Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Singapore works on UTM

Neelam Mathews

June 27 2017

Escalating demand in Singapore for cheap, high-tech commercial 

drones has prompted authorities in the city-state to develop 
an unmanned aerial system (UAS) traffic management (UTM) 
A joint research centre called the Air Traffic Management 
Research Institute (ATMRI), led by Nanyang Technological 
University (NTU) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
(CAAS), is working on a four-year project called Traffic Management 
of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TM-UAS).
The project is scheduled to complete .......read in JAR 

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    India's Aequs Now a Global Aerospace Player

     - June 17, 2017, 11:39AM

    Subcontractor for precision machining, sheet metal fabrication, assembly, forging and special processing for OEMs and Tier 1 customers, India’s decade-old Aequs Aerospace (Hall 2b, Stand E170) has been on a consistent and disciplined growth trajectory, especially in the past two years. Global acquisitions have helped the company locate closer to a regional customer base and help complement its technical capabilities across the value chain for mechanical parts, Aravind Melligeri, chairman and CEO of Aequs, told AIN.
    Our goal at the 2017 Paris Airshow is to show what we are offering to the world…an ability to deliver value and quality for components of landing gears, actuators and engines parts, including machining capability—[also] including 4D machining,” said Melligeri. 
    Headquartered in Belagavi in the southern state of Karnataka close to Goa, Aequs is located on a 250-acre Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with 21 facilities and room to grow. An SEZ is an exclusive customs bonded area created for promoting export-oriented companies, supported by excellent integrated infrastructure. 
    Aequs became the first Indian aerospace manufacturing company to expand into North America when in 2015 it acquired Texas-based machined parts and assemblies T&K Machine, now named Aequs Aero Machine. The company produces three-, four- and five-axis detail aerospace components ranging widely in size. The ownership has given Aequs access to T&Ks clients Spirit AeroSystems, UTAS, Boeing, Vought’s Triumph Aerostructures unit and Bell Helicopter.
    The acquisition of 100-year old France-based SiRA Group, with a staff of 400, last year further extended the reach of the company’s global aerospace ecosystem, said Melligeri. As a result, Aequs now has an extended customer-base including Dassault, Safran (multiple divisions) and United Technologies Aircraft Systems. The SiRA Group, with expertise in precision machining, assembly and testing of engine, landing gear, aircraft actuation components and welding and fabrication of aircraft assemblies, is complementary to Aequs  Global Aerospace Ecosystem. 
    Xavier Dessemond, purchasing vice-president for Safran, commented, “SiRA is a long-time supplier of Safran, developing significant business over the years with most Safran affiliates. With this acquisition, Aequs becomes a key partner of Safran, giving us access to a global industrial footprint, and a strong presence in India.”
    Work will be divided. “Indian facilities will do the forgings, and we will complete the machining in France,” said Melligeri. Safran recently approved the Aequs forging factory in India. “This will lead to a 10 percent savings on price,” said Melligeri. With the company having brought in global talent to the Indian facility, machinery will be further ramped up in the next 18 months. Safran has a long association with India, including conducting joint flight trials of the Ardiden 1U turboshaft engine on the Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Light Utility Helicopter last year.
    Melligeri added SiRA had also supplied a significant number of shipsets for Dassault Rafales. “Historically it has been purely a French entity with a French customer-base. Now we will be able to leverage global customers because of our reach.”
    Moving forward, Melligeri is going for consolidation, “to digest and stabilize the high growth organically, especially in India.” Multifarious opportunities to expand exist in Trump’s economy and post Brexit, he said. “We need to remember aerospace is a global industry and cannot afford to be insular. [Besides] we can produce in France or the U.S.”

    India's MKU Broadens Global Reach

     - June 20, 2017, 3:40 AM

    With production facilities in India and Germany, MKU, the India-based manufacturer of ballistic protection for personnel, vehicles (ground and air) and electro-optic devices has reported strong demand in retrofitting helicopters. As domestic unrest has become more widespread, MKU said, search-and-rescue missions have taken on a more dangerous tone, creating an increased need for armored protection. Having completed more than 250 helicopter retrofits, primarily in Southeast Asia, South America and Africa, MKU (Hall3 Stand C8) finds its services in increasing demand.
    Relief agencies and air ambulances often go through firing zones, as do fire service helicopters and transporters,” said Sharad Khandelwal, MKUinternational sales director, to AIN. As the world undergoes a new order, commercial and business aircraft, too, are looking for armor retrofitting, he added. “Threats generally happen during takeoff and landing; and slow, low-flying aircraft are most at risk. Opportunities, as a result, are many.”
    Weight is a crucial aspect that affects the efficiency of an aircraft. MKU's 6th generation ballistic armoring technology, Polyshield V6 for heavy and lethal rifle threats, uses composite materials and techniques that decrease weight by almost 40 percent and are 30 percent thinner, compared with conventional materials. This reduces the weight of the armor from the original 22 kg per sq m to 14.5 kg per sq m. The customized armor kits, trademarked “Modular Schutz Technik” (MoST), can be fitted in to the existing structure of a helicopter without physically altering the aerodynamics. 
    The armor kit can be easily removed and quickly re-installed on another combat-ready helicopter. The patented MoST attachment systems enable the design platform to suit a wide range of helicopters while allowing easy maintenance. The modular panel installation requires minimal training, said Khandelwal.
    Being battle-proven and having worked for European OEMs such as Airbus Helicopters, German army aviation and many more, being an Indian company is no longer a challenge in getting business, Khandelwal said.
    MKU has a 50-50 joint venture with Germany’s EIS Electronics manufacturing harnesses for the aerospace industry for DIEHL, DASELL, Eurocopter and Astrium (for the Galileo navigation system). MKU presently has orders for Airbus A380, A350 and A320 harnesses being manufactured at its facility in Kanpur, India.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    Astana pursues Central Asia hub status with new terminal

    Neelam Mathews
    Jun 13 2017

    The new USD195 million Terminal 1 (T1) at Astana International Airport was officially opened by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on 31 May, before the three-month Expo 2017 began on 10 June.
    Paolo Ricciotti, chairman of Astana International Airport.
    Paolo Ricciotti, chairman of Astana International Airport. (NeelamMathews)
    The new terminal went operational on 5 June with the initial transfer of all international airlines apart from Air Astana, which will be transferred at a later stage of operations. Air Astana is to use the airport as a hub, as will fast-growing SCAT Airlines (the second-largest airline in Kazakhstan).
    The new terminal is an element of the State Programme of Infrastructure Development 2015-2019. As the only airport serving the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana International is fully state-owned and managed by the Airport Management Group, a 100% subsidiary of Kazakh Railways. Paolo Ricciotti, chairman of Astana ....more on Janes ..

    Air India Privatization Back on Government’s Agenda

    Neelam Mathews
    June 8 2017
    Having gained a majority in parliament, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun seriously considering the restructuring and/or privatization of national carrier Air India. A high GDP growth rate and a domestic aviation market set to overtake Japan this year as the world’s third largest has led to calls for a more effectual national carrier. Air India’s debts now amount to $7.5 billion, about half of which stems from aircraft loans.
    The Ministry of Civil Aviation, prodded by a proposal made by the government’s newly formed innovation think tank Niti Aayog, has started the process of preparing a note for the cabinet that will decide on the future course of action, confirmed junior minister of civil aviation Jayant Sinha at a press briefing on June 5. He and an Air India official both refused to comment on the details or reports that the new entity could launch in 18 months.
    Asked whether the move could presage the purchase of Air India by a foreign carrier, minister of civil aviation Ashok Ganapathy Raju said he did “not want to give in to speculation.”
    Discussions on privatizing the carrier have occurred many times in the past. However, this marks the first time senior decision-making government officials have openly aired their comments.
    In the domestic sector, already 86 percent of passengers are flying with private airlines,” finance minister Arun Jaitley told the Times Now television channel. He added that he would not oppose selling the airline completely. “I do not think in the government there are two views on this,” he said.
    It is not the government’s business to be in the business of the service industry,” said Vishok Mansingh, CEO of Mumbai-based consultancy CAV Aero Services. He added Air India branding needs an overhaul similar to what the now privatized Malaysia Airlines undertook three years ago. “Who would not want to be part of [India’s 20 percent annual traffic] growth?” he asked rhetorically. Mansingh expressed hope that an airline, foreign or Indian, would buy a stake in Air India rather than a corporate entity “to ensure there would be no manipulation of staff, including pilots and crew, which could be replaced from the inventory of the investing airline.”
    Jitender Bhargava, former executive director of Air India and author of Descent of Air India, insisted that Air India in its current form could not survive. “It has moved from meaningful existence to meaningless survival,” he quipped, adding that, although the airline lacks strong leadership, he opposes the prospect of a foreign carrier taking control. “Air India has been an institution with enormous emotional quotient…It has assets that include real estate, an engineering company, catering, airport slots, pilots, bilaterals, subsidiary airlines…We need to look at it in totality so it does not get undervalued,” he warned. “Why should a foreign carrier benefit from the Indian economy?”

    Times have changed,” argued Mansingh. “If Tata can buy Jaguar and Range Rover in the UK, why can’t a foreign airline buy Air India?”

    Thursday, June 1, 2017

    India needs to close counterterrorism gaps

    India needs to close counterterrorism gaps
    Neelam Mathews
    May 31, 2017
    Special Ops
    As threats from porous borders cause concerns, experts noted critical gaps in counterterrorism technology, procurement and governance in India at a homeland security meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Delhi on 24 May.
    Immediate challenges faced by ... Read on ShephardMedia  

    Friday, May 26, 2017

    India steps up efforts to map noise

    Neelam Mathews, Delhi
    Jane's Airport Review

    Mumbai (pictured) is one of five large Indian airports to undergo noise-mapping.
    Mumbai (pictured) is one of five large Indian airports to undergo noise-mapping. (Neelam Mathews)
    India is prioritising moves to limit noise emissions at airports and standardise land use planning, as it prepares for an ICAO audit in November 2017.
    ICAO Doc 9289 (Balanced Approach to Noise Management) calls for member states to introduce noise limit guidelines and land use plans by 2018.

    The Indian National Physical Laboratory (NPL) ....more in JAR.