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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.

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.

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.

CRS — Domestic Drones and Privacy: A Primer (March 30, 2015)

April 2, 2015 Comments off

Domestic Drones and Privacy: A Primer (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

It has been three years since Congress enacted the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA), calling for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or “drones,” into the national airspace by September 2015. During that time, the substantive legal privacy framework relating to UAS on the federal level has remained relatively static: Congress has enacted no law explicitly regulating the potential privacy impacts of drone flights, the courts have had no occasion to rule on the constitutionality of drone surveillance, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not include privacy provisions in its proposed rule on small UAS. This issue, however, has not left the national radar. Congress has held hearings and introduced legislation concerning the potential privacy implications of domestic drone use; President Obama recently issued a directive to all federal agencies to assess the privacy impact of their drone operations; and almost half the states have enacted some form of drone legislation.

There are two overarching privacy issues implicated by domestic drone use. The first is defining what “privacy” means in the context of aerial surveillance.

The second predominant issue is which entity should be responsible for regulating drones and privacy.

Evaluating Methods for Counting Aircraft Operations at Non-Towered Airports

March 28, 2015 Comments off

Evaluating Methods for Counting Aircraft Operations at Non-Towered Airports
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 129: Evaluating Methods for Counting Aircraft Operations at Non-Towered Airports reviews techniques and technologies applied at airports without air traffic control towers to estimate aircraft operations.

Summary 2014 U.S.-Based Airline Traffic Data

March 27, 2015 Comments off

Summary 2014 U.S.-Based Airline Traffic Data
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 848.1 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2014, 2.5 percent more than in 2013 and 1.2 percent more than the previous record-high of 838.4 million reached in 2007. The systemwide increase was the result of a 2.6 percent rise in the number of passengers on domestic flights (662.3 million) and 2.3 percent growth in passengers on U.S. and foreign airlines’ flights to and from the U.S. (185.8 million) (Tables 1, 1A, 5).

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