RAAF Tanker Proposal
Rockwell Collins has joined a Boeing-led team that is competing for a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) contract for refueling aircraft. The team proposes four KC-767 tankers that include Collins cockpits. The RAAF plans to award a contract this summer. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Denmark's Naviair has contracted Formation Inc., Moorestown, N.J., to deliver its Advanced Integrated Recorder systems for use in the Copenhagen air traffic control center in Kastrup and other sites in Denmark and Greenland. They will record analog and digital voice channels for area control, approach and tower communications. Visit www.formation.com.
FlightSafety in London
FlightSafety International is building a new learning center at Farnborough, UK. The facility, to be completed in 2005, will house 14 flight simulators. Visit www.flightsafety.com.
Lockheed Martin is just months away from completing electronic training manuals (ETMs) for the F-16. Seventeen countries operating the F-16 are participating in ETM development, which was launched in 2001 and is part of Lockheed Martin's effort to produce paperless technical manuals for the worldwide F-16 fleet. Visit www.lmaeronautics.com.
India's New AEW Aircraft
The Indian Air Force signed a $1.1-billion contract to acquire from Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) three Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft fitted with early warning subsystems by IAI's Elta Systems. They also will be equipped with radars, electronic intelligence systems, and communications gear. Visit www.iai.co.il.
The Polish government selected BAE Systems to be the avionics systems integrator for two Mi-24 helicopter prototypes that are to be made NATO-compatible. The upgrade package will include an open architecture mission system and integrated helicopter electronic warfare system. At its base in Rochester, UK, BAE Systems is testing the upgrade technology on a Mi-24 Hind that it has bought. New radios, digital maps and navigation equipment are being installed to meet NATO requirements. The Hind is a troop transport/combat helicopter produced in Russia. Visit www.baesystems.com.
Emteq Aerospace, Muskego, Wis., has received four supplemental type certificates (STCs) for installations on two aircraft types. On the Boeing 767 the STCs are for the Honeywell Rescu406 emergency locator transmitter and ACSS T2CAS traffic and terrain avoidance system. And on the Beech 1900 they are for the Honeywell enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) and Garmin 400 GPS receiver. Visit www.emteq.com.
BTC Electronic Components to Move
BTC Electronic Components—producer and supplier of connectors, relays, heat shrink products and other electronic components—has broken ground for its new headquarters, in Wake Forest, N.C. Wake Forest is a suburb of Raleigh, where BTC currently is headquartered. Visit www.btcelectronics.com.
NAT Seattle Inc., a division of Northern Airborne Technology Ltd. and a Chelton company, has acquired the assets of Pentar Communications Systems LLC and Pentar Systems Inc. Pentar product support will remain in Seattle, but most manufacturing will move to NAT's base in Kelowna, British Columbia. Visit www.northernairborne.com.
Serbia and Montenegro ATC
Site acceptance testing recently was completed of a new turnkey air traffic management system for the Belgrade area control center and approach control, serving the Serbia and Montenegro area. The Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA) contracted Raytheon Co. to supply the system, which was installed in time to accommodate anticipated increases in air traffic because of the 2004 Olympics in Greece. SMATSA received technical assistance from Eurocontrol, which accepted Serbia and Montenegro as new members in late March. Visit www.raytheon.com and www.eurocontrol.int.
Australia-Wide ADS-B Award
Thales Air Traffic Management (ATM) will supply 57 automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations for installation at 28 sites throughout Australia. The ADS-B acquisition, handled under a contract with Airservices Australia, will fuel the largest implementation of the surveillance technology so far by an air navigation service provider. ADS-B provides GPS position, altitude and speed information derived from aircraft systems to air traffic controllers. The nationwide program will provide ADS-B coverage in Australian Upper Airspace, complementing existing en-route and terminal radar coverage. It will allow Airservices Australia to supply radar-like separation service in current non-radar airspace, says Thales. Visit www.thalesatm.com
Connexion Sets Rates
Based on research on air travelers' willingness to pay for broadband connectivity, Connexion by Boeing has established a pricing model for its high-speed in-flight Internet service. David Friedman, Connexion's vice president of marketing and corporate sales, refers to the model as "the final puzzle piece" needed for the service's launch, which is expected this spring.
Connexion by Boeing proposes various connectivity rates, depending on the length of the flight, within two options. The flat-rate pricing option calls for a $29.95 charge on flights lasting more than six hours, $19.95 on flights that are between three and six hours, and $14.95 for flights that are less than three hours long. With the alternative, metering pricing option, airlines would offer a starter package that allows up to 30 minutes of Internet access for $9.95 and charges 25 cents per minute thereafter. Visit www.connexionbyboeing.com.
Cranfield Aerospace, Cranfield, UK, has received approval from the UK Civil Aviation Authority and European Joint Aviation Authority for the Rockwell Collins TCAS 4000 traffic alert collision avoidance system installed on the BAE Jetstream 31. Traffic advisories are displayed on 3.5-inch liquid crystal displays, which replace existing vertical speed indicators and a 5-inch multifunction display. Also included in the installation are two Collins Mode S transponders. Visit www.cranfieldaerospace.com.
Rohde & Schwarz News
The German military has placed an order worth more than 5 million euros for devices that encrypt and decrypt analog and digital messages that are highly classified. Rohde & Schwarz SIT's Elcrodat 4-2 encryption devices are to be installed on the Tiger and NH-90 helicopters, as well as on ships and submarines. Rohde & Schwarz also has taken over the sales and service of its test and measurement equipment business in the U.S. and Canada. Tektronix Inc. formerly provided such support. Visit www.rohde-schwarz.com.
LCCs Deliver Traffic Growth
Stimulated largely by the success of low-cost carriers (LCCs), the number of flights in Europe is predicted to grow by 3.4 percent and, in some countries, to mushroom by as much as 7 percent between now and 2010, according to a recent Eurocontrol forecast. "We expect expansion in the sector to be based on a return to economic growth and the growth in low-cost carriers," says David Marsh, head of STATFOR, Eurocontrol's statistics and forecast service. "Traffic now is back to around 2000 levels. Overall, we have lost about three years of growth, resulting in 10.5 million flights in 2010 rather than in 2007." The lost growth stems from a slumping economy, terrorist attacks in the United States, and an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the Far East.
Eurocontrol predicts the LCCs will add about 1 percent market share annually in Europe. The LCC market is most concentrated in Ireland and the UK, with carriers such Ryanair and Easyjet. But Eurocontrol predicts LCC growth will migrate south and east, to Turkey, Greece, Italy and Slovakia, where the low-cost carrier market has doubled over the past year. Eurocontrol cites the fact that 10 new member states of the European Union now enjoy deregulation of the air transport sector, allowing growth in the LCC market.
The forecast predicts about a 4 percent increase in European air traffic this year over 2003 and, after a slight decline in growth in 2005, about a 3.4 percent increase through 2010.
Predicted Percent Increase in Flights by Country
White Russia 5.5
Czech Republic 4.7
United Kingdom 3.0