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News letter 10 January 2018

Good day all

Things are slowly starting to return to some semblance of normality after the silly season, many of the lucky people will only be returning to the daily grind this coming Monday, if you are one of them please be safe on your return journey from wherever you may be enjoying your well-deserved break.

This weekend seems to be very quiet aviation wise with no events that we are aware of.

Tonight however the EAA Chapter 322 will be having their monthly meeting at the Dicky Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale for any queries please contact

Textron Aviation brings faster connectivity to one of the fastest civilian aircraft in the world

Company now offers Gogo AVANCE L5 aftermarket solutions for Cessna Citation X aircraft.

Textron Aviation Inc. Company, recently announced it has received supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for the Gogo AVANCE L5 connectivity system upgrade for its Cessna Citation X business jet.

When equipped with the AVANCE L5, the Citation X will deliver faster inflight connectivity speeds and enhanced network capacity for a more robust user experience. In addition to the Citation X, the company plans to introduce the AVANCE L5 system to additional products across the Citation, Beechcraft King Air and Hawker platforms in the coming months.

“Increased Wi-Fi connectivity continues to be one of the most requested aftermarket solutions from our customers. Now, with the Gogo AVANCE L5 upgrade for the Citation X, customers gain the most modern connectivity solution available, allowing them to stay connected, whether in the air or on the ground,” said Kriya Shortt, senior vice president, Customer Service.

The AVANCE L5 platform-based solution delivers faster speeds and enhanced network capacity, enabling activities such as live streaming video and audio, on-demand movies, personal smartphone use and real-time data for cockpit apps while in flight. The lightweight and compact system incorporates dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi service and operates on the Gogo Biz 4G ground network of more than 250 towers, providing reliable connectivity over the continental U.S. and large parts of Canada and Alaska.

First BelugaXL super transporter rolls out.

The first structurally complete airframe for the new BelugaXL rolled out from its assembly hangar in Toulouse, France this month. The BelugaXL programme was launched in November 2014 to address Airbus’ increasing transport requirements.

At six metres longer, one metre wider and with a payload lifting capacity six tonnes greater than the BelugaST transporter version it is replacing, the BelugaXL will be able to transport both wings of the flagship A350 XWB jetliner at once, instead of the single wing currently accommodated on the BelugaST.

Once operational, a fleet of these next-generation airlifters will be used to transport completed sections of Airbus aircraft among the company’s European production sites and to its final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain.

“We have the A330 as a foundation,” said Bertrand George, head of the BelugaXL programme, “but many changes have been successfully designed, introduced into the aircraft and tested. Transforming an existing product into a super transporter is not a simple task.”

This initial BelugaXL is expected to be flying by mid-2018. Before that can happen, the aircraft will undergo a months-long battery of tests after installation of its two jet engines, ensuring each of the BelugaXL’s systems function as intended.

“The data from these tests will be used to clear the aircraft for flight and, later on, to attain type certification, the official pronouncement of the aircraft’s safety and airworthiness," said George.

While the first structurally complete BelugaXL moves into its testing phase, the second A330 airframe to be converted into a BelugaXL arrived on schedule in Toulouse to begin its integration process.

George noted that with lessons learned from the production of the first transporter, the assembly time for the second is expected to be about two months shorter.

O.R. Tambo airport climbs global quality rankings

Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport rose five places in the global quality rankings for airports in the third quarter of this year, following an intensified service drive-by management.

The airport moved up to 24th place in the global Airport Service Quality category for airports with 15 million to 25 million passengers.

The scores are based on independent passenger surveys administered by Airports Council International.

“This improvement is most pleasing and is a significant achievement over a relatively short time,” said Bongiwe Pityi, general manager of O.R. Tambo International Airport.

She was speaking this weekend at the airport’s annual Airport Stakeholder Awards gala dinner to recognise service excellence among the airport’s service providers. These included airlines, retailers, car rental companies, hotels, ground handlers, government agencies and community-based non-profit organisations.

Gauteng MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi said: “These awards demonstrate that no organisation can run successfully without strategic support from its key stakeholders and partners. As an airport operator, it is therefore vital for us to affirm each stakeholder and recognise how they are an integral part of achieving and maintaining service excellence at Africa’s biggest and busiest airport.”

“I cannot over-emphasise the strategic national importance of airports as sovereign assets and as enablers of economic activity. Airports are major contributors to direct and indirect employment and business opportunities. Airports continue to drive country economies and connect people all over the world,” he said.

An airport’s ASQ score is determined by factors that enhance the passenger’s experience which include the functionality of infrastructure, ambience, cleanliness, retail mix, food and beverage facilities, way-finding and user-friendliness, and Wi-Fi access. ASQ is the only worldwide programme that surveys passengers at the airport on their day of travel.

In the latest ASQ rating for the third quarter of 2017 areas that achieved significant improvement at O.R. Tambo International Airport were overall satisfaction, waiting time at passport/ID inspection and restaurant/eating facilities.

Areas that also achieved improvements include speed of baggage delivery, courtesy and helpfulness of airport and airline check-in staff, cleanliness of the airport terminal, and a feeling of being safe and secure.

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