Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>politics</span>

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Furious Air France Workers Attack Executives Over Job Cuts

Air FranceAbout 100 Air France employees stormed a management and union official meeting on October 5, after the airline announced plans to shed 2,900 jobs in the next 2 years.

The airline, which is struggling to compete with global rivals, announced job cuts after failing to convince its pilots to work longer hours on same salary.

The airline’s human resources manager Xavier Broseta and the head of long-haul flights Pierre Plissonnier had to flee from the angry workers, with their shirts torn off.

Seven people, including a security guard, were injured in the incident.

French President Francois Hollande said, “Social dialogue matters and when it’s interrupted by violence, and disputes take on an unacceptable form, it can have consequences for the image and attractiveness” of the country.”

A criminal investigation has been launched into the incident.

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Kenya Crash Investigation in Spotlight

What: Kenya Police Air Wing Eurocopter AS 350B3e Ecureuil
Where: Ngong Hills, near Nairobi Kenya
When: June 10, 2012 8:30 a.m.
Who: 6 aboard, 6 fatalities
Why: Kenyan Internal Security Minister George Saitoti was killed in a helicopter crash on June 10, 2012. Clatus MacOwenga had been appointed in the investigation, and the appointment was backdated to January 5 to fill a legal gap for the period when no chief accidents investigator was in office. MacOwenga apparently was running an investigation separate from that of the President Kibaki’s public inquiry.

Martin Lunani is now the lead investigator, appointed for a period of three years : August 18 to August 17, 2015. The demotion occurred prior to Mr Macowenga submitting a report. Macowenga will now report to Mr Lunani.

The end of the investigations is scheduled to be October.

Read More

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Bhoja Detained; Released; Controlled

The Arshad Jalil family owns 80% of Bhoja Air. Farooq Bhoja who owns a small percentage of Bhoja Air was detained and questioned after the crash of the Bhoja Air jet Friday. Now Bhoja is on the “control list” forbidden to leave Pakistan. A criminal investigation has been launched, as well as an aviation investigation, and a judicial commission.

Nadeem Yousufzai of the Civil Aviation Authority denied that political pressure was behind the Bhoja Air’s permit.

I am just wondering when they arrest the owner of Air Blue, the CAA and the DGCA.

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FAA Funding Goes to the Senate

The FAA has been funded by 23 short-term funding extensions in the last eight years. Today the Senate is expected to vote on long term FAA funding. (Friday, legislation funding the FAA till 2015 passed the House of Representatives).

A labor compromise stuck in the bill says that no less than 50 percent of airline workers must favor a vote on unionization before that vote can take place. Essentially it repeals a National Mediation Board ruling that absentee votes in union elections are not counted as votes against forming a union.

The House bill cut FAA funding to FY 2008 levels. The compromise bill keeps funding at FY 2011 levels.

No one is saying the bill is perfect, but the extensions are expensive.

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Crash au large des Comores, les familles des victimes réclament justice

Publié le 5 février 2010 par Nabiha Gasmi

Prises en étau entre le droit européen, comorien, américain et français, et face à des compagnies d’assurances des plus alertes, les suites juridiques du crash de l’air bus A310-300 de la compagnie Yéménia qui s’est échoué au large des Comores le 29 juin dernier , tuant 152 passagers sur les 153 à bord, promettent d’être longues et scabreuses. Demeurant sans indemnités ni explications sur ce funeste vol, à Marseille, les familles de victimes réunies en collectif, n’ont eu d’autre alternative que de faire appel à des magnats du droit, le célèbre cabinet d’avocat américain : Masry & Vititoe.Toutes les infos

Caught between European, Comoros, American and French legal systems, the families of Yemenia flight 626 are suffering at the mercy of insurance companies, and struggling with the legal consequences of the crash of the Yemenia airlines airbus that crashed on June 29, 2009. After all this time, the families still have no compensation. Demanding explanations, families of victims gathered to appeal for help from the American lawyer Masry & Vititoe in Marseille, this Saturday. Google Translation

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Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009

Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009 deals with flight crew qualifications. The bill attempts to address flight crew standards for ATP certification and experience, largely as a result of the Colgan Air crash.

Higher standards, which reduce the applicant pool will inadvertently cause an escalation in pay, and hopefully in safety as well.

See the bill before and after the house on Thomas:


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See the FAA Bill

Here’s a peek at the bill that is addressing the FAA’s immediate future; the bill and it’s summary are posted here. Actions contained in the bill are in response to the Colgan Air Crash.

According to THOMAS the library of Congress, there are 4 versions of Bill Number H.R.915 for the 111th Congress

1 . FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)[H.R.915.IH]
2 . FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 (Reported in House)[H.R.915.RH]
3 . FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)[H.R.915.EH]
4 . FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 (Referred to Senate Committee after being Received from House)[H.R.915.RFS]

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Spain Punishes Officers for Body Misidentification

George’s Point of View

After 30 bodies were misidentified and sent to the wrong grieving families, General Vicente Navarro received a three year sentence; and Commander Jose Ramirez and Captain Miguel Saez received 18-month sentences.

Some of the bodies had to be exhumed so that the misidentification could be verified.

Sixty-two soldiers died in the Yak-42 crash in Turkey on May 26, 2003. Imagine how the families felt. First they have to suffer the deaths. Then almost half of the victims were misidentified. And remember to the families, these weren’t random victims. They were husbands and sons.

Imagine how the families felt when they had to dig up their husbands and sons and have the remains crosschecked with dental records and DNA samples. It probably wasn’t limted to 30, either; they probably exhumed all the victims except for whichever ones might have been visually recognizable by family members.

One wonders if the buck stopped in the right place. Was the decision not to perform DNA/Dental verification really made by General Vicente Navarro or was it a decision that was passed down to him from defence minister Federico Trillo? Isn’t there a public policy of aviation procedure in cases such as this? My question is not whether the sentence is just, but whether the right individual was sentenced.

Carelessness of this profundity goes beyond cruelty.

If I were a Spanish lawyer or on the Ministerio de Fomento, Civil Aviation, I’d be going through policies with a fine toothed comb. I’d love to hear from Madrid to find out just exactly what they’ve done in the past three years to prevent this kind of inhuman treatment in the future.

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Emergency Landing

An airliner was having engine trouble, and the pilot instructed the cabin crew to have the passengers take their seats and get prepared for an emergency landing.

A few minutes later, the pilot asked the flight attendants if everyone was buckled in and ready.

"All set back here, Captain," came the reply, "except one lawyer who is still in the aisle passing out business cards."

src rep-am.com/articles/2008/10/09/lifestyle/daily_laugh/doc48ecde248eb27266367816.txt

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Is Brazil a One Trick Pony?

In May, will Tam become the only Brazilian airline flying out of Brazil? If Ocean Air and Varig cancel all their International flights, their fleets of Boeing 737, Ebraer and Folker airplanes will service only Intra-Brazilian destinations.

Brazil’s aviation safety record is notoriously negative. In 2007, electrical problems shut down Brazilian airspace for 2½ hours. Brazil diverted incoming flights to return to their respective points of origin or unscheduled landings at airports from Chile to Puerto Rico. (This was subsequent to the Sao Paulo Airbus A320 TAM Airlines Flight 3054 crash, but it was by no means the first disaster.) The last couple of years,in fact, Brazil’s entire civil aviation system has been in crisis, suffering from safety issues, air traffic controller strikes as well as flight cancellations and delays. The so-called “Apagão Aéreo” (Aerial blackout) followed the Gol Flight 1907 mid-air collision.

The four CINDACTA, or “Centro Integrado de Defesa Aérea e Controle de Tráfego Aéreo (Integrated Air Traffic Control and Air Defense Centers) are run by the Brazilian Air Force. The government’s Tribunal de Contas da União (Union Accounting Tribunal) holds the Brazilian Government responsible for the disastrous record, due in part to Pan American World Airways Flight 202 ( April 28, 1952), VASP Flight 168 ( June 8, 1982), Varig Flight 254 ( September 3 1989), and TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais Flight 402 (October 31, 1996), among others.

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Brazil’s Turbulent Airline Biz

São Paulo-based BRA suspended all operations as it struggles to find financing. Currently Brazil is left with TAM and Gol/Varig, both of which have had their own issues.

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Chairman Resigns!

At a press conference Oct 31 in Brasília, Board Chairman Milton Zuanazzi, the last remaining member of ANAC’s former board of directors of the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac) announced his resignation from the board.

Zuanazz based his decision on claims that the National Civil Aviation Agency was the “scapegoat” for Brazil’s current air crisis.

He said publicly that he “would not like to work” with Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, a position which is certainly understandable since Jobim has been trying to remove him since July.

He delayed his resignation to the current time to allow Jobim to find new directors. Zuanazzi says that Jobim is not well-informed about Brazil’s aviation system, and classifies some of his proposals as “reckless.” The last straw was Defense Minister Nelson Jobim’s proposal to increase the required distance between airplane seats. Doing so would force carriers to raise fares, Zuanazzi said.

One wonders how raising the distance between airplane seats will increase the safety factor, which is at the root of the whole aviation problem in Brazil.

Zuanazz recommends Civil Aviation Secretary Solange Paiva Vieira to be his replacement.

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Tam Air Threatens Football’s Future

Fifa, football’s world governing body has awarded the 2014 tournament to Brazil–a brave move, considering that Brazil’s justice ministry has recorded 150 murders per day in Brazil, and the state of Brazil’s aviation industry is less than stellar.

Currently it only takes a brief thunderstorm in Sao Paulo to knock out Brazil’s domestic air system. Congonhas airport must shut during storms, which has a domino effect.

Two major crashes occurred in the past 13 months:

Gol-In September last year- 155 people died when a Boeing 737-800 operated by domestic company Gol collided with an executive jet

Tam-In July,- 187 people were killed when an Airbus A320 overshot the runway at Congonhas.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is quoted as saying “Our aviation system, in spite of the investments we have made in expansion and modernisation, is passing through difficulties.”

An overland journey from Rio de Janeiro to Manaus takes 60 hours on a bus to Belem, followed by several days on a boat down the Amazon river. There is no astrobus.

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Tam: Business as usual?

With July’s fatal crash and a year of turmoil in the Brazilian airline sector, it has been a tough year for Brazil’s TAM Linhas Aéreas. Following months of air traffic controller strikes, airport delays and flight cancellations, one of Tam’s Airbus A320s overran the runway at São Paulo Congonhas airport in a catastrophe that claimed 199 lives.

TAM president Marco Antonio Bologna has been feeling the brunt of Brazil’s favorite blame game: “who is responsible?” Bologna is reluctant to discuss the accident other than to describe the measures taken by TAM to assist the victims’ families.

What did cause the crash?

Brazil’s aviation industry continues on in a climate of fear and mistrust.

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Gol Linhas Aereas Buyback Under Consideration

The Tam Air crash revealed defects in Brazil’s civil aviation system. The system has been stressed subsequent to air traffic controller strikes and work slowdowns that have been causing mass delays and cancellations and damaged Brazilian airlines.

Gol Linhas Aereas Intelligentes SA shares dropped since Brazil’s deadliest air accident in July, when theTAM passenger jet crashed in Sao Paulo and killed 199 people.

Following the crash, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva responded to pressure by firing the defense minister in charge of civil aviation, and the government is imposing a plan to reduce air traffic at Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport, the site of the crash and the nation’s busiest airport.

The family-run fund that controls the company announced it is considering a share buyback.

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Brazil Regulator Proposes Restrictions

For Immediate Release
Sept 20, 2007

SAO PAULO, Brazil-Brazil’s civil aviation regulator proposed restricting flights at the nation’s busiest airport on Thursday, hoping to improve safety at the site of the nation’s deadliest plane crash.

The rules proposed by the Civil Aviation Authority would restrict destinations to a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) radius of the Congonhas airport and would bar connecting flights from the airport.

The Defense Ministry will now assess the report, and Defense Minister Nelson Jobim announced separately that authorities will decide within one month the precise location for construction of a third runway at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos airport.
Guarulhos handled mostly international flights before the July 17 crash at Congonhas, but many domestic flights were transferred there after the crash, prompting officials to revive a long dormant plan for the extra runway.

As many as 5,000 families living near Guarulhos may have to be relocated to make way for the runway, depending on the location selected, Brazil’s Agencia Estado news service said.

The proposals grow out of a review of operations at Congonhas following the crash in which a TAM airliner ran off the runway and slammed into a building two months ago, killing 199 people.

Officials have not determined a cause, but many experts have said that Congonhas’ main runway is too short and that the airport _ Brazil’s busiest _ handles far too many flights.

The 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) limit would let airlines fly to key destinations such as Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and cities in southern Brazil, but not to tourist destinations in the northeast.

TAM Linhas Aeras SA and Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes _ Brazil’s two largest airlines _ previously used Congonhas as a major hub, but are now reorganizing operations.

The regulators also proposed limiting the number of passengers aboard flights, and restricting takeoffs and landings to 33 per hour at Congonhas, cutting overall passenger capacity at the airport to 4,700 per hour from 5,100 per hour.
Jobim, whose ministry oversees Brazilian civil aviation, earlier announced plans to for an escape area at the end of the runway and limits on operations in wet conditions.

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Latin Airports Plagued with Problems

Brazilian officials have yet to agree on exactly what caused a TAM airliner to skid off the rain-slicked runway at Congonhas on July 17, killing all 187 aboard and 12 on the ground. Critics claim the runway is too short and lacks grooves to prevent skidding during wet weather.

Mountains increase the risks at airports in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Quito, Ecuador.

Birds pose problems at airports in Panama City; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Barranquilla, Colombia. A single bird sucked into an engine can down a plane.

Six hundred vultures have closed Barranquilla’s airport for two hours daily since June 19, Illegal dumping by squatters around the airport attracts the birds.

Peter Cerda, a Miami-based specialist in air safety said, ”We don’t have any airport in the region that we consider to be unsafe, including Congonhas,”

Mexico City already has modernized approach and departure procedures, allowing airliners to shave a few minutes off flights, and it is getting a new terminal later this year that will increase gates from 33 to 59. But air traffic there will remain congested because the airport’s two runways are too close together to permit simultaneous use.

A similar plan in Brazil has yet to get under way.

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Has Brazil Overcome its Aeronautic Crisis?

Three ANAC directors ( Denise Abreu, Jorge Luiz Veloso and Leur Lomanto) have resigned, leading ANAC ( Brazil’s National Civil Aeronautics Agency) to claim that the country’s aeronautic crisis has been overcome–a political move laying the blame of the entire system on the heads of three individuals.

President Lula told local radio that “problems still exist at the airports.” Statistics show that 11 percent of flights, 20 percent of which were canceled, were delayed during the holidays on Independence Day.

ANAC claims that problems began in Sept. 2006, when a GOL plane crashed in Mato Gross, killing 154, but the problem stems from a much earlier budget cut. The air disaster merely drew attention to the growing problem. The underfunded Brazilian air system has suffered from cutbacks and lowered standards across the board. Planes have been out of service for maintenance, and the airline Varig stopped flying.

When overworked traffic controllers stated their demands, a group of them was transferred from Air Defense to Civil Aviation.

After the TAM plane crash in July, killing 200 people, the Congonhas runway (known for its abbreviated length) in Sao Paulo was closed for resurfacing.

Replacements for Denise Abreu, Jorge Luiz Veloso and Leur Lomanto, have not been selected.

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The Cost of Cheap Air Travel

Hindsight is teaching Brazil some hard lessons. Some uncomfortable things are coming to light, like how the warning signs have been ignored. There’s a long trail of complaints about Brazilian aviation from the people in the system–(air traffic controllers, pilots, airport employees, etc.) that urgent major improvements were needed went ignored.

Airline safety relies on government-provided infrastructure. To put it simply, you can not skimp on airports. Things like long runways, grooved surfaces, overruns, planned SAFE approaches. Brazil dragging its feet is what killed nearly 200 people, no matter what the investigation says.

Airports need standards, and standards need to be enforced. Would the accident have happened on a longer runway that was properly surfaced? The pilots did NOT skid off the end of the runway. When they couldn’t stop, the pilots decided t get airborne again.

The mechanics of landing

When landing, a jet gets the main wheels onto the runway, which takes up 1000 or more feet of runway.

The pilot deploys the speed brake lever, then pulls the throttles into reverse thrust. This takes up runway at the rate of 200 feet per second.

So what happens when the jet brakes and the pilot realises it is too slick to stop? The pilot must get the engines back max power–was there adequate time and space for the Airbus to do this? Obviously not.

Are we following in Brazil’s footsteps?

The FAA is asking Congress to pawn off federal funding responsibilities for a national system through “user fees” (as our current FAA administrator has asked Congress to do).

Our amazing safety record comes from not skimping, not searching for cost-cutting measures. Will we continue to set the world safety standard or not? Only time will tell.

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What Is Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the Gander

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva flies with a smart crew. They know it’s too dangerous, so the jet he’s on is not allowed to fly with one of its reverse thrusters deactivated. If it is not safe enough for him, why doesn’t the safety regulation apply to commercial flights such as the TAM airliner that crashed and killed 199 people last month? Isn’t it just as dangerous for them too?

The regulation that applies to Silva’s plane is ” a security rule for transporting the nation’s highest executive. “Air force commander Brig. Juniti Saito told a congressional panel during the investigation.

The problem is that one of the reverse thrusters used to slow the planes down during landings — was deactivated on that terribleTAM Airbus A320 crash. TAM Linhas Aereas SA said that according to government-approved safety measures. the plane was safe to fly.

Tell that to the nearly 200 fatalities of the crash: all 187 aboard plus 12 people on the ground.

Speculation as to the cause is currently focused the notoriously short. slick runway and the possibility that the jet’s throttles were set in the wrong position.

Congresswoman Luciana Genro said, “It’s obvious that no human life is less important than the life of the president of the Republic. The air force should try to stop Airbuses from flying with the reverse thruster deactivated.”

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