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Airports company reports its most profitable year ever

By: Keith Campbell     18th September 2017 Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) achieved a profit of R2-billion for the 2016/17 financial year, it was announced on Monday, up from R1.9-billion for the financial year 2015/16. “This is probably the best set of results we’ve presented in the history of the company,” affirmed CEO Bongani... 

Two pilots are safer than one – aviation expert

By: Keith Campbell     15th September 2017 Proposals that airlines could move single-pilot operation, in place of the current system of pilot and co-pilot (more formally, Captain and First Officer), in order to reduce costs, are most ill-advised, affirmed Comair crew resource management specialist Michael Bowyer (himself a pilot) on... 

Those were the days . . .

By: Riaan de Lange     15th September 2017 It's Sunday afternoon. It’s hot and humid. You can smell the sea in a faint breeze that barely manages to rattle the leaves of the trees, which have been scorched and hardened by the sun. It is one of those vegetating Sunday afternoons, when you silently salute the inventor of the television... 

Drones ensure effective tower inspection

By: Robyn Wilkinson     15th September 2017 To ensure efficient gathering of relevant data without any risk to human life, international drone services provider Delta Drone Group is using multi-rotor drones with optical sensors, operated under automatic flight plans, to conduct inspections on cellphone towers. 

Future of Denel’s aero engine and manned aircraft businesses clarified

By: Keith Campbell     15th September 2017 South African defence industrial group Denel has a clear plan for the future of Turbomeca Africa (TMA), which it is in the process of buying off Safran Helicopter Engines (Safran HE), part of France’s Safran S/A aeroengines group. Hitherto, TMA (originally established in 2002) was a joint venture... 

It’s time to counter antinuclear propaganda

By: Kelvin Kemm     15th September 2017 Of all sources of electricity, nuclear is the safest, cleanest and cheapest. These are all easily provable assertions, yet, in the open forum of public debate about nuclear power, issues such as provable claims count for little. An unfortunate development in international public debate has been... 

South African defence company setting up ammunition filling plant for foreign client

By: Keith Campbell     13th September 2017 South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) announced on Tuesday that it was in the final phase of commissioning a new Universal Filling Facility, which will serve the needs of an international client. “We have worked with this client over the last four years to bring this... 

Comair shows strong profit growth in tough conditions

By: News24Wire      12th September 2017 Comair issued its annual financial results on Tuesday, reporting a 54% increase in profits to R297m and a 28% increase in cash generated by its operations. Comair operates under its low-cost airline brand, kulula.com, as well as under the British Airways livery, as part of its British Airways... 

Construction begins on $700m airport project in eastern Rwanda

By: John Muchira     8th September 2017 Construction has started on a $700-million airport project in eastern Rwanda, which the country's government says will be a major boost to efforts to integrate the East African Community and boost intra-Africa trade. "Bugesera International Airport is [also] an important part of Rwanda's strategy... 

Cuba shuts down nickel industry as Hurricane Irma approaches

By: Reuters     8th September 2017 Cuba has begun to shut down its nickel industry in preparation for Hurricane Irma, state-run television said on Thursday. One of two processing plants, the state-owned Ernesto Che Guevara, was closed, and the second, a joint venture with Canadian miner Sherritt International Corporation, was... 

Gap in aviation safety regulation is under scrutiny

By: Keith Campbell     8th September 2017 The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is planning to discuss and examine the status of what are known as Air Traffic Safety Electronic Personnel (Atsep) in South Africa. Atseps are the engineering technicians responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of ground-based air... 

Industry support evident despite challenges

By: Victor Moolman     1st September 2017 Although the lack of meaningful government involvement has been one of the biggest challenges in the industry, the Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) still get support from the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI), which is part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s... 

Local aviation industry needs to be technology ready

By: Victor Moolman     1st September 2017 With commercial aviation a market that is rapidly growing globally, aviation components supplier Aerosud Aviation MD Johan Steyn says there is a need to stay abreast of technological advancements if South Africa is to remain competitive in aviation manufacturing. Owing to this, he notes that,... 

New tech could prevent collisions between manned aircraft and drones

By: Keith Campbell     1st September 2017 The latest generation of aircraft transponder technology, known as ADS-B, offers to provide the safety and security necessary to prevent collisions between manned aircraft and civil unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, popularly known as drones) and so will allow drones to be operated in controlled... 

Self-protection system set for 2020 completion

     1st September 2017 Helicopter manufacturer Airbus Helicopters has contracted defence and security company Saab to produce the Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) self-protection system for the H225M Caracal multirole utility helicopters, with deliveries scheduled for 2020. 

Tell me a funny story

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     1st September 2017 So, since the 20-year rule (the period that has to elapse before I can tell embarrassing engineering stories where my clients who were involved) has lapsed in some cases, here is one of the stories.   I was working for FW.  Empersa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Moçambique (ENH) had decided that... 

Brown urges recapitalisation of SA Express amid questions over waste

By: African News Agency      30th August 2017 South African Express CEO Victor Xaba was forced to concede on Wednesday that the loss-making airline did not take firm enough action on irregular spending, after Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown reiterated that it needed a cash injection from the State. “Let’s say in all fairness not... 

SOFC and Thermal Spray, General.

     29th August 2017 R. Hinckley Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), and hybrid electrical generation systems based upon this technology offer the potential for highly efficient utilization of abundant natural gas resources.  Projected efficiency for SOFC-based systems for electrical power generation could reach as high... 

Denel makes push into Eastern Europe

By: Keith Campbell     29th August 2017 South African defence industrial group Denel has announced that it will have a strong presence at next month’s International Defence Industry Exhibition, in the city of Kielce in Poland. The exhibition is known as MSPO for short, from the initials of its name in Polish. “Eastern and Central... 

Prominent Presence In Poland For Denel

     29th August 2017 Denel will have a strong marketing presence at Central and Eastern Europe’s most prominent defence and technology exhibition taking place in Poland next month.   The International Defence Industry Exhibition – MSPO – takes place from 4 to 8 September and brings together heads of armed forces,... 

America’s President needs to stand for American values

By: Keith Campbell     25th August 2017 The apparently never-ending culture wars in the US are ceasing to be depressing and becoming downright alarming, reaching a new low in the recent murderous terrorist-attack-by-vehicle in Charlottesville in the State of Virginia, which killed a young woman and injured some 19 other people. There... 

The 'missing link' in aviation safety under scrutiny

By: Keith Campbell     23rd August 2017 The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is planning to discuss and examine the status of what are known as Air Traffic Safety Electronic Personnel (Atsep) in South Africa. Atseps are the engineering technicians responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of ground-based air... 

Latest technology promises to solve drone/manned aircraft interaction problem

By: Keith Campbell     18th August 2017 The latest generation of aircraft transponder technology, known as ADS-B, offers to provide the safety and security necessary to prevent collisions between manned aircraft and civil unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, popularly known as drones) and so will allow drones to be operated in controlled... 

Mkhuze Airport upgrade project, South Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th August 2017 The upgrade will enable the airport to accommodate larger aircraft. 

Comair expects up to 104% rise in FY headline earnings a share

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th August 2017 JSE-listed Comair expects to report an 85% to 104% year-on-year increase in headline earnings a share to between 67c and 75c for the financial year ended June 30. Earnings a share are expected to be between 49% and 68% higher year-on-year, at between 62c and 70c. 

SA air traffic company focuses on safety and the environment

By: Keith Campbell     11th August 2017 South Africa’s air traffic management agency, Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), is working hard to improve air safety in the country. “During the 2015/2016 [financial year] our safety performance was not as we would have liked it to be, with a record low of 34 Risk Safety Index [RSI],”... 

Cape Town International Airport runway realignment project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     28th July 2017 The project entails extensions to and realignment of the runway at Cape Town International Airport. 

Comair reports its diversification strategy is working

By: Keith Campbell     28th July 2017 South African airline group Comair Limited’s strategy of countering the weak local air passenger market by diversifying its business is proving successful, reports company CEO Erik Venter. “It’s working very well. About 20% of our profits are coming from our non-airline businesses and we’re... 

Rougher waters in the Indian Ocean while SA behaves like the ostrich

By: Keith Campbell     28th July 2017 To holidaymakers the Indian Ocean usually appears a balmy body of sea. But, over the horizon, out of sight, great political forces are moving across the ocean and its subsidiary seas and gulfs, creating rougher waters.  

Historic Russian nuclear site hosts oldest and newest nuclear technology

By: Dylan Slater     21st July 2017 During a nuclear power plant (NPP) site visit that coincided with the yearly Atomexpo 2017, which was held in Moscow last month, Russian State-owned atomic corporation Rosatom showcased its safest and most modern nuclear reactor technology to delegates at the landmark Novovoronezh NPP (NvNPP) site.  

Airbus DS test flies its new UAV in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     18th July 2017 South Africa’s Overberg Test Range was the site of the first flight of the Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus DS) Sagitta jet-powered unmanned air vehicle (UAV) demonstrator, the European company announced on Tuesday. The aircraft, a flying-wing design, flew autonomously over the test range (which... 

South Africa’s defence industry faces serious challenges but also sees future opportunities

By: Keith Campbell     14th July 2017 South Africa’s defence and aerospace industry forms a major part of the country’s high-technology manufacturing and services sector. Moreover, the high-level skills it has developed and is maintaining are benefitting other sectors of the economy as well. According to the South African Aerospace,... 

Inventions and developments and war

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     14th July 2017 We all know that Charles H Duell, the commissioner of the US patent office in 1899. His most famous attributed utterance is that "everything that can be invented has been invented". In point of fact, he said nothing of the kind. The myth of him saying this is very unfortunate because it suggests... 

South Africa’s defence industry faces serious challenges but also sees future opportunities

By: Keith Campbell     14th July 2017 South Africa’s defence and aerospace industry forms a major part of the country’s high-technology manufacturing and services sector. Moreover, the high-level skills it has developed and is maintaining are benefitting other sectors of the economy as well. According to the South African Aerospace,... 

Local airline group Comair reports its diversification strategy is working 

By: Keith Campbell     12th July 2017 South African airline group Comair Limited’s strategy of countering the weak local air passenger market by diversifying its business is proving successful, company CEO Erik Venter told Engineering News Online on Wednesday. “It’s working very well. About 20% of our profits are coming from our... 

Manganese makes list of key tech metals heading for short supply

By: Martin Creamer     11th July 2017 Nothing can stop the proliferation of iPhones, solar panels and Teslas, except perhaps a shortage of key natural resources, comments the latest Fortune magazine, which puts manganese from South Africa on the list of crucial technology metals needed in the US. Fortune’s world map showing the... 

Cyberthreats increasingly worry global aviation industry

By: Keith Campbell     7th July 2017 The global aviation industry is increasingly focusing on cybersecurity. “Cybersecurity … has become a major concern,” highlighted International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional VP: Africa and the Middle East Muhammad Ali Albakri at recent media briefing at OR Tambo International Airport,... 

Air force capability demonstration 2017 

     6th July 2017 The South African air force conducted its annual live fire capability demonstration last month, in which primary air borne military assets flexed their muscle. 

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