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Governor McDonnell Announces New Partnership with Alaska to Strengthen Virginia's Space Industry
RICHMOND - Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Alaska Governor Sean Parnell jointly announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a formal operating relationship between the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority (VCSFA) and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC).
Speaking today about the announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "The Commonwealth's partnership with Alaska will further this new era of commercial aerospace activity throughout the Commonwealth. As the U.S. space program increases its reliance on the commercial sector, these types of partnerships will not only help keep America competitive in the space industry, but will help create much-needed jobs and economic development. The successful launch of Orbital Science's new Antares launch vehicle from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) this past April 21st , as well as two upcoming September launches to the Moon and the International Space Station, position Virginia for continued growth in this vibrant space market."
The MOU defines the intent of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Alaska to initiate a collaborative and cooperative partnership for spaceport operations. Future launch customers will realize business advantages as the partnership will promote efficiency between MARS and the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) designed to create commonality between the two spaceports that decreases costs and improves performance.
"Alaska has been at the forefront of space launch for nearly 20 years," Governor Parnell said. "With this agreement, we will be creating opportunities for the commercial space industry to secure cost-effective and reliable launch operations from both the east and west coasts. Both Alaska and Virginia will benefit with greater investment and job opportunities as leaders in the burgeoning commercial space industry."
The Virginia General Assembly created VCSFA to promote development of the aerospace industry, economic development, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education throughout the Commonwealth. VCSFA owns and operates MARS, located on Wallops Island, Virginia.
AAC was established by the State of Alaska to develop a high technology aerospace industry in the state. Its core business area is space launch, and it developed, owns, and operates KLC, a state-of-the-industry spaceport on Kodiak Island, Alaska.
Expanded Falcon Presence at Jet Expo to Reflect Russian Plans
Dassault Falcon is expanding its presence in Russia to improve its ability to serve this rapidly growing business jet market. Dassault Falcon will be present at Jet Expo 2012 (September 27-29) with an expanded trade show booth and a spacious static display. Two long-range Falcons, the flagship 5,950 nm Falcon 7X and the 4,000 nm Falcon 2000LX, will be part of the event.
Falcon Aircraft Well Received in Russia
Half of new Falcon orders in Russia are for the 7X, the only business jet equipped with a fully-digital flight control system, which ensures greater control and operational safety and a smoother flight. The 7X can connect Moscow with New York,Johannesburg or Singapore nonstop and is the only aircraft in its class able to operate at the challenging London City Airport in the heart of downtown London. It is also capable of landing at very small airfields like La Mole-St Tropez (France), where no other jet of its size can go.
The three engine design of the Falcon 7X and the Falcon 900 line are particularly prized in a country where extended flights over inhospitable terrain are the rule and the need for versatility and safety, paramount. These trijets account for some two-thirds of the Falcons flown by Russian operators.
Falcon Customer Service Presence Growing in Russia
Dassault Falcon currently operates a sales office in Moscow and is nearing agreement with Avia Group to set up a Falcon Authorized Service Center at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. The center, to be located in the vicinity of Avia Group's new Terminal A passenger building, which was inaugurated earlier this year, is projected to open in 2013.
In addition, the company will shortly move its existing Dassault Falcon Service satellite service center at Vnukovo Airport, which has been in operation for seven years, into new premises at the Vnukovo-3 executive aviation terminal, closer to the licensed maintenance providers it supports.
"Russia is once again one of the most active business jet markets and we are looking to leveraging our long experience in the country to better serve customers' needs there," said Gilles Gautier, head of Dassault Falcon sales for the Eastern Hemisphere.
New Aviation Policy Must Support Enterprise
Limerick Chamber has said that Ireland's aviation policy must focus on maintaining competition and increasing connectivity to support economic growth and job creation. The call was made in a submission by Limerick Chamber to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport's consultation on 'An Integrated Irish Aviation Policy'.
Speaking this morning Órlaith Borthwick, Limerick Chamber Economist, said, "The contribution of Ireland's aviation sector in terms of tourism, supporting economic growth and job creation is vital. The potential to increase this contribution is significant. Shannon airport plays a key role in supporting businesses in the Limerick and greater region; connecting firms to suppliers, customers and new business, and access to European and international markets which can be nurtured and developed to achieve further economic progress."
"Preserving Ireland's Heathrow slots is vital to guaranteeing access to routes serving locations not linked to Ireland directly. This is especially significant given the major consolidation of airline companies in Europe into a relatively small number of companies each dominating major airport hubs such as Frankfurt, Schiphol and Paris. This consolidation will constrain connection options to these major hubs in the future."
"Similarly, there is a strong case for the further development of dedicated cargo terminals in Ireland. Ireland can grow its potential in the air cargo market by making a number of relatively basic improvements. Improved facilities, to include FDA approved 'cold chain' containers and storage, would support Ireland's position as a favoured destination for Pharma investments. In addition, the expansion of US preclearance to include cargo would enhance the competitiveness of Ireland vis-á-vis other locations in Europe seeking to service the North American market."
"By tackling these issues, and others outlined in the submission, an integrated aviation policy has the potential to support job creation, enhance foreign direct investment, strengthen the domestic economy by facilitating access to new customers and suppliers, as well as supporting tourism traffic," she concluded.
Limerick Chamber's full submission and recommendations are available to download here
Air Canada Opens State-of-the-art Global Operations Centre in Brampton, Ontario
Air Canada announced on August 20th the opening of a new state-of-the-art global Operations Centre (OC) in Brampton, Ontario, which is expected to significantly improve its operational capabilities and efficiencies. The new facility is the result of a two-year, $60-million project and will serve as the central control for the airline's operations, with 400 employees overseeing, on a 24/7 basis, nearly 600 Air Canada flights each day.
"Air Canada is already recognized as one of the world's best airlines and our new, leading-edge OC will further strengthen our position. This new mission control centre incorporates the latest in technological and other design elements. Further, we can expect important efficiencies with teams from all areas of the operation including Operations Control, Flight Dispatch, Airports, Revenue Management, Maintenance, Crew Scheduling, Cargo, Air Canada rouge and Customer Journey Management working under one roof to get our customers to their destinations safely, on-time and comfortably," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The opening of this centre is another step in our ongoing transformation as reflected in our accumulation of international awards and honours, such as being designated the only Four-Star network carrier in North America and the Best Airline in North America."
The new, 75,000-square-foot (7,000-sq.-m.) facility has been completed on-time and within budget. It will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2014 following a period of testing, training and transition. Once in service, it will become the global nerve centre for Air Canada's operations ensuring delivery of Air Canada's schedule and safe transport of approximately 35 million Air Canada customers annually. To enable Air Canada to meet its regular schedule, the OC is responsible for:
- decision-making on operating flights within 48 hours of scheduled departure
- ensuring appropriate resources, such as crews and aircraft, are available
- managing the customer journey experience to get customers to destination as quickly and easily as possible
- schedule changes and cancellations, including aircraft changes or extra flight additions, in response to unforeseen circumstances
- leading preparations for disruptions, such as winter storms, and developing and implementing recovery plans
Aerospace Manufacturers in Mexico to Receive Special Processing Support
Ellison Surface Technologies has finalized a shelter service agreement with The Offshore Group, officially making them the newest member of Mexico's largest and fastest growing aerospace cluster
Ellison Surface Technologies has finalized a shelter service agreement with The Offshore Group, officially making them the newest member of Mexico's largest and fastest growing aerospace cluster. Construction for Ellison Surface Technologies' 32,000-sq.-ft. (3,000-sq.-m.) coating and special process facility is underway in Guaymas, Mexico, and is scheduled to be completed by January 2014.
Ellison Surface Technologies' expansion into Mexico marks their fourth expansion in the last 12 months. "This expansion intoMexico is a principal part of our long-term strategic initiatives," said C. Michael Ellison, President and CEO of Ellison Surface Technologies. "We look forward to being an integral part of the growing aerospace and industrial gas turbine manufacturing hub in Sonora."
Ellison Surface Technologies' presence in The Offshore Group's Roca Fuerte Industrial Park will provide Sonora's aerospace-related manufacturers with access to services that were not previously available in Mexico. Ellison Surface Technologies' facility will be the first in Mexico to offer Vapor Phase Aluminizing (VPA), a diffusion coating for the protection of turbine components. In addition to VPA they will also offer special processes such as, High Velocity Oxygen Fuel Spray (HVOF), Plasma Spray, heat treatment and brazing.
Guillermo Padres Elias, Governor of the State of Sonora, spoke to the significance of Ellison Surface Technologies' decision to establish an operation in Mexico, "These new coatings unlock new business opportunities for our local aerospace companies that were inaccessible before. As a result, several hundred jobs will be created in our region."
Luis Felipe Seldner III, President of The Offshore Group, believes that with the agreement signed by Ellison Surface Technologies, the day the first Sonora-made gas turbine engine is produced, is right around the corner. He states:
"This is the result of a shared vision to establish North America's most competitive and sustainable venue for gas turbine engine manufacturing, and Ellison Surface Technologies' commitment brings us one step closer to that vision. The capabilities that they are bringing into the Guaymas aerospace cluster will help current and future clients attain a competitive advantage ... This is a sign of big things to come."
AAR to Open New Aircraft Maintenance Facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana
No. 1 provider of aircraft maintenance in North America enters wide-body market with a 6th MRO location
AAR signed an agreement August 9th with the Chennault International Airport Authority to open its sixth North American aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana, at the Chennault International Airport. AAR, the largest independent MRO provider in North America, will occupy approximately 520,000 square feet of MRO service and administrative space at the facility, capable of supporting maintenance operations for all wide-body aircraft, with expansion under way that will accommodate aircraft as large as the Airbus A380.
AAR initially will employ approximately 250 and anticipates hiring an additional 500 at the facility by 2017. The new operation significantly expands AAR's capabilities, enabling the Company to accommodate a greater variety of aircraft and grow its Aviation Services business. AAR Chairman and CEO David P. Storch was joined by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and representatives from the airport authority and state economic development agency for the formal announcement.
"Today is a great day for Calcasieu Parish and our entire state," said Gov. Jindal. "Chennault continues to be one of the biggest economic drivers in Southwest Louisiana and our entire state. In addition to a world-class workforce and an outstanding business climate, Louisiana offers extraordinary sites like Chennault International Airport that make our state a leader in logistics and infrastructure. All of these resources contribute to Louisiana's economic momentum, and AAR is one of many companies that have taken notice as they continue to invest here, creating more great opportunities for our people."
Commenting on the signing, Storch said: "I want to thank Gov. Jindal, the airport authority and the state's economic development agency for partnering with us and moving swiftly to reach this agreement. We look forward to becoming a vital part of the Louisiana business community and helping to elevate Lake Charles' position as an aviation center of excellence. The new operation builds upon the Company's industry-leading position by adding capability for AAR to expand into the wide-body market."
The facility can accommodate up to seven wide-body or 10 narrow-body aircraft, and construction is under way for an additional 118,000 square feet (10,960 sq. m.) of space. AAR currently operates a parts logistics and distribution center at Chennault International in support of the U.S. Air Force's KC-10 program as part of a team led by Northrup Grumman.
"Lake Charles is very proud to welcome AAR to Southwest Louisiana and to be a part of its global aerospace network," saidLake Charles Mayor Randy Roach. "This announcement is also great news for the men and women who have worked so hard in recent years to prove to the aviation industry that we can compete in the business of maintaining and repairing airplanes. Our commitment as a city is to build on that track record and do whatever we can to continue to support Chennault as a regional center of aviation excellence."
"Southwest Louisiana will see increased growth in aviation jobs with today's announcement," said President and CEO George Swift of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. "As we work to diversify our economic base, aviation is a key component and we welcome this potential growth. We welcome AAR CORP. to our region."
This expansion strengthens AAR's value proposition for its commercial airline customers by becoming the Company's sixth aircraft repair facility in its nationwide 1MRO Network, joining facilities in Indianapolis, Miami, Oklahoma City, Duluth, Minnesota, and Hot Springs, Arkansas. AAR has become the No. 1 provider of MRO services in North America and one of the top 3 in the world, according to industry rankings.
Embraer on Schedule with Jacksonville A-29 Super Tucano Assembly Facility
Washington, D.C., September 16, 2013 – Embraer Defense & Security Inc. announced, today, at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition that the company is on schedule with its Jacksonville, Florida, assembly facility to begin deliveries in mid-2014 of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the U.S. Air Force for the Light Air Support (LAS) program.
There have been several developments since the contract award was announced on February 27, 2013.
- On March 26, a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the presence of government officials and local leaders including Florida Governor Rick Scott, Congressman Ander Crenshaw, and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown marked the opening of the 40,000-square-foot assembly hangar located at Jacksonville International Airport.
- Shortly thereafter, Daniel W. Culleton, Jr., a seasoned professional with extensive experience in aircraft production and delivery of complex integrated structures for the aerospace and marine industries, joined the company as General Manager. Culleton's experience includes more than 30 years working for Northrop Grumman Corporation and its predecessor, Grumman Corporation, in a variety of operational, production and management positions. He will oversee all operations at the Jacksonville facility.
- More recently, another seasoned executive, David J. Hall, joined the company as Director of Contracts. Hall brings extensive industry experience with ITT, Rockwell Collins, Thales, and Textron, among other companies.
- Hiring has commenced at an accelerated pace from the local Jacksonville community where, as of today, 40 critical positions have been filled for areas encompassing Production Engineering, Quality Engineering, Logistics, and A&P technicians.
According to Culleton, "This facility will perform pre-equipping, mechanical assembly, structural assembly, systems installation and testing, and flight testing of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. It is the latest in a series of recent expansions by Embraer in Florida and the first for Defense & Security."
In 2011, Embraer opened a production facility for its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 executive jets and a Global Customer Center in Melbourne, Florida, and in 2012, the company broke ground for a new Engineering and Technology Center, also in Melbourne, that will employ 200 engineers.
"As the aircraft selected for the LAS program, the A-29 Super Tucano will be used to provide light air support, reconnaissance and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military," said William Buckey, Vice President, Business Development, Embraer Defense & Security. "This award also opens the door to additional orders from other nations under the Building Partnership Capacity program," he added.
On February 27, 2013 the U.S. Air Force awarded the LAS contract to Sierra Nevada Corporation to supply 20 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, as well as ground-based training devices, pilot and maintenance training, and logistical support.
Embraer currently employs over 1,300 people across the United States. More than 100 U.S. companies will supply parts and services for the A-29 Super Tucano. Some 1,400 U.S. jobs will be supported by the LAS contract.
Learn more about the A-29 Super Tucano at www.BuiltForTheMission.com.