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Pipe: Aviation

News and Updates - FAA to Rise to the Cloud

Fri, 2015-08-28 14:38

The Federal Aviation Administration will soon be floating in the Cloud and benefitting from advanced computing solutions through a partnership with leading companies in the Cloud industry. After a careful process, the agency has announced that CSC Government Solutions will lead an overall integration effort that will also include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other leading Cloud providers.

The $108 million, 10-year contract will enable the FAA to take advantage of Cloud technologies such as Software As-A-Service, Platform As-A-Service, Infrastructure As-A-Service and Colocation in a highly secure and resilient environment.

Being in the Cloud will give the FAA on-demand, pay-per-use computing and data storage over a secure FTI connection. The move away from FAA-owned data centers to outsourced locations will increase efficiencies and flexibility while saving time and money all while making information-sharing much easier. The FAA can now purchase IT as-a-service rather than buying expensive facilities and hardware that quickly becomes outdated. The agency will be able to keep up with industry standards and innovate on a much larger scale.

The program will be rolled out in phases over the next year or so. Work will start immediately to assess all existing applications and determine which ones are suitable for the Cloud. Once the infrastructure is established, the FAA will start to migrate systems into the Cloud environment. When the agency is on the Cloud, users will be able to store and access information from any location at any time on approved devices with an Internet connection.

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News and Updates - FAA Dedicates Runway Pavement Testing Facility

Thu, 2015-08-27 12:25

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today dedicated its new National Airport Pavement & Materials Research Center at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

The research center is a unique facility that allows FAA engineers to use a custom-designed vehicle simulator to test asphalt and other pavement materials at very high tire pressures and temperatures. Airport pavement temperatures can reach 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit as far north as New York City. Tire pressure ranges from 220 to 250 pounds per square inch on new generation aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350. The vehicle simulator has an automated heating system that allows engineers to replicate and analyze the damage that heavy commercial jets can cause to the top asphalt layer when runways are hot. The vehicle was designed to simulate the behavior and weight of aircraft tires, and can show how repetitive aircraft operations affect pavement.

FAA engineers will move the Heavy Vehicle Simulator-Airfields (HVS-A) by remote control between four outdoor pavement test strips and two strips inside a new building, to allow for testing in a controlled environment. FAA engineers recently used the HVS-A to test the performance of airfield paint markings. The HVS-A is 130 feet long, 16 feet wide, 14 feet tall and weighs 240,000 pounds.

The new center will enable the FAA to research environmentally-friendly airport pavement materials such as warm-mix and recycled asphalt pavements. The FAAs goal is to expand the use of greener materials, and pavement materials that can be modified to enhance pavement durability, workability and strength. This will help airport operators save money by lowering the costs of initial construction, maintenance, and repairs, and will provide a longer pavement life.

The FAA has not recommended the use of environmentally-friendly airport pavement materials yet because research on the effects of aircraft tire pressure and heavy gear loads on green airport pavement materials has been limited.

Construction of the test facility began in August 2013 and was completed in May 2015 at a total cost of $3.8 million. The FAA accepted delivery of the $4.2 million HVS-A on November 1, 2013.

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UK parliamentary committee opens inquiry into environmental implications of runway expansion

Thu, 2015-08-27 09:50
Thu 27 Aug 2015 - As the UK Government deliberates the 340-page report submitted by its own appointed Airports Commission and the recommendation for allowing Heathrow Airport to build a new third runway, the House of Commons' Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched an inquiry into the carbon, air quality and noise implications of airport expansion. The committee has invited submissions - which are required by September 3 - on whether the policies and mitigations proposed by the Commission are realistic and achievable, and what consequences they have for Government policy. NGOs such as the Aviation Environment Federation remain fiercely opposed to a new runway around London and have questioned the Commission's justification that expansion can be achieved within UK aviation carbon emission targets.
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Kerala's Cochin makes claim to being the first airport in the world to be fully powered by solar energy

Wed, 2015-08-26 10:47
Wed 26 Aug 2015 - Cochin International (CIAL) in Kerala, India, claims to be the first airport in the world to be fully operated by solar power following the inauguration of a new 12 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar power plant. Comprising 46,150 solar panels situated on a 45-acre (18ha) site near the cargo complex, along with other solar plants already installed at the airport, around 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity are expected to be generated daily to cover all power requirements. CIAL installed the first solar plant in March 2013 on the roof of the arrival terminal, producing 100kWp, followed by a 1 MWp plant partly situated on the roof of the aircraft maintenance facility and partly on the ground. Meanwhile, Alice Springs Airport in Australia has announced a A$1.9 million ($1.3m) project to complete one of the largest airport solar systems in the country. Both airports say solar power will enhance the sustainable development of their operations.
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Wizz Air continues steady ascent

Sun, 2015-08-23 09:24
Low-cost carrier targets growth as eastern European incomes and appetite for travel rise
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Wizz Air continues steady ascent

Sun, 2015-08-23 09:24
Low-cost carrier targets growth as eastern European incomes and appetite for travel rise
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Heathrow trials steeper approaches for landing aircraft in efforts to reduce noise on the ground

Wed, 2015-08-19 10:27
Wed 19 Aug 2015 - London's Heathrow has started trialling steeper approaches for aircraft landing at the airport in efforts to reduce noise for residents on the ground. The international standard set by ICAO for most airports is a glide path of 3 degrees and the trial, which has been approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, will involve aircraft approaching at an angle of 3.2 degrees approximately 8 nautical miles (10 miles) from touchdown and will be used on all four runway approaches. The trial, which runs until 16 March 2016, will test whether approaches of up to 3.5 degrees at the airport are possible. Although optional, Heathrow is confident that a large number of airlines with the necessary onboard navigational equipment fitted to their aircraft will take part in the trial. Frankfurt Airport started a similar trial in October 2012, although the results are still being evaluated.
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Rail fares will rise 1% in January

Tue, 2015-08-18 07:22
Capped increase applies to ‘regulated’ tickets only and will add about £27 to average season ticket
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Fuel and emissions savings from Sea-Tac Greener Skies precision approach initiative exceed expectations

Mon, 2015-08-17 13:22
Mon 17 Aug 2015 - Reductions in fuel burn and emissions from new navigation procedures used by Alaska Airlines on approaches into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are about 28 per cent greater than was initially projected, finds a Boeing report. Launched in 2010, the 'Greener Skies Over Seattle' initiative is a collaboration under the FAA's NextGen airspace modernisation programme that involves Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures and greater use of Optimised Profile Descents to enhance operational efficiency. By comparing a Boeing 737-800 aircraft descent to the airport using Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures with a standard approach turn procedure, each arrival can save 589 gallons of fuel and 1,858 pounds (843kg) in emissions, says Boeing. Meanwhile, Alaska has been recognised for its noise reduction and abatement efforts at Sea-Tac with the airport's Fly Quiet Bravo Award for 2014.
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Indonesian plane crashes into mountain

Sun, 2015-08-16 18:19
Accident raises fresh concerns over country’s aviation safety
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Airport carbon scheme enters seventh year with global ambitions and 125 airports accredited

Fri, 2015-08-14 11:15
Fri 14 Aug 2015 - The industry's Airport Carbon Accreditation programme now includes 125 airports in 40 countries as it extends its reach globally, reveals the sixth annual report published by trade body Airports Council International (ACI). First started by ACI's European region in June 2009, the programme has been taken up during the past year by North America so that all ACI regions now have airports reporting and taking steps to reduce carbon emissions. ACI says around 1.7 billion passengers, representing 27.5 per cent of global air passenger traffic, now pass through airports accredited under the programme, which certifies those airports at one of four different levels covering all stages of carbon management. Key facts and figures from the annual report are featured in a newly-launched microsite that also includes an award-winning animation video.
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Where’s the Affordable Carbon Fiber Automobile?

Mon, 2015-08-10 00:00

A test drive of the Alfa Romeo 4C reveals what a difference carbon fiber can make in a car.

Car parts made of carbon fiber have been used for decades in $1 million-plus European supercars, from the likes of Ferrari and McLaren. But for the first time, a handful of 2016 models sold in neighborhood car dealerships will feature ultra-light yet expensive carbon fiber materials. The new BMW 7-series sedan, which starts at about $80,000, as well as the similarly priced Alfa Romeo 4C and Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sports cars, use carbon fiber elements.

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Long-term exposure to aircraft emissions causes around 16,000 premature deaths a year, finds MIT study

Fri, 2015-08-07 07:51
Fri 7 Aug 2015 - Fine particulate matter and ozone emissions from civil aircraft are responsible for around 16,000 premature deaths annually across the world, according to a study carried out by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. The team found the greatest impact on air quality and health was caused by emissions in the cruise phase of flights, except in Europe and North America where landing and take-off (LTO) emissions were equally as important in terms of health impact. Assigning a monetary value, it was calculated that premature deaths from long-term exposure to aviation emissions could be costed at around $21 billion a year. The researchers found that air quality costs of aviation were in the same order of magnitude as those from climate and considerably higher than costs from accidents and noise.
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India, Solar Technology, and the Monkey Problem

Fri, 2015-08-07 00:00

As the government embarks on an ambitious renewables program, researchers seek technology solutions suited to India’s unique conditions.

In central Karnataka state, 120 miles north of Bangalore, the lush jungle of India’s west coast gives way to dry scrubland. Sunflowers, onions, chilis, and groundnuts grow in parched fields. In scattered, populous villages, concrete buildings alternate with ramshackle thatched huts. Cows nose through the garbage, and wooden carts drawn by horned oxen crowd the streets. Rough brick-producing factories belch black smoke into the air. Much of the scene appears as it did a century ago. But in a walled compound just beyond the town of Challakere sits an installation that could hold one of the keys to India’s energy future.

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Major European Airbus operators take steps to avoid A320 whistle noise nuisance

Wed, 2015-08-05 11:48
Wed 5 Aug 2015 - Lufthansa has now retrofitted the 100th aircraft belonging to its Airbus 320 family fleet with a noise-reducing component called a vortex generator. Peculiar to this aircraft type, a distinctive high-pitched noise - similar to the sound created when blowing over the mouth of a bottle - is created when air passes over circular pressure equalisation vents for the fuel tanks located under each wing, just before landing gear and flaps are deployed for landing. Complaints have been made across the world by residents surrounding airports - the noise can emanate up to some considerable distance from touch-down. After a number of years of research by Lufthansa and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), a simple 5cm piece of sheet metal mounted upstream of the vents has shown to solve the problem. Other airlines are now carrying out programmes to retrofit their narrow-body Airbus aircraft with the component, including Air France, British Airways and easyJet.
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News and Updates - Wildlife strike reporting continues to increase

Tue, 2015-08-04 09:05

Wildlife strike reporting for both commercial and general aviation airports continues to increase, according to a new report by renowned wildlife expert Dr. Richard A. Dolbeer. At the request of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Dolbeer recently published the wildlife report, which shows that 47 percent of the wildlife strikes that occurred from 2009 to 2013 were reported to the FAAs National Wildlife Strike Database. That number is up from 42 percent for the previous reporting period of 2004 to 2008.

The report concludes that the FAAs proactive continuing outreach actions with its aviation industry and government partners have improved the quantity and quality of voluntary wildlife strike reporting. The report also highlights a decrease in the number of damaging strikes, greater reporting of birds of all sizes, and the decrease of damaging strikes within the airport environment. Other findings note a decrease in the average bird size involved in strikes, and an increase in the number of reports that identify the bird species.

The report concludes that the level of reporting is adequate to track national trends in wildlife strikes, so mandatory reporting is not necessary at this time. It also provides a scientific basis for the FAA to develop policies and guidance to mitigate wildlife strikes; and the reporting process complies with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.

View the Strike Reporting Trends (1990-2013) Report.

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Fly Green Fund launched to help kick-start sustainable jet fuel market in Nordic region

Tue, 2015-08-04 03:44
Tue 4 Aug 2015 - In efforts to kick-start a local sustainable jet fuel market, aviation and biofuel interests in the Nordic countries have launched the Fly Green Fund, which will enable organisations and individuals when taking flights to financially contribute towards the development of aviation biofuel supplies in the region. The fund's founders are Amsterdam-based sustainable aviation biofuel supplier SkyNRG, Karlstad Airport in Sweden, where the region’s first 'bioport' is expected to be established, and the Nordic Initiative on Sustainable Aviation (NISA). Launch partners include Swedavia, SAS, Braathens, KLM and EFS European Flight Service, a leading Scandinavian business aviation company. The fund was announced during a political week held annually in Sweden called Almedalen.
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Tech’s Enduring Great-Man Myth

Tue, 2015-08-04 00:00

The idea that particular individuals drive history has long been discredited. Yet it persists in the tech industry, obscuring some of the fundamental factors in innovation.

Since Steve Jobs’s death, in 2011, Elon Musk has emerged as the leading celebrity of Silicon Valley. Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors, which produces electric cars; the CEO of SpaceX, which makes rockets; and the chairman of SolarCity, which provides solar power systems. A self-made billionaire, programmer, and engineer—as well as the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in the Iron Manmovies—he has been on the cover of Fortune and Time. In 2013, he was first on the Atlantic’s list of “today’s greatest inventors,” nominated by leaders at Yahoo, Oracle, and Google. To believers, Musk is steering the history of technology. As one profile described his mystique, his “brilliance, his vision, and the breadth of his ambition make him the one-man embodiment of the future.”

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IAG intensifies digital push

Sun, 2015-08-02 12:28
British Airways owner sets up team to improve customer experience
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IAG intensifies digital push

Sun, 2015-08-02 12:28
British Airways owner sets up team to improve customer experience
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