Travel Safety Update - Europe.
Aug 23, 2009
Aeroflot. Sukhoi Aircraft
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has effectively postponed delivery of the Superjet 100 regional aircraft to launch customer Aeroflot until 2010. In his report to Russian premier Vladimir Putin during the Moscow MAKS air show, United Aircraft Corporation chief Alexei Fyodorov said it would begin shipments next year. Under the previously-approved schedule, the manufacturer was to hand over the first of 30 Superjets ordered by Aeroflot in December. But Fyodorov also expresses confidence that Sukhoi will complete domestic certification program for the type before 2010. Aug 19, 2009
Air France, Airbus
French investigators are to consider options for expanding the search for the flight recorders of Air France flight AF447 after ending a second phase of undersea operations. Search teams in the South Atlantic have completed stages designated Phase 1A and 1B in the hunt for the cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders of the Airbus A330 lost on 1 June. France's Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses says the search, undertaken in co-operation with oceanographic institute IFREMER and hydrographic service SHOM, has focused on a 75km-radius circle around the aircraft's last known position. Aug 20, 2009
The reputation of Britons abroad suffered yet another setback this week, when 19-year-old Thomas Strong was expelled from Turkey for exposing himself and shouting obscenities at a statue of the nationOs founder. Last month, the Foreign Office said 237 Britons were arrested or detained in Greece and 434 required hospitalisation between April 2008 and March 2009. The problem is not confined to the Greek beach resorts popular with young British binge-drinkers: a total of 4,603 Britons were arrested in other countries around the world between 2007 and 2007, according to the most recent British Behaviour Abroad report. The shenanigans of this raucous minority do not go unnoticed, and British tourists were recently named the worst behaved in Europe in a survey by Expedia, the holiday bookings company, of more than 4,500 hoteliers. Aug 20, 2009
Iran Civil Aviation Org. banned airlines from leasing Russian-built aircraft following two July accidents involving a Tu-154M and an Il-62 in which a combined 185 people were killed. "Eastern planes would be able to operate in the air sector only when they are brand new and made according to our order," CAO head Mohammad Ali Ilkhani was quoted as saying by Reuters. Aug 19, 2009
London Heathrow airport has taken a huge leap forwards in its ability to operate through a control tower calamity by going operational with the world's first fully certificated remote "control tower" for a major hub airport. From the remote - and windowless - tower, controllers will be able to handle 75 percent of normal traffic should the actual control tower be affected by fire, failure, damage or attack. The world's busiest intercontinental hub would previously have been effectively closed by such an incident. Its previous back-up plan could handle only 10 percent of airport traffic. An improved plan retained the old tower as a standby after the new one opened in summer 2007. This was a less attractive option because it would have been in an unfamiliar location for new controllers and contained old equipment, so maintaining both towers would have been time consuming and expensive. But the new "virtual control room" enables existing low visibility procedures, under which controllers use surface surveillance systems fed by radar and multilateration. It is laid out and equipped identically to Heathrow's visual control room, but has no windows and is located at an undisclosed off-airport site. Aug 18, 2009
Spain's Civil Aviation Accident Investigation Commission released another report yesterday on the August 2008 crash of a Spanair MD-82 that killed 154 people, confirming that the pilots did not know the aircraft's flaps and slats were not extended as it attempted to take off from Madrid. "The aircraft had the standard procedures and checklists in force. . .which included the selection and confirmation of the correct configuration for takeoff," the report said, according to Reuters. "The pilots used these procedures as a reference, but for some reason--whether an interruption from the aircraft's first return to the terminal due to a mechanical problem, pressure due to time delays or faults in the cabin crew's work methods--these were not strictly followed." The aircraft had been making a second attempt to depart on 20 August 2008 after returning to the apron to deal with a technical problem with the ram air temperature probe. The Commission did not announce any final conclusions but did enumerate several recommendations it plans to submit to ICAO, EASA and US FAA. Aug 18, 2009
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