Honda delivers first HondaJet Elite to US

Honda Aircraft has delivered the first of its new $5.25 million HondaJet Elite business jets.

The aircraft, MSN 126 / N112HM, was delivered to an unidentified US customer.

It left Honda Aircraft’s Greensboro NC manufacturing facility on August 3, flying to John Glenn Columbus International Airport, OH.

“We are proud to announce that deliveries of the HondaJet Elite have begun,” said Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO, Honda Aircraft Company. “This milestone showcases Honda Aircraft’s steadfast commitment to setting new standards in business aviation and enthusiasm for remaining at the forefront of an evolving industry.”

Honda introduced the new HondaJet Elite during the 2018 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, held in Geneva, Switzerland.

As well as a 17% boost over the standard HondaJet’s range, the Elite includes redesigned engine inlets that help reduce the engine noise inside and outside the aircraft cabin, as well as a speaker-less sound system that resonates through the interior.

In the first half of 2018 the HondaJet was the most-delivered aircraft type in its class, with a total of 17 deliveries.

“As the HondaJet remains the most delivered very light jet, we would like to thank our customers for choosing the aircraft for its best-in-class attributes. We are looking forward to continuing to deliver the HondaJet and HondaJet Elite around the globe.” Said Fujino.

One of those regions around the world that Fujino would especially like to see the HondaJet in is his native Japan.

In June the company announced a partnership with local aerospace company Marubeni Corporation, which will act as the sales agent for the aircraft in Japan.

“We are excited about the very positive worldwide reaction to the HondaJet Elite’s market entrance and are pleased to announce that, most recently, more than 10 orders in Japan were placed following our expansion to the region in June. Deliveries in Japan will begin following receiving type certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau early next year,” said Mr Fujino.


Gulfstream revolutionizes in-flight medical care

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. recently announced that it has designed and delivered a state-of-the-art Gulfstream G550 medevac aircraft that will revolutionize in-flight medical care.

The modified G550 was delivered to the Beijing Red Cross Emergency Medical Center during a delivery ceremony at Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah. Gulfstream President Mark Burns and Beijing Red Cross Emergency Medical Center Director Li Libing revealed the new aircraft, as well as the center’s interest in adding a Gulfstream G650ER to its fleet for the same mission.

“This aircraft showcases the art of the possible,” said Burns. “When you combine innovation, talent, commitment and expertise, you can transform an industry. With this aircraft – and our collaboration with the Beijing Red Cross Emergency Medical Center – we have done exactly that. This modified G550 will change – and save – lives, forever altering the expectations for medevac support.”

To be used for disaster relief and air rescue services, the G550 aircraft features an unprecedented degree of technological innovation that draws on Gulfstream’s more than 50-year heritage of providing special missions aircraft worldwide. The G550 features a dedicated medical bay outfitted with advanced equipment to sustain and stabilize critically ill patients, including:

  • 360-degree in-flight patient access, a medevac first
  • Advanced life-support capabilities (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation)
  • A bed designed to accommodate an infant incubator
  • A powered gurney loading system on aircraft stairs
  • X-ray viewing equipment
  • Refrigerated medical storage cabinets
  • Fold-out nurses’ seats for individual patient care
  • Crew rests with berthing

Since the G550’s debut, Gulfstream has continually invested in the aircraft to ensure it remains ahead of evolving customer needs. It is the most reliable aircraft in its class and can fly nonstop from Beijing to New York or London. More than 560 G550 aircraft are in service worldwide.

The flagship G650ER is the fastest large-cabin, non-supersonic aircraft to fly around the world.  With up to 7,500 nautical miles/13,890 kilometers of range at Mach 0.85, the G650ER, along with the G650, has established more than 70 speed records. Today, more than 300 G650ER and G650 aircraft are in service worldwide.

“With the G650ER’s speed and range, medical care will arrive faster,” Burns said. 

Gulfstream continues to be a premier provider of aircraft supporting medical transport around the world. To learn more about Gulfstream Special Missions, please visit


Business jet usage trending in 2018

People are utilizing business jets at an increasing rate in 2018, setting a pace that could make for the highest level of usage since before the recession. 

According to the US Federal Aviation Administration’s latest business jet report, operations (takeoffs and landings) have been up year over year each month through June by an average of 1.7 percent. 

That puts the industry on track to top the total of 4.49 million operations in 2017, which would mark the best overall year since 2007. 

The FAA’s rolling 12-month total of operations dating back to last July was 4.52 million, up 2.5 percent from the same period during the previous two years. 

The increase in usage is yet another positive sign, along with indicators like a dwindling used inventory, for Wichita manufacturers like the Textron Inc. division of Textron Aviation and Bombardier Learjet that demand for new aircraft could continue to rise. 

The CEOs of both companies said following their latest earnings report that sales activity was increasing, though that had yet to translate to any employment-driving production increase announcements. 

In the case of the locally built Learjet for Bombardier, CEO Alain Bellemare said rates on that product were being kept intentionally low to match supply with demand for what is a more expensive aircraft in the segment in which it competes. 

Meanwhile, Textron CEO Scott Donnelly said the company had continued to trade volume for price, but that if pricing continued to improve that it would be ready to potentially boost rates on products like its locally built Cessna Citation jets. 

“If things continue strengthening and we need to take (rates) up … we have the flexibility to do that,” Donnelly said.


NASA, ULA launch Parker Solar Probe to touch Sun

Hours before the rise of the very star it will study, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched from Florida to begin its journey to the Sun, where it will undertake a landmark mission. The spacecraft will transmit its first science observations in December, beginning a revolution in our understanding of the star that makes life on Earth possible.

Roughly the size of a small car, the spacecraft lifted off at 3am EDT on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At 5am, the mission operations manager reported that the spacecraft was healthy and operating normally.

The mission’s findings will help researchers improve their forecasts of space weather events, which have the potential to damage satellites and harm astronauts on orbit, disrupt radio communications and, at their most severe, overwhelm power grids.

“This mission truly marks humanity’s first visit to a star that will have implications not just here on Earth, but how we better understand our universe,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “We’ve accomplished something that decades ago, lived solely in the realm of science fiction.”

During the first week of its journey, the spacecraft will deploy its high-gain antenna and magnetometer boom. It also will perform the first of a two-part deployment of its electric field antennas. Instrument testing will begin in early September and last approximately four weeks, after which Parker Solar Probe can begin science operations.

“Today’s launch was the culmination of six decades of scientific study and millions of hours of effort,” said project manager Andy Driesman, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. “Now, Parker Solar Probe is operating normally and on its way to begin a seven-year mission of extreme science.”

Over the next two months, Parker Solar Probe will fly towards Venus, performing its first Venus gravity assist in early October – a maneuver a bit like a handbrake turn – that whips the spacecraft around the planet, using Venus’s gravity to trim the spacecraft’s orbit tighter around the Sun. This first flyby will place Parker Solar Probe in position in early November to fly as close as 15 million miles from the Sun – within the blazing solar atmosphere, known as the corona – closer than anything made by humanity has ever gone before.

Throughout its seven-year mission, Parker Solar Probe will make six more Venus flybys and 24 total passes by the Sun, journeying steadily closer to the Sun until it makes its closest approach at 3.8 million miles. At this point, the probe will be moving at roughly 430,000 miles per hour, setting the record for the fastest-moving object made by humanity.

Parker Solar Probe will set its sights on the corona to solve long-standing, foundational mysteries of our Sun. What is the secret of the scorching corona, which is more than 300 times hotter than the Sun’s surface, thousands of miles below? What drives the supersonic solar wind – the constant stream of solar material that blows through the entire solar system? And finally, what accelerates solar energetic particles, which can reach speeds up to more than half the speed of light as they rocket away from the Sun?

“Exploring the Sun’s corona with a spacecraft has been one of the hardest challenges for space exploration,” said Nicola Fox, project scientist at APL. “We’re finally going to be able to answer questions about the corona and solar wind raised by Gene Parker in 1958 – using a spacecraft that bears his name – and I can’t wait to find out what discoveries we make. The science will be remarkable.”

Parker Solar Probe carries four instrument suites designed to study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles, and capture images of the solar wind. The University of California, Berkeley, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Princeton University in New Jersey lead these investigations.

Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living with a Star program to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. The Living with a Star program is managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. APL designed and built, and operates the spacecraft.

The mission is named for Eugene Parker, the physicist who first theorized the existence of the solar wind in 1958. It’s the first NASA mission to be named for a living researcher.


Lockheed Martin begins final assembly on Orion spaceship taking astronauts further than before

Technicians have completed construction on the spacecraft capsule structure that will return astronauts to the Moon, and have successfully shipped the capsule to Florida for final assembly into a full spacecraft. The capsule structure, or pressure vessel, for NASA's Orion Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) spacecraft was welded together over the last seven months by Lockheed Martin technicians and engineers at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans.

Orion is the world's only exploration-class spaceship, and the EM-2 mission will be its first flight with astronauts on board, taking them farther into the solar system than ever before.

"It's great to see the EM-2 capsule arrive just as we are completing the final assembly of the EM-1 crew module," said Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin vice president and program manager for Orion. "We've learned a lot building the previous pressure vessels and spacecraft and the EM-2 spacecraft will be the most capable, cost-effective and efficient one we've built."

Orion's pressure vessel is made from seven large, machined aluminum alloy pieces that are welded together to produce a strong, light-weight, air-tight capsule. It was designed specifically to withstand the harsh and demanding environment of deep space travel while keeping the crew safe and productive.

"We're all taking extra care with this build and assembly, knowing that this spaceship is going to take astronauts back to the Moon for the first time in four decades," said Matt Wallo, senior manager of Lockheed Martin Orion Production at Michoud. "It's amazing to think that, one day soon, the crew will watch the sun rise over the lunar horizon through the windows of this pressure vessel. We're all humbled and proud to be doing our part for the future of exploration."

The capsule was shipped over the road from New Orleans to the Kennedy Space Center. Now in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, Lockheed Martin technicians will immediately start assembly and integration on the EM-2 crew module.


Virgin Orbit performs LauncherOne aircraft flight tests

The carrier aircraft for Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system has performed a series of test flights in preparation for upcoming flights with the rocket attached.

The flights of the company’s Boeing 747 aircraft, nicknamed ‘Cosmic Girl,’ were the first since the company installed a pylon on the plane’s left wing that will be used to carry the LauncherOne rocket on future flights of the air-launch system.

The company disclosed few details about the test flights, but flight tracking services such as Flightradar24 list three flights of the aircraft in recent days, most recently, taking off from the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. The flights ranged in duration from one and a half to three and a half hours in airspace over the Mojave Desert and over the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.

The company installed the pylon about a month ago, attached to a point on the wing between the fuselage and the inner engine designed to ferry a fifth, non-operational engine. Those test flights went ‘extremely well,’ according to a company official, calling it a ‘big milestone’ as the company.

If successful, those tests would clear the way for a first orbital launch attempt by LauncherOne “by the end of the year,” Ericson said.


NASA to launch advanced laser to measure Earth’s changing Ice

Next month, NASA will launch into space the most advanced laser instrument of its kind, beginning a mission to measure – in unprecedented detail – changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice.

NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.  

“The new observational technologies of ICESat-2 – a top recommendation of the scientific community in NASA’s first Earth science decadal survey – will advance our knowledge of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contribute to sea level rise,” said Michael Freilich, director of the Earth Science Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

ICESat-2 will extend and improve upon NASA's 15-year record of monitoring the change in polar ice heights, which started in 2003 with the first ICESat mission and continued in 2009 with NASA’s Operation IceBridge, an airborne research campaign that kept track of the accelerating rate of change.

ICESat-2 represents a major technological leap in our ability to measure changes in ice height. Its Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measures height by timing how long it takes individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.

“ATLAS required us to develop new technologies to get the measurements needed by scientists to advance the research,” said Doug McLennan, ICESat-2 project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “That meant we had to engineer a satellite instrument that not only will collect incredibly precise data, but also will collect more than 250 times as many height measurements as its predecessor.”

ATLAS will fire 10,000 times each second, sending hundreds of trillions of photons to the ground in six beams of green light. The roundtrip of individual laser photons from ICESat-2 to Earth’s surface and back is timed to the billionth of a second to precisely measure elevation.

With so many photons returning from multiple beams, ICESat-2 will get a much more detailed view of the ice surface than its predecessor, ICESat. In fact, if the two satellites were flown over a football field, ICESat would take only two measurements – one in each end zone – whereas ICESat-2 would collect 130 measurements between each end zone.

As it circles Earth from pole to pole, ICESat-2 will measure ice heights along the same path in the polar regions four times a year, providing seasonal and annual monitoring of ice elevation changes.

Hundreds of billions of tons of land ice melt or flow into the oceans annually, contributing to sea level rise worldwide. In recent years, contributions of melt from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica alone have raised global sea level by more than a millimeter a year, accounting for approximately one-third of observed sea level rise, and the rate is increasing.

ICESat-2 data documenting the ongoing height change of ice sheets will help researchers narrow the range of uncertainty in forecasts of future sea level rise and connect those changes to climate drivers.

ICESat-2 also will make the most precise polar-wide measurements to date of sea ice freeboard, which is the height of sea ice above the adjacent sea surface. This measurement is used to determine the thickness and volume of sea ice. Satellites routinely measure the area covered by sea ice and have observed an Arctic sea ice area decline of about 40 percent since 1980, but precise, region-wide sea ice thickness measurements will improve our understanding of the drivers of sea ice retreat and loss.

Although floating sea ice does not change sea level when it melts, its loss has different consequences. The bright Arctic ice cap reflects the Sun’s heat back into space. When that ice melts away, the dark water below absorbs that heat. This alters wind and ocean circulation patterns, potentially affecting Earth’s global weather and climate.

Beyond the poles, ICESat-2 will measure the height of ocean and land surfaces, including forests. ATLAS is designed to measure both the tops of trees and the ground below, which – combined with existing datasets on forest extent – will help researchers estimate the amount of carbon stored in the world’s forests. Researchers also will investigate the height data collected on ocean waves, reservoir levels, and urban areas.

Potential data users have been working with ICESat-2 scientists to connect the mission science to societal needs. For example, ICESat-2 measurements of snow and river heights could help local governments plan for floods and droughts. Forest height maps, showing tree density and structure, could improve computer models that firefighters use to forecast wildfire behavior. Sea ice thickness measurements could be integrated into forecasts the U.S. Navy issues for navigation and sea ice conditions.

“Because ICESat-2 will provide measurements of unprecedented precision with global coverage, it will yield not only new insight into the polar regions, but also unanticipated findings across the globe,” said Thorsten Markus, an ICESat-2 project scientist at Goddard. “The capacity and opportunity for true exploration is immense.”


Lockheed Martin, FMM deliver combat ships to US Navy

Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) delivered the future USS Sioux City, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 11, and future USS Wichita, LCS 13, to the US Navy.

LCS 11 is the sixth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and will be commissioned at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Nov. 17. LCS 11 will be the first combat ship ever commissioned at the Naval Academy.

LCS 13 is the seventh Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team, and will be commissioned this winter.

"We look forward to the day the future USS Sioux City and USS Wichita join the fleet. LCS is a highly affordable, increasingly lethal and versatile ship," said Joe DePietro, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "LCS is a growing component in the U.S. Navy surface force, designed to fulfill critical missions around the world now and in the future."

LCS 11 and LCS 13 will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, alongside USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), USS Detroit (LCS 7) and USS Little Rock (LCS 9).

"Today's important milestone was made possible by the investment and improvements made to our serial production line, which allowed us to realize our vision for a highly capable and efficient shipyard," said Jan Allman, FMM president and CEO. "Fincantieri Marinette Marine's shipbuilders are proud to deliver these proven warships, and we look forward to working with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy to continue building these highly capable ships for the fleet."

With the delivery of LCS 11 and 13, Team Freedom has delivered seven Littoral Combat Ships to the US Navy. Seven ships are in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

Lockheed Martin's Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.


Airbus to provide E-NPKI system for secure communications

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has awarded Airbus the Enterprise NATO Public Key Infrastructure (E-NPKI) contract to design, implement and deliver a new framework of services for the management of public key certificates. The purpose is to improve secure communications among NATO organizations as well as between NATO and other organizations and countries.

The new E-NPKI system will provide accredited certificate services on NATO networks up to secret level. Full service support including a test facility and training will take place across more than 70 NATO sites. The contract includes setting up a dedicated E-NPKI Service Desk that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will ensure system availability, incident and configuration management as well as certificate and digital identity card management.

The capability delivered through this three-year firm fixed price contract will be incorporated into NCIA’s service catalogue and will enable NATO nations to procure the NATO approved service. 

The purpose of a public key infrastructure (PKI) is to facilitate the secure electronic transfer of information between people and entities, utilizing techniques of asymmetric cryptography. It enables security services, such as confidentiality, integrity, non repudiation, and authentication, by applying rigid processes of registration and issuance of digital certificates that bind public keys with respective identities of entities such as: people, services, devices and organizations.

An effective PKI is a combination of hardware and software products along with policies and procedures able to manage the life cycle of digital certificates including creation, storage, distribution, and revocation.

The E-NPKI project, together with the IT Modernization Project and the NATO Communications Infrastructure Project, are part of the wider IT modernization program named Polaris, which aims to transform NATO's static IT infrastructure into a homogeneous enterprise.

Airbus was awarded the NATO Communications Infrastructure Project few months ago. This new contract strengthens Airbus’s position as a NATO supplier for communication systems and services.


Head of Saudi Arabia’s defense industry talks Vision 2030

In spring 2016, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman unveiled a plan to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and to diversify the economy. The goal of Saudi Vision 2030, as that plan is known, is to make Saudi Arabia ‘the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds, the investment powerhouse, and the hub connecting three continents.’

Among the sectors central to that vision is military. Taking cues from other countries in the region, Saudi Arabia stood up a single umbrella organization to lead its efforts in defense development and expertise: the Saudi Arabian Military Industries. Defense News spoke to CEO Andreas Schwer in an exclusive interview about the goals of SAMI, and what it could mean for global defense partnership and cooperation.

When the Vision 2030 program was established and defined by his royal highness, it became apparent right from the beginning that the defense industry would play a major role to achieve these global targets. So the defense industry, set up, is one of the major tasks of the Vision 2030 program. They established a team to define how this kind of defense industry should be set up. They were looking to comparable countries who are undergoing this kind of process — countries like Turkey, South Korea, South Africa or some Western countries. They have tried to learn the lessons out of that process.


Romania to deploy anti-ship missiles to protect Black Sea coast

The Romanian government has approved a decision to spend at least €137 million (US $159 million), excluding the value-added tax, on the purchase of anti-ship missiles that are to be deployed to the country’s Black Sea coast.

The Cabinet approved the planned acquisition along with other programs of strategic importance developed by the Defense Ministry, the government said in a statement.

Romanian Defense Minister Mihai Fifor has said he planned to award the contract by the end of the year.

According to a local news site, the potential bidders for the contract, which is scheduled to be financed between 2018-2023, could comprise one American and three European manufacturers. These include Boeing, offering its Harpoon missiles; MBDA, with the Exocet MM40 Block 3 systems; Kongsberg, offering its Naval Strike Missile; and Saab, with the RBS-15 Mk3 systems, produced in cooperation with Diehl BGT Defense.

Last February, Bucharest inked a letter of agreement with the US government to purchase the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. The Romanian Cabinet is also pursuing plans to acquire Patriot air and missile defense systems after it signed an agreement last November.


MAEL to open component maintenance center in Northampton

Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL), the leading independent MRO provider, is to open a new component maintenance center in Northampton in September 2018.

The new Center, in which MAEL has invested approximately £2 million, is being located in Northampton as that is mid-way between its Luton and Birmingham base maintenance facilities, and on the motorway network within four hours’ drive of all of its UK line maintenance stations.

Around 20 people will work at the new Component Maintenance Centre, with 10 new jobs being created. Lee Burgess, MAEL’s Head of Maintenance, will lead the Centre.

The Centre will have a wide range of capabilities, including:

Composite Repairs – repairs to an ISO class 9 standard, with composite oven supporting required repairs to both interior and exterior components

Welding – dedicated welding bay and flexible work space for support of larger weld repairs including techniques such as flame spraying 

Machining – vertical and horizontal milling machines, multiple lathes, and a range of other equipment to support repairs, part fabrication and tooling development

Cadmium Plating – trained operators supporting industry plating standards for base materials and applications, including PANTA process for composite repairs

Bearing Spinning – standard bearing removals and installation, including capabilities on high spec components such as V2500 Engine Mounts

Spraying – a spray booth large enough to facilitate a 787 elevator, with separate drying room catering for interior and exterior painting finishes

Heat Treatment – ovens compliant to industry standard for standard heat treatment and detail fabrication requirements

Therapeutic Oxygen cylinders – re-charging of breathing oxygen

Emergency batteries – re-charging of emergency power packs and batteries

Hardness Testing – material proof testing facilities

Aircraft Tooling - repairs and calibration services

Since becoming an independent MRO provider in October 2017, MAEL has announced a wide range of new agreements with airlines, which, in addition to Thomas Cook, include Virgin Atlantic Airways, China Airlines, Wizz Air, Icelandair and La Compagnie.

MAEL has permanent year-round stations at nine airports across the UK where it provides line maintenance support including all levels of maintenance on Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier aircraft types.


SR Technics signs MRO agreement with Eurowings

SR Technics, is pleased to announce that it has signed a major engine maintenance, repair & overhaul agreement with Eurowings, the Lufthansa Group’s low-cost airline. The two-year agreement was signed at the end of June 2018 and covers part of the airline’s CFM56-5B fleet.

Cooperation with Eurowings began in January of this year and in order to meet the demands of the carrier’s large engine shop visit demands, SR Technics provided single engine shop visit offers to customize its services. This, combined with slots that met the carrier’s planning needs and SR Technics’ continuous support, was key to clinching the two-year contract.

All work under the new agreement will be completed at SR Technics Zurich Airport facility and covers engine maintenance, repair and overhaul solutions, including airfoils repairs in SR Technics’ Cork, Ireland facility, and the full parts and material management for more than 30 engines. As Eurowings is a major player among Europe’s low-cost carriers, there is plenty of room for synergies with other areas of SR Technics moving forward.

“We are delighted to have won Eurowings as a customer,” says Michael Sattler, Chief Commercial Officer at SR Technics. “This clearly reflects on our excellent relationship with Eurowings, and our ability to adapt to challenging scheduling requirements and offer flexible solutions.”

Michael Knitter, Chief Operations Officer of Eurowings states, “Optimal technical support for our aircraft is an essential prerequisite for the success of Eurowings. As currently the fastest growing airline in Europe, we rely only on the best service providers. We are proud to be able to rely also on SR Technics for this.”


Magnetic MRO unveils RFID to manage inventories between all facilities

Magnetic MRO, has launched another unmanned RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Tool Control system, resulting in two advanced Tool Gates and one RFID Kiosk in total throughout its facilities in Tallinn, Estonia. The project is designed and upgraded for fully automated inventory transactions, supported by CribMaster’s latest software, so that all hangars can communicate with each other without any manual input.

“We are proud to be one of the few pioneers in the market who has this advanced inventory management system in-house, providing cost- and time-effective results both for our customers and organization itself,” says Maksim Kolesnik, Magnetic MRO Facility & Tooling Manager. “Following the new system launch, we have officially become the first company in this entire region who can provide the desired efficiency during our diverse operations.”

Upgrading its RFID systems to an advanced level, Magnetic MRO is now able to provide full quality control for calibration servicing and testing, as well as ultimate convenience for issuing tools and equipment accompanied by easy returning options. System also allows employees to assign the relevant tools to respective task cards in order to improve preparation period and optimize operational safety and control. 

Magnetic MRO is also preparing to launch CribMaster Mobile to improve the user experience and avoid unnecessary time consumption arising from obligatory desktop interactions.  


Etihad celebrates Emirati Women’s Day

Etihad Aviation Group is recently marked the 2018 Emirati Women’s Day by hosting several events at its Abu Dhabi headquarters and releasing a video series that focuses on women in aviation.

The special events took place at Etihad included circle discussions allowing Etihad’s female employees to share their unique stories. A photography exhibition featuring portraits of pioneering female leaders from a range of UAE working environments, including aviation, was also being displayed at the headquarters.

Ibrahim Nassir, Chief Human Resources & Organizational Development Officer, said, “At Etihad, we understand the importance of a diverse workforce and value the significant contribution made by the women in our organization. More than half of our UAE National workforce are women, who work in diverse roles across the business including pilots, aircraft engineers and technicians.”

Amina Taher, Vice President Corporate Affairs, said, “It is our responsibility to empower women to achieve success across all areas of our business. We are proud of the contributions made by the Emirati women at Etihad and strive to support their career growth and development. We encourage mentoring and training to ensure our talent is nurtured and developed, and this is proudly showcased throughout the video series which is launched today.”

To celebrate Emirati Women’s Day, there were books about famous Emirati women available for staff to read in the new reading corner and community library at its headquarters, courtesy of Jarir Bookstore. Etihad employees also enjoyed coffee while reading, thanks to Nespresso.

Emirati Women’s Day is held every year to mark the creation of the UAE General Women’s Union in 1975. The occasion is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of Emirati women and is testament to the progress that has been made towards gender balance in the UAE.


Female Emirati air traffic controller helps in growing aviation industry

In a field that is behind the times when it comes to gender equality, Nouf Al Afifi is a shining example of the role women can play in helping to grow the aviation industry.

Becoming one of the first and only Emirati women air-traffic controllers when she passed the General Civil Aviation Authority's extended training program in 2011, Ms. Al Afifi and has been working at the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre ever since.

The center is the busiest and most advanced air traffic control facility in the Middle East. It handles more than 2,200 air traffic movements per day for the eight international airports in the UAE, as well as aircraft crossing UAE air space.

“My passion for aviation started at a very young age and while preparing to interview for the National Cadet Pilot Program I read about air traffic control, and, I guess, I found my dream job,” said Al Afifi.

But, while the 28-year-old is thriving in a job that’s frequently described as one of the most hectic in aviation, she remains a minority in a field that is still largely dominated by men.

“When I first started training, I faced issues with those who did not want to see women pursue non-traditional and challenging careers,” said Al Afifi, who is now a supervisor at the center.

“Many pilots, regardless of nationality, were not used to female air-traffic controllers so I had to become stricter and show them that I am able to do my job.

“I worked in an office filled with men and managed to win their respect and appreciation.”

Out of the 130,000 pilots who are employed globally, just 4,000 are women, which means they make up just 3 per cent of the workforce. The board of the International Air Transport Association is also almost exclusively male.

But with the aviation industry suffering a shortage of people entering into training as it continues to see strong growth, schools, such as Sharjah International Airport's Alpha Aviation Academy, are looking to attract more women to fill the shortage.

The Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation is also running a women's air traffic control course as part of a program to create more jobs for Saudi women.

Part of the problem has been that girls being are fed images of women as cabin crew and men as pilots and controllers. While Ms Al Afifi’s immediate families were supportive of her career choices, some of her friends and relatives said that being an air traffic controller was a job ‘unfit for women’.

"I always reply 'why would any man be a better fit for this job?'" she said.