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					                                                                                                                                                                                            December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            www.aviationwatchindia.com




                                                                                                          Promoting Consumer Awareness in Civil Aviation

                                                                                                                                                                             MONTHLY e-NEWSLETTER
                                                                                              CONTENTS
FOCUS                                                                                                      •    Indian laws could prevent more flights by African Airlines
                                                                                                           •    Pilot arrested after wife commits suicide over dowry
MiG 21: An Analysis.                                                                                       •    Nigerian held at airport with undeclared 36L jewellery
                                                                                                           •    Indian skies safe despite ‘fake’ pilots
NEWS                                                                                                       •    Sikhs being targeted deliberately in Italy-Harsimat
                                                                                                           •    Let domestic carriers fly freely, global airlines body tells India
AIR INDIA/INDIAN AIRLINES..............................................................15                  •    Muslims demand FBI probe in attack on Sikh man
                                                                                                           •    Ahmedabad aviation fraud: More students join stir
•    Windfall for 800 pilots as AI agrees to fixed allowance, even if they                                 •    RLD chief Ajit Singh is new Civil Aviation Minister
     fly less                                                                                              •    Flyer awarded Rs 50000 for drink refusal
•    Air India to give August incentive to employees                                                       •    843 commercial pilot licences issued this year by DGCA
•    AI’s new hanger fails to take wings                                                                   •    Aviation industry hit by financial turbulence in 2011
•    Air India pay parity report likely by Jan 31: Vayalar Ravi
•    S.Venkat to head Air India’s finance department                                                       MILITARY.............................................................................................28
•    50 Air India pilots resigned due to non-payment of allowance and
     salary: Vayalar Ravi                                                                                  •    Silver jubilee of Army Aviation celebrated in Nashik
•    Air India debts mount to Rs 43,000 crore: Govt                                                        •    IAF to set up defence radar station in Mizoram
•    Air India passenger ‘looted’ at IGIA                                                                  •    Two IAF Mirage aircraft has flown to France for upgradation
•    AI Express offers pilots 1L ‘hardship allowance’                                                      •    IAF says Su-30MKI aircraft crashed due to unknown fault
•    Air India pilot flouts landing norm, grounded                                                         •    Indian Air force Heli came under attack
•    Air India looking for $230 million bridge loan for Dreamliner                                         •    Naval Air Stations will soon have UAVs
     deal news                                                                                             •    Naval light combat aircraft to fly by December end
                                                                                                           •    India's first Naval fighter LCA Tejas to take to skies this month
JET AIRWAYS/JETLITE/SPICEJET/KINGFISHER/GOAIR/INDIGO                                                       •    IAF chief reinforces confidence in Sukhoi with hour-long sortie news
AIRLINES ............................................................................................18
                                                                                                           INTERNATIONAL AVIATION...............................................................31
•    Jet Airways boosting Mumbai-Riyadh links
•    Kingfisher pilots at their grievances for not getting paid for two months                             •    China, Japan clash with EU Over Aviation CO2 curbs at Summit
•    Kingfisher Airlines remains the favourites airlines despite woes: Survey                              •    European Court approves New Year aviation carbon tax
•    Jet Airways may review LCC strategy to take on IndiGo                                                 •    Sri Lanka calls bids for aviation fuel terminal
•    Jet Airways to lease 10 Airbus 320s for JetLite Fleet                                                 •    Disruptions: Norelco on Take-off? Fine. Kindle? No
•    Jet Airways charges for charges for carrying arms on board                                            •    Russian President offers India joint production of civilian aircraft
•    Kingfisher fails to pay employee income tax                                                           •    Etihad Airways places $2.8 bn order with Boeing, now largest
•    Kingfisher Airlines to become part of oneworld from 10 February 2012                                       Dreamliner customer
•    GoAir flies on new routes to lure passengers                                                          •    FAA updates work rules on airline pilot fatigue
•    IndiGo launches five new domestic flights                                                             •    Air Transat designated first certified green airline by World Green
•    Kingfisher Airlines receives offers from investment: reports                                               Aviation Council
•    Jet Airways Declared ‘Best Airline in Central/South Asia and India’ At                                •    Aviation gas shortage interrupts regular flight service
     the Prestigious Global Traveller Reader Survey Awards 2011                                            •    American Airlines Approved for iPad in All Flight Phases

INDIAN AVIATION ............................................................................23             AIR CRASH/ INCIDENTS/ INVESTIGATIONS......................................35

•    Flyers in fix over coughing up airport fee                                                            •    IAF Su-30MKI crashes near Pune, pilots eject
•    Malawi girl caught smuggling cocaine at KIA                                                           •    Delhi couple among five dead in Vegas chopper crash
•    No bailout package under consideration for private Airlines: Govt                                     •    Antony contradicts air force chief on plane crashes


Aviation Watch
                                                               Aviation Watch in association with SAAB is organising conference on
                                                                                    “Safety and Security in the Aviation Industry”
                                                              Focusing on New Technologies for the better efficiency in Aviation safety and Security
                                                                                     on 31st January 2012, New Delhi
                Aviation Watch
•    Jet Airways plane makes emergency landing                                                     •   DGCA to conduct pilot examinations online - soon on demand
•    Emergency landing for Qatar Airways Flight                                                    •   Aviation ministry clears 26 per cent FDI in airlines: report
•    Near-miss may have involved third jet
•    Mangalore Air crash Compensation: Families meet AI Express COO                                AIRPORTS/INFRASTRUCTURE............................................................42
•    Seven animals-hits on runways in 2011
•    Five including an Indian killed in small Plane crash on New Jersey                            •   AAI revenue from DIAL, MIAL doubles in five years
     Highway                                                                                       •   IIM tips on airport infrastructure
•    Crash preparedness tested at Ahmedabad airport                                                •   Airport Infrastructure development encouraged
•    Tool forgotten inside, JetLite engine fails mid-flight                                        •   New terminals at Chennai likely by June next year
•    Airports Authority of India to review jet crash                                               •   New terminal at Amausi airport to go trail run soon
                                                                                                   •   Beijing set to dethrone Atlanta as world's busiest airport
SAFETY/SECURITY...............................................................................39   •   Singapore's Changi Airports in talks to buy 26% in GVK Airport
                                                                                                       Holdings
•    Govt enhances security of three major airports
•    Chennai airport to hire agency to study spike in late night birth-hits                        TECHNOLOGY CIVIL/DEFENCE ..........................................................45
•    Software to give ‘clear view’ of airport security
•    Final Meeting of the Steering Committee Members of TRACECA Civil                              •   IBM opens first Airport Solutions Lab in India
     Aviation Project                                                                              •   Technology to Replace Human Pilots in Civil Aircraft Exists
•    Landings set to become safer at Cochin                                                        •   Civil Aircraft Sales Improve as Defense Cuts Loom
•    Safety: DGCA follows zero tolerance policy                                                    •   Pratt & Whitney receives engine contract for Boeing C-17s from IAF
                                                                                                   •   Saab Announces Transactions for Civil Aircraft
GOVERNMENT/REGULATORY............................................................41                •   Maryland Governor Endorses ARINC to Modernize Airports in India
                                                                                                   •   Russia to provide additional 42 Sukhoi fighters to India
•    Government to introduce new civil aviation policy news
•    Govt to replace DGCA with Civil Aviation Authority news
•    DGCA to spend Rs300cr on e-governance
•    A380 operators seek consent to operate from India




Disclaimer:
Aviation Watch newsletter is intended solely for the use of members who have subscribed to it. The data used is from various published and electronically
available primary and secondary sources of information. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the authorand primary and secondary data sources
and do not necessarily represent those of Aviation Watch, which confirms the exercise of due diligence. Aviation Watch neither takes responsibility nor vouch-
es for the views or opinions expressed herein. This document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute any business advice.
                                                                                                                Aviation Watch

                                                                         Operational History of MiG-21 in India
FOCUS
                                                                         MiG-21 was first introduced in India in 1963 when the Indian
                              MIG-21                                     Air force bought 8(eight) MiG-21(F-13) from the Soviet Union,
                   By AviationWatch(Jimmy&O.P)                           and then after a year in 1964 they bought 2(two) more MiG-
                                                                         21(F-13) and 2(two) more MiG-21(PF).Also the MiG-21(FL)
                                                                         was designed by Mikoyan to fulfil an Indian requirement, and
History                                                                  this was the first version to be licence-built in India by HAL.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter                  The MiG-21 entered service with the IAF and became the first
designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the                    supersonic fighter jet of the IAF. Due to lack of pilot training
Soviet Union. Early versions were considered second genera-              and limited induction numbers, the IAF MiG-21 played a lim-
tion jet fighter while the later versions were considered third          ited role in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. However, the IAF
generations’ jet fighters. It is the most produced supersonic jet        gained valuable experience while operating the MiG-21 for
fighter in aviation history and also the most combat aircraft            defensive sorties during the war. The positive feedback from
since the Korean War. It was nicknamed as “Balalaika” from the           IAF pilots during the 1965 war prompted India to place more
aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed             orders for the fighter jet and also invest heavily in building the
musical instrument by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuse-        MiG-21's maintenance infrastructure and pilot training pro-
lage. MiG-21 still serves many nations half a century after its          grams. By 1969, India had acquired more than 120 MiG-21s
maiden flight including India. MiG-21 has made aviation                  from the Soviet Union.
records by being the most produced supersonic jet fighter air-
craft in aviation history. It also has the longest production run
of any combat aircraft.

Design and Characteristics

The MiG-21 has a delta wing. The sweep angle on the leading
edge is 57° with a TsAGI S-12 airfoil. The angle of incidence is
0° while the dihedral angle is −2°. On the trailing edge there           [Fig: 1st MiG-21(F-13) of IAF] (Fig: 1st MiG-21 pilots of IAF)
are ailerons with an area of 1.18 m², and flaps with an area of
1.87 m². Infront of the ailerons there are small wing fences.



                   General Characteristics
                          1
      No. of Seat

                          1 × Tumansky R11F-300, 37.27 kN
                          (8,380 lbf) thrust dry, 56.27 kN (12,650
      Powerplant
                          lbf) with afterburner each


                          7.154 m (23 ft 5.66 in)
       Wingspan

                          4.1 m (13 ft 5.41 in)
          Height

                          7,100 kg (15,650 lb)
     Gross Weight

                          4,871 kg (10,738 lb)
     Empty Weight

          Length          15.76 m (51 ft 8.47 in)

                          23.0 m2 (247.3 ft2)
      Wing Area




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                 Reports of MiG-21 crashes in India (1963-2011)




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2002 Jalandhar MiG-21 crash                                              trainer aircraft is in the final stage (of procurement) and the
                                                                         case is with the Finance Ministry. Browne also said that “I am
On May 3 2002 the IAF MiG-21(bison) crashed into a bank in               extremely confident that the IAF would be able to sign the con-
Jalandhar killing 8(eight) people and 17(seventeen) were                 tract with Pilatus. The last course of young pilots flying on MiG-
injured. The pilot (Flt Lt SK Nayak) was lucky as he was able to         21 as part of their Stage-III training will be over by December
eject safely before it crashed. The pilot reported that he had           2012.”
heard an unusual noise and later there was an explosion in the
engine and because of that the engine failed and he was not              Inexperience of pilot’s not major reason for air crashes:
able to control the plane. He had no other choice but to eject.          Antony

Probable causes for the 2002 Jalandhar MiG-21 crash                      Defence Minister A K Antony today contradicted Air Chief
                                                                         Marshal (ACM) N A K Browne and also submitted a written
Although this incident had already happened, what could have             reply to the LokSabha questions regarding the crashes saying
been done to prevent this accident from taking place? As we              that inexperience of pilots was not “one of the major reasons”
have heard from many sources the accident occurred due to                for air crashes in which the IAF has lost 30 fighter planes and
engine failure, a more thorough inspection of the plane should           10 helicopters in last three years. Underlining that all aircraft
have been done before the flight took place, due to the aircraft         accidents in IAF are thoroughly investigated by a Court of
being so fast, even the smallest error such as a few loose screws        Inquiry (Col) to ascertain their cause, he said, “Main causes for
in the plane could cause an accident.                                    the above accidents were Human Error (HE) and Technical
                                                                         Defect (TD).”However, while interacting with reporters on the
REPORT OF MIG-21: IAF CHIEF SAYS “MiG crashes due to                     side-lines of Air Force Day Parade on October 8, IAF Chief
pilots’ inexperience”                                                    Browne had said the incidents of MiG crashes had taken place
                                                                         because of the inexperience of pilots. “Unfortunately except
                             This information was announced              for one case, the other cases point towards inexperience of
                             on the 8th October 2011, when               young pilots who were not been able to handle the landing and
                             the IAF chief NAK Browne told               approach (of the aircraft),” Browne had said. Meanwhile, on
                             the media that MiG-21 crashes               the number of deaths which have taken place due to these air
                             were caused mainly due to in-               crashes, Antony today said, “26 defence personnel including
                             experienced young pilots who                13 pilots have lost their lives. In addition, six civilians have also
                             were not able to handle landing             lost their lives,” he said.
                             and approach of the MiG (super-
                             sonic jet fighter). The comment of          Crash Error
                             the IAF chief clearly states that
                             from all the MiG-21 crashes, the            Most of the crashes were caused by technical defects and
                             accidents were due to pilot errors          engine flame-out.MiG-21are an ageing fleet, the MiG are
                             except for one case because the             tagged as “flying coffins”. Indian Air Force maintains its secrecy
                             pilots of the MiG-21 were not able          of investigation into these crashes, an analysis of the 10 that
                             to control the fast supersonic jet          have gone down over the past three years shows that only in
and that the pilots were inexperienced to operate the MiG-21.            two cases were pilots at the helm rookie flying officers, the oth-
On training young pilots, Browne said, "The present batch is             ers had all got well over 850 flying hours in their log books.
going to be the last course of pilots who would be flying the            According to recent data compiled by the IAF and shared with
MiG-21s. We are not very happy about their going directly                Air Headquarters, too shows that pilot error is not the predom-
for the Stage-III training on the MiGs. But we actually have             inant cause of crashes. Analysing the crashes over the past
no alternative."                                                         decades, it was found out that the percentage of technical
                                                                         problems (39.5 per cent) were slightly higher than pilot error
 On training rookie pilots of Hawk Advance Jet Trainers                  (39 per cent).Some crashes were caused by bird-hits, human
(AJT), he said, "Presently we have only 52 of these (Hawks),             error on ground (1.5 per cent) and also fault in production by
and from 187th course all the pilots will be flying Hawks in             HAL (0.6 per cent).
their Stage-III training."

Referring to procurement of Basic Trainer Aircraft, Browne said
the matter was before the Finance Ministry and expressed
confidence that the contract to procure these aircraft will soon
be Signed with the Swiss firm Pilatus and also that the basic


                                                                    12
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IAF to have a new Aircraft-The MiG-21++ version (LCA-                       surprises all of us is that “India’s MiG-21has flown the maxi-
Light Combat Aircraft)                                                      mum hours in the world compared to any other MiG-
                                                                            21”.Besides these, the IAF has made various innovative addi-
                                                                            tions to the MiG-21 that even surprised the ‘The Soviets’
                                                                            .Although the IAF was blamed for the high rate of accidents
                                                                            owing to the additions and changes done. A senior MiG exec-
                                                                            utive, Vladimir Zhukovsky, accused India of "creating condi-
                                                                            tions for frequent crashes by buying low quality spares" from
                                                                            Ukraine and East European countries. He even said that the
                                                                            India was even buying the unaccepted parts. This comment
The first squadron of the new LCA is now slated to become                   was reported to a media in the MAKS-2001 International Air
fully operational by approximately 2013. This new LCA will be               show at a Moscow suburb. This comment caused a large con-
the advanced version of MiG-21. Chief Air Marshall PVK Naik                 troversy. This comment was eventually proved incorrect. The
said “With the new technologies implanted in the LCA, it will               true causes of the frequent MiG-21 crashes are due to Human
be a MiG-21++ aircraft. The DRDO is developing a more                       Error, Technical Defect and Bird strike.
capable version of the LCA called the Mk II, which is expected
to be ready by the end of December 2014.” On the role to be                 Let us discuss a detailed analysis of the accidents which will
played by the LCAs in the IAF, he said “An air force requires               reveal the main factors:
high, medium and low end aircraft to perform its tasks and the
indigenous fighter would be used to fill in the gaps at the                 Q Human Error: 40% of the time most accidents and incidents
"medium and low" level”. Explaining the parameters on which                   in the world are due to human error. IAF is using MiG-21 in
he called the LCA Mk II as MiG 21 + + aircraft, he also said,                 AJT (Advanced jet trainer) role. Although MiG-21 is a very
"This means first in endurance, second in performance, third in               high speed aircraft, it has excellent handling characteristics
load carrying, fourth is the number of weapons it can deliver.                which provide a very valuable flying experience to many
Fifth is the weight with which it can navigate with and the vin-              pilots. Pilot training in Mig-21 is repeated constantly and
tage of the aircraft or avionics and sixth is radar." IAF has placed          new tactics in flying MiG-21 are updated in the existing
orders for 40 LCAs in IOC (Initial Operating Clearence) mode                  flying programs. The pilots selected to fly the MiG 21’s have
and is expected to procure another 160 LCA Mk II later in the                 to undergo a strict training module. Even though every pilot
decade. This new Aircraft could be a breakthrough for the IAF                 is trained to handle all emergencies, some of these pilots get
and young pilots. MiG-21Bis will be grounded by 2012-13 and                   into trouble, failing to recover from difficult situations and
MiG-21 Bison to be replaced from 2017 by HAL Tejas Mk 2.                      sometimes have to eject. But this is not only with the Indian
                                                                              pilots, but also many pilots in the world suffer from the
Life of MiG-21 in India                                                       same trouble. There was one article posted in ‘Times News
                                                                              Network’ on the 2nd Sept, 2001 stating that “The MiG-21s
Some people says that there are frequent MiG-21 accidents                     are arguably the most difficult to fly. Compare it to
due to its age, but the age of the MiG is not a real problem, as              Mirage-2000 which has the fly-by-wire technology, making
every aircraft is overhauled after a set number of hours, and                 it very easy to fly”.
then only accepted for service after it fully meets the require-
ments for conducting a safe flight. Items, such as rubber parts,            Q Technical Defects: Accidents can also occur because of
are routinely changed well before their useable life is reached.              technical defects leading to the malfunctioning of the
There has not been a single report of any MiG-21 aircraft acci-               aircraft due to various factors like design inadequacies,
dent due to airframe fatigue. The fatigue life of MiG-21 fleet                Manufacturing/Overhaul Quality, Maintenance and
has been increased after joint scientific studies by IAF,                     Operational factors. There have been some deficiencies
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and National Aerospace                    mostly in the engine parts but now have been corrected
Laboratory and in collaboration with the original Russian man-                with the help of original designers and indigenous industry
ufacturers.                                                                   viz. HAL. Due to technical defects there could be many
                                                                              errors like Engine Flame Out (extinguishing of combustion
Air Commodore Jasjit Singh also wrote an article in the Indian                inside the engine) because of mechanical reasons like blade
Express (7th April 2002) stating that “MiG-21 has not only                    failure and foreign object damage, Engine failure due to loss
been the most successful designs but also one of the most                     of drive of the main gearbox or the main fuel pump could
widely used”.                                                                 also occur.

MiG-21 has become the mainstay and has provided the IAF                     Q Bird Strike: It is a major problem in both military and civil
wonderful services despite the high number of accidents. What                 aviation not only in India but the whole world. Especially


                                                                       13
           Aviation Watch

   MiG-21’s are single Engine Aircraft and if they have a bird            IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal (ACM) N A K Browne said those
   strike then the results would be critical. This leads to surge,        undergoing training in the on-going course for trainee pilots
   stagnation of engine and may also cause a flame out and                would be the last batch of young pilots flying the MiG-21s.
   depending on the phase of flight, the pilot may not even
   have enough time to eject. Entry of a bird into the air intake         "Their (trainee pilots) course finishes in December next year
   causes disturbance of airflow or even block it completely              and thereafter only experienced pilots would be flying the
   this could be hazardous as it could cause an engine failure.           MiG-21s," he told reporters here. The IAF Chief was replying to
   The engine fitted on the first stage of MiG-21 is a rotating           a query on the steps taken by the force to reduce the number
   assembly, so this increases the vulnerability to mechanical            of accidents in wake of two recent crashes in which two IAF
   damage consequent to a bird strike.                                    pilots were killed. Browne added that the decision was taken
                                                                          due to the lack of availability of the aircraft and it would have
Training course for Mig-21                                                happened a little earlier in case of an early delivery of Hawk
                                                                          Advance Jet Trainers (AJT). "We have to do this because there is
Q The first stage of training is supposed to be on basic trainer          no other aircraft available. If the Hawk had come two years
  aircraft, the second stage on advanced trainer aircraft while           before as planned, the MiG-21s would have been kept for
  the third stage is operational training on combat aircraft. Let         experienced pilots only," he said. Observing that the training of
  us briefly explain below:                                               young pilots is an area of concern for the force, Air Chief
                                                                          Marshal Browne said he hoped that the new basic trainers
Q Flying training in the IAF starts with Stage I on piston engine         would be inducted into the IAF by 2013.
  HPT-32 aircraft. This has stopped now as the HPT 32 have
  been grounded owning to the various air crashes due to                  "Training is a big concern for us. At the moment we don't have
  technical reasons. The IAF has currently reduced the num                a basic trainer aircraft and the case is with the government. We
  ber of flying hours for training for rookie pilots to                   hope to get it cleared so that at least we can sign the contract
  compensate for the HPT 32’s been unavailable. Thereafter,               by October, and we get the new trainers by 2013 when we
  Stage II on, subsonic jet trainer, Kiran. After this stage, the         start the new (flying training) course," he said. The IAF had
  cadets are commissioned and those selected for fighters                 inducted over 900 MiG-21s in its fleet over a period of 40
  train Stage IIA-on Kiran/Iskra. After this stage, they train on         years, half of which were lost in different crashes. The MiG-21s
  the MiG-21 FL version at MiG Operational Flying Training                are scheduled to be phased out by 2017.
  Unit (MOFTU). This training is essentially that of AJT type
  i.e., basics of tactical flying. On completion of MOFTU,                Reference:
  pilots are posted to operational squadrons equipped with
  different types of aircraft                                             http://rpdefense.over-blog.com/article-shortage-of-trainer-air-
                                                                          craft-so-iaf-cuts-flying-time-of-rookie-pilots-to-one-third-
Q In the squadrons, a pilot first undergoes conversion on the             94936297.html
  type of aircraft and then follows what is called the
  “Operational Flying Training Syllabus” laid down for that               http://news.oneindia.in/2011/10/07/raj-indian-air-force-to-
  particular type of aircraft to attain “Fully Operational” status        boot-out-mig-21-another-crash.html
  by day and night. Now as a front line pilot, he is required
  to maintain laid down standards of proficiency and for this             http://www.warbirds.in/Crashes/crpage.php?qacid=50&qafdb
  purpose, pilots of every fighter squadron train regularly for           =IAF&datesall=ON
  which syllabus is laid down. This training is a day-to-day
  affair, where tactical exercises are done to realistic                  http://www.indianexpress.com/news/air-chiefs-mig-claim-flies-
  conditions consistent with safety. Fighter pilots need this             in-face-of-facts/887153/
  training to maintain good form just like a top athlete or a
  sportsman. It is this squadron training that has been                   http://www.indiandefence.com/forums/f7/only-pilots-experi-
  temporarily stopped by the IAF on MiG-21-BIS pending                    ence-fly-mig-21s-iaf-10759/
  investigation of the recent accident.
                                                                          http://www.brahmand.com/news/LCA-Tejas-will-be-an-
Conclusion                                                                advanced-version-of-MiG-21-IAF-chief/6019/1/10.html

In view of a large number of crashes involving the MiG-21s, the           http://www.ejection-
Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided that after December 2012               history.org.uk/Aircraft_by_Type/INDIA/mig_21_india.htm
only experienced pilots will fly the fighter jet aircraft.



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                             NEWS                                           September-till-November. Even Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar
                                                                            Ravi informed the Rajya Sabha on Nov 24, that the carrier still
                                                                            owes Rs.350 crore towards its employees’ wages. Apart from
AIR INDIA / INDIAN AIRLINES                                                 this the national carrier owes Rs.2, 300 crore to oil companies,
                                                                            Rs.75 crore to airport operators, Rs.367 crore to other vendors.
Windfall for 800 pilots as AI agrees to fixed allowance, even
if they fly less                                                            AI’s new hanger fails to take wings

At a time when the aviation sector is in financial doldrums and             Though Air India's maintenance, repair and overhaul hangar at
Air India itself is surviving on government dole, its officials have        the Trivandrum International Airport is ready for commission-
agreed to guarantee a minimum 72 hours flying allowance to                  ing, its inauguration is being delayed for want of VIPs and clear-
erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots even if they fly lesser number of          ance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS),
hours. As many as 800 pilots stand to benefit. This controver-              Chennai. Air PRO Abey George said it has been difficult to find
sial settlement, which many argue will incentivise less work,               a convenient time and date on which both chief minister
translates into an assured monthly flying allowance of about Rs             Oommen Chandy and Union civil aviation minister Vyalar Ravi
350,000 to a flight commander and approximately Rs 2 lakh to                are free. "The hangar is ready but when we get the date of the
an average co-pilot. These pilots had demanded parity with Air              CM, the Union minister seems to be held up. We are working
India pilots who get a fixed flying allowance of 80 hours a                 on inaugurating it by the month end at the latest," he said R
month. Not just that, pilots will get a fixed monthly foreign               Jagganath, chief of engineering, in-charge of the Air India's
allowance if they fly to international destinations — $1500 in              MRO hangar at the airport is expected to take charge next
case of a commander and $1000 for a co-pilot. The earlier rule              week. He said that the hangar is ready for commissioning
gave $75 a day which meant that even if a pilot “lay over” an               minus a few permissions being sought from the BCAS."It is tak-
international station for six days a month, the bill would not go           ing time to get various clearances as the BCAS wanted a few
beyond $450.                                                                odds and ends tied up before throwing it open. They wanted
                                                                            us to fortify the apron area, install permanent fencing and fix
Air India to give August incentive to employees
                                                                            lighting before they give us permission to take an aircraft inside
National carrier Air India Wednesday said it will release the               for maintenance," the chief engineer said. The construction of
productivity-linked incentive (PLI) component of its employees'             the hanger unit which was commissioned on November 1,
salary for August on Dec 5.The PLI constitutes nearly 50 per-               2006 along with the new international airport at a cost of Rs 50
cent to 60 percent of the salary of nearly 40,000 employees of              crore was delayed due to land acquisition issues and labour
the airline. The PLI was stopped since August due to financial              union problems surrounding demolishing of the Trivandrum
constraints faced by the company. Air India's general manager               Rubber Works factory. In the first phase, around 100 techni-
for finance H.J. Mehtaji Wednesday said in a letter to the                  cians and engineers who were hired by Air India Express three
employees: 'It has been decided to release PLI payable in                   years ago (expecting that the hanger unit would be commis-
August 2011 on Dec 5.''The delay was due to repayment of air-               sioned on time), will be transferred from various cities to
craft loans, interest on working capital to banks and other over-           Thiruvananthapuram. The total workforce of the MRO is
due vendor payments,' he said. A senior Air India official told             expected to be 150 people, clerical and handymen will follow
IANS that it was about time that the company paid up as                     once the hanger is commissioned.
employee morale was very low. ‘Prices of everything are so
high and in this environment functioning with only half or less             Air India pay parity report likely by Jan 31: Vayalar Ravi
than that of the salary is very difficult. This (news) should cheer
up the employees whose morale is very low at the moment,'                   Staff integration issues plaguing the national carrier Air India
the official told IANS.Earlier, one of the airlines' pilot unions           are likely to continue in 2012 with the government saying on
had threatened to go on a strike if their interim settlements are           Thursday that the much-awaited report on resolving key HR
not paid up. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA)                issues like pay parity is expected to be submitted by January
had demanded that the government must implement the                         31, 2012.
Justice C.S. Dharmadhikari Committee Report by November-
end and also stick to its assurance of expending the interim set-
tlement for the pilots. ‘We have already written two letters - in
September and October this year - to Civil Aviation Minister
Vayalar Ravi on these and other pending issues. However, they
have not responded to our communication,' an official
spokesperson for ICPA had said. Meanwhile, the letter does not
divulge       any      details    of       PLI     payments     for


                                                                       15
           Aviation Watch

The Dharmadhikari committee formed in April this year was to              of Rs 20,192.03 crore since 2007-08 to 2010-11. The airline
recommend measures to bring parity in pay and other service               has failed to give salary and productivity linked incentives to its
conditions between pre-merged Air India and Indian Airlines               30,000 employees on time. At present, the management owes
by November. Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha on the             one month salary and two month's PLI of the pilots and other
delay in resolving HR issues, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi        employees. Pilots even went on nine-day strike in May this year
said, “Some part of the delay in harmonising is due to the crit-          to protest against the alleged mismanagement. In response to
ical financial condition being faced by the company as also               another query, Ravi said that 3,337 passengers have travelled
contentious issues like level-mapping, compensation harmoni-              under the Air India's "companion scheme", which allows busi-
sation, etc. for all employees.” In reply to another question,            ness class passengers to take their spouse or child along with
Ravi told the upper house that the airline has taken a string of          them. He said the scheme was valid for sale and travel upto
measures to cut costs which includes cutting down passenger               March 31, 2012 after which it would be reviewed and a suit-
amenities.                                                                able decision would be taken on extension of the validity of the
                                                                          scheme. “In 2011, 34 pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines and 15
S.Venkat to head Air India’s finance department                           of the erstwhile Air India have submitted their resignations,"
                                                                          Ravi said in response to a question in the Lok Sabha. He said
National carrier Air India has appointed S. Venkat as its direc-          that most of the pilots have cited non-payment of allowances
tor of finance, an official said Tuesday’. Venkat has been pro-           and delay in payment of salaries as reason for resignation. The
moted as director of finance Air India. He knows the organiza-            cash-strapped national carrier has suffered a loss of Rs
tion and its problems, and will be able to solve it,' a senior Air        20,192.03 crore since 2007-08 to 2010-11. The airline has
India official told IANS on phone from Mumbai.'Venkat will be             failed to give salary and productivity linked incentives to its
joining the Air India board soon,' he added requesting                    30,000 employees on time. At present, the management owes
anonymity. Venkat was holding the position of executive direc-            one month salary and two month's PLI of the pilots and other
tor finance and as company secretary for Air India before being           employees. Pilots even went on nine-day strike in May this year
promoted to his current post. Meanwhile, the cash-strapped                to protest against the alleged mismanagement. In response to
airline's two key positions of director of human resources and            another query, Ravi said that 3,337 passengers have travelled
director of commercial still remain vacant.                               under the Air India's "companion scheme", which allows busi-
                                                                          ness class passengers to take their spouse or child along with
50 Air India pilots resigned due to non-payment of                        them.
allowance and salary: Vayalar Ravi
                                                                          Air India debts mount to Rs 43,000 crore: Govt
About 50 Air Indiapilots have resigned due to non-payment of
allowances and delay in payment of their salaries this year, Civil        Noting that Air India is passing through a deep crisis with its
Aviation MinisterVayalar Ravi said today. “In 2011, 34 pilots of          total debt touching a whopping Rs.43, 000 crore, Government
erstwhile Indian Airlines and 15 of the erstwhile Air India have          today expressed confidence that it would be able to wipe out
submitted their resignations," Ravi said in response to a ques-           the debts with active cooperation of management and employ-
tion in the Lok Sabha.                                                    ees.




He said that most of the pilots have cited non-payment of                 Air India has also a net loss of Rs.18, 000 crore accumulated in
allowances and delay in payment of salaries as reason for res-            the past three to four years, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi
ignation. The cash-strapped national carrier has suffered a loss          said. Giving details of the National Carrier's indebtedness, he


                                                                     16
                                                                                                                     Aviation Watch

said AI's outstanding loan stood at Rs.20, 000 crore on account            agreement, commanders and co-pilots working on deputation
of purchasing new aircraft and Rs.20, 000 crore for taking loan            in AI Express from AI will be sent back to the parent company
for operational purposes. However, Ravi expressed confidence               after flying in the LCC for 1,500 and 2,000 hours, respectively.
that government would be able to overcome the crisis and                   "AI Express has 100 commanders and as many co-pilots. Of
wipe out its debts with the active co-operation of the manage-             them, 44 commanders and 60-odd co-pilots would start
ment and employees. Increase in revenue of the Airlines was                returning to AI as per the new agreement. We need command-
the silver lining and 'objective' is to double the revenue, he             ers and co-pilots for our flights. So this hardship allowance of
said. Air India employees has extended full support to govern-             Rs 1 lakh should be able to attract talent from even the private
ment in resolving the problems, he said while inaugurating the             Indian carriers. After all, a jump is not very common in today's
Aircraft Maintenance facility, put up by AI hereon criticism that          environment but we are doing it out of necessity," said a senior
AI's debt mounted due to purchase of new aircraft, he said the             official. AI Express runs almost like a subsidiary of AI with
carrier was able to operate its schedule with the 82 Airbus and            almost all the LCC's departments being controlled by the par-
Boeing aircraft it acquired. Otherwise, it would have found it             ent company. Despite safety concerns, the government is yet to
difficult to operate its services. Observing that Air India enjoys         give it the semblance of a distinct company from AI with its
the preferred airline status among Non-resident Keralites, Ravi            own viable operation team. Pilots of both AI and Kingfisher are
said there were a lot of demands from NRK's to operate more                a disgruntled lot due to the poor financial condition of their air-
Air India Flights. State Minister for Excise and Airports, K Babu,         lines because of which timely payment of salary has become a
said Airport Authority of India has given its approval on taking           dream. Kingfisher, say pilots, is worse off as it has been deduct-
13% equity in the Kannur Airport Project. Shashi Tharoor, MP     ,         ing tax at source from payment made earlier but has allegedly
said the airlines market in the country was growing by eight per           not given the form 16 to employees and so the tax authorities
cent and projected growth rate was 15%. The state-of-art                   are now seeking the TDS from employees. "In some other
Aircraft maintenance facility with two hangars would become a              country, people running any company, forget an airline, would
major revenue earning centre of the state. The facility could be           have been dealt with strictly for breaking rules like deducting
used by other airlines also, he added.                                     TDS but not depositing them with the authorities. But here
                                                                           anything goes," said a pilot.
Air India passenger ‘looted’ at IGIA
                                                                           Air India pilot flouts landing norm, grounded
An Air India passenger travelling from Chennai allegedly lost his
hand baggage containing about a lakh of cash and valuable                  An Air India pilot landed in near-blinding haze at Bagdogra,
items at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on                  using an external landing approach banned by the Directorate
December 15.The passenger, Vishnu Chokhani, was travelling                 General of Civil Aviation for being unreliable and unsafe.
with his wife on the Chennai-Delhi AI-430 flight. Chokhani has             Without reporting the incident to the authorities after landing,
alleged that he lost his handbag after he placed his checked-in            as is mandatory, the pilot took off in low visibility, risking at least
baggage on the baggage trolley. The blue Samsonite bag con-                140 lives. The airline tried to bury the incident by letting the
tained Rs 30,000 in cash, a gold chain worth Rs 20,000, three              pilot remain on roster without a probe. It told the DGCA it has
silver photo frames, two silver boxes containing a Saligram, a             “cautioned” the pilot. However, the DGCA ordered “immedi-
Shivling and several silver puja items.                                    ate” grounding of the pilot on December 1 and sought a report
                                                                           from the carrier. The incident occurred on November 16, when
AI Express offers pilots 1L ‘hardship allowance’                           Captain Kamal Kant, operating a Delhi-Bagdogra early morning
                                                                           flight AI 879, landed at Bagdogra airport, a tricky airfield sur-
After losing 49 pilots this year due to non-payment of salaries,           rounded by mountains on north side, using Precision Approach
Air India is now pulling all stops to retain the ones who are still        Radar in low visibility, despite being reminded by the air traffic
in its wings. Air India Express is offering to pay Rs 1 lakh extra         controller. The ATC asked the pilot if she has been cleared by
per month to commanders who are willing to be posted in                    the regulator to undertake this banned approach, airport
non-metro cities in south India. This move comes on the heels              sources told The Indian Express. This conversation was erased
of the management signing a deal with Indian Airlines pilots for           from the cockpit voice recorder — which records the last two
giving them fix pay of 72 hours' flying irrespective of the actual         hours — as Kant took off. She filed a “voluntary report” upon
time spent in air to partly meet their demand of pay parity with           her return to Delhi. PAR approach — where the aircraft is com-
AI pilots. AI Express has offered a "hardship allowance" of Rs 1           pletely dependent on ATC guidance for landing akin to driving
lakh per month for commanders who opt for postings in cities               in fog based on offsite instructions alone — was banned by the
like Kochi, Mangalore, Kozikhode and Trivandrum. The move,                 DGCA in March. It was also noted that the practice is not rec-
say sources, was necessitated after yet another strike-averting            ommended by Airbus. An AI spokesperson said, “The pilot has
deal the management signed with AI pilots for bringing them                been grounded, and will be sent for corrective training after
back to the parent company from the LCC. Under the new                     investigation.” In her voluntary report to the airline’s Examiner


                                                                      17
          Aviation Watch

(Airbus fleet), Capt. R S Dhillon, Kant said that “it completely        service because of the progressively growing passenger loads
went out of my mind” that PAR approaches were not autho-                on Saudi-India sector.
rised. She said “a factor which added to my mistake was the
printed minima for PAR approach” erroneously printed in the
company’s Aerodrome Operating Minimas (AOM) for
Bagdogra. However, the same AOM on its cover page says
“PAR approaches are suspended till further notice”. Capt.
Dhillon wrote to the DGCA that he has instructed the training
department to amend the printing error and the pilot has been
“cautioned”.

Air India looking for $230 million bridge loan for
Dreamliner deal news

Air India, which is expected to be the first of the launch cus-
tomers of US aircraft maker Boeing's 787 Dreamliners, is look-
ing at a $230-million bridge loan for financing the deal.               A.K. Saleem, country manager for Jet Airways in Saudi Arabia,
                                                                        said the new daily flight 9W525 would take off from Riyadh at
                                                                        5 p.m. daily and arrive at Mumbai at 11.35 p.m. local time the
                                                                        same day. On the return leg, the 9W526 will depart Mumbai
                                                                        for Riyadh at 2 p.m. Indian time and arrive at King Khaled
                                                                        International Airport (KKIA) at 4 p.m. local time daily. He point-
                                                                        ed out that the introduction of this new flight would increase
                                                                        the Jet's flight frequency to five operated daily from Riyadh,
                                                                        Jeddah and Dammam cumulatively. Saleem said the airline
                                                                        currently operates daily flight from Jeddah to India and two
                                                                        flights a week from Dammam to India. With the introduction
                                                                        and expansion of its services in Saudi Arabia, Jet Airways now
                                                                        flies to a number of cities in the Gulf, including Riyadh, Jeddah,
Cash-strapped Air India, however, plans a sell-and-lease-back           Dammam, Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat, Doha, Dubai and Abu
arrangement for the new aircraft that Boeing will start deliver-        Dhabi. Jet Airways, Saleem said, is the first carrier with twice
ing from next month. However, the airline requires bridge               daily frequency to Riyadh providing seamless enhanced con-
financing for the interim period of 6 to 12 months to accept            nectivity to India over Mumbai hub. In fact, a passenger travel-
delivery of the first two B787-8 planes. Air India has                  ing by Jet Airways from Riyadh to Indian destinations can have
approached banks and financial institutions to arrange for $230         connecting flights to about 76 different destinations across the
million for purchase of the first two aircraft. The bridge loan         globe such as Kathmandu, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Dhaka,
facility would be repaid on conclusion of the sale and lease-           London and Toronto. A third early morning service is also being
back arrangement, sources said. The board of Air India has              introduced on Dec. 14 between Mumbai and Bangkok, said
finalised plans to go for sale of these aircraft to a lessor and        Saleem.
immediate leaseback under an operating lease of 12 years,
with an option to extend the period, sources said. The devel-           Kingfisher pilots at their grievances for not getting paid for
opment comes amidst published reports of moves in the US to             two months
deny loans to the cash-strapped Indian national carrier. Boeing,
however, said the announcement had ''no relationship'' to the           Some Kingfisher pilots who have not been paid for two months
on-going financial problems at Air India. Boeing, based in              took the unusual step of airing their grievances over the aircraft
North Charleston and Everett, Washington, has also been strug-          announcement system on flights out of Delhi on Wednesday.
gling with the timely production of the 787 Dreamliner jets.            Cash-strapped Kingfisher, promoted by liquor baron Vijay
                                                                        Mallya, has not paid some of its engineers and pilots for over
 JETAIRWAYS/JETLITE/SPICEJET/KINGFISHER/GOAIR/ INDIGO AIRLINES          two months. The announcements are part of a wider protest by
                                                                        pilots after a deadline set by them passed without any pay-
                                                                        ments being made. Some pilots say they now plan to wear
Jet Airways boosting Mumbai-Riyadh links                                black armbands while reporting for work. The move could
                                                                        worsen the situation for the troubled airliner as 140 of its 700
Jet Airways is launching a new daily direct service from Riyadh
                                                                        pilots have resigned and are serving their notice period. About
to Mumbai on Dec. 14. The airline is introducing the new

                                                                   18
                                                                                                                   Aviation Watch

11 pilots have already left to join rival IndiGo despite threats of        Kingfisher Airlines remains the favourite’s airlines despite
legal action by Kingfisher.                                                woes: Survey

                                                                           In spite of the mounting troubles and the recent flight cancel-
                                                                           lations, Kingfisher continues to remain the favourite airline in
                                                                           the country, an honour which it shares with Jet Airways this
                                                                           year, according to an annual airline and air travel survey
                                                                           released on Friday. While Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher is
                                                                           the best airline for in-flight entertainment, food/beverages, in-
                                                                           flight service, in-flight maintenance (cabin lighting, cleanliness,
                                                                           seat comfort, and leg room), Naresh Goyal-headed Jet leads in
                                                                           ground handling and landing/take-off quality, it said. India's
                                                                           largest low-cost carrier IndiGo comes next at No 2, said the sur-
                                                                           vey by travel advisory portal Trip Advisor. Kingfisher had topped
                                                                           the 2010 edition of the survey. However, Trip Advisor did not
                                                                           specify when the survey was conducted, and hence it is not
These announcements by the pilots do not breach any estab-                 clear if it was done before October when the troubles escalat-
lished protocols as they were made after the aircraft was                  ed for Kingfisher, leading to massive flight cancellations. "The
parked, said pilots and aviation sector experts, though the air-           survey rings in some good news for the woes- ridden Kingfisher
line can initiate disciplinary action. Kingfisher did not reply to         Airlines. Despite recent turbulent times, consumers have given
an email, but its spokesperson said they "categorically" deny              clear thumbs up to the airline as a favourite carrier which is
that any such announcement had been made by its pilots.                    topping most service and experience parameters" Trip Advisor
“Repeated attempts to engage in a dialogue with the manage-                India Country Manager Nikhil Ganju told reporters here releas-
ment have not yielded any results so far, and this step was                ing the India Airline Survey 2011. National carrier Air India,
taken after the top management in a verbal communication to                which is also facing tough time, is the least favoured airline for
pilot’spromised salaries by December 2 without any outcome,"               the second year in a row, the survey said. IndiGo continues to
said a Kingfisher pilot who did not wish to be identified.                 be the best carrier for 'on time performance' and 'value for
Another pilot said the management released October salaries                money' for the second year in row. For 'on time performance',
of about 500 pilots last Friday, but around 170 pilots, engineers          IndiGo beat its own scores with a 15 per cent increase in its rat-
and various other employees are yet to be paid. "Today                     ings from last year, it said. "Despite the current economic envi-
(December 7) is payday for November salaries, but we haven't               ronment and challenges faced by the airline industry, India has
received them so far."A senior official of the civil aviation min-         witnessed robust passenger growth in the past year and it
istry who was on board one of these flights went into the cock-            seems that it is heavy fliers which are contributing significantly
pit to congratulate the pilots for continuing to fly even without          to this growth," Ganju said. Among the global carriers, the
resorting to industrial action in such circumstances, said a pilot.        Emirates topped the charts, voted as best international airline
The pilots wrote to Mallya on December 1 and conveyed their                by 22.15 per cent respondents followed closely by Singapore
concerns about an uncertain future. They requested his inter-              Airlines 21.13 per cent and Lufthansa 8.94 per cent. The sur-
vention as Sanjay Aggarwal, the current CEO, has not been able             vey also pointed out that with airfares showing upward trend
to give any convincing answers to the employees on either                  consistently, travellers are keeping their hand tightly wrapped
salaries credit or the way forward for the airline, according to           around their wallet. When asked about their preference
the Kingfisher employees. “Senior management has resorted to               between budget and full service airlines, 64 per cent respon-
evasive answers with arbitrary dates for salary disbursement...            dents claimed they would go with whichever airline offered the
Having exhausted all options of getting a clear answer to a sim-           lowest fare for their leisure travel. The preference for low-cost
ple query, 'when will we be paid our salaries', we are left with           seeking is obviously lower (48 per cent) for business travel, the
no choice but to write to you (Vijay Mallya) personally to seek            survey said. Nearly 72 per cent respondents said they would
an assurance regarding the same," the mail said. The employ-               plan a last minute trip if they get a great deal on flight tickets.
ees met Aggarwal on November 30, but this did not end the                  Confirming the mass outbreak of addiction to mail and mobile,
impasse. On December 4, the pilots again wrote to Aggarwal                 68 per cent respondents said they would pay extra for Wi-Fi
pointing out that issues raised by the employees were yet to be            connectivity on a plane and 35 per cent were willing to dish
resolved. "Communication with your workforce has never been                out extra bucks for being able to use their cell phones on a
your strong point. One such rare occasion was the meeting                  flight. In-flight etiquette manual suggested that rude seat reclin-
held on Nov 30, 2011, at Mumbai wherein you mentioned                      ing (44.67%) and loud mobile phone conversations (44.50%)
that our salaries would be credited by Friday, Dec 2, 2011.                topped the list of behaviour people find most annoying among
                                                                           co-passengers on-board. Indians seem to be lone travellers.


                                                                      19
           Aviation Watch

As many as 77 per cent respondents prefer not to socialise with             man Naresh Goyal has said that his airline will deploy 80%
passengers seated with them or keeping it down to minimum                   capacity in the low-cost segment over the next three to four
civilities. On-board companions, shows books continue to be                 years.
an all-time favourite among travellers. However, electronic
gadgets like iPod, tablets and gaming devices take over from                Jet Airways charges for charges for carrying arms on board
there on, the survey maintained.
                                                                            Jet Airways might be in trouble with the Directorate General of
Jet Airways may review LCC strategy to take on IndiGo                       Civil Aviation for levying additional charges on passengerscar-
                                                                            rying licenced arms on board. The matter came to light last
Jet Airways has been facing stiff competition from carriers like            month when a participant of the 55{+t}{+h} National
IndiGo and SpiceJet and this is forcing India's largest private             Shooting Championship in Pune was not permitted to board
sector airline to effect a mid-course correction, reports Forbes            her flight until she paid Rs 5,000 for carrying an air pistol, even
India's Cuckoo Paul and CNBC-TV18's Payaswani Upadhyay.                     though the gun was checked in.Koninica Dasgupta was travel-
Two weeks ago the top management of Jet Airways went into a                 ling on Jet Airways flight 9W-365 from Delhi to Pune. She
huddle to review its low fare carrier strategy. The upshot of this          arrived at IGI Airport at 6.45am for her 8.30am flight and after
meeting is that the airline will revive its low cost carrier strate-        standing in line for 45 minutes, reached the check-in counter
gy to take on competitors like Indigo, which enjoys nearly 18%              around 7.30am."The staff at the check-in counter told me that
of the market share. So what's going to happen? The airline will            I would have to pay Rs 5,000 for the Steyr LP10 air pistol that
adopt a two-airline structure -- one full service carrier catering          I was carrying, as per a Directorate General of Civil Aviation
to the premium-end flyer, and one low cost carrier. This means              (DGCA) rule. I was carrying all the requisite documents, includ-
its JetLite and JetKonnect brands will be extinguished, to make             ing a circular about the competition organized by the National
way for the new low cost carrier. The management, sources say,              Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and membership cards issued
has realised that its Konnect strategy does not make long-term              by the NRAI and the Delhi State Rifle Association. My board-
business sense, and both Jet Konnect and JetLite have failed to             ing card was finally issued to me at 8.15am after I made the
become true low-cost carriers. So, since Jet Airways and JetLite            payment in cash. Another participant was similarly charged Rs
have different operational licenses, the new LCC will use the               15,000 for carrying three guns," she said.DGCA officials denied
JetLite license.                                                            that they had asked airlines to levy any such charge and said
                                                                            that they would take up the matter with Jet Airways. The sec-
Jet Airways to lease 10 Airbus 320s for JetLite Fleet                       retary of NRAI Rajeev Bhatia also complained that more shoot-
                                                                            ers had faced this problem with Jet, the only airline that levies
                                                                            a charge for carrying arms. Meanwhile, Jet Airways officials told
                                                                            TOI that the charge was not based on a DGCA order but was
                                                                            being levied by the airline directly. A spokesperson said, "Jet
                                                                            Airways and Jetlite levy a charge on passengers for carrying
                                                                            firearms on-board its domestic and international flights.
                                                                            Passengers are exempt from paying this charge if they are serv-
                                                                            ing with the defence forces, paramilitary forces and police and
                                                                            if travelling on duty and carrying an official order issued by their
                                                                            departments concerned authorizing the 'carriage of weapon
                                                                            and/or ammunition for official purpose’. “Sportspersons travel-
                                                                            ling to participate in a competition or to represent the country
Eyeing an emerging business opportunity the country's largest               in any event are also exempted from paying the charges if they
private carrier Jet Airways may lease more than 10 Airbus 320s              have valid identification documents, valid licence for arms and
for its budget airline JetLite. Kingfisher Airlines has announced           ammunition and written documents issued by the president or
its intention to exit the low-cost segment of airline business and          secretary of the sports club sponsoring him/her for an event.
Jet would like to move in for the kill. Kingfisher Red, the LCC             The spokesperson said Dasgupta "could not produce valid and
component of full service Kingfisher, is due to be phased out in            bonafide documents, including an official invitation, and hence
two months' time. According to sources, the A320s would                     could not be exempt from the charges levied on her". The air-
replace the ageing JetLite fleet which was acquired from Sahara             line justified the charge saying it was being done "for making
India in April 2007. JetLite, the low-cost subsidiary of Jet                available a dedicated resource responsible for carrying firearms
Airways, has a fleet of 18 737 single-aisle aircraft and flies to 27        on-board and for managing this process".DGCA officials said no
domestic routes and one international destination. The move                 such order had been issued by it or any clearance taken for
may be a sound one as A320s are more fuel efficient and offer               levying additional charges. They also said the airline would be
better passenger capacity. In tough market conditions, Jet chair-           asked to give an explanation on the matter.


                                                                       20
                                                                                                                    Aviation Watch

Kingfisher fails to pay employee income tax                                 extend oneworld’s global coverage to nearly 800 destinations
                                                                            in almost 150 countries, served by a total of almost 8,500
India’s Kingfisher Airlines has not paid the income tax it                  departures a day operated by a combined fleet of more than
deducted from employees’ salaries over the past two years, a                2,250 aircraft, carrying 305 million passengers a year, with
junior finance minister said, in the latest sign the cash-strapped          annual revenues of US$94 billion. With the addition soon of
carrier is struggling to keep flying.S.S. Palanimanickam, a mem-            airberlin and later this year Malaysia Airlines, the oneworld net-
ber of India’s ruling coalition, said on Tuesday that the govern-           work will expand to more than 850 destinations.
ment had started proceedings to recover Rs1.3bn ($24.6m)
from the lossmaking airline. A “survey has been conducted?                  GoAir flies on new routes to lure passengers
Which revealed that the airline had not adhered to TDS [tax
deduction at source] provisions”, the minister told parliament.
“Proceedings have been initiated?For financial year 2010-11to
crystallise the default amount, levy interest on delayed pay-
ment and take further statutory Actions. Kingfisher declined to
comment. The minister’s remarks were seen as an indirect
message to Vijay Mallya, the tycoon who controls the airline,
that the government might block state-owned banks from lend-
ing to Kingfisher. “The minister used parliament to tell Vijay
Mallya that if he wants money from the
Banks he needs to pay his dues,” said Sharan Lillaney, an avia-
tion analyst at Angel Broking in Mumbai.                                    GoAir, run by the Wadia Group, has come out with an
                                                                            innovative way to attract passengers and reduce distribution
Kingfisher Airlines to become part of oneworld from 10                      cost. The smallest of all domestic airlines by market share,
February 2012                                                               GoAir has rolled out a loyalty programme making it the first
                                                                            low-cost carrier to launch such a scheme. Typically, full-service
Kingfisher Airlines received its green light to board oneworld              carriers have frequent flier or loyalty programme in which fliers
this week after successfully completing a thorough review of its            are rewarded with bonus points, which can be used for free
readiness conducted by British Airways,                                     tickets, upgrades to higher class, extra baggage allowance,
                                             Kingfisher Airlineswill        lounge access and other benefits. However in some ways
                                             become part of                 GoAir’s scheme is different. The membership of this
                                             oneworld® with                 programme is open to only those who book tickets via the
                                             effect from Friday 10          airline website. “The idea is to encourage people to use airline
                                             February 2012,                 site more often. This will help the carrier save on distribution
                                             adding India’s leading         costs as it would not have pay agent commission,'' an airline
                                             carrier to the premier         source said. Also the 'Go Club' loyalty programme will have
                                             global airline lliance.        electronic and paper less membership, thus cutting administra-
                                                                            tive costs. Go Club members can use reward points to get
It will be the first carrier from the subcontinent to join any of           discounts on airline tickets and for purchases at pizza joints, ice
the global airline groups – and the first of three airlines to join         cream parlours and other partner outlets.
oneworld in its biggest membership expansion drive for five
years, with airberlin set to follow it on board the alliance short-         IndiGo launches five new domestic flights
ly afterwards and Malaysia Airlines later in the year. Kingfisher
Airlines received its green light to board oneworld this week
after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness
conducted by British Airways, which is sponsoring its entry into
the alliance, with the oneworld central team. So from 10
February 2012, it will be offering oneworld’s full range of serv-
ices – and substantially expanding the alliance’s network
throughout India, one of the fastest growing regions of the
world for air travel demand. For Kingfisher Airlines, joining
oneworld will strengthen its competitive offering and its finan-
cial position, enabling it to offer customers an unrivalled
alliance global network served by partners including some of
the best and biggest airlines in the world.       Its addition will


                                                                       21
           Aviation Watch

Budget carrier IndiGo on Friday said it has added five more                said that with re-appraisal, the total borrowings of the compa-
daily flights on its domestic route. The new flights started Dec           ny could increase 9-10 per cent, adding that in absolute num-
20 are in the Kolkata-Raipur, Kolkata-Indore, Raipur-Indore,               bers, “Rs 650 crore is significant for the airline”. The company's
Mumbai-Raipur and Indore-Mumbai sectors. “It is in line with               short-term funding needs arise primarily because of 40-45 per
our efforts to lay a strong foundation for the airline to achieve          cent increase in international crude oil prices and rupee depre-
its forthcoming visions that primarily include offering conven-            ciation. “A combination of these has affected our operating
ient flying options to travellers across the country," Aditya              costs quite a lot,” he said.
Ghosh, president, IndiGo, said in a statement. The low cost
carrier (LCC) is India's second largest airline with a market share        Tax dues
of 19.8 percent. It started international service in September.            On payment of TDS dues, Mr Nedungadi said that the compa-
                                                                           ny had already started making payments to tax authorities in
Kingfisher Airlines receives offers from investment: reports               instalments. “We recognise that there is a level of interest that
                                                                           would be payable and we have provided for that,” he added.
                                                                           Mr Nedungadi also said that the airline was not flying all the 66
                                                                           aircraft, and has in fact grounded 8-9 of them. “They have
                                                                           gone in for technical reasons, but will come out as retrofit,” he
                                                                           explained.

                                                                           Jet Airways Declared ‘Best Airline in Central/South Asia and
                                                                           India’ At the Prestigious Global Traveller Reader Survey
                                                                           Awards 2011



Kingfisher Airlines has received unsolicited offers for
investment in the company, according to a top official. “They
have come from domestic sources primarily. And we are in the
process of talking to some of them, examining how relevant
and serious they are,” Mr Ravi Nedungadi, Chief Financial
Officer, UB Group, said on the side-lines of UB's annual gener-
al meeting here on Wednesday. “At this point, all I can confirm
is that there is more than one serious investor,” he added.
According to him, the company has not decided on how much                  Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, was adjudged
stake it will offload in the event of an investor coming in. An            the ‘Best Airline in Central/South Asia and India’ at the 8th
aviation analyst told Business Line that the Sahara Group could            annual Global Traveller Reader Survey Travel Awards in Beverly
be a potential investor, bringing in around Rs 250 crore. A                Hills, California, last week. Mr Siva Ramachandran, Regional
banker with the consortium pointed out recently that if FDI in             Vice-President- Americas, received the award on behalf of Jet
aviation is allowed, the airline's cash crunch could be min-               Airways at a glittering function at the Peninsula Beverly Hills,
imised to some extent, adding that the airline was in talks with           California on December 1, 2011.The prestigious US-based
a few foreign carriers already. Though Mr Nedungadi refused to             Global Traveller magazine conducted its survey over an eight
comment on this, he said that the company did have long-                   month period between January and August 2011 asking fre-
pending requests with the Government, including FDI. “We                   quent business and luxury travellers to name the best in a vari-
are trying to manage with what we can,” he said.                           ety of travel-related categories and more than 36,000 people
                                                                           responded. The readers are frequent premium travellers aver-
Working capital                                                            aging 16 international and 16 domestic round trip flights a year.
                                                                           Dinesh Saran, Country Manager for Jet Airways in South Africa,
Mr Nedungadi also said that the company has asked the 13-                  said: “We are honoured to receive this ‘Best Airline in
bank lending consortium to appraise its working capital needs.             Central/South Asia and India’ award from Global Traveller in
“We are asking banks to reappraise and our estimate is that our            recognition of our renowned service. Jet Airways is committed
facilities will go up by an excess of about Rs 600 crore, partly           to delivering truly world class service and has worked to con-
by way of funded facilities,” he explained. SBI Caps, which the            tinuously enhance the excellent in-flight services on all our
airline had hired to assess its business and recapitalisation              flights. The Award is once again a testimony to our commit-
needs, had in its recent report pegged the Kingfisher Airlines'            ment to focus on the needs of the passenger and to enhance
working capital requirements at Rs 680 crore. Mr Nedungadi                 the Jet Airways experience for our customers.”

                                                                      22
                                                                                                                Aviation Watch

                                                                         of Ntenje village in Traditional Authority Likoswe in Chiradzulu
INDIAN AVIATION                                                          district, had stuffed the cocaine in television screens. Sergeant
                                                                         Botha said Masangano had flown into KIA from India on
Flyers in fix over coughing up airport fee                               Ethiopian Airways via Addis Ababa.

Air passengers are confused. The collection of Airport
Development Fee (ADF) - from December 1 - has come as a                  No bailout package under consideration for private Airlines:
surprise for those who had booked Air India tickets before               Govt.
December 1. Flyers have been getting calls from the airline to
cough up the additional fee even though the directorate gener-
al of civil aviation (DGCA) had asked airlines to collect ADF
only from those who book tickets after November 30. DGCA
has said that airlines should rightfully refund passengers who
paid ADF in November. "When on November 16, Airports
Economic Regulatory Authority permitted IGI Airport manage-
ment to collect ADF for travel after November 30, there were
no clear directions on when it would actually be made appli-
cable. So, airlines started collecting ADF in November itself. On
November 30, DGCA ruled that passengers who had booked
tickets before November 30 would not be required to pay ADF,
irrespective of when they were travelling. In that case, those
airlines that had collected ADF in November will now have to
refund the fee," said IP Rao, CEO, Delhi International Airport
(P) Ltd (DIAL). International passengers have to shell out Rs            Government on Thursday said no proposal for any kind of
1,413 while domestic passengers have to pay Rs                           bailout package for loss making private airlines was under its
221.Debashish Mukherjee, a passenger travelling to Singapore             consideration. “No such proposal is under consideration of the
on December 2 on Air India flight AI 380, received a call from           ministry," civil aviation minister Vyalar Ravi said in reply to a
the airline on Friday morning, asking him to deposit the ADF             question in the Rajya Sabha. He was asked whether govern-
when he reported to the airport. "I told the airline that I had          ment has any plans to announce any bailout package for loss
purchased my ticket in the first week of November and would              making private airlines companies. Replying to another ques-
not be eligible to pay the fee but they insisted that they had           tion, Ravi said that several of leading airlines in the country
orders from the management. If I pay up, how will I get a                were suffering losses. In 2009-10, Kingfisher Airlines had
refund," Mukherjee asked. Airline officials were clueless about          accrued a loss of Rs 1239.3 crore while Jet Airways had suf-
the DGCA order on application of charges but said that as per            fered a loss of Rs 467.6 crore. Air India's loss was Rs 5552.44
an internal circular, they had been asked to charge ADF from             crore during this period. Private carrier Indigo, however, man-
flyers after November 30. "Till Friday, we had directions to             aged a profit of Rs 484.7 crores while Spicejet also made an
claim ADF from all passengers. DIAL has no method of deter-              earning of Rs 67 crore, as per details shared by the aviation
mining which passenger booked their ticket when so when                  minister. Replying to another question, Ravi said that Air India
they run up a bill, based on number of passengers travelled, we          owed a sum of Rs 1880.40 crore to Indian Oil Corporation and
won't know how much to pay up," said a senior official. Airport          Rs 484.30 crore to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited
sources also said that Air India owed DIAL a few crores in ADF           (BPCL) as on September 30, 2011. Air India also owed
that they had collected on behalf of the airport between March           Hindustan Petroleum a sum of Rs 417 crore, he said. Among
2009 and June 2011. "The airline's financial condition is well           private airlines Jet Airways owed Rs 695.90 crore as outstand-
known and it hasn't paid DIAL any of the ADF amounts it has              ing dues on September 30 to Indian Oil and Rs 153.24 crore
collected so far. The matter has been taken up and we hope               to BPCL. Kingfisher's outstanding dues to Hindustan Petroleum
that dues will be cleared soon," said highly placed airport offi-        Corporation Limited (HPCL) stood at Rs 636.79 crore as on
cials.                                                                   September 30.Ravi said that ministry of civil aviation had host-
                                                                         ed an international meeting of non-EU ICAO (International
Malawi girl caught smuggling cocaine at KIA                              Civil Aviation Organisation) council and other non EU member
                                                                         stated in which a joint declaration was adopted opposing the
Police at Malawi’s main Kamuzu International Airport (KIA)               EU-ETS (emission trading scheme).
have arrested a 23-year-old woman coming from India was on
Wednesday after she was picked out for screening and found
with cocaine. According to spokesperson Sergeant Peter Botha,
the KIA police spokesman, the woman Annie Maria Masangano

                                                                    23
           Aviation Watch

Indian laws could prevent more flights by African Airlines                rubies and corals-and that was equal to a commercial quantity.
                                                                          The total value of the jewellery is Rs 36 lakh. "Carrying com-
                                                                          mercial quantity of gold or silver without notification is not
                                                                          allowed. She did not even declare it on arrival," a senior
                                                                          Customs official said. Omolola told the officials that she
                                                                          brought the jewellery for friends in Mumbai. "However, we
                                                                          found out that she deals in ornament repair and polishing busi-
                                                                          ness," the official said. The ornaments were seized and
                                                                          Omolola was later released on a bail of Rs 2 lakh.
                                                                          Flyers are not allowed to carry any goods in commercial quan-
                                                                          tity. Studded jewellery can be carried or brought into the coun-
                                                                          try only after securing permission.

                                                                          Indian skies safe despite ‘fake’ pilots
The Indian Government's attempts at building bridges with
Africa could get unstuck by old laws which govern flights from            It began with a dangerous landing and has resulted in 16 pilots
the Continent. Flights between the two countries are                      being sacked. India's fake flying licence scam posed a severe
determined by air services bilateral, which are exchanged                 challenge to the country's airline safety regulator.
between the two sovereign nations. So, the number of flights                                               ,
                                                                          But in an interview with AFP the head of the Directorate
between says America and India are determined by the bilater-             General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said a crackdown on pilots
al that the Governments of these two countries sign with each             that involved surprise and random checks had successfully
other. Seeing that it is bilateral which determine the frequency          identified the fraudsters.
of flights between two countries and given the new-found
interest in Africa across the globe, a number of African coun-
tries have made requests for exchanging air services bilateral
with India. Kenya, Nigeria and Botswana expressed their inter-
est at increasing or taking forward bilateral entitlements at a
recently concluded international conference in Mumbai. Many
of these requests, however, could not be taken forward due to
old laws which govern allowing more flights between India and
Africa. “The Indian law says that unless effective control and
substantial ownership of an airline rests with either the
Government or a national of a country from where the airline
is designated, we cannot go in for exchange of flights. In the
case of Africa this is becoming a problem. The Ministry will
have to take a decision on this issue,” a person familiar with the        "Now we are doing thorough checks of all the licences that are
situation told Business Line.                                             being issued. We have left the scandal behind us," said E.K.
                                                                          Bharat Bhushan. "We will do whatever it takes to clean-up the
Pilot arrested after wife commits suicide over dowry                      entire system."

An Air India pilot was today arrested after his wife allegedly            He also said Indian skies were safe despite the evidence of
committed suicide due to dowry harassment, police said here.              qualification fraud -- a rampant problem found in other sensi-
Deep Chand was arrested from Indirapuram and a dowry                      tive areas in corruption-plagued India, including medicine.
death case under 304(b) IPC has been registered against him,              "It is certainly not unsafe to fly with an Indian carrier," he said.
they said. His wife Renu (28) was yesterday found hanging                 "If you look at our records, it's not bad. There haven't been a lot
from a ceiling fan at her residence in Sector 6, Vasundhara.              of accidents. “We maintain close surveillance over both air-
                                                                          planes and airports." But questions remain over whether the
Nigerian held at airport with undeclared 36L jewellery                    under-resourced DGCA is capable of probing deep enough
                                                                          into a problem that has caused profound anxiety for travellers
Customs officials arrested a Nigerian womanat the Mumbai air-             in India. The fake licence scam came to light after a pilot with
port on Friday morning for carrying undeclared jewellery.                 the private airline Indigo landed her Airbus aircraft on the nose
Taiwao Omolola (40) landed from Dubai. She was held before                wheel instead of the rear wheels in March this year.
leaving the airport. Customs officials said Omolola was carrying          The unusual and potentially dangerous landing alerted the
more than 100 pieces of jewellery- studded with diamonds,                 DGCA, which immediately launched a probe into her creden-


                                                                     24
                                                                                                                    Aviation Watch

tials. “We grounded her immediately," says Bhushan. "Then we                the interests of Sikhs despite various hollow assurances.
got an email from her estranged husband saying she had                      Registering a strong protest in a communiqué to Prime Minister
flunked her pilot exam and was not qualified to fly. “That                  Dr. Manmohan Singh, Harsimrat said that she on behalf of
opened a Pandora's Box. We launched a full investigation and                entire Sikh community was lodging a protest over intolerable
found she had submitted a fake mark sheet to procure a pilot                way Sikhs are treated at airports in Italy and other countries of
licence. “More checks showed a worrying trend of licences                   the world. She also moved adjournment motion over recent
being obtained illegally by fudging mark sheets and flying hours            incident of forcible removal of turban of Commander of Jet
with the connivance of DGCA officials. A total of 16 "fake"                 Airways at Milan airport thereby hurting the sentiments of Sikh
pilots employed in major domestic airlines, including state-                community and government’s utter failure to ensure dignity of
owned national carrier Air India, as well as leading private air-           Sikhs. Pointing to the total failure of Congress led UPA govern-
lines Jet Airways, SpiceJet and IndiGo were ousted by investi-              ment in pressurizing Italy government; she referred to the lat-
gators. Three DGCA employees were accused of involvement                    est incident that happened with Ravijodh Singh Dhupia, a
and they now face charges in court. Demand for pilots has                   commander of Jet Airways, who was forced to remove his tur-
exploded in India since the 1990s, when deregulation allowed                ban at Milan Airport. She said that it was intolerable and unfor-
private players to cater to the growing number of Indians                   tunate that the officials deployed on international airports
choosing air travel over long train journeys. The emergence of              harass Sikhs again and again by removing their turbans under
no-frills airlines saw a fresh spurt in the number of operators             security check excuses. She said that repeated incidents in the
and there are now estimated to be 8,000 chief and co-pilots                 Italy have proved that the Union Government has failed to con-
plying the busy skies over the subcontinent. Bhushan admits                 vey to the Italian Government and other foreign governments
that the DGCA has struggled to keep up with the pace of                     not to remove the turbans of Sikhs. She said that to ask a Sikh
expansion, with its modest resources over-stretched. “We are                to remove his turban was in fact an atrocity on him and all over
short-staffed at the moment. But we are in the process of cre-              the world Sikhs in one voice have stood up to call this an act of
ating 550 new posts. We are also trying to make the whole                   great violence and cruelty on Sikhs.
process of licence granting online so that it becomes easier to
catch cheats," he said. He also conceded it was a challenge to              Let domestic carriers fly freely, global airlines body tells
check the licences of all the pilots operating in India, the fastest        India
growing domestic market in the world with 18.4 percent year-
on-year growth, according to Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.              The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has advised
“It is a challenge for the safety regulator in such a scenario              the Indian Government to set domestic carriers free from poli-
where the number of travellers increases by the day and so do               cy interventions. It wants the Government to refrain from
the number of flights," said Bhushan. “The passenger capacity               micro-managing the aviation industry, such as in ticket pricing.
has jumped from 65 million 10 years ago to 235 million. There
are 438 scheduled aircraft and eight operators. And then there
are numerous chartered and non-scheduled aircrafts," he said.
The DGCA has also had to tackle the problem of bogus flying
schools. A report on the NDTV news channel said flying
instructors at the Rajasthan Flying School were bribed to fudge
flying hours. The school saved fuel costs and students got their
licences faster. It meant prospective pilots flew about 40 hours
for a licence that required 200 flying hours. “There are 40 fly-
ing schools operating in the country which are approved. We
have done a detailed audit and taken action where ever we
found discrepancies," Bhushan said, adding that the problem
had been "exaggerated" by the media. “We found there were
only a couple of agents who were promising admission to fly-
ing schools in exchange for money. Due action has been taken                IATA has projected a dismal picture for the global aviation
against them," he said.                                                     industry in 2012 with a fall in profitability and profit margin.
                                                                            However, it believes airlines in Asia-Pacific will be in a better
Sikhs being targeted deliberately in Italy-Harsimrat                        situation in comparison to their global counterparts. IATA rep-
                                                                            resents 240 airlines accounting for 84 per cent of global air traf-
Member Parliament from Bathinda, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said                  fic. Mr Tony Tyler, Chief Executive Officer and Director
on Thursday that Sikhs were being deliberately targeted in the              General, IATA, said, “Indian Government should focus on safe-
airports of Italy repeatedly and Government of India owes an                ty, security and commercial freedom of the industry, reduce or
explanation to the country for its complete failure to safeguard            eliminate taxes on jet fuel and make effort for expansion of


                                                                       25
           Aviation Watch

infrastructure such as Mumbai Airport and air navigation sys-             joined in the second day of the protest against the director of
tem.” Jet fuel contributes up to 45 per cent in operating cost for        the institute, Capt. Sunil Singh. The students have alleged that
an Indian carrier in comparison to 30 per cent for any interna-           they were charged Rs60, 000 for training for a career as air
tional carrier. Mr Brian Pearce, IATA's Chief Economist, added            steward and stewardess and were promised 100% job guaran-
that there was enormous potential for the Indian carriers.                tee. But so far the institute has failed to provide them with any
Domestic demand is strong. “We see the travel is very low, but            job. On the second day of the protest, Navrangpura police was
potential is very high. Now it is a challenge for the Indian car-         once again called to the institute by the director. The police-
riers to be profitable,” he said. The three listed domestic carri-        men, who came to the scene, again persuaded the students to
ers — Jet, Kingfisher and SpiceJet — posted losses for the quar-          go and file a complaint in the matter. The students, who
ter ended September 30.                                                   approached the Navrangpura police, were then asked to go
                                                                          and seek the police commissioner's help in the matter. "We
Global Scenario                                                           went to the commissioner's office to request that our complaint
                                                                          be taken at the Navrangpura police station," said a student who
The global travel body has lowered the estimate of profitability          went to meet the commissioner. Another student who went to
to $3.5 billion in 2012 with a net margin of 0.6 per cent from            the police commissioner's office said they couldn't meet the top
$4.9 billion as announced in September. It has kept profitabil-           cop. "We then decided to meet JCP Sector-I Ajay Tomar. But he
ity unchanged at $6.9 billion for 2011. “The biggest risk facing          too was busy in a meeting. But the JCP still managed to direct
airline profitability over the next year is the economic turmoil          the Navrangpura police to act on our complaint." JCP Tomar
that would result from a failure of governments to resolve the            could not be contacted for his comments. Sources in the
euro zone sovereign-debt crisis. Such an outcome could lead               Navrangpura police said they have taken note of the student's
to losses of over $8 billion — the largest since the 2008 finan-          application and have called both the parties to resolve the
cial crisis,” Mr Tyler said. Global GDP forecast for 2012 has             issue.
been revised down to 2.1 per cent. Historically the airline
industry has seen profits turn into losses whenever global GDP            RLD chief Ajit Singh is new Civil Aviation Minister
growth falls below 2 per cent. This is driving the downgrade in
the 2012 outlook, Mr Tyler said. Passenger demand is expect-              Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh who was sworn into
ed to grow by 4 per cent from an early projection of 4.6 per              the Union Cabinet on Sunday has been allocated the Civil
cent while cargo is expected to show flat growth (down from               Aviation Ministry. On the advice of the Prime Minister,
previous 4.2 per cent expansion). Passenger and cargo yields              President Pratibha Patil allocated Civil Aviation Ministry to
are expected to remain flat in 2012. Industry revenues are                Singh, Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement. Earlier, the
expected to grow by 3.7 per cent to $618 billion. This will be            President administered the oath of office and secrecy to Singh
outstripped by cost increases of 4.5 per cent to $609 billion,            at a ceremony in New Delhi.
IATA said.

Muslims demand FBI probe in attack on Sikh man

An FBI investigation has been sought in the stabbing of a Sikh
man at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California for a
possible bias motive by the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR).The Sikh man in his mid-50s was stabbed
while waiting in a public area near the Transportation Security
Administration terminal on Sunday evening, a local newspaper
reported citing Fresno Police. “We ask local law enforcement
authorities and the FBI to probe a possible bias motive in this
case," said Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento
Valley office of CAIR."Sikh men who wear beards and turbans               The swearing-in took place a week after his party formally
as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake           joined the UPA. There is speculation that Singh may get the
them for Muslims."                                                        civil aviation portfolio. The 72-year-old Jat leader from western
                                                                          Uttar Pradesh is being inducted a week after his party formally
Ahmedabad aviation fraud: More students join stir                         joined the UPA, the first political outfit to do so since the
                                                                          alliance came to power for the second time in May 2009.
Few more students of International Institute of Flying Staff
joined their seniors to demand either jobs or a refund of their
fee from the institute. Some students of the 2010 batch also


                                                                     26
                                                                                                                  Aviation Watch

Flyer awarded Rs 50000 for drink refusal                                 Private Pilot Licences (PPL) so far this year, Civil Aviation
                                                                         Minister Ajit Singh said in a written reply to a query in Lok
An international airline has been directed to pay a compensa-            Sabha. Regarding the criteria adopted in issuing various
tion of Rs 50,000 to a Canadian on being discriminated against           licences, Singh said, “Licences are issued on compliance of
because of her gender after one of its crew members refused to           requirements stipulated in Part V and schedule II of the Aircraft
serve her alcohol as she was a woman. A district consumer dis-           Rules 1937.”“In case fraud is detected, enforcement action is
putes redressal forum has also advised the Jet Airways India             taken wherein the applicant is debarred from obtaining a
Limited "to train its staff on etiquette and behaviour" without          licence and/or is registered with the police authorities,” he said.
any discrimination on the basis of gender and nationality. “It is
the choice of the passenger to demand the drink of their liking          Aviation industry hit by financial turbulence in 2011
in the air journey and Indian crew members cannot be allowed
to make any differential remarks between Indian and European             The Indian aviation industry faced a paradoxical situation in
women and they are expected to respect even lady members                 2011 suffering huge losses in the face of a burgeoning domes-
who demand alcohol and that too cannot be denied by the air-             tic air traffic, as it battled high fuel costs and fierce competition
line's crew members as it is a question of choice and not of             while looking up to the government for help.
imposing one's culture biases and prejudice on any one," said
district forum president C K Chaturvedi.The woman, working
with the Canadian High Commission in India, had sought
50,000 Canadian dollars as compensation. The woman had
filed the petition claiming that she was aggrieved by the eti-
quettes and behaviour of the crew member of Jet Airways
Limited during her return journey from Bangkok to Delhi
through their flight on December 15, 2009. She alleged in her
complaint that after taking off, when the plane was in the air
and services had begun with beverages and snacks, she had
ordered a rum drink. She was, however, informed by the male
steward that the complainant being a female could not have
alcoholic drink. After going through the material on record, the
forum president said: "The reply and emails sent by the com-
plainant and reply received by her through emails of Jet                 With large airlines like Air India and Kingfisher accounting for a
Airways clearly shows that they have also admitted the com-              major quantum of the industry losses, a Group of Ministers and
plaint filed by the complainant... We have carefully heard the           panel of officers held several meetings to finalise a long-term
complainant in the light of reply, rejoinder and evidence and            capital infusion package for Air India. High taxes on jet fuel and
submission made in the court and considered the other mate-              equally high airport charges were the major cost heads for the
rial placed on the record. The specific averments in Para 5 and          Indian carriers, with the global airlines' body IATA estimating
6 of the complaint are not specifically denied but only general-         that fuel costs accounted for 45 per cent of the total costs, com-
ly disputed by the airline. “The forum added the crew mem-               pared with 30 per cent for global carriers. The International Air
bers could not "impose their own prejudice" on the female pas-           Transport Association (IATA) asked the government to set the
sengers. "We feel that the complainant felt insulted when her            country's aviation industry free from policy interventions like
request was ignored and she was told that they do not serve              checking airfares and slash taxes, especially on jet fuel. Instead
alcohol drink to lady passengers."                                       of "micro-managing" the cash-strapped sector, the government
                                                                         should concentrate on building infrastructure and the air navi-
843 commercial pilot licences issued this year by DGCA                   gation system, IATA chief Tony Tyler said. Aviation industry con-
                                                                         tributes five per cent of GDP in India, nearly Rs. 290 crore in
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued              taxes provides four million jobs and another seven million jobs
more than 5500 commercial pilot licences (CPL) since 2008,               through tourism and related activities, Tyler said. He hoped
including 843 this year, Lok Shaba was informed today.                   "these numbers will have a good impact on government poli-
                                                                         cies. “Aviation experts projected that though air traffic would
The country’s aviation regulator issued 1458 CPLs in 2008,               continue to grow strongly, financial recovery of the airline
while 1886 such licences issued in 2009 and 1368 in the next             industry would be slow. As the country celebrated 100 years of
year. But DGCA issued only 843 CPLs out of 1023 applications             aviation in India, the Civil Aviation Ministry got a full-time min-
it received in 2011, which saw a number of pilots found using            ister Ajit Singh, replacing Vayalar Ravi who held the portfolio as
fraudulent means to acquire their flying licences. Similarly,            an additional charge, only towards the year-end.
DGCA issued 387 Air Transport pilot licences ( ATPL) and 181


                                                                    27
          Aviation Watch

                                                                        The Indian Air Force (IAF) will install an air defence radar sta-
MILITARY                                                                tion (ADRS) in Mizoram bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh,
                                                                        an official said here Sunday. ‘The high-tech ADRS will be set up
Silver jubilee of Army Aviation celebrated in Nashik                    at Zopuitlang in Lunglei district in southern Mizoram. Over 300
                                                                        acres of land has been identified jointly by the IAF and the dis-
                                                                        trict administration,' a Mizoram government official told
                                                                        reporters.

                                                                        Eastern Air Command chief Air Marshal S. Varthaman Saturday
                                                                        met with Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla and discussed
                                                                        the matter. The official said Varthaman also discussed with the
                                                                        chief minister the proposed construction of a defence enclave
                                                                        to accommodate at least four fighter jets at the Lengpui airport
                                                                        in western Mizoram. ‘Varthaman also sought land for setting up
                                                                        a base station for the IAF aircraft at Lengpui airport, the only
                                                                        one in the state under Mamit district,' the official stated. The air
                                                                        marshal has also agreed that he would take steps to ensure that
                                                                        the maximum number of Mizo youths were recruited in the
It was a moment of pride as the mighty Dhruv, Lancer,                   IAF.Mizoram shares a 404-km international border with
Cheetah, and Chetak helicopters soared to the skies and                 Myanmar and 318-km border with Bangladesh. Varthaman has
dipped to play the roles of rescue, utility and combat missions         informed the chief minister about IAF's willingness to assist the
to perfection. The aviators and the flying machines of the Army         Mizoram government in organising an international festival on
Aviation Corps, displayed thrilling manoeuvers to commemo-              life, culture and traditional customs of different ethnic societies.
rate the silver jubilee of Army Aviation at a programme at their        He said a state-of-the-art fully equipped archery range of inter-
base at Combat Army Aviation Training School (CATS) in                  national standard is being set up by at the Eastern Command
Nashik on Friday. The programme to mark the 25 glorious years           headquarters in Meghalaya capital Shillong.
of the elite corps of the Indian Army was presided over by
Chief of Army Staff, General VK Singh; Colonel Commandant               Two IAF Mirage aircraft has flown to France for upgradation
of Army Aviation and GoC in C central Command, Lt General
VK Ahluwalia; and Additional Director General of Army
Aviation, Maj General PK Bharali. The occasion also saw a gath-
ering of the serving and veteran aviators of the core. The
demonstrations began with the Dhruv, Cheetah and Chetak fly-
ing in an arrowhead formation to welcome the guests. The
paratroopers of the special forces of the 15 Independent Para
Brigade were then paradropped from a height of 10,000 ft. by
an ALH Dhruv in a tactical battlefield area. Two armed Lancers
then surged in for strafing of enemy locality and conducted a
recce in low flying to provide information to the commander of
the troops on ground.

IAF to set up defence radar station in Mizoram

                                                                        Two Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF)
                                                                        have been flown to France for upgradation under a USD 2.4
                                                                        billion deal with defence majors Thales and Dassault Aviation.
                                                                        The deal was signed between India and these two companies
                                                                        in July this year for upgrading IAF's 51-strong Mirage 2000 fight-
                                                                        er aircraft fleet. The first of the two aircraft were flown from
                                                                        their home-base in Gwalior last week to France yesterday
                                                                        where they will be equipped with advanced avionics, electron-
                                                                        ic warfare suites and weapon systems, IAF officials said here
                                                                        today. As per the deal, the two planes would be upgraded at
                                                                        the French facilities and the remaining 49 would undergo the


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                                                                                                                 Aviation Watch

modernisation process at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited                 district, official sources said. As per the official information
(HAL) units in India, they said. Under the deal, the French firms          reaching here today, five jawans who were inside and the pilot
will also modernise the navigation systems, mission computers,             were safe, though the helicopter was hit by nine rounds in the
electronic warfare systems and radars bringing the aircraft to             incident on Monday.
the standards of more advanced Mirage-2000-5 planes. The
deal to upgrade the aircraft had been hanging fire for the last
five years as the Defence Ministry had been involved in exten-
sive negotiations including on the cost of upgradation. The pro-
posal for modernising the warplanes was cleared at a meeting
of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on July 13. The
French companies would also invest 30 per cent of the deal
money back in the Indian defence sector as part of the offsets
policy. Under the policy, foreign firms bagging deals worth over
Rs 300 crore have to invest at least 30 per cent of the contract
amounts back in the Indian defence, civilian aerospace and
homeland security sectors.

IAF says Su-30MKI aircraft crashed due to unknown fault                    The MI-17 chopper of IAF had been sent to assist the police
                                                                           and CRPF forces which had undertaken a large-scale operation
The Su-30MKI aircraft crashed near Pune on Tuesday due to an               against naxals on December 18.While returning, the chopper
unknown fault that gave no indication to the pilot and an                  came under naxal fire over a hill, though it succeeded in reach-
expert team from Russia has arrived to address it, Air Chief               ing Jagdalpur safely. The helicopter did not suffer any damage,
Marshal NAK Browne Friday said.                                            the sources said. During the operation, nine naxals were arrest-
                                                                           ed and large cache of weapons was seized, senior police offi-
                                                                           cers said.

                                                                           Naval Air Stations will soon have UAVs

                                                                           As part of modernising the Navy, the southern peninsula will
                                                                           soon have Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Naval Air Stations in
                                                                           Tamil Nadu. "We will have Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
                                                                           soon, maybe by next year. They will be based in the air stations
                                                                           in Tamil Nadu," a senior Naval official told reporters on board
                                                                           INS Shivalik here today.

The flying of entire fleet of 120 aircraft which was suspended
after the mishap will resume from Monday. “There was a prob-
lem in the fly-by-wire system... This is a new thing. Pilot did not
get any warning. There were no indications in the cockpit and
the aircraft was out of control," the IAF chief said in Delhi. He
said the pilot "tried his best to control the aircraft for 15-20
minutes" before ejecting out along with the Weapon Systems
Operator (WSO).Wing Commander GS Sohal was the pilot of
the aircraft with Flight Lieutenant U Nautiyal as his WSO.The
first Su-30MKI which had crashed over Rajasthan in 2009 also
faced problems in its fly-by wire system. Asked if the recent air
crash was also due to the similar problem, the IAF chief said
that was a "different issue”. The ill-fated Su-30 had taken off
from Pune's Lohegaon air base at 1240 hours and crashed soon               Navy has two naval air stations in the state - INS Rajali at
after near Wade Bolhai village there at 1310 hours on Tuesday.             Arakkonam and INS Parundu at Uchipuli. The Navy had joined
                                                                           hands with the Coastal Security Group of Tamil Nadu Police
Indian Air force Heli came under attack                                    and Indian Coast Guard in educating fishermen along the Tamil
                                                                           Nadu coast on the importance of International Maritime
Naxals fired upon an Indian Air Force helicopter which had                 Boundary Line, the official said. "We have seven units in the
been sent to help the police-CRPF operation in Dantewada

                                                                      29
           Aviation Watch

state and they are educating the fishermen in their regions. It             would be flying with the GE-F404-IN20 engine and is specifi-
looks like its working and the incidents of crossing the border is          cally designed for ski-jump take-off and arrested landing, with
coming down," he said. On Indian Navy's part in tackling sea                high-landing loads compared to its Air Force counterpart. The
piracy, he said the force was part of the international co-ordi-            Navy has placed an order for six LCA aircraft and is expected
nation of navies and has been given a stretch of 500 nautical               to replace the depleting Sea Harrier squadron and operate
miles in the Gulf of Aden. "In this convoy system, we tell them             along the MiG-29K’s by 2014.
(international co-ordination centre) when our ships will be on
either of the sides and that information will be given to the               Wide variety of equipment
civilian ships that are crossing the area. Usually, we take with us
some 15 ships safely to the other side," the official said. Earlier,        Officials said the aircraft would be operating with a wide vari-
the Navy conducted an exercise with six naval warships - INS                ety of operational weapons and high-tech equipment like the
Ranjir, INS Ranjit, INS Ranvijay, INS Shivalik, INS Kirch and INS           beyond-visual-range missiles, anti-ship missiles, conventional
Airavat, as part of the Navy Week celebrations off the Chennai              bombs, air defence guns and drop tanks. Equipped with state-
coast in the Bay of Bengal. Co-ordinated by Rear Admiral H C                of-the art technologies and punch, the aircraft is designed to
S Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval                    operate from the future indigenous aircraft carriers the Navy
Command, the naval exercises including jackstay and simulat-                plans to acquire, they said. Aeronautical Development Agency,
ed gun firing that lasted for almost the two-and-a-half hour sail-          the Bangalore-based DRDO lab, is responsible for the design,
ing for 54 km. "After 26/11, everybody is more sensitive to the             development, build, ground test and flight test of both the
threat (through the sea) and so we have security forces exercis-            naval and air force versions. Saraswat said that price negotia-
es. We are co-ordinating with all the agencies of the govern-               tions for a joint venture with French firm Snecma, for co-devel-
ment," Rear Admiral H C S Bisht said. He said the navy was                  opment and co-production of Kaveri aero engine for LCA Tejas
expecting the indigenous aircraft carrier which is now being                MK-II, is expected to be completed in a couple of months.
built to join the force soon, apart from INS Vikramaditya being             “Price negotiations with Snecma are in progress. They are not
built in Russia.                                                            yet completed. It may take a couple of months,” he said.
                                                                            Officials said the IAF has cleared the Kaveri engine co-develop-
Naval light combat aircraft to fly by December end                          ment proposal with Snecma. The draft engine technical speci-
                                                                            fication has been examined and cleared by the IAF, which has
The much-awaited maiden flight of naval prototype of the Light              further suggested that the engine design should have minimal
Combat Aircraft (LCA NP-1) or Tejas is expected to take place               impact on the LCA Tejas airframe for future retrofitment.
by the end of December in Bangalore. Scientific advisor to the
defence minister and Defence Research and Development                       India's first naval fighter LCA Tejas to take to skies this
Organisation (DRDO) director general, VK Saraswat, on Friday                month
said that the LCA NP-1—which will be the country’s first
indigenous effort to build a carrier-borne Naval flight aircraft—           India's first carrier-bornenaval fighter aircraft "LCA Tejas (Navy)"
will take to the skies by December-end. The aircraft will be test           will take to the skies for its maiden flight this month, a top
flown by a pilot from the National Flight Test Centre, which has            defence official said today, adding that it will form the air ele-
been entrusted with overseeing the testing activity of the LCA              ment of the Indian Navy. "LCA (Navy) will be flown in the
programme for more than a decade. The first flight of the LCA               month of December. I think by the end of this month, it should
NP-1 has been delayed for quite some time now and the maid-                 fly", V K Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and
en flight would give the programme a much-needed fillip. The                Director General of Defence Research and Development
LCA NP-1 is undergoing high-speed taxi trials at HAL airport                Organisation (DRDO) said.
and a team steering of the LCA (Navy) project comprising
members of Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, HAL, DRDO, CEMI-
LAC, DGAQA, and CSIR Labs are carrying out a series of final
integration tests before the maiden flight.

It’s stronger and better

The LCA NP-1 has incorporated several changes compared
with its Air-Force counterpart with a new, stronger and longer
landing gear, arrester hook for ship-deck landing, front fuselage
drooped for better over-the-nose vision to facilitate ship land-
ing, an additional control surface to reduce ship-landing speed
and consequential changes in various systems. The NP1 aircraft


                                                                       30
                                                                                                                    Aviation Watch

DRDO officials said the aircraft is currently going through a                 50 Sukhois from Russia in a fly-away condition, and in 2000,
phase of refinements based on feedback and observations dur-                  an agreement for licensed production of 140 planes in India
ing the September EGR (Engine Ground Run) of LCA Tejas                        followed. This was followed up with a protocol for an addition
(Navy) prototype NP1, followed by a series of final integration               40 aircraft.
checks and taxi trials before the first flight. They said the aircraft
will be operating with a wide variety of operational weapons                   INTERNATIONAL AVIATION
and equipment’s like the beyond visual range missiles, anti-
ship missiles, conventional bombs, air defence guns and drop                  China, Japan clash with EU over Aviation CO2 curbs at
tanks. Equipped with state-of-the art technologies and punch,                 Summit
the aircraft is designed to operate from the future Indigenous
aircraft carriers the Navy plans to acquire, they said. The team              European Union plans to impose curbs on carbon-dioxide
steering the project comprises members of Indian Navy, Indian                 emissions by international airlines as of 2012 drew fire from
Air Force, HAL, DRDO, Centre for Military Airworthiness and                   countries including China, Venezuela and Japan, marking a
Certification (CEMILAC), Directorate General of Aeronautical                  new stumbling block at the climate summit this week. The EU
Quality Assurance (DGAQA), CSIR Labs, educational institu-                    measure is against international civil aviation rules, Su Wei,
tions, and other public and private sector partners.                          China's lead envoy, said in an interview during the United
Aeronautical Development Agency, a Bangalore-based DRDO                       Nations talks in Durban, South Africa. Japan called the
lab, is responsible for the design, development, build, ground                European law unacceptable, echoing concerns voiced this year
test and flight test of both the Naval and Air Force versions of              by the United States, India and Russia, and highlighting the
the aircraft.                                                                 challenge of forging a global framework to cut greenhouse
                                                                              gases blamed for global warming. “You can't take unilateral
IAF chief reinforces confidence in Sukhoi with hour-long                      measures to solve a multilateral issue,” Su Wei told reporters.
sortie news                                                                   “It has some impact on the discussions here in Durban. “The
                                                                              criticism boosts pressure on the 27-nation bloc, which wants to
                                                                              lead the worldwide fight against climate change, to scale down
                                                                              its ambitions and emphasizes the divide between EU aims and
                                                                              policies that governments outside Europe may be able to
                                                                              accept to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2
                                                                              degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial
                                                                              levels. Exceeding that ceiling will cause more intense heat
                                                                              waves, floods and storms, a United Nations scientific panel on
                                                                              climate change has said.

                                                                              European Court approves New Year aviation carbon tax

                                                                              The European Union's highest court ruled on Wednesday that
                                                                              it would uphold its right to impose its cap- and-trade scheme
                                                                              for any international airlines using European airports, starting
The fleet, which remained grounded for three or four days was                 on 1 January 2012.
back to its usual flying schedule late last week. With rising con-
cerns over the crashes, the defence ministry, constituted a com-
mittee to probe the crash. Earlier, two SU-30's had crashed in
2009.According to Browne, the boys had been doing an excel-
lent job and the momentum of building up the new SU-30
squadrons needed to be maintained. He added that people
should remain the highest priority of the airforce because it was
then that a cohesive team translated itself in to a success story.
Browne interacted with the Sukhoi squadron pilots, during his
visit and met engineers and other personnel as also key officers
of the station. During the recent visit of Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh to Moscow from 15 -17 December for an
annual summit, India signed a new protocol for licensed pro-                  The ruling by the court's judges was in line with a preliminary
duction of another 42 SU-30s by Hindustan Aeronautics                         option delivered in October by ECJ Advocate General Juliane
Limited, taking the jet's fleet to 272.In 1996, India purchased               Kokott. In response to any hostility from nations including the


                                                                         31
           Aviation Watch

United States and India, the court decided that: "Application of           Russian companies after their Kremlin summit today. “Now we
the emissions trading scheme to aviation infringes neither the             are moving towards implementing this idea, at least I hope so,"
principles of customary internal law at issue nor the Open Skies           Medvedev said.
Agreement. “Connie Hedegaard, spokesperson for the
European Union (EU) Climate Change Commissioner, was at
the forefront of discussions and stated: “We will neither aban-
don nor delay the Emissions Trading System for the aviation
sector - the measure will fully enter force on 1 January. “The
European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that all airlines fly-
ing to and from the 27 states of the EU will face a tax on emis-
sions from 1 January, despite hostile reactions from airlines
across the globe. American carriers have argued the taxes con-
travene the Open Skies Agreement, which allows airlines to fly
between any EU country and any point in the US. The EU has
calculated the cost to the airlines, and these will range from 2
Euro to 12 Euro for a one-way trans-Atlantic flight. This cost will
almost certainly be passed to the consumer. The inclusion of
the aviation sector into the EU Emission Trading Scheme is one             India has jointly developed Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jet and
of the widest reaching measures adopted by any country or                  are involved in the developing Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft
regional bloc to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases.                   and Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA) for the military. Earlier,
“Commercially, it's a non-event", said Bill Hemmings, of the               Vice Premier Sergei Ivanov said Russia was offering joint pro-
Brussels based non-profit group Transport and Environment,                 duction of new generation of civil aircraft including Sukhoi
adding, "Airlines routinely adjust their fares hundreds of times           Superjet-100 regional jet and futuristic MS-21 medium haul
a day."                                                                    aircraft. Russia’s Irkutsk-based (Siberia) Irkut Aircraft
                                                                           Corporation is the main producer of Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat
Sri Lanka calls bids for aviation fuel terminal                            jets, tailored to meet Indian Air Force's requirements in the
                                                                           coming decades. Now it is developing the MS-1 passenger air-
Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has called              craft of the 21st century. It's CEO Alexei Fyodorov, who has
bids to build an aviation fuel terminal at a second internation-           been linked to all major projects for the development and
al airport being constructed in Mattala, in the South of the               licensed production combat jets with India, believes that India
island.Sri Lanka's Ceylon Today newspaper said the estimated               has the intellectual and industrial potential for co-developing
cost of the terminal, which includes storage facilities and a              and producing this wide-body futuristic aircraft.
hydrant system was around 3.6 billion rupees (31 million US
dollars). A CPC tender notice said the petroleum firm was look-            Etihad Airways places $2.8 bn order with Boeing, now
ing for a turnkey contractor for the "design, procurement, con-            largest Dreamliner customer
struction, testing and commissioning works" for the aviation
fuel terminal. The terminal has to be built in 12 months. The              Etihad Airways, voted “World’s Leading Airline” by World
bids close on February 02. The bidders should have experience              Travel Awards, has become the world’s largest customer of
in performing similar turnkey contracts at international airports          Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner by placing an order for a further 10
and have revenues of 20 million US dollars in the past five                of the revolutionary aircraft.
years. Mattala airport in Sri Lanka's Hambantota district is being
built with Chinese finance.

Russian President offers India joint production of civilian
aircraft

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today offered joint devel-
opment of civilian aircraft with India, saying the two nations
could benefit in this from the accumulated experience in the
development and production of combat jets. “I discussed the
idea of shifting our successful experience in the field of military
aircraft to the civilian aviation, with Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh last year (during New Delhi visit)," Medvedev said. The
two leaders were addressing the CEO's of top Indian and


                                                                      32
                                                                                                                  Aviation Watch

Following the $2.8 billion order, the UAE flag carrier now has a
total of 41 Dreamliner’s on order. James Hogan, Chief
Executive Officer, Etihad Airways said: “Our decision to
expand our Dreamliner fleet is testimony to Etihad’s commit-
ment to operating one of the youngest and most fuel efficient
fleets in the skies. He added “It also reflects our confidence in
the 787’s ability to have a significant impact on our operating
efficiencies and the passenger experience we can offer on-
board this revolutionary aircraft. Both the Boeing 787
Dreamliner and the 777 Freighter offer highly attractive oper-
ating economics and will facilitate our global expansion plans
by allowing us to transport passengers and cargo into new glob-
al markets from our hub in Abu Dhabi.” Founded in 2003,
Etihad Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world
and currently operates scheduled flights to 84 passenger and              The Federal Aviation Administration's update of airline pilot
cargo destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia               work rules, some of which dated to the 1960s, reflects a better
Pacific and North America. “In less than 10 years Etihad                  understanding of the need for rest and how night shifts and
Airways has established an enviable track record and has                  traveling through time zones can increase errors. “This is a big
earned global recognition for its focus on providing its cus-             deal," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "This is as far
tomers with a quality product,” said Jim Albaugh, ceo, Boeing             as our government has ever gone" to protect the traveling pub-
Commercial Airplanes. “We are extremely proud of our part-                lic from pilot fatigue. Carriers have two years to adapt to the
nership with Etihad Airways and are confident the 787                     new rules. The FAA estimated the cost to industry at $297 mil-
Dreamliner and the 777 Freighter will make valuable contribu-             lion over 10 years, a fraction of the $2 billion a year that an air-
tions to Etihad’s growth plans and service to its passenger and           line trade association had estimated the draft proposal released
freight customers.” The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an all-new               by FAA over a year ago would cost. The airline industry had
commercial jetliner that brings new efficiencies to airlines and          opposed the draft rule as too costly for the safety benefits it
delivers superior comfort to passengers. The Dreamliner is the            would achieve. But FAA officials made substantial changes to
fastest-selling twin-aisle airplane in aviation history, with more        the final rule to lower the cost. Several expensive reporting and
than 800 orders from 58 customers around the world. The                   training requirements were eliminated. Safety advocates have
order also included two Boeing 777 Freighters, which increas-             been urging FAA for more than two decades to update pilot
es Etihad’s current Boeing 777 backlog to 12 airplanes.                   work rules, but previous efforts stalled after airlines and pilots
                                                                          unions were unable to agree on changes. Those efforts were
The Abu Dhabi-based airline’s fleet currently includes eight              revived after the February 2009 crash near Buffalo that killed
Boeing 777-300ERs and one 777 Freighter. The 777 freighter                50 people. The rules would limit the maximum time a pilot can
is the world’s longest-range, twin-engine freighter and features          be scheduled to be on duty - including wait time before flights
the lowest trip cost of any large freighter, with high-cargo den-         and administrative duties - to between nine and 14 hours.
sity and 10-foot (3.1-meter) interior height capability that com-
                                                                          Air Transat designated first certified green airline by World
plements the popular 747 freighter family. Etihad Airways was
                                                                          Green Aviation Council
voted “World’s Leading Airline” by World Travel Awards. It also
followed that victory this year by picking up “Middle East’s              Air Transat has become the first airline to be certified green by
Leading Airline”. The carrier has also been nominated for                 the World Green Aviation Council. The certification, Fly-360-
“World’s Leading Airline” at 2011 World Travel Awards Grand               Green™, consists of a comprehensive system for rating the
Final, which takes place in Doha Qatar on 11 January 2012.                design, innovation and operation of highly sustainable airlines
                                                                          and airports.
FAA updates work rules on airline pilot fatigue

The government told passenger airlines Wednesday they'll have
to do more to ensure pilots aren't too tired to fly, nearly three
years after the deadly western New York crash of a regional air-
liner flown by two exhausted pilots.




                                                                     33
           Aviation Watch

“We are extremely proud to have obtained this certification,”              source said. The individual added that the situation is beyond
said Allen B. Graham, President and CEO, Air Transat. “Our air-            the control of the airline and is a normal occurrence around
line has implemented a great many measures and programs                    this time of the year. Attempts to get a comment from Rubis on
geared toward environmental protection and sustainable                     the situation up until press time were unsuccessful. Meanwhile,
development, including a fuel management program to lower                  authorities in Montserrat say they expect travel to and from the
CO2 emissions. Over the past few years, we have adopted                    island to be difficult over the next two days. That country’s
measures to save water and energy, promote recycling and                   Ministry of Communications, in a brief statement, said both air-
reduce waste. And we are continuing our group effort with                  lines are currently making best efforts to minimise disruptions
employees to keep on improving our environmental perform-                  to their service.
ance. “The World Green Aviation Council’s Fly-360-Green cer-
tification is intended to provide the airline industry and airports        American Airlines Approved for iPad in All Flight Phases
with a concise framework for identifying and implementing
collaborative and measurable green aviation designs, innova-               American Airlines pilots said the airline received approval from
tions, and operations solutions. Using the 55 different environ-           the FAA last week to use Apple iPad tablet computers for digi-
mental initiatives in the three main categories found in the               tal charts and manuals in all phases of flight, including take-off
Airline Environmental Management Framework (Daily                          and landing, making American the first carrier to use iPads in
Operational Activities, Corporate Environmental Management                 the cockpit for expanded capability. The airline will use the
Practices, and Corporate Policies/Strategic Planning), airlines            iPad on its Boeing 777s as a Class 1 electronic flight bag (EFB),
and airports can qualify one of for three certification levels: A          described by the FAA as a portable, commercial off-the-shelf
class (over 110 points), B-class (100–109 points) and C-class              computing device that is not attached or mounted to the air-
(90–99 points) for airlines; and A-class (over 60 points), B-class         craft. The approval covers a Class 1 EFB running Type A and
(50–59 points) and C-class (40–49 points) for airports. The                Type B software applications for electronic manuals and charts,
World Green Aviation Council consists of member airlines and               said Capt. Hank Putek, the airline’s EFB team lead and a mem-
airports from around the globe dedicated to a simple mission:              ber of the Allied Pilots Association (APA) Safety Committee. The
foster an international standard for sustainable aviation through          AFA serves as the collective bargaining agent representing
cutting-edge technological advancements, while also taking                 11,000 American Airlines pilots.
into consideration aviation's absolute emissions, which are con-
stantly on the rise despite various pro-environmental actions
taken by stakeholders. Air Transat is Canada’s leading holiday
travel airline. Every year, it carries some 3 million passengers to
nearly 60 destinations in 25 countries aboard its fleet of Airbus
wide-body jets. The company employs approximately 2,000
people. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., an
integrated international tour operator with more than 60 desti-
nation countries and that distributes products in over 50
countries.

Aviation gas shortage interrupts regular flight service

A shortage of Avgas (aviation gasoline) in Antigua has forced at
least two airlines to reduce normal loads and divert to another
country for fuel.SVG Air, which operates three flights daily to            The FAA requires that crewmembers secure or stow Class 1
the sister isle of Barbuda and Fly Montserrat have had to seek             EFBs not attached or mounted to the aircraft during critical
alternative fuel sources due to what they said was a shortage of           flight phases. Those with Type B software, including “dynamic,
fuel from RUBIS, which refuels aircraft at the VC Bird                     interactive applications,” may be used, but must be “secured
International Airport. The situation, which started over the               and viewable during critical phases of flight and must not inter-
weekend, has caused scores of passengers to part with their                fere with flight control movement,” states FAA draft advisory
luggage for at least a day, as passengers had to fly ahead of their        circular AC 120-76B, the latest guidance. American Airlines
bags. According to one source close to SVG Air, the airline has            pilots secure the iPad to the forward chart holder with an FAA-
had to fly from Antigua to Nevis to refuel at a cost of US $1,000          approved securing mechanism, details of which remain propri-
per trip, which it had to absorb. “The airline is trying to assist         etary, Putek said. American Airlines is not the only commercial
the passengers as much as it can,” the source said. “It is only            carrier to use iPads as EFBs, a practice that has proliferated in
able to operate the aircraft using whatever fuel is available and          business aviation, where fleet operators including Flexjet,
still leave enough fuel to return to Nevis for refuelling,” the            Executive Jet Management and Citation Air use the Apple


                                                                      34
                                                                                                                   Aviation Watch

device. Last spring, Alaska Airlines started issuing iPads to              This is the third cash of the IAF's frontline fighter aircraft since
1,400 pilots to replace paper manuals, largely as a weight and             they were inducted into the IAF in 1997. In 2009 the IAF had
fuel-saving measure. United Continental started distributing               lost two Sukhoi-30MKI jets. While one of the Russian-origin
iPads to 11,000 pilots in August, and it expected to complete              combat jets had crashed on April 30, 2009 about 70 km south-
the deliveries by year-end. In Europe, cargo carrier Amapola               east of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, the second crash, too, had taken
has received approval from the Swedish CAA to use the iPad as              place near Jaisalmer on November 30. In the first incident the
a Class 2 EFB—a device mounted and connected to the air-                   cause of the crash was attributed to the failure of Su-30MKI's
craft—on its Fokker 50 turboprops. British Airways in                      sophisticated fly-by-wire system. The pilot, Wing Commander
November said it will distribute iPads to 2,000 senior cabin               SV Munje, and the co-pilot, Wing Commander PS Narah, had
crew for customer service applications. Nevertheless, American             managed to eject safely but the latter was killed after he was
Airlines’ enhanced use of the iPad, containing what Putek                  reportedly hit by the falling debris of fighter jet. In the second
described as a “custom-built” version of Jeppesen’s Mobile TC              crash both the pilots ejected safely. Sukhoi's 20 Squadron
Pro application software, demonstrates the growth potential of             'Lightnings' and 30 Squadron 'Rhinos' are based in Pune and the
the device in commercial aviation. American started flight trials          24 Squadron 'Hawks' are located in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
using digital manuals, a Type A application, in May 2010 and
gained FAA approval to use the iPad as a Class 1 EFB shortly               Delhi couple among five dead in Vegas chopper crash
thereafter, Putek said. The airline began 777 flight evaluations
for its latest approval on June 16 this year in Los Angeles. “The          An Indian couple was among five people killed when a tour
trials were flown to the Far East, Europe and domestically,”               helicopter crashed into a mountainside near Las Vegas in the
Putek said. “Literally thousands of hours and test points were             US. The helicopter was touring the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover
gathered during the evaluation.”                                           Dam at sunset on Wednesday when it crashed near the bottom
                                                                           of a canyon about 150 feet deep in the River Mountains bor-
                                                                           dering Lake Mead.
AIR CRASH / INCIDENTS / INVESTIGATIONS

IAF Su-30MKI crashes near Pune, pilots eject

An Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-MK30I fighter aircraft crashed
at Vadebolai near Pune on Tuesday afternoon. The Su-MK30I
jet took off from Pune's Lohegaon IAF base around 1245 and
crashed at 1:10 pm. Locals said that they saw both the pilots
eject before the crash. "Both the pilots flying the aircraft eject-
ed in time and landed safely. They have been evacuated and
taken to the base for medical attention," IAF spokesperson
Wing Commander Gerard Galway said. "A Court of Inquiry
(CoI) has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the crash and
an IAF team has been rushed to the site of the wreckage," he
said in New Delhi. He said the aircraft lost contact with the
base after apparently developing a technical problem, but the
pilots managed to eject out safely in time. No casualty was                The cause of the crash is still under investigation; Las Vegas
reported on the ground, he said                                            Review-Journal said adding that no recording devices were
                                                                           found on board the chopper. The copter had engine work the
                                                                           day before the crash landing, Journal said quoting local offi-
                                                                           cials. The newspaper says the coroner's office is working with
                                                                           family members in New Delhi, India, to identify two sightseers.
                                                                           The victims died of multiple blunt force trauma and suffered
                                                                           thermal injuries in the fiery crash, according to the coroner's
                                                                           report. Authorities removed bodies from the crash site on
                                                                           Thursday but didn't immediately release the names of the five
                                                                           people who died in the fiery crash of the AS350BS helicopter
                                                                           operated by Sundance Helicopters of Las Vegas. Clark County
                                                                           Coroner Michael Murphy said he cannot release the names of
                                                                           any victims because bodies have not been fully identified, a
                                                                           process that will likely involve the use of DNA, fingerprint and


                                                                      35
           Aviation Watch

dental records. Three other victims, the pilot, 31-year-old                said, adding that every accident is thoroughly investigated by a
Landon Nield of Las Vegas, and 49-year-old passengers Delwin               court of inquiry to ascertain its cause and remedial measures
and Tamara Chapman, a Kansas couple celebrating their 25th                 are taken to check their recurrence. He said a multi-discipline
wedding anniversary, had been identified by relatives. Federal             study team has been formed by the IAF to investigate the acci-
Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the heli-                dents. On the phase-out of aging aircraft, Antony said the deci-
copter was an AS-350, a model that can carry up to six                     sion is taken based on various factors, including residual life of
passengers and is often used for such tours.                               the plane and operational considerations. The fleet, he said, is
                                                                           reviewed by the government from time to time, and this is a
Antony contradicts air force chief on plane crashes                        continuous process.

Contradicting the Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Defence Minister           Jet Airways plane makes emergency landing
A.K. Antony Monday told parliament that inexperience of
pilots "is not" one of the major reasons for aircraft accidents,           A Jet Airways flight, with over 50 passengers on board, made
even as he pointed out that 30 combat planes and 10 helicop-               an emergency landing on Monday, less than an hour after take-
ters have crashed in the last four years. Antony, in a written             off from the NSCB International airport in Kolkata.
reply in the Lok Sabha, said the government is taking steps to
train pilots to prevent air crashes due to human error.




                                                                           Airport sources said the Bhubaneswar-bound Jet flight, which
                                                                           took off from the airport at 6.20 p.m., came back at around
                                                                           7.10 p.m. after the pilot informed the ATC that the plane’s
“The inexperience of pilots is not one of the major reasons for            smoke alarm went off when it was mid-air. Though crew mem-
aircraft accidents in the IAF," Antony said to questions on media          bers could not detect any smoke or fire within the aircraft
reports in this regard. On Air Force Day Oct 8 this year, the IAF          despite a thorough check inside after the smoke alarm buzzer
chief, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, had told                went off, they did not take any chance, the sources said. With
reporters that the recent spate of MiG crashes was due to the              all emergency procedures in place, the passengers were evac-
inexperience of pilots in all but one case this year.                      uated after landing and the aircraft was now being checked by
“Nevertheless, steps have been taken by the government to                  experts. Arrangements were being made to accommodate the
train pilots to prevent accidents due to human error. “These               stranded passengers in another Bhubaneswar-bound plane, the
include increase use of simulators to practice procedures and              sources said.
emergency actions, focused and realistic training with addition-
al emphasis on the critical aspects of mission, introduction of            Emergency landing for Qatar Airways Flight
crew resource management and operational risk management
to enable safe mission launches, aviation psychology courses               Passengers of Qatar Airways flight had to undergo some tense
and introduction of aerospace safety capsules in the ab-initio             moments after the aircraft made an emergency landing at the
training of aircrew," he said. Antony said during the three years          Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad in the
from April 1, 2008 to Dec 3, 2011, 30 fighter aircraft, includ-            early hours of Friday.
ing 16 MiG-21s, and 10 IAF helicopters had crashed. Twenty-
six defence personnel, including 13 pilots, lost their lives in the        The flight coming from Doha to Bangalore faced problems in
accidents. Six civilians were also killed. “The main causes for            landing at the Bangalore airport due to inclement weather.
the accidents were human error and technical defects," Antony              After alerting the Air Traffic Control (ATC) there, the aircraft was


                                                                      36
                                                                                                                    Aviation Watch




diverted to Hyderabad and made an emergency landing at the                   The accident occurred when an Air India Express plane from
RGIA around 5 a.m., sources said. Over 240 passengers were                   Dubai overshot the table-top runway at the Mangalore airport
travelling in the aircraft. Airlines officials later made alternative        and plunged over a cliff into a wooded valley on May 22,
arrangements to ferry passengers to Bangalore.                               2010. Eight passengers survived miraculously though the plane
                                                                             burst into flames after the crash at 6.10 a.m. Chief Pilot, who
Near-miss may have involved third jet                                        ignored the pleas by co-pilot to go around instead of touching
                                                                             down, is believed to have caused the accident. Mr. Beary said
A third aircraft may have been involved in triggering alarms last            the CEO had stated that Air India was keen to settle the claims
week when the flight paths of an Air Arabia and Qatar Airways                before the end of this month. Those who obtain compensation
jet almost crossed. Indian authorities said yesterday that their             would not have to sign a statement saying that the compensa-
investigation found that another plane had been flying nearby.               tion received is final. Thus the option of approaching the court
There were "two aircraft going up and another one also which                 and securing higher compensation would be open for them.
was on its level", said a senior official from the Directorate               This promise had been given earlier to a delegation of the asso-
General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), who stressed the findings                  ciation when it had met Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi; Mr.
were preliminary. The Air Arabia and Qatar Airways aircraft                  Beary said.The association had approached the Supreme Court
were initially believed to have violated the 1,000foot minimum               on the grounds that the families of all the victims should get
vertical distance allowed between planes last Wednesday. The                 compensation as suggested in the Montreal Convention. Mr.
Qatar Airways jet had been flying from Doha to Kozhikode in                  Beary said a request was made to the CEO that those who had
southern India, and the Air Arabia plane from Kozhikode to                   taken compensation — 62 families in all — should get the ben-
Sharjah, the Hindustan Times of Indiareported. The incident is               efit of obtaining more compensation if the Supreme Court
being investigated by DGCA authorities based in Mumbai, in                   decided in favour of the association. He said this demand had
whose airspace the event is said to have taken place. It added               not been accepted immediately. However, the CEO had prom-
that the warning that the aircraft were flying too close came                ised that this would be considered, Mr. Beary added.
from an in-plane Traffic Collision Avoidance System. A Qatar
Airways spokesman said the airline was investigating the inci-               Seven animals-hits on runways in 2011
dent and had no further comment. Air Arabia did not respond
to requests for comment.                                                     There's a virtual zoo on Indian runways. This year has so far
                                                                             witnessed as many as seven instances of animals like fox,
Mangalore Air crash Compensation: Families meet AI                           jackal, deer, pigs and dogs hitting aircraft or coming dangerous-
Express COO                                                                  ly close to them. The number of animal incursions on runways
                                                                             has sharply risen in 2011, as there were only one and two hits
A delegation comprising families of the Mangalore air crash vic-             in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Aviation minister Vayalar Ravi
tims met a top official of Air India on Monday here seeking an               told Lok Sabha on Wednesday that a fox was reported on
early settlement of their compensation claims. President of the              Cochin runway by an Air Asia flight this April. Then in May, an
Mangalore Air Crash Victims' Families Association Mahammad                   AI flight did not land in Delhi because of a jackal on the
Beary told The Hinduthat the official – Chief Executive Officer              runway and a deer hit a JetLite flight in Nagpur. In June, an AI
(CEO) S. Chandrakumar – had promised that a team along with                  flights hit two pigs in Nagpur and a deer hit an AI flight in the
the Air India's advocate would soon visit Mangalore to settle the            same city. And in August, IndiGo flights were greeted by dogs
pending cases of payment of compensation.                                    in Mumbai and Pune. Last year was much safer with just one
                                                                             case. Ravi listed the steps taken to prevent such incidents,

                                                                        37
           Aviation Watch

which include installing grills at water drainage points around           Following the exercise, the airport director went through the
airports; regular patrolling to find breaches in perimeter walls          actions taken to ensure that all procedures for such an eventu-
and deploying bird chasers.                                               ality was properly followed according to the rule book. The air-
                                                                          lines that participated in the event included Spice Jet, Indigo,
Five including an Indian killed in small Plane crash on New               Go Airways, Air India, Kingfisher, Jet, Emirates, Qatar among
Jersey Highway                                                            others. Among the hospitals Apollo, Chandramani, Rajasthan
                                                                          and Civil Hospitals participated in the exercise.
Two investment bankers were among five people killed
Tuesday when a small plane crashed on a New Jersey highway.               Tool forgotten inside, JetLite engine fails mid-flight
Jeffrey F. Buckalew, 45, and Rakesh Chawla, 36, worked in the
New York offices of Greenhill and Company, the firm said in a             An aircraft maintenance engineer forgot to remove a tool from
statement. Buckalew owned the plane and was piloting it.The               the engine of a JetLite plane that was flying from Ranchi to
other victims were believed to be Buckalew's wife, Corinne,               Mumbai last month, causing it to lose an engine and make an
and their two children, Jackson and Meriwether, according to              emergency landing in Nagpur. The incident occurred on
the statement.                                                            November 13. There were more than 130 passengers on board
                                                                          flight S2-722 at the time. The engineer has been suspended
                                                                          pending inquiry by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
                                                                          Official documents accessed by The Indian Express reveal that
                                                                          the engineer and a technician, while conducting ground main-
                                                                          tenance work, left behind a tool in the engine cavity. The tech-
                                                                          nician fitted the bolts but failed to notice a gap that was creat-
                                                                          ed after the covering didn’t sit on the engine properly. Friction
                                                                          during the flight created a hole in the covering through which
                                                                          oil leaked and the engine failed. On December 14, the airline
                                                                          finalised a Permanent Investigation Board. It was found that the
                                                                          oil leak and low-oil pressure warning from the No. 2 engine
                                                                          was caused due to oil leaking from a hole in the N2 drive pad.
                                                                          “The hole in the N2 drive pad was caused by rubbing action of
                                                                          an expander tool which was left in the cavity of N2 drive dur-
The single-engine Socata TMB-700 went down on Interstate                  ing maintenance action on the engine during the previous
287 in Harding, N.J., at 10:04am.It had taken off from                    night,” states one of the documents. On observing the low oil
Teterboro Airport in Bergen County -- about 33 miles east of              pressure, the crew initially conducted the necessary drills but
Harding -- at around 9:50am, and was flying at an altitude of             then gave out a pan-pan call (indicating urgency on board) to
17,500 feet before it crashed, National Transportation Safety             the Nagpur Air Traffic Control, which permitted an emergency
Board (NTSB) spokesman Bob Gretz said at a press conference               landing. Confirming the incident and the emergency landing,
Tuesday.A fire erupted after the crash and debris were spread             Jet Airways spokesperson Srirupa Sen said: “This was necessi-
in a half-mile radius from the impact site, Gretz said. It was not        tated as an engineer did not follow the recommended proce-
known what caused the plane to go down. Gretz said a com-                 dure in accordance with the maintenance manual. This over-
plete fact-finding investigation would take six to 12 months.             sight led to loss of engine oil during the flight, but in no way put
The plane had been in contact with an FAA radar facility in               our guests and crew under any threat. After rectification of the
Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and lost communication shortly before the               technical snag, the aircraft has been put back into service. The
crash. Gretz said the pilot had been speaking to the FAA about            concerned engineer has been suspended pending investigation
icing. It was not immediately known if the pilot was referring to         of the incident by DGCA Air Safety.”
ice in the clouds or on the aircraft, but the communication was
described by Gretz as a conversation, "not a distress call."              Airports Authority of India to review jet crash

Crash preparedness tested at Ahmedabad airport                            While the Indian Air Force (IAF) has already initiated a court of
                                                                          inquiry into the crash of a Sukhoi-30 MkI fighter jet near Wade
The Airports Authority of India, along with several other air-            Bolhai village, 25 km north of Pune, the Airports Authority of
lines, hospitals and the state police and fire brigade personnel          India (AAI) is also reviewing the crash closely, as it shares the
carried out a full-scale exercise to ascertain its preparedness in        airstrip with the IAF at Lohegaon airport.
case of an aircraft crash. The mock-drill was carried out at SVPI
Airport, Ahmedabad in which a bus was used instead of an air-             According to airport officials, the crash forced airport authori-
craft to represent a crash-landed plane on runway 23.                     ties to delay landing of three commercial flights on Tuesday.


                                                                     38
                                                                                                               Aviation Watch

                                                                        Chennai airport to hire agency to study spike in late night
                                                                        birth-hits

                                                                        The Airports Authority of India will hire a wildlife agency to
                                                                        study the spike in bird-hits at night in Chennai airport and sug-
                                                                        gestremedies. "Pilots have been reporting bird-hits at night
                                                                        while approaching the airport. This is the first time we have
                                                                        heard about night-time bird-hits in Chennai. So, we have
                                                                        decided to conduct a study by engaging an ornithologist," said
                                                                        airport director E P Hareendranathan. The works to extend sec-
                                                                        ondary runway across the Adyar river may have disturbed the
                                                                        habitat of birds, suspect AAI officials. An Indian Air Force study
                                                                        has also said that birds living near water bodies have been pos-
The AAI has to share the runway at with the IAF, which is a             ing risk to its flights. Chennai airport has identified an agency,
Sukhoi base. The IAF is always given priority for using the run-        Via Life Science, from a panel of ornithologists suggested by the
way. The director of Pune international airport, PSRK Sudhakar          National Bird Control Committee, which is under the Union
said, “After the crash, we delayed landing of three commercial          ministry of civil aviation. The committee has instructed all air-
aircraft belonging to Jet Airways, GoAir and IndiGo airlines            ports where bird-hits have been reported to study the problem
between 1.30 and 2 pm, as we wanted to keep the runway                  and take preventive measures. "We have contacted the agency
free for the IAF.”Sudhakar said, “The aircraft belonged to the          and they are ready to do a bird survey. They have also suggest-
IAF, and we have no role in the investigations. But since we            ed some equipment that needs to be installed to prevent bird-
share the runway with the IAF and the crash delayed our com-            hits. A final decision will be taken very soon after working out
mercial coperations, the AAI will review the incident. We will          the project cost," said a senior AAI official. The official said,
soon hold a meeting of all airlines to discuss Tuesday’s mishap.        majority of the bird-hits fell in the suspected category because
“Nearly 42 commercial flights operate from Lohegaon airport,            they didn't have strong evidence to prove it. "We are relying on
out of which two are international flights to Dubai and                 information passed on by the pilots." Bird-hits were not hap-
Frankfurt. On Saturdays, the airport is closed between 11.30            pening near the runway or inside the operational area, the offi-
am and 5 pm for maintenance of the runway by the IAF.The                cial said. "We have confirmed one incident where a Jet Airways
demand for a separate international airport for Pune has been           flight was hit by a bird when it was near the airport. So, we
pending for quite some time now.                                        have decided to study the change in trend," said
                                                                        Hareendranathan.

SAFETY / SECURITY                                                       Software to give ‘clear view’ of airport security

Govt enhances security of three major airports                          Chennai airport, among the eight high-profile airports in the
                                                                        country in terms of scope for security threat, could soon see
Government has enhanced the security of country's major air-            closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed along its
ports- Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad- by sanctioning more                 perimeter as part of a modern security management system.
than 250 additional CISF personnel for these facilities.                The Airports Authority of India(AAI) is in talks with US-based
                                                                        Raytheon for its software-based Clear View system at several
While 60 additional Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)            airports in the country, including Chennai. The Clear View sys-
personnel have been authorised for the Indira Gandhi                    tem of Raytheon, which installed the air traffic automation sys-
International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi, a contingent of 100 per-         tem at Chennai, is in use at several US airports and defence
sonnel has been approved for Mumbai International Airport.              establishments to automatically detect, assess and warn about
Hyderabad airport will get 75 additional para-military troopers,        threats and impending incidents.
Home Minister P Chidambaram told a reporter here today.
“The additional CISF posts have been created and sanctioned             "The system can take inputs from existing cameras and sensors
after a security audit of these airports demanded an increase in        to assess threats. Data can be integrated from multiple existing
the number of security personnel," a senior CISF official said.         systems to create a common operating picture. Users can
“The personnel will enhance the strength of the armed quick             change the workflow and security procedures without chang-
reaction teams (QRT) deployed for immediate action in case of           ing the core system software. It can be configured to suit exist-
a threat at airports," he said.                                         ing and future needs," said Robert Meyer, in-charge of business
                                                                        development, Air Traffic Management at Network Centric
                                                                        System, Raytheon. Raytheon has started ground work to ensure


                                                                   39
           Aviation Watch

the system will be foolproof. "A site survey is being done at the          The Meeting dealt with summing up the activities of the Project
airport to assess the existing system and to find out ways to              which had been implemented in the TRACECA beneficiary
install a modern one," said Saranjit Aujla, director, business             countries since February 2009. The Project initiated consider-
development, Network Centric Systems, Raytheon.                            able efforts directed towards improving aviation safety and air
                                                                           transport security in the TRACECA countries in compliance
                                                                           with international and European standards in the field of civil
                                                                           aviation. The Project actions were realized according to specif-
                                                                           ic needs of the TRACECA countries in the field of civil aviation.
                                                                           Within the framework of the Agenda Mr. Louis Gerlin, Project
                                                                           Team-Leader submitted the Activity Report since the inception
                                                                           phase of the Project, the comparison with the original action
                                                                           plan, the project plan till the end of the Project, as well as the
                                                                           presentation of the subsequent project, its scope, similarities
                                                                           and differences between these projects. During the discussions
                                                                           and exchange of views of the beneficiary countries’ represen-
                                                                           tatives there was held a round table on the issues of practical
                                                                           results and changes obtained in the course of the Project imple-
                                                                           mentation in the beneficiary countries. The round table partic-
The AAI and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security have shown               ipants highly appreciated the Project activity regarding the
interest in the system. "We'll be giving a demo of the system to           implementation of major components of technical training,
senior BCAS officials in a couple of months," said Aujla. There            Project mobility and technical assistance in training national
is a "comprehensive plan to install CCTV cameras on the oper-              administrations for ICAO audits, in the field of environmental
ational area, city side and along the perimeter. The camera sur-           protection for the Project beneficiaries, the Project activity
veillance of terminal buildings have been upgraded and con-                regarding the countries’ airlines blacklisted by the EU, as well
verted into live monitoring recently," said airport director E P           as the Project efforts towards coordination of its activity with
Hareendranathan. A recent attempt to smuggle ephedrine - an                sector organizations and projects of mutual interest. Taking into
off-duty contract worker sneaked it inside using the bonnet of             account considerable and effective results of the Project, Mr. E.
a tractor - brought to light lapses in the security procedures fol-        Biriucov, Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA expressed
lowed at the airport. "Unnecessary movements of workers and                hope for the improvement of cooperation between the
vehicles can be monitored by a modern security system," said               Permanent Secretariat and the Permanent Representations in
a senior AAI official. Currently, the airport's perimeter is moni-         the MLA TRACECA Parties and promotion of close coordina-
tored in the traditional way - by armed Central Industrial                 tion of activities within the framework of a new project on Civil
Security Force guards in watch towers at various points on the             Aviation Safety and Security scheduled for the beginning of
campus.                                                                    2012.

Final Meeting of the Steering Committee Members of                         Landings set to become safer at Cochin
TRACECA Civil Aviation Project
                                                                           As part of its attempts to raise the safety level of flight opera-
On 20-21 December 2011, in Brussels, Belgium, there was                    tions, the Cochin International Airport Limited has lined up
held the Final Meeting of the “TRACECA Civil Aviation Safety,              lights along the centre of its runway here to aid the pilots, espe-
Security and Environment Project”.                                         cially in adverse weather. Established at a cost of around Rs.2
                                                                           crore, the new installation at CIAL is the only such facility in air-
                                                                           ports in the State, said an official statement. The runway cen-
                                                                           tre-line lighting system consists of a single light installed at uni-
                                                                           form intervals to provide a continuous lighting reference for the
                                                                           aircraft. “The lights embedded on the runway are all white at
                                                                           the beginning and then alternate between red and white begin-
                                                                           ning at 900 m and eventually to continuous red lights for the
                                                                           last 300 m,” officials said.The system is not mandatory for CIAL,
                                                                           which has a Category-1 runway, but it has been established to
                                                                           provide enough lighting to guide an aircraft touchdown safely.




                                                                      40
                                                                                                                    Aviation Watch

Safety: DGCA follows zero tolerance policy                                  economic mechanism that will look into the issues of legality
                                                                            and others and come up with a report within five months," he
DGCA follows a zero tolerance policy on safety norms. In order              said. He added however, that it would not regulate the airfares
to ensure this DGCA has following processes:-                               or fix the tariff.

• DGCA makes annual program for surveillance/safety checks                  Govt to replace DGCA with Civil Aviation Authority news
  to be carried out by each Directorate and the same is
  displayed on the website of DGCA.                                         The ministry of civil aviation has informed the upper house of
• The deficiencies observed are categorized depending upon                  parliament that it proposes to set up a Civil Aviation Authority
  the level of severity as Class 1 and Class 11 deficiencies. All           to replace the existing Directorate General of Civil Aviation
  the findings are discussed for appropriateness of the action              (DGCA). The information was conveyed through a written
  taken.                                                                    reply in the Rajya Sabha by civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi.
• In addition, all the airlines are required to carry out Internal          He said apart from regulatory safety oversight functions of the
  Safety Audit and monthly Surveillance Checks. Report of                   DGCA, the proposed authority will have additional functions
  such Audit and Surveillance checks are to be submitted to                 relating to economic, consumer protection and environmental
  DGCA along with the action taken by the organization.                     regulations.
  Safety Inspections by the operator are also examined during
  safety checks by the DGCA officers. All the Airlines                      DGCA to spend Rs300cr on e-governance
  including Government owned Airlines have Flight Safety
  Manual and Chief of Flight Safety. Chief of Flight Safety of              India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil
  all the Airlines including the Government owned Airlines                  Aviation (DGCA), will invest Rs300 crore on an e-governance
  are approved by DGCA. Requirements for Flight Safety                      and office automation project acting on recommendations
  Manual and Chief of Flight Safety are given in CAR Section                made by non-profit National Institute for Smart Government
  5, Series F Part 1.                                                       (NISG).''NISG will make a comprehensive report on computer-
                                                                            ization of DGCA. We are expected to float a request for pro-
                                                                            posal (RfP) by March,'' said EK Bharat Bhushan, director gener-
GOVERNMENT / REGULATORY
                                                                            al of civil aviation.

Government to introduce new civil aviation policy news

The government is expected to come out with a new civil avi-
ation policy in the next five months, aimed at boosting invest-
ment and infrastructure for the fast-growth sector in the next 10
years, a senior official said today. Also, the civil aviation min-
istry is working on a new economic regulatory mechanism for
pricing of air tickets as the industry passes through a turbulent
phase despite passenger traffic growth. “We have started fresh
work on the new Civil Aviation policy to meet the challenges of
the new decade. It will look into issues of sustainability, viabil-
ity and human resource of the sector," civil aviation secretary S
Nasim Zaidi said while inaugurating a conference a seminar,
"Air Cargo as Engine of Economic Growth", organised by the                  All data of the regulator, including those on pilots and aircraft,
Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India                       would be automated, NISG chief executive Sanjiv Mital
(ASSOCHAM) in Delhi. The new policy would help attract pri-                 said.DGCA's functions include registration of civil aircraft, for-
vate sector investments. It would also emphasise on setting up              mulation of standards of airworthiness for civil aircraft, granting
an air cargo promotion board, Zaidi said. He added "we have                 certificates of planes' airworthiness, licensing of pilots, aircraft
about five months to complete the process”. He also said that               maintenance engineers, flight engineers, air traffic controllers
the ministry was working on an economic regulatory mecha-                   and conducting examinations. ‘The automation is expected to
nism for pricing of air tickets as the airlines had blamed losses           be completed in two years,'' Bhushan said. ''All examinations,
to the pricing of air ticket below their cost price. “It (pricing of        including commercial pilot licence and air transport pilot
air ticket) is the thrust area. We are also working on an                   licences, would be online in three months. ‘According to NISG's




                                                                       41
           Aviation Watch

Mital, once the project is complete, DGCA can track any data              at DGCA. Once that happens, people will be able to appear for
in the system.                                                            online exams when they want instead of the DGCA setting
                                                                          dates," DGCA chief Bharat Bhushan said.
A380 operators seek consent to operate from India
                                                                          Aviation ministry clears 26 per cent FDI in airlines: report
Singapore, UAE and Germany have sought permission to oper-
ate the Airbus 380 superjumbo - the world's largest commercial            The ministry for civil aviation may have finally seen reason and
aircraft - to India. According to aviation minister Vayalar Ravi,         cleared a draft proposal that would allow foreign airlines to
the government is yet to provide consent. Within the country,             pick up 26 per cent stake in Indian carriers, reports emanating
Delhi and Hyderabad airports are capable of handling the                  from the capital suggest.
aircraft.




                                                                          So far, the ministry had dug in its heels on the issue and refused
                                                                          to consider offering a stake of more than 24 per cent to foreign
There are fears that opening up India's airports to the A380s             carriers. A 26 per cent stake will allow an investor the right to
would mean domestic Indian airlines simply may end up losing              block special resolutions on the board and have a greater say
huge amounts of traffic. No Indian airline has ordered an A380            in business decisions. According to government sources, the
except Kingfisher, which has postponed deliveries. According              civil aviation ministry has sent its response to a draft Cabinet
to Airbus estimates, Indian carriers will need over 60 A380's by          note to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion
2028.While Airbus argues that international operations out of             (DIPP) on December 7, which likely contains its approval to the
India in the future will require the A380, given the traffic              proposal. DIPP had proposed 26 per cent FDI in airlines for
growth and congestion in places such as Delhi and Mumbai,                 foreign investors but failed to muster support from the civil avi-
critics argue that with the country's airport infrastructure still        ation ministry though it received backing from the ministry of
developing, the need for the A380 is not as compelling as it              finance.DIPP operates under the commerce and industry min-
looks.                                                                    istry.26 per cent FDI in airlines has also received clearance the
                                                                          ministry for home affairs besides the Planning Commission. The
DGCA to conduct pilot examinations online - soon on                       issue is now likely to be brought before the Cabinet for formal
demand                                                                    approval and implementation.

India will soon hold pilot exams on demand, which means that               AIRPORT / INFRASTRUCTURE
whenever a candidate wants to appear for commercial pilot
licence (CPL) or airline transport pilot licence (ATPL) to become
a commander, he or she can appear for the exam online, get                AAI revenue from DIAL, MIAL doubles in five years
the result instantly, and the same be sent to the Directorate
General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) online for issuance of the               The revenue earned by the Airports Authority of India, in the
licence. These moves would remove the scope for human                     joint ventures, at the Delhi and Mumbai airports has increased
intervention - and hence hopefully end the malpractices                   by around 100 per cent in last five years, the government said
exposed in the recent fake pilot scam. The first move towards             today. “The AAI received Rs277 crore and Rs233 crore from
that was taken this week when 3,531 aspirants appeared for                the joint venture companies Delhi International Airport Ltd
online CPL and ATPL exams over the next week in six metros.               (DIAL) and Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) in 2006-
"This was one major change we were pushing for. By next                   07. The revenue earned by AAI in 2010-11 was Rs582 crore
March, we will issue tenders for computerization of processes             from DIAL and Rs464 crore from MIAL," civil aviation minister


                                                                     42
                                                                                                                   Aviation Watch

Vayalar Ravi said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. In 2007-08,              course followed by wing commander Vikramsingh D. Gorpade
AAI earned Rs408 crore and Rs337 crore, Rs446 crore and                     (second rank with 94 per cent) and air commander Arun
Rs375 crore in 2008-09 and Rs544 crore and Rs397 crore in                   Kumar Barik, wing commanders Charles A. Thomas and S.K.
2009-10 from DIAL and MIAL respectively, he said. Earlier, in               Mishra (third rank with 92 per cent). IIM Shillong is also tapping
its report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had said              the opportunity for equipping people to take up global ven-
that AAI could have earned an additional 24 per cent revenue                tures in building India’s infrastructure through public-private
from the DIAL had it managed its contract with the private-led              partnership and foreign direct investment. The B-school has
operator more effectively. It recommended amendments to the                 also set up an East Asia Centre for materialising the global tie-
provisions of the OMDA to include penalty clauses for protect-              ups/MoUs/exchanges/placements in areas of national impor-
ing the interests of the AAI against delayed payments by DIAL.              tance. The National Rural Health Mission, Meghalaya, has
Terming the revenue sharing model between DIAL and AAI as                   utilised the expertise of IIM Shillong under the chairmanship of
"defective", the government audit body found that AAI's receiv-             Prof. Shajahan to shape the health delivery system in the state
able annual fee saw a "substantial reduction".                              through Sustainable Healthcare Management Systems. The first
                                                                            batch of 20 doctors is going to complete the training coupled
IIM tips on airport infrastructure                                          with field visits to primary and community health centres and
                                                                            civil hospitals organised by Apollo Hospitals, Military Hospital,
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong will send                 NEIGRIHMS and Nemcare on December 14.
recommendations for development of airport infrastructure to
the Centre, other Northeast states and the Indian Air Force.                Airport Infrastructure development encouraged
The B-school had conducted a six-month IIM certificate course
on Sustainable Airport Infrastructure Building and Project
Management for 35 officers and air warriors of Indian Air Force
at the headquarters of the Eastern Air Command. The course
concluded today. The course was inaugurated on April 21 by
then air marshal K.K. Nohwar, in the presence of Prof. S.
Shajahan, dean (planning and research) of IIM Shillong and
programme chair. The course covered issues pertaining to
strategic, tactic and operational activities in the form of model
concession agreement in Greenfield airports and non-metro
airport projects. Projects that came up for discussion during the
course included assessment of facilities required to develop
Umroi Airport, greenfield airport in Shillong, creation of infra-
structure for medium-lift helicopters in the Northeast, and
techno-economic feasibility study for installation of Brownfield
Helicopter in Upper Shillong. This will be forwarded to state               Government is encouraging development of airport infrastruc-
and Union governments and Indian Air force for implementa-                  ture by way of expansion/upgradation of existing airports
tion with due recommendation from IIM Shillong shortly,” said               including small and medium airports to attract foreign tourists
Prof. Shajahan.                                                             and through establishment of new airports (including
                                                                            Greenfield airports) with a view to ensure;-
Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) had collaborated with
IIM Shillong to train participants on civil aviation in Terminal III        (I) Infrastructure to be in place ahead of demand.
of Delhi airport under the guidance of Bhupesh Joshi, vice-
president, terminal operations, DIAL/GMR group. At present,                 (ii) Support for airport infrastructure development initiatives to
airports in the region are categorised as operational/non-oper-                  facilitate/encourage air connectivity to remote and
ational. Guwahati, Tezu, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, North Lakhimpur,                     inaccessible areas of tourist importance.
Tezpur, Dimapur, Silchar, Imphal, Aizawl and Agartala are oper-
ational with B737/A 320 aircraft and Shillong with ATR-42/72.               (iii) Government has also declared 17 airports as international
Rupsi, Sheila, Kailashahar, Kamalpur, Khawai, Ziro, Daporijo,                     airports and 09 airports as custom airports to facilitate
Passighat and Alonq are non-operational. Director-cum-princi-                     foreign tourist across the country.
pal, faculty management, at Institute of Engineering and
Management, Pradip Kumar Misra, was the chief guest during                  In addition, Airports Operators are providing world class
the valedictory function held on the IIM campus here today. Air             infrastructure like terminal building, immigration facility, and
vice-marshall Pankaj Aneja, who scored 96 per cent in the                   city side development around airport. Also many airports at
overall evaluation, was the topper among the officers in the                places of tourist importance have been developed.


                                                                       43
          Aviation Watch

This information was given by the Minister of Civil Aviation,           Passengers flying through Amausi Airport may soon be
Shri Vayalar Ravi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.          introduced to a new terminal. Sources with the Airport
                                                                        Authorities of India said that the new terminal would undergo
New terminals at Chennai likely by June next year                       a trial run in two weeks' time, before it is finally thrown open
                                                                        to the public. Amausi Airport director, Atul Dikshit confirmed,
The transformation of the Chennai airport has been delayed by           "We will conduct a trial run soon. This will be done to check
more than two years. The cost of the project has escalated by           the glitches, if any, before its actual use starts.'' The airlines have
15% from `1,808 crore to `2,105 crore.                                  been asked to get their systems and other logistics placed at the
                                                                        new terminal building during the trial period. The move comes
                                                                        close on the heels of the AAI decision to impose
                                                                        user-development charge from the airlines, which eventually
                                                                        pass the burden on to the passengers. The old terminal build-
                                                                        ing, as a matter of fact, is quite old and lacks facilities as expect-
                                                                        ed by the passengers. The new terminal would provide a much
                                                                        better, if not state of the art, facilities to the passengers.
                                                                        Delayed by almost two years, the new facility has turned into a
                                                                        project causing constant embarrassment to the AAI. No wonder
                                                                        it is yet to be decided as to when the facility will be thrown
                                                                        open for public use. Officials at Amausi Airport maintain that
                                                                        their duty is to prepare and set the terminal for final use. "Any
                                                                        date as to when it will be inaugurated will be decided by the
                                                                        Ministry of Civil Aviation,'' an official said. With the state gear-
                                                                        ing up for assembly polls, probably in another four months'
                                                                        time, opening up of the terminal may just provide ample
 But the wait till June 2012, when the new domestic and inter-          mileage to the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. In
national terminals are expected to be up and ready, and the             fact, the utility was scheduled to be inaugurated on November
additional expenditure may be worth it. “Unlike any other air-          19 (the birth anniversary of Congress leader and former Prime
port in the world, passengers will have a clear view of the ver-        Minister Indira Gandhi).But with the facility yet to be made
tical gardens from any part of the [new] terminals. It would be         fully functional, the decision had to be postponed. Sources said
a mix of engineering and nature, interior and exterior spaces           that the AAI may take its time to announce the next date for
and a man’s relationship to earth and air travel,” said S.              getting the facility.
Bhaduri, executive director (projects) of Airports Authority of
India that controls the facility. The new terminals are expected        Beijing set to dethrone Atlanta as world's busiest airport
to clock between 72 and 75 green points of the total 100 for
integrated habited assessment. With energy conservation and
water management systems, the airport is expected to give pri-
vately operated facilities in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru
a run for their money. “The physical completion of works of the
domestic terminal building has been streamlined to be com-
pleted by end of January 2012 and the international terminal
building by end of February 2012,” said Mr Bhaduri.

New terminal at Amausi airport to go trail run soon




                                                                        The world's busiest airport by total passenger movements,
                                                                        Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, continues to
                                                                        stay ahead of Beijing, the world's second busiest airport,
                                                                        according to data released by the Airports Council International
                                                                        (ACI). But, data also suggests that it's only a matter of time


                                                                   44
                                                                                                                    Aviation Watch

before there is a status change and Beijing takes over the num-             Changi Airports Group, which has bagged more than 370 "best"
ber one spot. A decade ago, Beijing Capital did not even rate               awards for Singapore's Changi International Airport world-wide
among the world's top 30 airports, a list headed by Atlanta                 from travel trade groups and publications, would help GVK
since 1998. Also, this week, Tokyo Haneda surpassed London                  stave off competition from domestic and international rivals for
Heathrow as the world's third largest airport. Atlanta saw a                the multi-million Navi Mumbai airport bid.
5.3% decline in schedule frequency and 2.8% decline in seat
capacity in Dec-2011, according to OAG FACTS data. Beijing,                  TECHNOLOGY CIVIL / DEFENCE
meanwhile, reported a 3.1% increase in frequency and 4.5%
seat capacity growth in the month. At present, Atlanta has                  IBM opens first Airport Solutions Lab in India
around 94,000 more weekly seats, or 410,000 monthly seats
(Dec-2011) than its Chinese counterpart (equating to a 5% dif-              US technology giant IBM today announced the launch of its
ference in seats), despite Beijing Capital reporting stronger               Airport Solutions Lab in New Delhi. Airport Solutions Lab is a
year-on-year growth rates in recent months. Atlanta is also                 platform that will help operators in finding solutions to various
operating around 62% more frequencies in Dec-2011 than                      technical problems, like airport management, providing solu-
Beijing. While capacity and frequency trends over the past                  tions to airports and airlines.
decade highlight a stable upwards trend for Beijing and a weak-
ening trend for Atlanta, Atlanta will still end the year as the
world's largest airport, for the 14th consecutive year.
Meanwhile, the ACI in its October 2011 traffic release noted
that passenger growth remains in resilient and positive territory
despite the challenges in global markets. ''The looming risks in
major currency markets and economies have not yet affected
consumption patterns for air travel,'' ACI World's economics
director Rafael Echevarne commented. In Oct-2011, global
passenger traffic increased by 2.3%, with growth of 3.3% in
international markets and 1.5% on domestic sectors. On a
year-to-date basis, passenger traffic has increased by 4.6%,
with a 3.2% increase in domestic and a 6.1% strengthening in
international markets. London Heathrow, the world's third
largest airport, has lost its third ranking to an Asian counterpart,        Located in the Capital, the first-of-its-kind center will cater to
with Tokyo Haneda operating more capacity (seats) than                      airports in the Asia Pacific region, IBM said in a statement. The
London Heathrow in the week ended 11-Dec-2011.                              Airport Solutions Lab will host technical and subject matter
                                                                            experts who will help customers witness and understand the
Singapore's Changi Airports in talks to buy 26% in GVK                      various airport solutions. The lab will enable customers to have
Airport Holdings                                                            access to solutions on a wide range of areas such energy man-
                                                                            agement, asset management, space management, airport oper-
Singapore's Changi Airports International, a wholly-owned                   ations management and security management, among others.
subsidiary of Changi Airports Group, is in talks to buy a 26 per            As a regional hub, the lab will cater to airports across the entire
cent stake in GVK Power & Infrastructure's airport business.                Asia Pacific region. “Airports are fast becoming multi-modal
Citing a person familiar with the situation, The Economic Times             transportation hubs and it is important that airports embrace
today reported that the deal comes just before bidding for                  new technologies and infuse intelligence into their systems,"
building a planned airport at Navi Mumbai, expected next                    IBM Growth Markets Vice President (Distribution Sector)
year. Changi Airports International is likely to pay GVK Airport            Daniel O'Connell said.
Holdings Private Ltd between Rs2, 000 and 2,200 crore for the
                                                                            Technology to Replace Human Pilots in Civil Aircraft Exists
26 per cent stake, valuing the Hyderabad-based company's air-
port assets at Rs8, 000 crore. The valuation and the deal size              The necessary technologies to replace human pilots in civil air-
are much bigger than GVK's current market cap of Rs1, 738.70                craft exist and are already being used in the defence sector, an
crore. The deal will also help GVK, which holds debt of over                aviation industry expert has said. “Auto-pilot features are high-
Rs5, 000 crore, to finance its airport business. “The deal is in            ly advanced today. There are several technologies like naviga-
the final stages, and an announcement is likely to be made in               tion, computerised controls and satellite guidance to take over
January," the paper said quoting its source.GVK owns 50.5 per               every function of a human pilots and completely replace
cent of Mumbai's airport and 43 per cent of Bangalore airport,              them," said Triple Creek Ranch President and CEO Barbara
and is the operator for both airports. It holds the first right of          Barrett at the 'International Conference on Women in Civil
refusal to develop the Navi Mumbai airport. The deal with                   Aviation - 2011' here over the weekend.


                                                                       45
           Aviation Watch

                                                                            This will be the tenth consecutive year of growth. But the
                                                                            defense industry faces stiff headwinds from federal deficit-
                                                                            reduction measures. A mounting sense of urgency to address
                                                                            high levels of deficit spending by the U.S. is expected to induce
                                                                            cuts to the U.S. defense budget,” AIA said. “However, rising
                                                                            commercial aircraft sales could offset these drags on the mar-
                                                                            ket and may spur the commercial aviation sector to increase
                                                                            capital spending on new equipment. “The civil market growth
                                                                            is expected to continue, with close to $52 billion in sales pro-
                                                                            jected in 2012. Compound annual growth is estimated at 3.4
                                                                            percent from 2011 to 2013, spurred by increased production
                                                                            of the Boeing 787 and 747-8. AIA notes, however, that “sag-
                                                                            ging” airline demand in the U.S. and Europe will make manu-
                                                                            facturers more dependent on exports to Asia, the Middle East
"Aircraft can be remotely piloted across very long distances                and other fast-growth markets. The AIA’s perspective on the
now. In fact, human pilots can goof up more than the technol-               U.S. industry is echoed by Deutsche Bank’s just-released
ogy," she said. “Such technologies are already used in military             GlobalAerospace & Defense 2012 Outlook. It anticipates a
drones like Predators and Raptors," she added. Barbara is a for-            third successive year in which the commercial aerospace sec-
mer US ambassador to Finland, as well as the first woman to                 tor will outperform a defense industry confronting the prospect
land an F-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier. She has served on               of further deep cuts in spending by debt-strapped govern-
the board of US defence contractor Raytheon and is on the                   ments. The bank takes the view that commercial OEMs will
board of Rand Foundation at present. “But pilots are still nec-             continue to prosper in the New Year from large order backlogs
essary. Air travellers want a pilot announcing to them and re-              and the introduction of new aircraft. “The U.S. commercial
assuring them about their flight... It is the psychological factor,"        aerospace sector has proved resilient to broader macroeco-
she said. When asked if airlines may be tempted to use such                 nomic fears,” concluded Deutsche Bank, while warning that
technologies instead of spending money on training pilots, she              aftermarket suppliers could struggle from “macro-shocks. “As of
said: "We cannot tell anything about the future with certainty.             mid-December, the equity values of the U.S. firms analysed for
The technology certainly exists. Who knows, at some point of                the report were outperforming the overall S&P 500 group of
time, they may feel that the human interface may no longer be               public companies by 9 percent. Deutsche Bank’s five top aero-
necessary..."The conference was organised by the Indian                     space stock picks for 2012 are Boeing, Triumph Group, United
Women Pilots' Association(IWPA) to commemorate 100 years                    Technologies, Hexcel and General Dynamics.
of civil aviation in the country.
                                                                            Pratt & Whitney receives engine contract for Boeing C-17s
Civil Aircraft Sales Improve as Defense Cuts Loom                           from IAF




The trend of robust U.S. military aircraft sales offsetting a lag-          Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corporation has
ging civil aircraft market is changing. Delivering its year-end             received a contract to produce the first four F117-PW-100
review and forecast December 14 in Washington, D.C., the                    engines that will power the Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs for
Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) said civil aircraft sales            the Air Force, a company statement said today. The engines will
grew 3.2 percent to $49.7 billion in 2011. This follows a “dis-             be delivered in the second quarter of 2012. Earlier this year,
appointing” 2010, when sales declined 6 percent. U.S. military              the defence had signed a letter of offer and acceptance with
aircraft sales also grew in 2011, by 6.7 percent to $66.5 billion.

                                                                       46
                                                                                                                 Aviation Watch

the US government to acquire 10 C-17s. The Air Forcewill take              well.” Saab Aircraft Leasing is located at Sterling, VA, and has
delivery of its first C-17s in early 2013."We are delighted the Air        regional offices in Linköping and Tokyo. Subsequent these five
Force has selected the C-17 with Pratt & Whitney F117 engines              transactions it manages a fleet of 67 aircraft of which 42 are
to support its airlift mission. We look forward to helping                 owned byU.S.banks and managed under head lease contracts
strengthen the country's aerospace capabilities and humanitar-             the remainder wholly owned within Saab. Saab serves the glob-
ian efforts," Pratt & Whitney vice-president for military pro-             al market with world-leading products, services and solutions
grammes and customer support Bev Deachin said.                             ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has opera-
                                                                           tions and employees on all continents and constantly develops,
Saab Announces Transactions for Civil Aircraft                             adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’
                                                                           changing needs. The information is that which Saab AB is
                                                                           required to declare by the Securities Business Act and/or the
                                                                           Financial instruments Trading Act. The information was submit-
                                                                           ted for publication on 21 December at 11.15.

                                                                           Maryland Governor Endorses ARINC to Modernize Airports
                                                                           in India




Defence and security company Saab’s (STO: SAABB) subsidiary
Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL) announces five transactions of Saab
aircraft with a total value of approximately MUSD 60 (approx-
imately MSEK 400). The transactions will generate a capital
gain of approximately MSEK 100, of which MSEK 40 will be
recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011 and MSEK 60 in the first
half of 2012. The transactions include the sale of aircraft from
SAL’s European portfolio to Rockton Aviation (Sweden), Silver              Earlier this month, the ARINC joined Maryland Governor
Airways (U.S.), AeroCentury (U.S.) and Alandia Air (Finland).              Martin O'Malley and First Lady Katie O'Malley on a historic
Some deliveries took place in the fourth quarter of 2011 and               trade mission to India with a delegation of more than 100
the remainder will take place in first half of 2012. SAL has also          Maryland business leaders, educators and elected officials - the
entered into an agreement to a long term lease of a third air-             largest-ever trade mission delegation from Maryland. The pri-
craft to Siam General Aviation Company, Ltd in Thailand, an                mary objective of the trade mission was to create new invest-
aircraft that was recently delivered. “The intention to divest the         ment opportunities for Maryland businesses looking to enter or
leasing portfolio has been on-going for a number of years. This            expand into Indian markets and for Indian companies looking
is a natural step and the sale of these aircraft will make Saab            to enter U.S. markets by locating in Maryland. One of the high-
focus on core business issues,” says Michael Magnusson,                    lights of the mission was a meeting between Civil Aviation
President of Saab Aircraft Leasing. A total of 71 operators in 38          Minister Vayalar Ravi, Governor O'Malley and ARINC's Asia
countries around the globe operate over 450 Saab 340 and                   Pacific Managing Director Jim L. Martin to discuss the modern-
Saab 2000 aircraft. “The divestment of the aircraft fleet within           ization of India's airports, with reference to a recent tender
SAL is an asset sale by Saab. Saab’s business area Support and             issued by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to upgrade 25 of
Services will continue its business to provide global support for          its airports. Governor O'Malley mentioned that Maryland is one
the complete Saab 340 and Saab 2000 fleet,” continues                      of the top technology states in America, and ARINC has had an
Michael Magnusson, and concludes: “Saab sees continued                     established and outstanding record in helping airports world-
potential to further develop the existing aircraft into new spe-           wide enhance operations and improve passenger services by
cial mission roles and is actively marketing these platform solu-          leveraging of the latest cutting edge technologies. The compa-
tions to government and military customers. Business in this               ny has requested the Civil Aviation Minister to provide oppor-
sector will act to benefit commercial operators of the types as            tunities to help ARINC grow in India.


                                                                      47
           Aviation Watch

Russia to provide additional 42 Sukhoi fighters to India                 upgraded Sukhoi-30 MKIs will be able to carry a heavier
                                                                         weapons load, especially the airborne version of the Brahmos
Russia will provide an additional 42 Sukhoi frontline fighters to        cruise missile. India is also looking to upgrade most of its SU-
India under an agreement signed today, taking the bilateral              30 MKIs in the long run. The first delivery of the upgraded
defence cooperation to new heights. With this pact, the total            Sukhois is expected in 2014 and the last by 2018.According to
number of acquired or contracted aircraft by India in various            present projections, India plans to phase out 120 MiG 21s by
stages of manufacture of the frontline SU-30 MKI fighters                2017 and with the MMRCA still not a done deal, the SU-30
increases to 272.                                                        MKI fleet will be the mainstay. At their joint press conference,
                                                                         Medvedev said Indo-Russian Military-Technical Cooperation
The agreement for the upgraded Sukhois was signed by                     has reached "unprecedented levels" while Prime Minister Singh
Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and Russian Federal                 said this has reached 'qualitatively new levels."
Service for Military-technical Cooperation Director MA
Dmitriev in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
and President Dmitry Medvedev after their talks at the 12th
annual Indo-Russian Summit at the Kremlin. The pact, which
was among the five agreements initialled between the two
countries, came against the backdrop of a crash of an Indian Air
Force's Sukhoi-30 near Pune.The mishap, in which the two
pilots ejected safely, raised some technical questions and also
led to the grounding of the entire fleet of 120 planes pending
investigations. An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) and a
general contract were signed in 2000 for the manufacture of
140 Su-30 MKI aircraft by HAL. A 2007 protocol envisaged
manufacture of a further 40 aircraft. Earlier, 50 Su-30 aircraft
were purchased in phases prior to the signing of the IGA and
the deliveries started in the late 90s.The new version is expect-
ed to include a new cockpit, an upgraded radar and certain
stealth features to avoid radar detection. Significantly, the




                                                                    48
                                                                                                   Aviation Watch


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