Smartphone use to be allowed during take-off and landing

Tablet

By Chloe Cann,

An update to the European Aviation Safety Agency guidelines means that passengers on flights leaving Britain could be allowed to use their smartphones and tablets from take-off to touch-down.

While the changes will not come into effect immediately, the new guidance published yesterday suggests that passengers should be allowed to use their personal electronic devices – such as tablets, smartphones and e-readers – so long as they remain in flight mode.

Currently, passengers are required to switch off all electronic devices for take-off and landing.

In the report EASA said: “It will be [up] to the discretion of each airline to use this guidance and change its policy.”

To implement the change airlines would need to apply to the national regulator in Britain, the CAA, The Telegraph reported.

European safety regulators are expected to follow in the footsteps of the US Federal Aviation Administration, which announced the lifting of the ban on portable electronics during take-off and landing in October.

Last month US regulators also proposed an end to the ban on in-flight mobile phone calls, describing the existing rules as “outdated”.

Sourced by TTG Digital


Europe allows gadgets to be used from take-off

Nordic Airways plane

European flyers will now be able to use devices during take-off and landing

Europe is relaxing rules about the use of electronics during flights, paving the way for devices to be used during take-off and landing.

Currently smartphones, tablets and other devices can be used only while a flight is in the air.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published guidelines saying use of such devices should now be allowed during take-off and landing.

It follows the US bringing in similar rules last month.

The EASA stipulates that devices must be used in “airplane mode”, meaning passengers cannot use voice or text services.

This is due to the possibility of radio interference with flight equipment.

The changes will apply to aircraft operated by European airlines and are likely to be introduced at the end of the month.

“This is a major step in the process of expanding the freedom to use personal electronic devices on-board aircraft without compromise in safety,” said Patrick Ky, EASA executive director.

Explaining the US change of heart, the Federal Aviation Administration said that recent reviews had determined that most commercial aircraft can tolerate radio interference signals from such devices.

Sourced by BBC News


Marking the next step towards ROPS capability across all Airbus families

Airbus has achieved initial EASA certification of its innovative Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) technology on A320ceo* Family aircraft. This on-board cockpit technology, which Airbus has pioneered over several years and is now in service on the A380, increases pilots’ situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and if necessary, provides active protection. In March this year American Airlines selected ROPS to equip its A320 Family fleet.

This EASA certification of ROPS on the A320ceo is the next step in making ROPS available for line-fit and retrofit to other Airbus models including very soon the A320ceo with Sharklets, the A330 Family, and also the A320neo**. ROPS was first approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on the A380 in October 2009 and to date is currently in service or ordered on most of the A380 fleet. ROPS is also part of the A350 XWB’s basic configuration.

“Already in service on the A380, ROPS is the result of years of continuing research by Airbus,” said Yannick Malinge, Airbus’ Senior Vice President and Chief Product Safety Officer. He adds: “This initial EASA certification for ROPS on the A320 Family is an important new step to offering the enhanced safety benefits across all our aircraft and for the industry.”

Runway excursion – meaning either an aircraft veering off the side of the runway, or overrunning at the very end – has become the primary cause of civil airliner hull losses in recent years, particularly as other formerly prevalent categories of aircraft accidents have now largely been eliminated. Furthermore, various industry bodies including the EASA, NTSB, Eurocontrol and FAA recognize this and are fully behind the introduction of effective measures by commercial aviation stakeholders to not only mitigate, but eliminate the risk of runway excursions.

In line with this, Airbus is working to make ROPS commercially available for aircraft from other manufacturers. The system will be coupled to the mandatory Terrain Avoidance Warning System already fitted and will utilize an enhanced and specially developed version of its worldwide runway database.

The Airbus-patented ROPS computes minimum realistic in-flight landing and on-ground stopping distances while comparing them to available landing distances in real time. The analyses take into account factors such as runway topography, runway condition, aircraft weight and configuration, wind and temperature. The resulting outcome produces audio callouts and alerts for pilots, making ROPS an awareness tool to assist the crew in the go-around decision making process and also the timely application of retardation/stopping means on touchdown.

To regularly enhance the A320 Family’s capabilities and performance, Airbus invests approximately 300 million euros annually in keeping the aircraft highly competitive and efficient. More than 9,600 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and over 5,600 delivered to operators worldwide. With a record backlog of over 4,000 aircraft, the A320 Family reaffirms its position as the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft Family.

Airbus is the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer of passenger airliners, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus has design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain, and subsidiaries in the US, China, Japan and in the Middle East. In addition, it provides an international network of customer support and training centres.

*ceo = Current Engine Option

**neo = New Engine Option


EASA EXTENDS BAE SYSTEMS REGIONAL AIRCRAFT’S PART 21 APPROVALS

Prestwick, Scotland….BAE Systems Regional Aircraft announced today at the Airline Purchasing and Maintenance Expo in London that it has received European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) approval to extend its Part 21 G and J approvals to allow the company to work on any aircraft type for both design and manufacturing work.

For several years BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has had Design Organisation Approval (DOA) allowing it to carry out design work for different aircraft types.

The latest development is that the business has now received Production Organisation Approval (POA) from EASA which allows it to manufacture/produce a range of non-OEM aircraft parts as well as the manufacture of specified appliances for third-party companies under the European Technical Standards Order (ETSO).

Under these extended POA approvals BAE Systems Regional Aircraft can manufacture non-OEM aircraft parts, components and assemblies in both metallic and composite materials including electrical loom assemblies. It also covers aircraft equipment and systems, including mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, fuel, and powerplant, plus furnishings and safety equipment.

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is now also approved to manufacture/produce galley equipment, cargo pallets and containers, passenger and crew seats associated with an ETSO.

Jim McCulloch, Head of Compliance for BAE Systems Regional Aircraft said: “We can now support minor modifications/changes through our own Service Bulletins, while for major changes/modifications, such as mandatory avionics upgrades, we will provide this through a Supplemental Type Certificate.”

This extension to BAE Systems Regional Aircraft’s approvals means that the way is now open for the business to fully exploit its extensive engineering and supply chain expertise to win new business.

Graham Smith, Head of Business Development added: “We are in active dialogue with various parties on a range of different programmes covering equipment upgrades, replacement parts, minor and major changes/major modifications and supply chain solutions.

“While we are currently targeting mature mid-life aircraft such as the Boeing 737 Classic, the Airbus A320 family, the Bombardier CRJ700/900 series and the earlier Embraer E-Series, our capabilities apply to any aircraft”, he said.

Using its range of skills BAE Systems can identify the need for replacement parts for different aircraft types, design them or source them, arrange their manufacture, obtain certification and then support them through a variety of spares support programmes run by the business.

Under its extended ETSO approvals, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft can also work with emerging suppliers to help bring their products into the European and wider markets.

Graham Smith added:” The expertise we can now offer to new companies seeking to win business in Europe and further afield is that by using our airworthiness, technical and approval skills we can minimise the duplication of testing and analysis that would normally be required by new suppliers who do not have ETSO approvals. Once approved, we can then support the new product with a complete range of support services outside the supplier’s home market.”

Sourced by aviator.aero


Airbus Military A400M receivs full civil type certificate from EASA. Military certification and first delivery to follow soon

Airbus Military has today received full Type Certification for the A400M new generation airlifter, marking a critical step towards delivery of the first aircraft to the French Air Force.

Award of the Type Certificate makes the A400M the world’s first large military transport to be designed and certified to civil standards from its inception. Military Initial Operating Clearance is ongoing, paving the way towards first delivery.

The Type Certificate, was presented to Airbus Military by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Certification Director Dr. Norbert Lohl.

Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña Raso said: “I would like to thank everyone in Airbus, Airbus Military and at EASA who has worked so hard to achieve this certification. It is an enormously gratifying moment to have confirmation that the A400M has fully demonstrated its compliance with the most stringent airworthiness standards. This is an aircraft that is going to transform the military airlift world in the years ahead and we look forward with great excitement to the first delivery.”

Cedric Gautier, Airbus Military Head of A400M programme, said: “Certifying the A400M to civil as well as military standards has been a huge challenge for us, our suppliers and EASA itself. But by providing a firm framework for certification from day one, to globally accepted standards, both we and the operators will see important benefits as the aircraft matures in service and new customers join the programme.”

During the certification programme the A400M has undergone exhaustive testing of its handling qualities throughout the flight envelope in normal and failure conditions; demonstrated outstanding performance in the heat of the Gulf, cold of Sweden and Canada, and at the high altitude of La Paz, Bolivia; and satisfactorily completed more than 300 hours of function and reliability testing to demonstrate the robustness of its TP400 engines and systems.

Additionally it has begun tests of more advanced military functions such as air-to-air refuelling, air-dropping of supplies and paratroopers, and low-level flight – all with highly encouraging results. The five-strong fleet of “Grizzly” development aircraft has now completed some 4,800 hours in the air during more than 1,600 flights and will continue intensively to expand the A400M’s military capabilities.

About A400M

The A400M is an all-new military airlifter designed to meet the needs of the world’s armed forces in the 21st Century. Thanks to its most advanced technologies, it is able to fly higher, faster and further, while retaining high manoeuvrability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities. It combines both tactical and strategic/logistic missions. With its cargo hold specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed today for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, it can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is most needed. Conceived to be highly reliable, dependable, and with great survivability, the multipurpose A400M can do more with less, implying smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. The A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.


EASA certifies the Trent XWB engine

By Victoria Moores

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has awarded the certification for the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan, which will power the Airbus A350-800 and -900. The certification paves the way for the A350 XWB’s first flight this summer.

“Test results show we have produced the world’s most efficient large civil aero engine and we now look forward to the first flight later this year,” Rolls-Royce president-civil large engines Eric Schulz said.

“These new engines—together with the aircraft’s advanced aerodynamics and airframe technologies—will bring our airline customers a 25% step-improvement in fuel efficiency,” Airbus EVP-A350 XWB Program Didier Evrard said.

The Trent XWB has been tested on an A380 flying test bed since February 2012. Airbus said the EASA certification is the “last major engine milestone” ahead of the first flight of A350-900 MSN001 later this year. The engines for MSN001 are now being prepared for installation.

A higher thrust version of the Trent XWB remains under development for the A350-1000.

The A350 XWB, which is scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014, has won 617 firm orders from 35 customers, according to Airbus.

Sourced by ATW


EASA moves towards flight time limitations for business aircraft

By David Learmount
Source:

The European Aviation Safety Agency says it hopes to publish a proposed rule by mid-2014 on flight time limitations (FTLs) specific to on-demand aircraft charter operations.

At present there is no pan-European ruling on FTLs, but a proposal affecting only commercial airline operations is currently going through the final stages of consultation and rulemaking.

Meanwhile, US National Transportation Safety Board vice-president for safety, security, operations and regulation Doug Carr says his organisation is taking part in the EASA working group on FTLs for on-demand charter, explaining that the NBAA had worked with the US Federal Aviation Administration on formulating FTLs for business aircraft crews in 2005, but that no US rulemaking has ever resulted from the study.

EASA says it intends to present proposals for business aircraft FTLs by mid-2014, with a final rule accepted by about mid-2016.

Sourced by Flightglobal


Airline pilots falling asleep in cockpit because of fatigue

David MillwardBy David Millward, Transport Editor

The findings of a study by Simon Bennett of Leicester University, has rekindled fears that passenger safety could be put at risk by pilot fatigue.

While the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA has tightened rules governing flying hours following a crash in Buffalo, New York in which 50 people died, the European Aviation Safety Agency is looking to relax British regulations to bring them into line with other parts of the EU.

Two pilots speaking to the Daily Telegraph on condition of anonymity, admitted they had nodded off in the cockpit.

“It is particularly bad on night flights when you have to be awake at a time when your body wants to be asleep,” he said.

“I have woken up from a rest period to find my colleague asleep when he was supposed to be flying the aircraft.”

Another pilot who has flown both intercontinental and short haul European flights, recalled falling into what he described as a “microsleep.”

He added: “Everything was closing in, then you would awake with a jolt. You try to keep awake by drinking stronger and stronger coffee.”

Their experience is commonplace according to Dr Bennett. “It is not unknown for pilots to unintentionally fall asleep while operating,” he said.

According to the British Airline Pilots Association, the European proposals would increase the number of hours flying crew could spend at work from 16 hours 15 minutes a day to 20 hours.

The pilots’ union says the changes would water down Britain’s safeguards, which are among the strictest in Europe.

At the heart of the debate is whether the time pilots spend getting to work should be taken into account.

Dr Bennett, who has been involved in aviation safety for more than a decade, believes it should.

He surveyed 433 pilots, with the help of the union, carrying out interviews and asking volunteers to compile sleep logs.

He asked pilots to include time they spent getting to the airport ahead of reporting for duty – something which is not taken into account in existing or the proposed flying hours regulations.

More than half the pilots travelled at least an hour to get to the airport before starting their shift.

These hours are not taken into account when drawing up safety rules, even though it can mean pilots are in control of an aircraft having had little sleep.

More than 50 per cent of pilots have been in control of an aircraft after being awake for 23 hours according to an academic study. A fifth said they were flying 28 hours after getting up.

Nearly eight per cent of the pilots who participated in the study admitted they had been involved in a road accident driving home at the end of their shift, Dr Bennett said.

On pilot who took part in the study said he had “nodded off” over the Isle of Wight on his approach to Gatwick.

“The reality is that pilots commute huge distances to get to work and the same to get home. But if I raise this in Westminster or in Europe, the response is that the airlines are abiding by the rules.”

Pilots reported feeling groggy, dizzy, light-headed and confused because of the long days they endured.

One described feeling “Punch-drunk. Utterly exhausted. Incapacitated.”

The pilot added: “I checked straight into a hotel and didn’t even drive home. The trouble with long-haul flying is you simply cannot predict how tired you will be at the end of a flight.”

Louise Ellman, the chairman of the all-party Transport Select Committee at Westminster, was alarmed by the findings.

“This increases concern that pilots are being asked to fly too long and gives added urgency for the need to review these proposals,” said

“The Government should be more active in arguing for a better deal.”

Simon Buck, chief executive of the British Air Transport Association, which represents the industry, declined to get involved in the debate.

“Flying time is a matter for the UK Authorities and it is up to them to specify the measures which are appropriate.”

Sourced from The Telegraph


Four in 10 British pilots admit to falling asleep in plane’s cockpit

Two pilots are pictured in the cockpit of an aeroplaneBy TraveMail Reporter

Many of us are guilty of taking a power nap at work but the cockpit of an aeroplane isn’t the best place to try to fit in forty winks.

Yet alarmingly more than four in ten British pilots admit to having fallen asleep at the controls of a passenger jet, according to a new survey.

Between 43 per cent and 54 per cent of pilots surveyed in the UK, Norway and Sweden said they had fallen asleep ‘involuntarily’ while flying.

A third of these said they had even woken to find their co-pilot was also asleep.

Exhausted: The study found that between 70 and 80 per cent of pilots would not declare themselves unfit to fly for fear of being stigmatised

Around 6,000 pilots in eight countries were surveyed for a ‘fatigue barometer’ by staff associations affiliated to the European Cockpit Association (ECA).

More than three out of five pilots in Sweden, Norway and Denmark reported making mistakes due to fatigue, while in Germany this figure was four out of five.

Between 70 and 80 per cent of exhausted pilots would not declare themselves unfit to fly for fear of being stigmatised by employers or left facing disciplinary action.

The ECA says the study shows that fatigue among pilots is a ‘common, dangerous and under-reported phenomenon in Europe’.It comes just weeks after the EU’s European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) floated proposed changes to rules on duty times and rest requirements for pilots.

The plans are aimed at ‘harmonising’ limits on pilots’ hours across the EU.

Under the new rules, pilots could be landing commercial jets after 22 hours awake – including 11 hours flying, plus stand-by time and travel to the airport.

A Commons’ Transport Select committee warned that 22 hours of wakefulness was ‘an extraordinary figure’ – particularly for night flying – that raised levels of fatigue equivalent to being ‘drunk.’

UK pilots can currently go up to 18 hours without sleep.

An airline pilot is pictured sleeping at the airportWidespread: The ECA says the study shows that fatigue among pilots is a ‘common, dangerous and under-reported phenomenon in Europe’

The committee said it was concerned that ‘the new regulations are setting a standard that accepts a higher level of fatigue more generally and, if not managed properly, that could well lead to a situation where the accident risk will increase’.

The Department for Transport insisted the EU blueprint would neither compromise safety nor increase the risk of pilot fatigue.

However, the Government did accept some of the MP’s findings – including a recommendation to investigate ‘the potential under-reporting of pilot fatigue’.

Ministers said they would also be seeking a strengthening of specific EU ‘fatigue’ rules surrounding flight duties and rest periods and ‘stricter limits’ on how frequently airlines could use discretion to exceed maximum levels.

A spokesman for the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) said: ‘It is clear that the Government has chosen to ignore the concerns of thousands of pilots in the UK. It looks like the Government are going to roll over to Brussels on this.

‘Europe wants British pilots flying more tired more often. So the Government response is extremely disappointing. We hope the new Transport Secretary will change course.’

Last month, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revealed that two pilots had fallen asleep while in sole charge of passenger planes thousands of feet up in the air.

Their co-pilots had been on the flight deck at the time and both had been alone in the cockpit.

One one occasion, the captain left to use the toilet and then tried to radio his first officer – but got no reply.

He then had to use a code to get back into the cockpit and found his second-in-command slumped over the controls.

In the other case flagged up, a pilot returning from his break had to use the entry code to get into the cockpit.

He then shook his co-pilot awake, the authority revealed, in response to a Freedom of Information request by The Sun.

A third pilot was found asleep in the cockpit when his plane was on the ground.

The identities of the airlines involved were not revealed.

Sourced by Daily Mail


Toxic cabin air: German Transport Minister wants action

By David Learmount
After decades of denial, the transport minister of a serving government has now called for urgent action over toxic fume incidents in airliners.

Germany’s Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has written to the EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas calling for action from the European Aviation Safety Agency to come up with a solution to prevent the increasing number of reported incidents, seven of which were judged by the German accident investigator BFU to be high risk events.
Germany is the only country officially admitting that this issue even exists, and this is by virtue of its more rigorously applied reporting system and increasing restlessness among German pilots and cabin crew who are worried about their health in both the short and the long term.
This subject will not go away. The industry, which is quietly preparing to do something about it but keeps on putting off the evil day, will soon have to act. What Germany is trying to do, quite naturally, is to get EASA to make the decisions so that Germany does not have to act alone. Once EASA acts, the rest of the world will have to.
Sourced from Flight Global

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