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Aviation News

Star Alliance, Plug and Play partner to develop start-ups

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th December 2017 Global airline alliance Star Alliance has teamed up with start-up accelerator and innovation centre Plug and Play to identify and support relevant start-ups that are developing disruptive technologies in the travel and hospitality industry. The partnership will see the pair “accompany” the... 

South African regional operator orders two new airliners

By: Keith Campbell     15th December 2017 Privately-owned South African scheduled and non-scheduled domestic and international operations airline CemAir has concluded a $66-million deal with Canadian company Bombardier Aerospace for two new twin turboprop Q400 regional airliners. This follows on from a Letter of Intent signed between the... 

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

SAA, Mango rationalise and revise local schedules

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2017 National airliner South African Airways (SAA) and low-cost subsidiary Mango are planning to rationalise their route network to improve efficiencies, provide more diverse offerings and unlock optimal aircraft use. The two airline brands will ensure seamless implementation of the revised schedule,... 

UK group and top university unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th December 2017 British aerospace, defence, security and shipbuilding group BAE Systems and the University of Manchester unveiled on Wednesday their joint Magma experimental jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme. They announced that the Magma had successfully completed its first phase of flight... 

UK group and top university unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV
Photo by BAE Systems
The Magma UAV. Chairs just visible in the background give a rough idea of scale

European technology groups cooperating on electric propulsion for airliners

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus, British high performance power systems company Roll-Royce and German engineering and technology business Siemens have partnered to develop a hybrid-electric propulsion system for commercial aircraft which will be test flown in the near term, the three enterprises... 

Global air cargo rising, aviation working to revamp operations

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th December 2017 In a year characterised by positive growth, global air cargo is setting the stage for dramatic modernisation and transformation, the International Air Transportation Association (Iata) said on Wednesday. Air cargo accounted for about $6-trillion in the value of goods, representing 35% of global... 

Airport development not keeping pace with passenger growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th December 2017 Globally, airport capacity and airline demand for access to airports have not kept pace with one another, setting global aviation on a path to chaos should mitigation measures not be taken with urgency, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata). Passenger load factors are... 

Airport development not keeping pace with passenger growth

Iata prioritises safe integration of drones into airspace

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th December 2017 Given the evolution of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), more commonly referred to as drones, the International Air Transportation Association (Iata) is working on three specific focus areas to ensure this new branch of aviation is safely integrated and transitioned into the global airspace. The... 

Global air transport set for strong 2018 growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th December 2017 Despite entering what is typically considered the downturn year of a cyclical period in air travel, the aviation industry is expected to continue its strong growth in 2018, underpinned by strong global economic growth. While the past three cycles in air travel lasted around eight years before... 

Black Business Council suspends president over missing donation

By: African News Agency      4th December 2017 South Africa's Black Business Council (BBC) said on Monday it had suspended its president Danisa Baloyi pending an investigation into a missing R5-million donation. The black business lobby group said last week that Airports Company South Africa had confirmed making the donation, but that the... 

Black Business Council suspends president over missing donation
BBC president Danisa Baloyi

Nasa outlines the developments to watch in civil aeronautics

By: Keith Campbell     1st December 2017 The global aviation industry continues to be a rapidly growing sector, far from reaching maturity. This was stressed at the recent International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) open session at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) International Convention Centre (ICC) in... 

Nasa outlines the developments to watch in civil aeronautics

South African regional airline places order for two new airliners

By: Keith Campbell     30th November 2017 Privately-owned South African scheduled and non-scheduled domestic and international operations airline CemAir has concluded a $66-million deal with Canadian company Bombardier Aerospace for two new twin turboprop Q400 regional airliners. This follows on from a Letter of Intent signed between the... 

South African regional airline places order for two new airliners
Photo by Bombardier
A Bombardier Q400 in CemAir colours

AfDB approves $160m loan for second Nairobi runway

By: Reuters     29th November 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $160-million loan to Kenya for building a second runway at the main airport in the capital Nairobi, the bank said on Wednesday. The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has a single runway and plans for a second one were first announced in... 

SAA's debt at R13.8bn, losses to widen – executives

By: Reuters     29th November 2017 Losses at South African Airways (SAA) are set to widen to R4-billion ($292.86 million) in 2017/18 from a previous estimate of R2.8-billion, the State airline's CFO said, piling further pressure on government finances. Last week, SAA said even with a government injection of R10-billion, the... 

Big development push for electric propulsion for airliners by European groups

By: Keith Campbell     29th November 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus, British high performance power systems company Roll-Royce and German engineering and technology business Siemens have partnered to develop a hybrid-electric propulsion system for commercial aircraft. This is intended to be test flown in the near term, the three... 

Big development push for electric propulsion for airliners by European groups
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of the flight demonstrator aircraft; the electric motor is the inner engine

ACSA appoints new COO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th November 2017 Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has appointed Fundi Sithebe COO, effective December 1. Sithebe, currently the ACSA chief of staff reporting to CEO Bongani Maseko, holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Midrand University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Business... 

Airlink to seek regulatory approval to merge with low-cost airline Safair

By: African News Agency      27th November 2017 Airlink and Safair, two independent South African aviation groups, have said that they will on Tuesday apply to the Competition Commission for approval to unite under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies. The proposal sees the Airlink and low-cost FlySafair airlines and Safair's... 

Modest recovery in South African commercial aviation activity consolidated

By: Keith Campbell     24th November 2017 The Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (Caasa) has reported that its Aviation Activity Index (Caai) for the third quarter of this year had “consolidated its modest recovery from a disappointing first quarter”. The Caai is a composite index created to provide an indicator of... 

African business aviation association joins global industry body

By: Keith Campbell     21st November 2017 The five-year-old African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA), which was founded in May 2012 and currently has 121 members, has become the fifteenth member of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), which is the global industry association for the business or executive aviation... 

African business aviation association joins global industry body
Photo by ExecuJet
A wide range of business aircraft parked at ExecuJet’s facility at Lanseria International Airport, north west of Johannesburg

SAA remains undercapitalised, despite bailout 

By: Reuters     21st November 2017 South African Airways on Tuesday said even with a recent government injection of R10-billion ($709-million), the struggling airline will remain under-capitalised with a negative equity position of over R9-billion, a presentation to Parliament showed. The national airline has been relying on... 

SAA remains undercapitalised, despite bailout

Zuma vows govt will continue supporting embattled SAA

By: Reuters     20th November 2017 The government will continue supporting South African Airways (SAA) as the airline rebuilds itself, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday. "We will support SAA on its path towards renewal," said Zuma who was speaking at the launch of the KZN Invest SA One Stop Shop in Durban. 

High-tech SA firm aiming to revolutionise production of electronic components

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 A small South African high-technology company is seeking to revolutionise the production of a key category of components for aerospace electronics and radars by using additive manufacturing (more popularly known as 3D Printing). The company is NewSpace Systems (a finalist in this year’s Western... 

New technologies promise to improve air traffic management

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 Air traffic control/air traffic management (ATC/ATM) agencies need to embrace new technologies in order to further improve air safety. This was stressed by Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (Canso) Director General Jeff Poole at the recent Canso Global ATM Safety Conference 2017 in... 

Lanseria International Airport launches new control tower complex 

     16th November 2017 A new control tower and fire station complex was recently opened at Lanseria International Airport.  

Lanseria International Airport launches new control tower complex
Lanseria International Airport launches new control tower complex

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2017 Trade union Solidarity has ranked South African Airways (SAA) as the most poorly managed State-owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. Speaking at the launch of its latest report ‘South African State Institutions and the Value for Tax Money’, on Wednesday, Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said SAA... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

South African commercial aviation activity consolidates modest recovery

By: Keith Campbell     13th November 2017 The Commercial Aviation Association of South Africa (Caasa) reported on Monday that its Aviation Activity Index (Caai) for the third quarter of this year had “consolidated its modest recovery from a disappointing first quarter”. The Caai is a composite index created to provide an indicator of... 

South African commercial aviation activity consolidates modest recovery
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Taxi way at OR Tambo International Airport

Plans to turn SAA around 

     10th November 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about discussions between South African Airways’ new CEO and board of directors, as well as Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, regarding the recently announced R10-billion bailout for the airline and its latest... 

Plans to turn SAA around
Plans to turn SAA around

Large national manufacturers not main determinant of aerospace success

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 Germany serves as a leading example of a country that has a major and successful aeronautical industry but does not have a single wholly- or predominantly-German owned aerospace original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This was highlighted by Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR – German... 

Lanseria to be site of new airport city development

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 Gauteng Provincial Premier David Makhura has highlighted the importance of Lanseria International Airport (LIA), and planned projects around it, for the development of the north west quarter of the province. He was delivering the keynote address at the recent official opening of the new Control... 

ACSA CEO to chair international organisation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th November 2017 Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) CEO Bongani Maseko has been appointed chairperson of the world governing board of the Airports Council International (ACI), the trade representative of the world’s airports, for a two-year term. ACI serves 623 members operating 1 940 airports in 176 countries... 

New SAA leadership team promises to take airline ‘back from the brink’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th November 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has promised that there will be a clear delineation of the roles between the shareholder, the board and the CEO at embattled national carrier South African Airways (SAA), following the constitution of the new board on November 3 and the appointment of Vuyani Jarana... 

New SAA leadership team promises to take airline ‘back from the brink’
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on how the R10-billion capital injection will be paid to SAA. Camera Work: Duane Daws. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Global airline association predicts air passenger traffic to double by 2036

By: Keith Campbell     3rd November 2017 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that 7.8-billion people will travel by air in 2036. This will amount to a nearly 100% increase over the figure of 4-billion air passengers expected for this year. This projection is based on a average compound annual growth rate... 

Airbus’s A330neo type makes first flight, while Air Mauritius accepts its first A350XWB

By: Keith Campbell     3rd November 2017 The first development aircraft in Europe-based major aerospace group Airbus’ new A330neo (new engine option) family made its maiden flight on October 19, from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France. The aircraft took off at 09:57 local time and landed at 14:10, having flown for four hours and 13... 

SAA’s failure to settle its debt would have resulted in default – Ramaphosa

By: African News Agency      2nd November 2017 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the South African Airways (SAA) bailout was a crucial decision made by government because failure to settle debts would have resulted in SAA defaulting on its debts. Ramaphosa was answering questions in the National Council of Provinces. 

Heavy increase in irregular expenditure in South Africa, now pegged above R45bn, says AG 

By: African News Agency      1st November 2017 Irregular expenditure by government departments and State-owned entities has ballooned by over 50% in 2016/2017 when compared to the previous financial year, topping R45-billion, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu revealed on Tuesday. “Irregular expenditure has increased by 55% since the previous year... 

Heavy increase in irregular expenditure in South Africa, now pegged above R45bn, says AG
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu

Lanseria to be site of new airport city development

By: Keith Campbell     31st October 2017 Gauteng Premier David Makhura has highlighted the importance of Lanseria International Airport, and planned projects around it, for the development of the north-west quarter of the province. He was delivering the keynote address at the official opening of the new Control Tower and Fire Station... 

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