US EPA & FAA to Initiate CO2 Rulemaking Process

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Statistics reveal that in 2013, airplanes spewed up to 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air, and it is estimated that, if left unchecked, this is likely to more than triple by the year 2050. Although many countries make efforts to regulate the emissions of cars and trucks, efforts at regulating the aviation industry have been largely unsuccessful. This is a contentious issue for parties who are monitoring the effect of carbon emissions on climate change, particularly in light of the fact that more people than ever are using airline travel and airfreighting goods around the world becomes more commonplace.

The United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is tasked with drawing up a plan to regulate the global aviation industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, but reportedly does not anticipate having this finalized before 2020. The European Union’s attempts to impose CO2 emission taxes on airlines flying through European Union airspace was met with a flood of opposition, halting the proposal in its tracks. Recently the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will be “moving forward with a rulemaking process to propose endangerment and cause or contribute findings regarding aircraft GHG emissions”. ¹

Some airlines are experimenting with biofuels with a measure of success, and this is a potential solution worth pursuing, but airlines need to find ways of burning less of the conventional fuel currently being used. Lighter components in aircraft manufacture, streamlining aircraft designs and developing more efficient engines are ways the aircraft manufacturing industry continues to contribute toward fuel efficiency. By improving routes and timetables, individual airlines can ensure flights are fully utilized and thereby contribute toward fuel efficiency, which from a financial perspective is in their best interests, while at the same time helps in cutting carbon emissions by eliminating under-utilized flights. Surveys of US airlines have shown that the majority are not functioning as efficiently as they could in this regard. It is hoped that the proposed US EPA rules will push airlines to conform to best practices with regard to limiting carbon emissions.


Spotlight on Passenger Comfort at International Expo

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Taking place in Hamburg, Germany, from 9-11 April 2013, Aircraft Interiors Expo 2013 is dedicated to the aircraft interiors industry and is the largest event of its kind in the world. The expo offers the opportunity to view the latest trends in all aspects relating to aircraft interiors, including cabin interior design, in-flight entertainment, passenger services and connectivity. Run concurrently with the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, the Aircraft Interiors Expo features more than 500 leading suppliers, many of whom use the event to launch new products. The expo is only open to visitors and exhibitors directly involved in the aircraft interiors industry.

As part of the expo, the Passenger Experience Conference will take place on 8 April 2013 at the Congress Center in Hamburg, and will feature panel discussions, case studies and the opportunity to network with leaders in the industry. The opening address will share insights on what passengers expect from the cabin environment and how airlines can go about meeting these expectations. Later in the morning Chairperson Blake Emery (Boeing‘s Director of Differentiation Strategy) and speaker Tom Costley (Group Director, Head of Travel & Tourism TNS UK) will present the topic “Embracing the Future Today” in which they will identify the major consumer trends; discuss what the implications of an increasingly digital and mobile world are on business and leisure; and what impact this is likely to have on airlines and the broader travel industry.

Devin Liddell (Principal Brand Strategist, TEAGUE) will consider “Five Unexpected Lessons Commercial Aviation Should Borrow from Other Industries”, highlighting trend analyses, brand audits and business metrics designed to determine the relationship between financial and brand performance in commercial aviation. Delegates will receive a detailed explanation on the abovementioned lessons, along with realistic strategies to implement these lessons. Other sessions of the Passenger Experience conference include the topics “Driving Extra Value from Inflight Entertainment Systems and Connectivity”; “Cabin Interiors to Support New Ways of Doing Business”; and “New Opportunities in Hospitality and Service”. Panel discussions with Q&A sessions will include a debate on Bandwidth and improving the travel experiences for passengers faced with reduced mobility, as well as creating a more personalized inflight experience.

CEPA Expo 2012

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The Central Europe Private Aviation Expo Prague 2012 (CEPA Expo 2012) will focus on ways to streamline methods of doing business in the Private Aviation market in Central Europe in order to promote this growing industry. There will be speakders, panel discussions and workshops addressing many of the challenges in the private aviation industry. For more information visit

Dates: 28-30 November 2012
Venue: Prague Congress Center
City: Prague
Country: Czech Republic

Harnessing Landing Power to Cut Noise and Emissions

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Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a team of engineers from the University of Lincoln have confirmed that future aircraft could harness and store energy produced by landing gear, which could then be used to taxi the aircraft – a necessary, but very fuel-wasting, function of air travel. In addition to the fuel-inefficiency of taxiing aircraft, leader of the research, Professor Paul Stewart, noted that emissions and noise pollution caused by jet engines is a huge problem with airports worldwide. Little wonder then that the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) has made engine-less taxiing one of its key objectives for the aviation industry in Europe beyond 2020.

Stewart added that if aircraft produced in the next fifteen to twenty years could incorporate the technology currently being investigated it would be enormously beneficial, particularly for people living in the vicinity of airports. The University of Lincoln’s research is assessing a number of methods of capturing the power generated by a landing airplane. In an interview, Professor Stewart, explained than when an Airbus 320 lands, the combination of its speed and weight produces around three megawatts peak available power. The team of researchers has explored different ways of harnessing that available power, including the interaction between magnets attached to the airplane and copper coils implanted in the runway. To date, many of the ideas have not proven to be feasible, either from a technical point of view or financially, or both. Nonetheless, the study has shown that it’s possible to capture energy in this manner, especially in light of advances being made in developing more-electric, or even all-electric, airplanes.

This collaborative effort between the University of Lincoln and the University of Loughborough is being carried out under the direction of the Airport Energy Technologies Network (AETN) which was established in 2008 by the UK-based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to facilitate low-carbon research in the field of aviation.

Proposed Technology for Safer Bad Weather Landings

With an increasing number of aircraft taking to the skies every year, the aviation industry is constantly looking at ways to make flying safer. Taking-off and landing are statistically the most risky part of air travel, so new technology aimed at making landing in bad weather safer is good news for both the aviation industry and for passengers. According to data from the United States Department of Transportation, inclement weather is the cause for more than 40 percent of delays in flights in the United States. In a recent FAA study it was revealed that the cost of delays and cancellation of flights could be as high as $6.7 billion a year.

By means of an infrared camera mounted on the nose of an airplane, the new technology will enable the pilot to see potential obstacles, such as air-traffic control towers and mountains, which would usually be obscured by bad weather conditions. Using Global Positioning System data, the camera and cockpit screen will provide real-time infrared camera images to aid pilots in making a safe landing.

Larisa Parks of Honeywell International, the developers and manufacturers of the new technology, noted that pilots would be able to see the runway upon approach, regardless of what visibility conditions may be like. The improved visibility would allow pilots to reduce the landing minimum from its current limit of an altitude of 200 feet to 100 feet. Chief pilot of corporate aviation for Honeywell, Ronald Weight, noted that pilots make the decision on whether to attempt landing in bad weather, or divert to another airport, based on whether they can see the runway clearly enough with the naked eye. The new technology of the enhanced vision system will make the runway clearly visible to pilots giving them the advantage of being able to land safely in conditions which may have previously led them to divert.

In addition to the enhanced vision system of the infrared camera, Honeywell has a comprehensive database of runways, along with 90,000 images and positions of man-made and natural obstacles. The goal is to use the two technologies – enhanced vision system and synthetic vision system – to make landing in bad weather a safer experience. This will also cut costs of diverting to alternative airports, or delays and cancellations of flights due to bad weather.

ICAS Convention 2009

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The ICAS Convention, or International Council of Air Shows, was inaugurated in 1967, and each year, show professionals get together at the convention to network amongst each other, plan upcoming air shows and to bounce new ideas off one another. It is expected that over 1 500 community member of the aviation industry will be in attendance, and will feature educational sessions, private concerts, workshops and banquets. The exhibition hall will offer thousands of air show related products and stands.

For more information in regard to this magnificent convention, visit the ICAS official website at

Date: 6 – 9 December 2009
Venue: Paris Las Vegas Hotel
City: Las Vegas, Nevada
Country: United States of America

Dubai Air Show 2009

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Hosted by F & E Aerospace, the Dubai Air Show 2009 will take place from 15 – 19 November 2009, and is one of the premier air shows of the year. With approximately 850 exhibitors and thousands of visitors, the show is always the venue for major aviation deals and networking, and this year a 140 airplanes will be displayed in the static park. This international event has a massive exhibition hall, and vendors display a variety of products related to all the sectors of the aviation industry.

To find out more about the exhibition, its exhibitors and the products of the show, visit the official website at

Date: 15 – 19 November 2009
Venue: Airport Expo
City: Dubai
Country: United Arab Emirates

Antonov An-148 Takes Flight

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It was a day the entire team had been waiting for. The Antonov An-148 lifted off from a runway in Russia, and successfully performed the tasks required during its forty-one minute flight. On its maiden flight, the Antonov An-148 climbed to five thousand meters and maintained speeds of just less than five hundred and fifty-five kilometers per hour. This magnificent collaboration between Russia and Ukraine has produced a new aircraft that has already begun to make a massive impression on the aviation industry.

The Antonov An-148 aircraft is a jet aircraft that was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau, which is located in Ukraine. Construction took place at the VASO Aircraft Factory in Russia, combining the efforts of both teams, to be able to see the Antonov An-148 take to the skies. Production on the aircraft soon began and in June 2009, the An-148 began flying domestic flights for Aerosvit Airlines in Ukraine.

Its unique design, allows the Antonov An-148 to fly to airports few other aircraft would be able to. The twin jet turbine engines which are located under the wing of the An-148 drive the high wing monoplane into flight, and this unusual configuration offers protection to both the wing and the engines. The design of the wing along with the auxiliary power unit, also assists the aircraft to land at airports that are not as technologically advanced as those found in the bigger cities. Equipped with the latest navigational systems, fly-by-wire equipment and multifunctional displays creates a very reliable aircraft that is able to fly safely through a variety of weather conditions. Depending on the seat pitch installed in the Antonov An-148, the aircraft is able to accommodate between seventy to eighty passengers and two crew members. It has a cruising speeding of between eight hundred and twenty to eight hundred and seventy kilometers per hour and has a maximum take off distance of one thousand seven hundred and fifty meters. Orders for the new Antonov An-148 aircraft have come in from Cuba, Iran, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, confirming the success of the aircraft and the success of the designers and construction team.

Fort Worth Alliance Air Show 2009

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The Fort Worth Alliance Air Show is an anticipated event for everyone in the aviation industry and those interested in aircraft. Both days are filled with spectacular aerial displays and on the ground; spectators can test their skills in a simulator, enjoy the kids zone and static displays, get performer autographs and browse the exhibit booths, to name but a few activities. Performers to look forward to include the U.S. Army Golden Knight, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Cavanaugh Warbirds, Shockwave and many more.

To explore the list of performers or details of the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show, visit the official website at

Date: 24 – 25 October 2009
Venue: Fort Worth Air Force Base
City: Fort Worth, Texas
Country: United States of America

New Altitude Proposal

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The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), has put forward a new proposal for altitude adjustments for commercial aircraft space, also referred to as Class B Airspace. Even though the FAA is confident that their Airspace Redesign Project will not be increasing the noise level, but reduce it, there are many agencies fighting the changes and suggesting that all the options and impacts have not been explored. The New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise has received a few documents that contradict the FAA findings and consist of reports sent through from different airports, stating the negative impact the reduction in altitude will have on the airport and surrounding areas.

The proposal for the New York skies wants to reduce the Class B Airspace from its present 3 000 feet, to 2 500 feet and in some places it is proposed to drop to 2 000 feet. Many believe that the increase in noise level is understated by the FAA and does not reflect its true impact. It is therefore been requested that an environmental impact study be done, to properly investigate how the proposed changes will affect those on the ground. The affects on the other industries will also be massive.

If the Class B Airspace is lowered, helicopter pilots will be given a lowered airspace, and in doing so they will be unable to reduce their noise impact. It will also affect their ability to operate, as many of them use routes across the metropolitan area and make use of the Class B Airspace. A great number of community members in the suburbs surrounding the airports have already submitted complaints, as the present altitudes have already caused nervous reactions and fear, and it is believed that lowering the altitude will be viewed as even more dangerous. Restoring the faith of the community in the safety of aviation has been an uphill battle, and changing the altitude for the Class B Airspace could jeopardize the progress made and damage the relationship between the public and the aviation industry. Areas such as the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge will also be suffering under the new proposal, as protected wildlife species will be bewildered and endangered by the outlines of the project.

The proposal will first be released in the Federal Register, which will give community members and agencies the opportunity to note their comments in regard to the proposal, which has become the object of great criticism and controversy. The majority of the aviation industry believe that it would be best for all concerned if the proposal is not brought into effect, but only time will tell how this critical issue unfolds.

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