On 29/06/2011, in Bookshelf, by steve
A while ago we published a review of Cambridge University Press’ professional aviation English book “Flightpath”. The Student book is now available for purchase and the Teachers’ book should come before the end of the Summer.
We will be bringing you a review of the complete package (both books and the DVDs) in due time.
On 29/06/2011, in Bookshelf, by steve
With the passage of time ever new generations of aviation professionals and enthusiast step on the stage and they can be excused if some of the previously well known details of aviation history are a bit obscure or even totally unknown for them. It is up to us old-timers and the electronic and printed press to keep those all important details alive lest our common heritage erodes over the decennia.
NewSouth Books has done just that with the publication of “The Tuskegee Airmen”, an illustrated history of the first African American pilots who fought in World War II.
During WWII African Americans in many US states were still subject to racist Jim Crow laws and the US military was racially segregated. The black airmen of the Tuskegee air base had to contend with all the adversity this entailed but nevertheless they trained and flew with distinction.
They served overseas in North Africa, Sicily and other parts of Italy and later as bomber escorts over the rest of Europe where they were especially successful in their missions.
The introduction of this fascinating book starts off by relating how, during the early 20th century, many white military and civilian aviation experts were convinced that African Americans lacked the mental capacity, aptitude and reflexes to fly airplanes. In a way you could say that the book is a wonderful proof of the opposite.
On 27/06/2011, in Environment - Without hot air, by steve
When you drive on France’s motorways, you pay for the privilege. In return you get first class asphalt, nice rest areas and a means to cover the vast distances of that country safely and efficiently. When Austria introduced their road toll system, the money went to refurbishing their aging motorways and to building new ones. The result was an astonishing improvement to a road system already of a very high quality. But not all toll systems are this nice…
When the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) is unilaterally extended to aviation on 1 January 2012, it will cost the industry a cool 3.4 billion euro a year and possibly more if we include the negative impact in terms of global competitiveness. There is a global outcry and it looks like politicians in Europe have found a way to upset the rest of the world for no possible good to Europe or anyone else.
Had it been so that the money gathered from aviation under the ETS would be reinvested in aviation related environmental projects, the case would have been very different. Nobody would be cheering and some aspects of this fatally flawed rule would still need to be repaired but at least it would have a semblance of common sense and would do some good for the environment.
As it is now proposed, the aviation part of the ETS is nothing but a new tax that will do nothing to protect the environment. Politicians in Europe usually find it very hard to agree on anything but they love taxes. They love ETS. Originally it was proposed that income from ETS should be reserved for environmental projects alone. The idea was never accepted… of course.
So, what is the big row about?
On 24/06/2011, in Life around runways, by steve
According to information leaked to the Hungarian media, the visiting Chinese premier during his stay in Hungary will raise the issue of the Szombathely cargo airport to Hungarian prime minister Orban.
Building a cargo airport to serve as China’s main port of entry into Europe has been on the table for some time and the location had been selected several years ago. In the vicinity of the West-Hungarian town of Szombathely, the new, single runway airport would provide excellent rail and road connections to the rest of Europe.
If the decision is indeed made, this airport will be the only completely new facility of this size being built in Europe, bringing major benefits to Hungary as well as Austria which is just a few miles West of the field earmarked for the new airport.
Check out the SIA-Port web-site here.
On 24/06/2011, in Training world, by steve
The Hungarian air navigation service provider and Entry Point North owned by the Swedish, the Danish and the Norwegian air navigation service providers are opening a joint ATM training academy in Budapest named Entry Point Central. Starting in September 2011, the future generation of Hungarian air traffic controllers will be trained according to the world-class Scandinavian training program and methodology. The new academy will also be open for other air navigation providers.
HungaroControl and Entry Point North have founded a joint venture. This long-term, cross-border partnership has been created with the purpose of increasing the level of initial air traffic controller training in Hungary, with the help of one of Europe’s most renowned ATM training center. In the long term, this partnership will contribute to the development of air navigation services in the region and the improvement of the competitiveness of Functional Airspace Block Central Europe (FAB CE). The first training course will begin in September 2011 with 16 Hungarian students at the joint academy in Budapest, named Entry Point Central.
On 22/06/2011, in SESAR's Palace, by steve
The Fly4D consortium – led by Airbus with Cassidian, Honeywell, Lufthansa Systems and Sabre Airline Solutions– has been awarded a contract to perform SESAR sub-work package 11.1 (Flight and Wing Operations Centres). This challenging work addresses the definition, the development and the validation of Airspace User’s future flight planning and control systems and procedures in support of the SESAR ATM Target Concept. The selected consortium consists of world leaders in this domain, and will be working closely with the SESAR JU Members and overall the airspace user community on this critical topic. First validation results are already expected by the end of 2012. The contract is signed by EUROCONTROL on behalf of the SESAR Joint Undertaking.
The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme is one of the most ambitious research and development projects ever launched by the European Union. The foundation of the SESAR ATM Target Concept is trajectory-based operations. A trajectory representing the business/mission intentions of the Airspace Users, and integrating Air Traffic Management and airport constraints, is elaborated and agreed for each flight. Trajectory based operations ensure that the Airspace User flies its trajectory close to its intent in the most efficient way.
Patrick KY, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking commented: “We are the first in the world to start to integrate ATM future concepts with airlines operations. This is truly a breakthrough in our sector of activity.”
On 20/06/2011, in Buzzwords explained, by steve
The FAA recently released for comment a draft Advisory Circular 120-76B, “Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness, and Operational Use of Electronic Flight Bags (EFB)”. This is the third revision of the AC 120-76 series and provides guidance for operational approval and installation of Electronic Flight Bags. While previous versions of this AC were applicable primarily to certificated operators (i.e. Part 91, Part 135), the proposed draft of AC 120-76B includes additional guidance and policy for Part 91 F (large and turbine powered aircraft) Operators. The AC also clarifies EMI and Rapid Decompression testing requirements for all operators and equipment and provides additional guidance on airworthiness certification of EFB mounting devices and power provisions, use of Lithium Ion batteries in Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs), and requirements for paperless operations. The comment period ends July 13, 2011
On 17/06/2011, in TITAN, by steve
As you may have heard, TITAN is an EU 7Th Framework project working on improving the predictability and efficiency of the aircraft turnaround. Its name says it all: turnaround integration in trajectory and network. Building on the baseline to be provided by Airport CDM (A-CDM), TITAN will make the details of the turnaround process more visible on a scale much wider than anything in the past. By providing context sensitive information to the various stakeholders enabling them to anticipate problems and take remedial action not only on a timely basis but also commensurate with the problem to be solved.
You can find more information on TITAN here. This article is about a very important characteristic of TITAN, namely its service oriented architecture (SOA). You can read more about SOA here, but to recap briefly, let me say that in this approach the business aspects and the IT aspects of a system are decoupled from each other, with the business aspects driving the IT aspects and not the other way round. This is a major step in the right direction already as in the past the blessings of modern IT were often negated by the limitations they placed on what the business side was able to achieve. The S in SOA stands for “service” and these are traditionally defined for the IT part of course but even more importantly, the business level also gets its set of services. Where do we get those business services from? Usually they are puzzled out from process models but this can result in an unmanageably complex result. By using domain models to deduce a “what do we actually do” model, things are much simplified and the result is actually usable.
But what does this all have to do with TITAN?
On 15/06/2011, in Buzzwords explained, by steve
Buzzwords are powerful things. They can be dropped in speeches and writing almost at random and the casual audience or reader will be suitably impressed. Luckily they seldom bother to ask the author for an explanation of his favorite buzzwords… Our little air traffic management world of to-day has lots of buzzwords but my all time favorite is “performance based”.
Just about everything is performance based these days but I have yet to see a truly convincing definition of what this really means in the ATM context. Mind you, Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is something else again and it does actually have a meaning.
In the SESAR definition phase already we had things like the performance partnership and the performance framework being put forward as the basis of the improved ATM system even if it was still hard to get a good explanation of what was meant by it all…
More recently however buzzworditis mutated into a new and rather disturbing variety while elevating itself to the highest level of the SESAR implementation plan.
Reading the corresponding text we learn that SESASR is progressing from time based operations to trajectory based operations to, eureka, performance based operations!
So what is wrong with this picture?
On 13/06/2011, in Training world, by steve
The importance of training in aviation cannot be over emphasized. This has been amply demonstrated by recent events, including the Air France A330 crash and the A380 taxi incident, in both of which pilot training issues have been identified as important contributory factors.
But the need for quality training extends way beyond pilots and air traffic controllers. People working on all levels and in all aviation disciplines must be able to supplement their basic training and skills with new knowledge constantly being generated in this fast moving industry.
Training is an expensive affair. The courses themselves tend to have a steep price and having people travel to the course location incurs additional expenses. Temporary absence from the workplace must also be accounted for. With company budgets under stress everywhere, managers are often forced to axe all but essential training. Of course the line between essential and nice to have is not always easy to identify and missing out on important new knowledge happens before we know it.
However, modern technology is here to help. Enter the Advanced E-training Courses being offered in air traffic management by the HACE/BluSky Services partnership. These two companies bring together several years’ worth of expertise in air traffic management and e-learning to offer a wide range of courses at a very reasonable price.
Whether you are an individual wishing to expand your horizons or a company with a need to bring its personnel up to speed on certain subjects, e-learning provides a cost-effective and convenient way to acquire the knowledge you seek. In all cases, the total cost is a fraction of what an equivalent classroom course would require in terms of time and money.