Pipe: Aviation

Probing the Dark Side of Google's Ad-Targeting System

Mon, 2015-07-06 00:00

Researchers say Google’s ad-targeting system sometimes makes troubling decisions based on data about gender and other personal characteristics.

That Google and other companies track our movements around the Web to target us with ads is well known. How exactly that information gets used is not—but a research paper presented last week suggests that some of the algorithmic judgments that emerge from Google’s ad system could strike many people as unsavory.


UberPOP suspended in France

Fri, 2015-07-03 07:07
Decision by ride-hailing group follows days of tension on streets of Paris

Airports Commission recommends third runway at Heathrow but with environmental conditions attached

Thu, 2015-07-02 06:15
Thu 2 Jul 2015 - The UK Government-appointed Airports Commission has come down in favour of a new third northwest runway at London’s Heathrow Airport as providing the best option in terms of benefiting the national economy and international air transport connectivity. However, the Commission recommends a number of measures, some legally enforced, to address Heathrow's impacts on the local environment and communities. These include a night-time ban on scheduled flights between 2330 and 0600, a 'noise envelope' that stipulates no overall increase above current levels, a new aviation noise charge or levy used to compensate local communities, the formation of a community engagement board and an independent aviation noise authority.

How Ads Follow You from Phone to Desktop to Tablet

Wed, 2015-07-01 00:00

Advertisers are increasingly using technology that targets users across multiple devices, and it’s working.

Imagine you slack off at work and read up online about the latest Gibson 1959 Les Paul electric guitar replica. On the way home, you see an ad for the same model on your phone, reminding you this is “the most desirable Les Paul ever.” Then before bed on your tablet, you see another ad with new details about the guitar.


At a Crossroads, Biofuels Seek a New Path Forward

Mon, 2015-06-29 00:00

New microbes and new techniques show promise for advanced biofuels, but the industry is still years away from real progress.

Attempting to chart a path forward for the beleaguered biofuels industry, a group of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, have devised what they describe as a novel method for producing renewable jet fuel. Using sugarcane and the sugarcane waste called bagasse, the new process (described in a paper in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) could enable green refineries to put out a range of products, including bio-based aviation fuel and automotive lubricant base oils.


Virgin Atlantic's carbon emissions continue to decline as new aircraft make impact on fuel efficiency

Fri, 2015-06-26 13:20
Fri 26 Jun 2015 - Virgin Atlantic says it is on course to meet its 2020 target of reducing carbon emissions per revenue tonne kilometre (RTK) by 30 per cent from a 2007 baseline. Largely as a result of heavy investment in new, more fuel-efficient Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 787-9 aircraft, the reduction in CO2 per RTK to 2014 stands at 10 per cent. The airline acknowledges it is halfway through the target period and only a third of the way in reaching the goal but believes the additional 787-9 Dreamliners about to join the fleet and other fuel efficiency initiatives will pay off. Despite operating more flights and carrying more passengers than any year since 2007, absolute emissions in 2014 were 12 per cent below the baseline. Virgin Atlantic's latest 'Change is in the Air' sustainability report also reveals the carrier, the first to set itself noise reduction targets, managed to lower its average noise output per aircraft movement by over 2dB last year.

Schiphol’s switch to alternatively powered vehicles boosted by new fleet of electric passenger buses

Fri, 2015-06-26 08:19
Fri 26 Jun 2015 - Schiphol Airport has started operating 35 electric buses to transport passengers between aircraft and gate, with each bus having its own solar-panelled charging point, so making the airport the biggest charging station for electric buses in Europe. The buses, three of which entered service in 2014, are part of the SUBSS (Sustainable Bus System of Schiphol) project and will replace an ageing fleet of conventionally powered vehicles. They were designed especially for and in collaboration with the airport and supplied by Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD, whose European headquarters are in nearby Rotterdam. Schiphol is focusing on stimulating clean transport both airside and in passenger travel to and from the airport, and now boasts the largest fleet of electrically powered taxis of any airport in the world.

NASA signs research agreement with DLR on aircraft noise reduction and funds supersonic flight studies

Thu, 2015-06-25 13:17
Thu 25 Jun 2015 - US aerospace agency NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have agreed to collaborate on research into advanced methods for predicting aircraft system noise and establish validation guidelines for comparison between the two institutions. A reduction in aircraft noise without adversely affecting the environment or fuel efficiency is a major challenge, they say, but needs to be solved to enable further growth of air transport in the face of more stringent environmental challenges. Last year, NASA and DLR worked together with the Canadian National Research Council to study the effects of alternative aviation fuels at cruise altitudes on emissions and contrail formation. NASA has also separately announced funding for research into quieter, greener supersonic travel that will address sonic booms and high-altitude emissions from supersonic jets.

Why Liquid Biopsies in Cancer Treatment Are Still Experimental

Wed, 2015-06-24 21:14

New diagnostics can find the DNA that drives a tumor, but evidence that they help patients is missing.

A year ago I interviewed Deborah Fletcher, a 54-year-old manager at Deloitte who was fighting inflammatory breast cancer with all her professional skills. She carried a briefcase of spreadsheets, documenting treatments, bills, research, notes about who’d said what and what her plans were.


Boeing’s next phase of its ecoDemonstrator 757 programme includes flight using US-sourced green diesel blend

Wed, 2015-06-24 13:49
Wed 24 Jun 2015 - The next phase has started of Boeing's ecoDemonstrator programme involving a 757 loaned by leisure airline TUI that is focused on testing two new environment-related technologies and aviation biofuel. Boeing is collaborating with NASA on the programme and last week a test flight took place from Seattle to NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia that was powered using a blended sustainable green diesel fuel. Boeing first carried out a test flight using green diesel last December on the previous ecoDemonstrator 787 programme but this is the first to use a US-sourced supply. The other new technologies being tested involve 'energy harvesting' windows and a 3D-printed flight deck component made with excess carbon fibre taken from 787 production. Boeing has also released its latest annual Environmental Report that highlights performance and other technology innovations.

China’s Climate Challenge

Tue, 2015-06-23 00:05

Rapid industrialization and rising standards of living have made China the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide. Preventing a runaway increase will require the country to keep per capita emissions at a relatively low level.


New London runway would allow aviation emissions to soar beyond UK carbon target, argues AEF report

Mon, 2015-06-22 08:23
Mon 19 Jun 2015 - With its imminent recommendation to the UK Government on whether a new London runway should be built at Heathrow or Gatwick, the Airports Commission has drawn criticism for not fully explaining how a growth in aviation carbon emissions can be constrained within national climate targets. According to a report by aviation environmental campaign group AEF, the Commission has so far failed to come up with a credible policy for curtailing emissions and calls on the Government to reject the recommendation pending a proper analysis. AEF says that expansion at either of the two airports would require a scaling back of growth plans at UK regional airports in order to meet the carbon cap. The aviation industry contends that substantial growth in traffic can take place and still meet long-term reduction targets through new technology.

News and Updates - FAA, EU Plan to Extend, Expand NextGen Pact

Thu, 2015-06-18 15:07

June 18- The FAA and the European Union today announced their intention to extend and expand their cooperative work toward providing seamless air traffic services for aircraft flying between the United States and Europe.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and the ECs Director General for Mobility and Transport, Mr. Joao Aguiar Machado, signed a Letter of Intent on air traffic management modernization at a morning ceremony today in Paris.

Im extremely proud of our partnership with the European Union, said Administrator Michael Huerta. Todays signing validates the collaborative work that began three years ago and confirms our commitment to enhance our relationship even further.

"Modernizing air traffic management is vital for the future of European aviation," saidEU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. "We need to invest in innovation in order to improve ATM performances. This means cheaper flights, increased safety, a lower impact on the environment, and better capacity to manage traffic. We share these objectives with the U.S. We are already doing a great job with the FAAby cooperating on SESAR and NextGen. Now that we are both heading towards deploying new systems, I fully support the idea that we should explore the possibility to extend this excellent cooperation to all phases of ATM modernization. That's the change in culture that will take global ATM systems into the future, and will help cope with the expected traffic increase."

The extension and expansion of the current agreement would help to ensure that passengers will enjoy safer, on-time flying over the Atlantic thanks to the benefits of NextGen and its European counterpart, the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR).

The Memorandum of Cooperation, which was originally signed in March 2011, would be expanded to enhance collaboration on the deployment and implementation of NextGen activities. It would also maintain ongoing research on the interoperability of avionics, communication protocols and procedures, as well as operational methods under NextGen and SESAR.

The Letter of Intent reflects the strong commitment from the United States and the European Union to harmonize air traffic technologies and procedures involving NextGen and SESAR. This supports the International Civil Aviation Organizations Global Air Navigation Plan, which aims to harmonize air traffic systems throughout the world.


A good outcome at the Paris COP would help provide momentum to an ICAO MBM agreement, says IATA's Tyler

Thu, 2015-06-18 14:08
Thu 18 Jun 2015 - It would be very concerning if the progress being made at ICAO on reaching an agreement on a global market-based measure for air transport was undone by any "wrong turns" at the UNFCCC COP21 summit in Paris later this year, IATA Director General Tony Tyler told an event held at the Paris Air Show today. Sharing a platform with French foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius and ecology minister Segolene Royal, Tyler said the unique circumstances and international nature of air transport required a different approach than the UNFCCC was able to provide but a good outcome at the COP would help to provide momentum at ICAO too. Since the industry had signed up to its climate action goals in 2009, airlines had spent nearly a trillion dollars putting new energy-efficient aircraft into their fleets, he said. The 'COP21 from the sky' event also included a reaffirmation of carbon reduction goals by French aviation industry leaders.

Etihad and partners launch roadmap towards establishing a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the UAE

Thu, 2015-06-18 09:07
Thu 18 Jun 2015 - A roadmap launched by Etihad Airways and other industry partners indicates that Abu Dhabi holds significant potential to supply domestic feedstocks that can contribute to the formation of a viable sustainable aviation biofuel industry. Following the launch of the BIOjet Abu Dhabi initiative in January 2014, the roadmap is the culmination of a year-long investigation by the airline and its partners, which include Boeing, Total, Takreer and Masdar. The roadmap examines current wider progress on the development of aviation biofuels and explores how a supply chain could be established in the UAE and the necessary feedstock, infrastructure and policy requirements. Three potential feedstocks are identified: cellulosics and oils from saltwater tolerant plants, municipal and agriculture waste, and local forest management. Etihad has also just conducted a fuel-optimised 'perfect flight' between Abu Dhabi and Washington DC as part of a new programme.

Fuel efficiency software company OpenAirlines secures investment to expand its global coverage

Wed, 2015-06-17 11:04
Wed 17 Jun 2015 - Fuel efficiency software provider and consultancy OpenAirlines has secured €1 million ($1.1m) in funding from French investment fund Alter Equity3P to help it expand its sales and marketing resources. The company, which founded in 2006, says this will allow it to open subsidiaries in Asia, the Middle East and the USA over the next 18 months. It carried out five years of research and development in its formative years, including involvement with an EU Clean Sky project called CARING (Contribution of Airlines for the Reduction of Industry Nuisances and Gases). Since 2013, OpenAirlines has developed and commercialised SkyBreathe, which uses complex algorithms to automatically analyse the huge amounts of data available in flight data recorders to assess the fuel efficiency of flights and make it possible to reduce up to 5 per cent of fuel consumed on a flight.

News and Updates - Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents

Tue, 2015-06-16 16:08

The FAA and general aviation (GA) groups Fly Safe national safety campaign aims to educate the GA community on how to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents this flying season. FAA Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker officially kicked-off the #FlySafe campaign on Saturday, June 6, at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations (AOPA) Fly-In at the Frederick Municipal Airport, Frederick, MD.

What is Loss of Control (LOC)?
A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen because the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and may quickly develop into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot. Contributing factors may include: poor judgment/aeronautical decision making, failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action, intentional regulatory non-compliance, low pilot time in aircraft make and model, lack of piloting ability, failure to maintain airspeed, failure to follow procedure, pilot inexperience and proficiency, or the use of over-the-counter drugs that impact pilot performance.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 450 people are killed each year in GA accidents
  • Loss of Control is the number one cause of these accidents?
  • Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight. It can happen anywhere and at any time.
  • There is one fatal accident involving LOC every four days.

Message from Mike Whitaker, FAA Deputy Administrator
The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our Fly Safe campaign! Every month were going to provide pilots a LOC solution on, developed by the team of experts on the GA Joint Steering Committee. They have studied the data and developed solutions some of which are already reducing risk. We hope you will join us in this effort, and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I know that working together as a community we can reduce LOC accidents.

Current topic: Transition Training

What is transition training?
Pilots benefit from transition training. Pilots need training when they transition from low-to-high and high-to-low performance aircraft.

Why is transition training important?
The National Transportation Safety Boards (NTSB) accident data suggest that pilots with low time in type of aircraft are more likely to crash. Although some transition training such as high performance, high altitude, complex aircraft and tail wheel instruction and endorsement is required by regulation, training focused on unique types and variations of aircraft can also be essential.

Did you know?
Pilots trained in traditional aircraft are more than twice as likely to have an accident in Light Sport Aircraft (LSAs) than pilots who are first trained in LSAs. The first 50 hours a pilot flies in experimental/amateur built aircraft are the most hazardous. Transition training with an experienced and qualified instructor can make this period safer.

What does good transition training look like?
Transition training should:

  • be conducted in accordance with a written training syllabus, which serves as a checklist for training;
  • be based on a review of practical test standards, which list the flight proficiency standards for the certificate and/or rating the transitioning pilot holds;
  • teach the pilot about what is different about an airplane and its installed equipment, such as avionics or controls;
  • cover normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures;
  • cover performance characteristics, including what to expect on takeoff, landing, cruise, descent, and glide;
  • address limitations, such as weight and balance, speeds, and wind limits;
  • be done with a current, qualified instructor who is fully knowledgeable about the airplane and equipment a pilot wants to train in; and
  • be conducted in the environment that reflects where the pilot intends to fly.

Tips for pilots:

  • Document personal performance.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Seek refresher training within six months of original transition training. Follow with annual training. Refresh training when returning to flying after a period of inactivity.
  • Join an aircraft type club.
  • Join the WINGS proficiency program.
  • Practice!

Learn more
Thinking about flying a new aircraft type? Watch a video featuring the FAA's Jim Viola who discusses the importance of finding a flight instructor familiar with your aircraft type to help with your transition training plan.

The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

Airplane Flying Handbook Chapters 11- 15 Transition Training

FAA transition training flyer.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations (AOPA) online course on transitioning to other airplanes.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) transition training master syllabus.

FAA Safety Briefing, March/April 2014 issue.

The website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.

The FAAs Additional Pilot Program Advisory Circular (AC 90-116) provides information and guidance on flight-testing experimental aircraft, allowing amateur-built aircraft owners to leverage experienced qualified pilotsonboard while testing their aircraft.

The Fly Safe campaign partners are: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), FAA FAASTeam, GA Joint Steering Committee, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA), Soaring Society of America (SSA), Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), University Aviation Association (UAA), U.S. Parachute Association (USPA).


US EPA starts regulatory process to address aircraft emissions through a CO2 standard although NGOs unconvinced

Thu, 2015-06-11 13:11
Thu 11 Jun 2015 - After an eight-year fight by environmental groups for regulatory action, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now concluded that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aircraft harm the climate and require addressing. The EPA says the US is responsible for 29 per cent of all global GHG emissions from aircraft and concedes that aviation remains the single largest transportation source not yet subject to GHG standards in the US. To address the issue, the EPA is already working with the FAA on an international CO2 standard being developed at ICAO that if passed would be required to be adopted domestically under the US Clean Air Act. However, NGOs fear the standard will not be stringent enough and have little impact on emission reductions, although industry argues the standard will contribute to its global goals.

Energy Storage Gets a Boost from Nanotechnology

Thu, 2015-06-11 00:00

Manufactured materials could lead to breakthroughs in batteries, supercapacitors, and eventually carbon-capture systems.

A group of Stanford researchers have come up with a nanoscale “designer carbon” material that can be adjusted to make energy storage devices, solar panels, and potentially carbon capture systems more powerful and efficient.


Designer Carbons Are Getting a Boost from Nanotechnology

Thu, 2015-06-11 00:00

Manufactured materials could lead to breakthroughs in batteries, supercapacitors, and eventually carbon-capture systems.

Typically made from coconut shells or wood chips, activated carbon has a variety of uses, from refrigerator deodorizers to water filters to batteries. Its primary characteristic is its Swiss-cheese-like structure: it’s riddled with tiny holes or pores that increase the material’s surface area, enhancing its ability to catalyze chemical reactions and store electrical charges. But activated carbon has significant drawbacks: the pores are randomly sized and unconnected, and it tends to have high levels of impurities.