marquardt, whose leg was amputated below the knee due to injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan, is now back in the cockpit after undergoing rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He is also an employee spokesperson for American’s partnership with Air Compassion for Veterans, which provides air transportation for injured service members and their families to receive medical and rehabilitative services.

To learn more about the community initiatives that American Airlines supports, or to donate to American’s Miles For Kids In Need program, please visit www.AA.com/JoinUs.

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,300 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American’s award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 10,000 daily flights to 149 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.

AMR Corporation, and certain of its United States-based subsidiaries, including American Airlines, Inc. and AMR Eagle Holding Corporation, filed voluntary petitions on Nov. 29, 2011 for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. More information about the Chapter 11 filing is available on the Internet at http://www.aa.com/restructuring.

About Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is one of the nation’s leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia. Admission is open to Texas children from birth up to 18 years of age. For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, please call (214) 559-5000 or (800) 421-1121 or visit www.tsrhc.org

January 28, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Cessna Citation Mustang Reaches 400 Aircraft

The Mustang’s most common use is corporate business or personal travel. Its second most common use is air taxi service. In growing popularity, the Mustang is also being used for special missions as medical air transport and as an airline flight training tool.

“Having the Mustang in our fleet is a great way to get pilots into a jet for the first time — when they get behind the controls, the excitement is written all over their face,” said Rohloff. “Then, when they are ready to move up, the rest of our Citation fleet is right there waiting.”

WICHITA, Kan., Jan. 27, 2012 — Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, rolled its 400th Citation Mustang off the assembly line at its Independence, Kan., facility. This milestone was accomplished in a little more than five years since the Mustang’s first delivery in November 2006.

“What an achievement for Cessna and for the employees in Wichita and Independence who engineer, design, support and manufacture this great airplane,” said Brian Rohloff, Cessna’s Citation Mustang and M2 business leader. “Mustang sales remain strong, pilots like its ease of operation and low operating costs — it’s a compelling airplane, designed and built with Cessna ingenuity and pride.”

The Mustang’s most common use is corporate business or personal travel. Its second most common use is air taxi service. In growing popularity, the Mustang is also being used for special missions as medical air transport and as an airline flight training tool.

“Having the Mustang in our fleet is a great way to get pilots into a jet for the first time — when they get behind the controls, the excitement is written all over their face,” said Rohloff. “Then, when they are ready to move up, the rest of our Citation fleet is right there waiting.”

The worldwide fleet of Mustangs is averaging 480 hours, with 45 Mustangs having accumulated more than 1,000 hours each. High time Mustangs are 1,600 hours (typical operation) and 2,200 hours (fleet operation).

The Citation Mustang is the world’s first fully certified entry-level business jet. The program was announced at the 2002 National Business Aviation Association convention and the aircraft made its first flight in April 2005, received FAA type certificate in September 2006 and celebrated its first delivery in November 2006. Coming in at just over $3 million (2012 delivery), the Mustang features Garmin avionics, Pratt & Whitney Canada engines and boasts a maximum 1,100-nautical mile range.

More information on the Mustang can be found on the Citation Mustang page on Cessna’s website. Also, visit our gallery of Mustang images.

I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Biofuels Could Save Airlines Money, but Not Without Government Support

There is a very interesting article on the Aviation Week website that talks about biofuels, and how numerous airlines have started using biofuels in various ways.  Some airlines have flown single flights, or flights with one engine running biofuel.  Lufthansa has done by far the most testing which was aided largely by funding from the German government.

Right now, biofuel is way too expensive for it to be reasonable for airlines to use on a regular basis.  That is largely due to the fact that its development is being done almost exclusively by the airlines and their partners.  For biofuels to really take off they will need a tremendous amount of government support.

Traditional jet fuel has been produced for decades so all of the infrastructure already exists.  Biofuels on the other hand will need new facilities where they can be refined and developed to the level that the fuels we use now already are.  Maybe even more difficult than that, there will have to be a concerted effort to grow more of the feedstock needed to generate these fuels.

While growing this feedstock may be the simplest way to go about generating biofuels, they simply are not grown in the yield necessary to support commercial endeavors.  The other choice is to refine the waste from agriculture, forest residues, and municipal solid waste, but it is no further along than any other biofuel.

Airlines don’t have the time or money to do the development themselves.  Governments will have to step up to build the infrastructure and support the development of these fuels.  I say governments because this is not something that can be accomplished by the US or any other single government.

The rising cost of fuel is something that is crippling the aviation industry more than maybe any other sector of the economy.  As the cost of fuel rises, the cost of buying airline tickets, the cost of shipping cargo, and therefore the cost of almost everything will continue to rise.

Everyone knows that governments around the world have plenty of economic issues to deal with, and they will likely be hesitant to invest much money in ventures like this.  However, they are making a huge mistake by neglecting this area.

What they are missing is the number of jobs that could be created in numerous different industries if there was government funding backing it.  Research and development would be an ongoing need, not to mention the refineries themselves.

We keep hearing about the government wanting to create jobs, investing in industries that will sustain the economy, not just put a band-aid on it.  However, they continue to throw money at industries that use the money and end up with no real value.

If all of the billions of dollars that were spent to stimulate the economy had actually created jobs we would hear a lot more about those jobs.  Instead, we get vague reports about how the economy is improving without any real information about how or why it is.

Biofuels are an industry that could do wonders for the airline industry, and ultimately any industry that relies on gas to get the job done.  But if that dream is ever to become a reality, it will take a commitment of money and regulatory support to make it happen.

Do you think biofuels are a worthwhile endeavor, or would it be a waste of money, time, and effort in the long run?

I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Simulate Aerial Refueling For Carrier-Borne Platforms

Being a flyer myself, I am not too interested in being replaced by machines.  I think it is very cool the things that they can do with remotely piloted aircraft, or whatever they are calling them these days, but for now I see them as much as an air hazard as anything.  Talk to me after I retire and I may change my song.

That being said, I still find the whole field very interesting, and Northrop Grumman and the US Navy are working to take UASs to the next level.  They are working towards autonomous aerial refueling for these up and coming aircraft.

Aerial refueling is an essential aspect of the effectiveness of most aircraft in the military arsenal, so for UASs to reach the next level of usability they are going to need that ability.  These early simulations are the first steps in making that a reality for the developmental X-47B.

While the simulations did not involve any real transfer of fuel, they are hopeful to achieve actual refueling by 2014.  Leading up to that milestone is successfully demonstrating the X-47B’s ability to safely operate from an aircraft carrier including launch and recovery.

I am not naive enough to think that these platforms will go away.  I believe that quite the opposite will happen, and I’m okay with it.  There are plenty of missions out there that can be effectively accomplished by airframes with no people on-board.

But, there are also plenty of missions that need to be taken care of by pilots who are physically in the cockpit.  Computers and technology can do amazing things, but no matter how hard they try they will never replicate the abilities of the human mind.

January 27, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Test Autonomous Aerial Refueling for Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration

“These tests are a critical step toward proving that the X-47B can perform autonomous aerial refueling using either the Navy’s probe-and-drogue refueling technique or the U.S. Air Force’s boom/receptacle approach,” said Carl Johnson, vice president and UCAS-D program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “Future unmanned systems will need to use both refueling techniques if they plan to conduct longer range surveillance or strike missions from the carrier.”

Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Test Autonomous Aerial Refueling for Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration

Surrogate Testing With Learjet Validates Flight Control Algorithms, Vision Systems That Will Enable Autonomous Refueling Operations

January 26, 2012

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Jan. 26, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the U.S. Navy have successfully completed a series of flight tests to demonstrate technology that could help extend the operating range and flight duration of future carrier-based unmanned systems.

The flight tests, completed Jan. 21 in St. Augustine, proved the functionality of the hardware and software that will enable the X-47B unmanned aircraft to demonstrate autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) in 2014.

The AAR activity is part of the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s UCAS-D prime contractor.

“These tests are a critical step toward proving that the X-47B can perform autonomous aerial refueling using either the Navy’s probe-and-drogue refueling technique or the U.S. Air Force’s boom/receptacle approach,” said Carl Johnson, vice president and UCAS-D program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “Future unmanned systems will need to use both refueling techniques if they plan to conduct longer range surveillance or strike missions from the carrier.”

The AAR tests were conducted by a Northrop Grumman/Navy team using Calspan Corporation’s (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) Variable Stability Learjet as the X-47B surrogate aircraft, and a K707 tanker provided by Omega Air Refueling (Alexandria, Va.). The tests included simulated flight demonstrations of both boom/receptacle and probe-and-drogue aerial refueling techniques. No fuel was exchanged between the aircraft during the test events, however.

The Learjet surrogate was equipped with real or functional equivalents of the navigation systems, flight control processor and vision system that the X-47B will use to conduct refueling operations. The aircraft contained no refueling receptacle or refueling probe. The K707, which is nearly identical in size and shape to an Air Force KC-135, was equipped with a Navy style refueling drogue only.

For each simulated refueling event, the Learjet/X-47B surrogate was piloted to a rendezvous position approximately one nautical mile from the tanker. Then the pilot transferred control of the aircraft to the X-47B’s autonomous flight control processor, which controlled the Learjet during the test event.

During a typical refueling event, the tanker operator or a mission operator on the ground commanded the Learjet to fly, in sequence, to each of the major positions associated with aerial refueling: (1) the pre-tanking observation point off one wing of the tanker; (2) the refueling contact position behind the tanker; and (3) the post-tanking “reform” position off the other wing of the tanker.

“These flights demonstrated empirically that an unmanned system can conduct aerial refueling operations with accuracy and precision,” said Pablo Gonzalez, program manager for Northrop Grumman’s UCAS-D AAR program. “The aircraft never gets tired, and it responds exactly the same way to operator commands every time.”

“The X-47B will use a hybrid GPS/vision-based relative navigation system in conjunction with its autonomous flight control system to establish and maintain a precise distance between tanker and the receiver aircraft,” he added.

The Northrop Grumman/Navy test team plans to conduct additional AAR surrogate testing using the same aircraft when flight-qualified versions of the relevant X-47B hardware and software become available.

The UCAS-D program plans to demonstrate in 2013 the ability of the tailless, autonomous, low-observable relevant X-47B demonstrator to safely operate from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, bolter and wave-off performance, followed by the autonomous aerial refueling in 2014. The program also plans to mature technologies required for potential future Navy unmanned air system programs. For the latest X-47B news and information, please visit www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/nucasx47b/.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

January 26, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

AviancaTaca Firms up Order for 51 Eco-efficient A320 Aircraft

Purchase agreement is biggest for a single customer in Latin America history

26 January 2012 Press Release

AviancaTaca, which includes subsidiary AeroGal of Ecuador, has signed a purchase agreement for 33 eco-efficient A320neo and 18 A320 Family aircraft. The order, which is the largest from a single airline in the region in terms of number of aircraft, follows a MOU signed during the Le Bourget Air Show in Paris in June 2011.

The new aircraft will support AviancaTaca’s expansion into new markets in Latin America, while keeping the airline’s fleet among the youngest in the region.

“With this order AviancaTaca and our subsidiaries will continue the modernization process that includes fleet renewal as its primary focus,” said Fabio Villegas, President of AviacaTaca. “Our goal is to offer travelers the most comfortable and efficient aircraft in the market, and we are proud that the A320neo aircraft is recognized for its eco-efficiency and cutting-edge technology,”

“At Airbus, we are very proud of our contribution to the success story of AviancaTaca,” said John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “Thanks to its unbeatable operating costs and the comfort it offers to passengers, the A320 Family has become the first choice for single-aisle aircraft among the most important operators worldwide.”

AviancaTaca has placed firm orders for 190 Airbus aircraft (including the latest 51) and has currently in service 88 A320 Family aircraft and eight A330. AviancaTaca operates the entire A320 Family, A318, A319, A320 and A321 aircraft.

Over 8,300 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and some 5,000 delivered to more than340 customers and operators worldwide reaffirming its position as the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft Family. The A320neo has over 95 percent airframe commonality making it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload at a given range.

The A320neo is a new engine option for the A320 Family entering into service from 2015 and incorporates latest generation engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver 15 percent in fuel savings. The reduction in fuel burn is equivalent to 1.4 million litres of fuel – the consumption of 1,000 mid size cars, saving 3,600 tonnes of C02 per aircraft per year. The A320neo NOx emissions are 50% below CAEP/6, and this aircraft also has a considerably smaller noise footprint.

To date, Airbus has sold 666 aircraft in Latin America and has a backlog of 351. The number of Airbus aircraft in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean reaches 435 units. In the last 10 years, Airbus tripled its in-service fleet, while delivering more than 60 percent of all aircraft operating in the region.

I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Walking (and Exercising) in the Air

January 25th, 2012

Top athletes hoping to represent Team GB and ParalympicsGB are sharing their exercise techniques in a wellbeing video for British Airways customers, available on flights from February, which can be viewed here: Wellbeing Video

World Champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis, Olympic medal gymnast Louis Smith and Paralympic medallist Shelly Woods feature in the ten-minute film demonstrating a number of exercises tailored towards in-flight wellbeing.

Luisa Fernandez, British Airways sponsorship manager, said: “We’re proud to be using some of our Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls in this wellbeing video.  With their sporting backgrounds they are perfectly placed to share their exercise techniques to enhance the in-flight experience.”

“As official airline of Team GB and ParalympicsGB, we will be flying athletes to and from training camps in the coming months, so they will benefit from the wellbeing video too!”

The film includes footage of Jessica Ennis in training, as well as demonstrating exercises – ankle circles and walking on the spot. Louis Smith showcases his talent on a pommel horse, followed by a series of related exercises, including up and down body movements and shoulder stretches. While wheelchair athlete Shelly Woods offers her expertise by demonstrating shoulder exercises and neck release movements that customers can join in with.

Health and wellbeing is an important part of flying, and in-flight exercises can help reset the body clock to the time zone. The airline also offers a carefully selected menu and relaxation podcast on board to benefit customers, as well as advice on combating jetlag and maximising sleep available on ba.com

British Airways is the official airline partner of the London 2012 Games, and is supporting Jessica Ennis, Louis Smith and Shelly Woods on their journey. For a preview of the film, please visit: www.youtube.com/flybritishairways

January 25, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Boeing and Norwegian Announce Order for 100 737 MAX; 22 Next-Generation 737s

Record order from a European airline, valued at $11.4 billion at list prices

Norwegian is first European 737 MAX customer
Boeing and Norwegian Announce Order for 100 737 MAX; 22 Next-Generation 737sBoeing and Norwegian Announce Order for 100 737 MAX; 22 Next-Generation 737s

OSLO, Norway, Jan. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Norwegian have announced a firm order for 100 fuel-efficient 737 MAX airplanes and 22 Next-Generation 737-800s. The total order is valued at $11.4 billion at list prices and represents the largest-ever Boeing order from a European airline.

Oslo-based Norwegian is the first European carrier to finalize an order for the 737 MAX. The order supports Norwegian’s plans to build on the success provided by its fleet of Next-Generation 737-800s for its rapidly expanding operations.

“Norwegian has become one of the largest 737 operators in Europe and has been a valued Boeing partner since the airline was established,” said Aldo Basile, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president Sales, Europe. “Since it began operating in 2002, Norwegian has achieved tremendous success with its low-cost model, providing significant value to both its passengers and shareholders.”

“This is a historic day for Norwegian – we have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreement with Boeing,” said Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos. “Boeing has played a major part in our strategy to develop a cost efficient and environmentally friendly operation with high customer satisfaction. We are very happy to continue our valuable cooperation and we are proud to be the first 737 MAX customer in Europe.”

“The 737 MAX will deliver fuel savings better than any competing single-aisle airplane on the market,” said Basile. “We’re really pleased to provide this great performance to Norwegian. Improved financial performance and improved environmental performance go hand-in-hand as fuel burn is lowered.”

The 737 MAX is the new-engine variant of the world’s best-selling airplane and builds on the strengths of today’s Next-Generation 737. The airplane will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines which will reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by an additional 10-12 percent over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplane. The 737 MAX will have the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment with a 7 percent advantage per seat over tomorrow’s competition.

This order continues the momentum for the 737 MAX. With the Norwegian order, the 737 MAX has orders and commitments for more than 1,000 airplanes from 15 customers and the Next-Generation 737 family has orders for more than 6,300 airplanes.

Norwegian currently operates a fleet of 62 airplanes: 48 Next-Generation 737-800s and 14 737-300s. Including today’s announcement, Norwegian has 184 unfilled orders for Boeing airplanes including: 100 737 MAX airplanes, 78 Next-Generation 737-800s and six 787 Dreamliners from Boeing and leasing company partners.

Carrying nearly 16 million passengers in 2011, Norwegian is the third-largest low-cost airline in Europe. Norwegian currently operates more than 300 routes across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East and employs approximately 2,500 people.  The company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2003.

I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.