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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Aircraft Safety Improved 50% in 2011

Aircraft Safety Improved 50% in 2011

This week we heard in the news that global airline safety rates, covering total crashes and passenger deaths, have improved by nearly 50 per cent this year over the first 11 months of 2010..

Total fatal accidents up to November 30 were 22, causing the deaths of 486 passengers and crew. Last year’s totals were 23 and 786. In 2006, 855 people died in 20 crashes.

All world regions including Africa, long one of the most dangerous for air travel, have this year seen a proportional drop in fatalities and plane losses — with the lone exception of Russia and countries linked to it in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), IATA said.

“As of the end of November, the global safety performance (of the industry) is at the best level recorded, and is 49 percent better than the same time last year,” IATA senior vice-president for safety Gunther Matschnigg told reporters.

One of 2011’s most high-profile Russian air disasters was September’s crash at Yaroslavl, on the Volga north-east of Moscow, which killed 45 passengers, including the 37 members of the local Lokomotiv ice hockey squad.

Matschnigg, speaking at IATA’s annual briefing for journalists covering the industry, said a key problem in Russia was that pilots and ground technicians were having to adapt to a growing number of highly sophisticated aircraft.

The IATA safety chief credited the seven-year-old programme, which provides for thorough and regular checks on all aspects of flight security and aircraft maintenance as well as training of personnel, for the major improvement in Africa.

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Last week the European parliament approved a new deal offering the passenger name records (PNR) to be transferred to Australia within data protection laws, helping with airport security and anti-terrorism names. The agreement, set to last for 7 years, will allow the Australian government to keep passenger data for five and half years.

Advance Passenger Information (API), is obligatory in the USA and all EU member states. Increasingly it is being required by governments around the world. Combined with Passenger Name Records (PNR), this information must be sent to the destination country’s border security department for passenger screening, crucial for effective border management.

PNR data is collected by airlines and includes passengers’ personal information, passport numbers and credit card details. After 3 years personal identifying data will be marked out.

PNR data will be kept in the system for the purpose of preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting terrorist offences or serious transnational crime. 

Passenger Data transfer services are usually provided by a third party to the airline. Services such as AviSec Data Transfer by ARINC Direct ensure that data is transferred flawlessly and cost effectively for the airline. Failure on the part of the airline can result in fines of up to $5000, and so in these tough economic times quality services are essential.

ARINC processes 25 million messages each day – over 50% of the world’s operational Type B traffic, to a 3000 strong customer base.

ARINC said “airlines choosing AviSec can be confident that they are getting the highest possible performance at a wholly affordable price.”

We know that the dire financial condition of the present have had an effect on almost every industry imaginable, business aviation being no exception.

Business Jet Production Slowed By World Economic Crisis

Business Jet Production Slowed By World Economic Crisis

One tell-tale sign was reported by Flight Global this week. Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) is planning to slow the development of its light business jet, Hawker 200, a six seat aircraft.

With the crisis having lasted now for 4 years this is the second occasion that HBC has been forced to stop development of this low end jet, launched in 2008.

Another of HBC’s light jet stable – the Hawker 400XP – became a casualty of the financial crisis in 2010. Hit by poor sales and low demand, production of the six-seat aircraft was suspended.

HBC have also suspended production of another of their light jets, and whilst they have affirmed that both will be brought back into production once the economy is in a better state, most industry experts expect no improvement in the light jet market for the next 18 months.

But the impact is not only on the order books of manufacturers, used business jet sales are at an all-time low.

All we can do now is wait it out, and hope that new opportunities enter the market soon.