Travel Safety Update - Europe.
EU is making a fresh push to overturn international aviation safety standards by banning halon fire extinguishers. Halon is superior to carbon dioxide in firefighting, but its release is more damaging to the ozone layer. A review by European Commission environment directorate and member states' environment ministers of rules on substances that deplete the ozone layer could overturn exemptions that now allow halon-based aviation safety applications. Mar 26, 2009
Clean Sky, the largest-ever public-private research bid to develop green aviation technologies of the future, is at risk of foundering, with some of the largest names in European aerospace manufacturing growing frustrated at the red tape of Brussels bureaucracy. The selection of industrial partners for the initiative's six technology areas was to have been made through a call for project proposals starting this quarter, with industrial activity beginning later this year. That is now not expected for months due to the legal wrangling. Mar 24, 2009
After a long trial period at London Heathrow, British Airways has gone fully operational with microwave landing system approaches there and hopes to eventually see the capability offered at Gatwick. The carrier says approach patterns will not change, but MLS permits a 20% increase in the landing movement rate that can safely be achieved in poor visibility, considerably reducing delays and cancellations during fog or heavy rain. Mar 25, 2009
Manchester Airport in the UK is about to begin operational tests of a system which uses an aircraft's existing avionics to warn of an imminent runway incursion. The Ground Marker system being offered by Axis Electronics of Bedford, UK makes use of the marker beacon receiver fitted to virtually all airliners to give pilots an aural warning if they cross a microwave detector fitted on the taxiway. The marker beacon receiver is normally used to detect markers on the final approach to airports although its operational use has declined in an age of increasingly sophisticated navigation. Ground Marker's developers believe that using the marker beacon system makes the system a cheaper and simpler solution to the runway incursion challenge than its rivals. Mar 26, 2009
Spanair, Boeing, NASA
The main cause of the Spanair Boeing MD-82 fatal accident at Madrid last year - failure to select flaps to the take-off setting - has occurred frequently, but because in many cases the aircraft was not lost the subject has not been prominent, says a new report by NASA Ames. An examination of the US confidential aviation safety reporting system (ASRS) shows that, since 2000, 55 take-offs have been carried out unintentionally in the USA without take-off configuration having been set, but the crew got away with the error, NASA's Loukia Loukopoulos told the Flight Safety Foundation European Aviation Safety Seminar at Nicosia on 18 March. Mar 24, 2009
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|Date:||Mar 30, 2009|
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