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Single European Sky

April 16, 2015 Comments off

Single European Sky
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

uilding on the achievements of the internal market and the need to cope with growth in air transport and congestion, the European Commission launched the Single European Sky (SES) initiative in 1999. Its core objective is to reform the architecture of air traffic control in the EU in order to meet future capacity and safety needs, through improving the overall performance of air traffic management and air navigation services.

Two SES packages have been adopted: SES I, which set the principal legal framework, and SES II, which aimed at tackling substantial air traffic growth, increasing safety, reducing costs and delays and the impact of air traffic on the environment. Nonetheless, European airspace remains heavily fragmented and SES is experiencing significant delays, in particular in terms of achievement of its performance goals and deployment of its basic elements such as ‘functional airspace blocks’.

In order to speed up its implementation, the Commission undertook a review of the SES legal framework, and in June 2013 presented an SES2+ package. While airline associations welcomed the initiative, trade unions have been much more critical on certain provisions. The European Parliament, which has underlined the need to push ahead with SES implementation, adopted its first reading position on the SES2+ package in March 2014. In December 2014, the outcome of the Transport Council somewhat reduced the ambitions of the Commission’s initial objectives. However, progress on SES2+ remains blocked over the disputed question of its application to Gibraltar airport. The adoption of the package still requires the approval of both the Council and the European Parliament.

CRS — The No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation (April 2, 2015)

April 15, 2015 Comments off

The No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In order to protect national security, the government maintains various terrorist watchlists, including the “No Fly” list, which contains the names of individuals to be denied boarding on commercial airline flights. Travelers on the No Fly list are not permitted to board an American airline or any flight on a foreign air carrier that lands or departs from U.S. territory or flies over U.S. airspace. Some persons have claimed that their alleged placement on the list was the result of an erroneous determination by the government that they posed a national security threat. In some cases, it has been reported that persons have been prevented from boarding an aircraft because they were mistakenly believed to be on the No Fly list, sometimes on account of having a name similar to another person who was actually on the list. As a result, various legal challenges to placement on the list have been brought in court.

Natural Gas Infrastructure: Implications of Increased Demand from the Electric Power Sector

April 14, 2015 Comments off

Natural Gas Infrastructure: Implications of Increased Demand from the Electric Power Sector (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Energy

The natural gas sector in the United States has been fundamentally transformed by technological advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that have enabled the economic extraction of natural gas from shale formations. This breakthrough has, in turn, unlocked new, geographically diverse natural gas resources that are unprecedented in size.

The availability of abundant, low-cost natural gas has increased demand for natural gas from multiple end-use sectors. In the electric power sector, which is currently the largest consumer of natural gas in the United States, the record-low natural gas prices during the month of April 2012 drove generation from natural gas to virtually match that of coal. While coal has regained some of its market share because of gradually rising natural gas prices, the combination of favorable economics and the lower conventional air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with natural gas relative to other fossil fuels is likely to contribute to expanded use of natural gas in the electric power sector in the future.

However, increased use of natural gas in the electric power sector also presents some potential challenges. Unlike other fossil fuels, natural gas cannot typically be stored on-site and must be delivered as it is consumed. Because adequate natural gas infrastructure is a key component of electric system reliability in many regions, it is important to understand the implications of greater natural gas demand for the infrastructure required to deliver natural gas to end users, including electric generators.

The purpose of this study is to understand the potential infrastructure needs of the U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline transmission system under several future natural gas demand scenarios.

2015 Global Aerospace & Defense Outlook: Growth for commercial aerospace; defense decline continues

April 13, 2015 Comments off

2015 Global Aerospace & Defense Outlook: Growth for commercial aerospace; defense decline continues
Source: Deloitte

Revenue and earnings growth in the commercial aerospace sector is expected to be a bright spot and driving force behind the global aerospace and defense (A&D) industry performance in 2015. While the rate of growth for the overall industry has been slowing over the last two years as a result of declines in defense sector spending, the commercial aerospace sector is likely to enjoy close to an 8 percent growth rate according to the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) Manufacturing Industry group 2015 Global aerospace and defense industry outlook.

The commercial aerospace sector is expected to set new records for aircraft production in 2015. The accelerated replacement cycle of obsolete aircraft with next generation fuel-efficient aircraft, and growing passenger travel demand, especially in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region are key drivers behind this trend.

Global revenues in the defense sector will likely continue to decrease in 2015 at an estimated 1.3 percent. Yet, defense spending is increasing in several areas of the globe, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, India, South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia, as these countries equip their militaries with modern defense platforms and technologies. The report noted that escalating tensions between nations and damaging cyber-attacks may have an impact on future spending in the sector.

Over the next few years, the defense sector will be challenged in two major ways: how to grow profitably in a declining market and what actions are necessary to cut costs to maintain acceptable financial performance. Successful defense companies are addressing these challenges by branching out into adjacent markets, focusing on foreign military sales, and investing in next generation product development in cyber security, defense electronics, precision strike, unmanned systems, and advanced analytics.

Injuries and illness among state and local government bus drivers

April 12, 2015 Comments off

Injuries and illness among state and local government bus drivers
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

According to the American Public Transportation Association, people in the United States took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2013. Just over half those trips were on motor buses. An estimated 5,780 state and local government transit and intercity bus drivers suffered injuries on the job in 2013. These injuries required at least one day away from work.

Bus drivers spend almost all of their worktime on the road. Transportation incidents were the most common event that lead to a workplace injury or illness among state and local bus drivers in 2011 and 2013. These incidents accounted for 42 percent of injuries and illnesses in 2013 and 36 percent in 2011. In 2012, transportation incidents accounted for 26 percent of cases that caused bus drivers to miss work, the second most common event that year.

Transportation Statistics Annual Report

April 10, 2015 Comments off

Transportation Statistics Annual Report
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released the Transportation Statistics Annual Report (TSAR). The 18th edition of this congressionally mandated report presents key transportation indicators along with an overview of the transportation system. It also includes data and statistics on passenger travel, freight movement, transportation and the economy, system reliability, safety, energy use and environmental impacts. In addition, it focuses on closing data gaps and improving the ways in which transportation statistics are collected, compiled, analyzed, and published. TSAR is a report of the BTS director to the President and Congress. The complete report or individual sections may be downloaded directly from the BTS website. Printed copies are also available upon request via e-mail through orders@bts.gov or online through the BTS Bookstore.

Factsheet on EU security measures in civil airliners

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Factsheet on EU security measures in civil airliners
Source: European Commission

On 27 March 2015, EASA (the European Air Safety Agency) has issued a recommendation for airlines to observe the “four-eye-rule” in the cockpit; stipulating that in the case of the Captain or First Officer leaving the cockpit, a member of the crew should be present in the cockpit with the remaining pilot.

European safety regulations require that pilots shall remain at the aircraft controls unless absence is necessary for physiological or operational safety needs.

There is no European requirement that a member of the cabin crew must enter the cockpit in the event a pilot needs to take a short break for such needs. There is however a requirement that the cockpit door can be opened from the outside in case of emergency.

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