There’s been three notable incidents of late in which flight crew have mistakenly landed at the wrong airport – see the Dreamlifter, a C-17 and a Southwest 737. A third was almost added this past Tuesday morning when an Air India Boeing 787-8 registered VT-ANM mistook Melbourne’s Essendon Airport for Melbourne International Airport (Tullamarine).
Operating AI301 from Sydney to Melbourne VT-ANM approached and crossed Melbourne from the east following usual tracking paths for aircraft inbound from the north-east to YMML’s active Runway 34.
The flight crew initiated a right turn to lining up for Essendon’s Runway 35 mistaking it for YMML’s Runway 34. Essendon Airport is located 4.5nm to southeast of Melbourne International Airport, and has a similar cross-runway layout to Melbourne with the runway headings only offset 1 degree.
Her Majesty seems to have taken a keen interest in airline strategy, with Emirates President Tim Clark knighted in this year’s New Year honours for “services to British prosperity and to the aviation industry”. Clark is recognised as an “outstanding British business leader and premier airline strategist”. Clark worked for four years at Gulf Air as a route planner, before joining Emirates in 1985. In 2003 Clark was appointed president and under his stewardship Emirates has grown to become one of the top ten biggest carriers in the world. The Royal Aeronautical Society’s fascinating interview with him earlier in 2013 is well worth watching:
2013 was exceptional proof that aviation is far from sclerotic. Beginning with continued fixation on the 787 as Boeing’s amour propre was tested by further incidents and a grounding. Eyes turned skyward for the equal greatest number of first flights in history. Rarely appreciating the continued challenging conditions airlines and the industry faces, politicians continued to provide opaque interference, compounding an already fractured dichotomy. There was awe as the world’s largest airline was replaced with with an even larger carrier, rosy profit turnarounds turned into sickening loss projections, and a renewed geopolitical rivalry in everything from aerospace manufacturing to air traffic rights. Here’s our 13 of 2013:
The most exciting new aircraft in years became known for one thing in 2013: fire. In January the worldwide fleet was grounded – only the second aircraft since the DC-10 to be grounded in this way – following a series of electrical faults and battery fires caused by thermal runaway. The batteries were pulled out, boxed, and additional venting at a cost of approximately $500,000 per aircraft. Back in the air confidence has grown, the 787-9 is now flying and there has only been a small fiery issue relating to a locator beacon. Image: Richard Deakin.
110 years later Bombardier did it again for the very first time. This time with the first completely new narrow-body design since the A320 family.
ICAO’s member states reached a landmark multilateral agreement to develop a market-based measure that would reduce carbon emissions by 2020. The agreement will allow countries and airlines to operate under a single global standard rather than competing carbon regimes. Governments’ individual plans will be approved at the next assembly in 2016.
Politicians are scrounging for reasons to blame or deny the imminent demise of Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry. Automotive’s future script has been clear for over two decades since Dr John Hewson announced a zero tariff regime for automotive products in 1992.
Indeed, the writing has been on the wall for the majority of Australia’s manufacturing industries for sometime, yet one industry is a clear performer. Australia’s $4 billion aerospace manufacturing industry is a minnow when compared to the automotive industry, but it still employs more than 14,000 people. Subject to aviation’s global fiscal uncertainty, it still continues to grow delivering consistent profit and growth as other industries shrink.
The first of our weekly rollerboard wraps, neatly packing up a broader and atypical perspective on the industry.
Going to ground
Air India’s Boeing 787 fleet has been in a bit of a pickle over the last few weeks leading to the airline’s decision to preemptively ground one aircraft at a time from the end of November.
Ostensibly for software upgrades, each grounding will last for an undetermined length of time giving AI time to conduct more general repairs across its fleet of ten 787-8s. What is wrong outside the airline’s own 787 minimum equipment list (MEL) Air India hasn’t confirmed, but there has been multiple incidents including the loss of a mid-underwing-to-body fairing located on the belly of the aeroplane on the right side at Bangalore Airport, a cracked windshield grounding an aircraft in Melbourne, another grounding in Sydney due to undisclosed issues, and a braking issue on a flight from London to Delhi.
An unofficial Air India source says “Boeing has put out certain service bulletins which the airline will implement. This is not mandatory. The airline is doing it on its own to increase reliability of the aircraft.”
Qantas’ Sydney Jet Base hosted a Qantas Group fleet review on the weekend to showcase Jetstar’s new Boeing 787-8. An all Boeing affair, on display were 717 VH-NXG, 737-800 VH-XZB, 747-400 VH-OJM, 767-300ER VH-OGG, and 787-8 VH-VKA, with unprecedented access to explore the aircraft.
Almost seven years after the order, and five long years of delays, Jetstar’s first Boeing 787-8 is here. Well, almost. It will be at 1305 AEST on Wednesday October 9.
Air New Zealand has unveiled its first aircraft – an Airbus A320 registered ZK-OXB – to be painted in carrier’s bold new monochromatic fern livery.
The livery is the second iteration of Air New Zealand’s new corporate branding first revealed in July 2012, and part of a substantial NZD$20 million marketing campaign with Tourism New Zealand. The new livery, of which there will eventually also be a black version, features the official New Zealand fern mark in harmony with the airline’s Koru logo.
In a media release Air New Zealand says, “while most of the fleet will sport this white version of the livery, the airline will also continue to have a small number of signature aircraft in an all black version.” Carry-on’s guess? Bet on this being saved for the airline’s first Boeing 787-9 to be delivered in mid-2014.