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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Regional Scan: Latin America

By Woodrow Bellamy III

Avianca Upgrades A320s With ROPS

Flight display featuring the Airbus ROPS technology. Photo: Airbus
Colombian airline Avianca is upgrading its fleet of A320s with the Airbus Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS), an onboard cockpit technology designed to provide active protection and increase situational awareness during the aircraft landing phase of flight.

According to Airbus, the system combines data on weather, runway condition and topography, and aircraft weight and configuration to prompt appropriate callouts and alerts for pilots.

“The incorporation of the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) in 21 aircraft in Avianca’s Airbus fleet will give pilots the information they need to take the best decisions for a safe landing in the minimum time possible,” said Fabio Villegas, president of Avianca.

FAA Sees Latin America as Fastest Growing Aviation Market

Latin America’s commercial Air Transport market is projected to be the fastest growing region in terms of passenger demand over the next two decades, the FAA said in its latest 20-year global aviation forecast.

According to the forecast, mainline air carrier enplanements in Latin America are expected to grow an average annual rate of 4.5 percent per year through 2034. Asia Pacific is projected to grow at 3.9 percent and North America is third at 2.7 percent.

Latin America is also projected to have the most passengers flying to and from the U.S., as the forecast projects the rate of air traffic between the two regions to grow faster than any other market at an annual rate of 4.7 percent per year. The forecast indicates positive signs for Latin America’s growing aviation industry, which needs an ATM overhaul and modernized aircraft fleets with new avionics to handle the projected growth in passenger demand and air traffic to and from the region.

The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) is projecting Latin American airlines will post a combined $1 billion profit in 2014, which would be more than double the $400 million profit recorded in 2013.

Embraer Unveils New E175

Embraer rolls its first E175 at its production facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Photo: Embraer
Embraer has unveiled its first production E175 regional transport jet with a range of aerodynamic improvements designed to reduce the aircraft’s fuel burn performance, the Brazilian airframe manufacturer said.

Among the improvements are the introductions of a new wingtip, systems optimization and streamlining of aerodynamic surfaces. During performance trials, the newly improved E175 showed fuel consumption on a typical flight that is 6.4 percent lower than the legacy E175, exceeding Embraer’s projected savings of up to 5 percent.

“Besides reduced fuel burn, other improvements to the current generation of E-Jets include longer maintenance intervals, increased productivity and lower maintenance costs.

 Rockwell Collins to Design Displays in Brazil

Rockwell Collins signed a new agreement with Brazilian manufacturer Avionics Services at the Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio (FIDAE) 2014 conference to begin producing avionics displays in Brazil.

According to Alan Prowse, vice president and managing director for the Americas for Rockwell Collins, the agreement will produce advanced avionics displays for military aircraft operating in Brazil and throughout Latin America. Already about 80 percent of Latin American aircraft fly with Rockwell Collins avionics, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based manufacturer said.

Brazilian Air Force to Fly UAS At World Cup

The Brazilian Air Force awarded a contract to Elbit Systems to acquire the Hermes 900 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), the Israeli aerospace and defense manufacturer said. Brazil is looking to use the Hermes 900 in combined missions with its already operational Hermes 450 fleet to provide during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Games.

According to Elad Aharonson, general manager for the UAS division at Elbit Systems, Brazil will use both unmanned aircraft systems to provide intelligence missions, border protection and perimeter surveillance of infrastructure and critical sites during the games.

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