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Frontier at Knoxville

The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, air service to Cuba, Gulf carriers and U.S. airlines trade barbs, Emirates and the Boeing 787-8, the pilot shortage, and drone regulations.

Guest

Trevis Gardner is an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) and Vice President of Operations with the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, which operates McGhee Tyson Airport outside Knoxville Tennessee and Knoxville Downtown Island Airport. They are currently developing Oak Ridge Airport, a corporate aviation airport to support the Oak Ridge National Lab and National Security Complex.

Trevis is a native of East Tennessee and a graduate of Tusculum College and various military and community Leadership Programs. He’s worked with Knoxville Airport since 1991 in various roles, including Engineering Technician and Operations Manager.

Trevis served over 24 years with the USAF/Tenn Air National Guard as both a senior NCO and Commissioned Officer in a variety of capacities. He is Chairman of the Communications Committee for the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives.

News

JetBlue to Increase Charter Service to Cuba

JetBlue Airways plans to increase its existing charter service to Cuba with an A320 aircraft, and wants to offer regular service when it becomes allowable.

Companies offering charter services to Cuba include ABC Charters, Xael Charters, Airline Brokers Co., C&T Charters, Cuba Travel Services, and Gulfstream Air Charter. To learn more about air travel from the U.S. to Cuba, see Travel to Cuba Q&A.

Emirates Airline rejects Delta apology over chief’s 9/11 comment

American, United and Delta claim that since 2004, Gulf carriers received more than $40 billion in government subsidies, which is unfair. They are asking the U.S. Government to renegotiate or kill treaties that have allowed Qatar and the United Arab Emirates airlines to increase flights to the U.S.

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson responded to claims that U.S. bankruptcy protection amount to government assistance, making a reference to 9/11 that was not appreciated by Gulf carriers.

A Huge Boeing 747 Order? Unlikely but Possible

Will there be an Emirates order for 100 747-8’s? Unnamed sources say someone (not Boeing) is pitching the 747 to Emirates Airlines.

The Coming U.S. Pilot Shortage Is Real and Podcast: Is The Pilot Shortage For Real?

Contributing factors include the age 65 retirement rule in the U.S., fewer military pilots available to draw on, low (but improving) regional pilot salaries, the majors drawing on regionals for pilots, and fewer students entering aviation colleges looking for a commercial pilot career.

CNBC: Andrea James on the FAA’s new proposed drone regulations

Rob Mark and Andrea James (VP and Senior Research Analyst, Dougherty & Co.) talk about the proposed regulations for commercial use of small UAS.

The Inflight Movie of the Month

David Vanderhoof is back briefly to give his review of Flight of the Intruder . The movie stars Danny Glover, Willem daFoe, and Brad Johnson. More importantly it stars the Grumman A-6 Intruder. If you want plot read the book. If you want to see the preeminent Naval Strike aircraft of the 60-90s, then watch this movie.  Two out of Five Props.

2 props

The Australia News Desk

It’s almost time for the Avalon Airshow and the boys are getting excited about some of the new items that will be on display, including an Airbus A400M and an RQ-4 Global Hawk that has made its first landing at a civilian airport.

The date has been set for VH-OJA to make its final flight to the HARS museum at Wollongong: March 8th.

Air New Zealand confirms they won’t be doing a “retrojet” livery on their next 787-9 despite rumours saying that they would.

Matt Hall comes 2nd in the first heat of the Red Bull Air Race, being kept from first place by less than a second! Clearly the new winglets are doing something good on the track!

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob talks about frequent flyer programs, free flights, and ticket prices.

Mentioned

Northwest Montana by Morgan

Listener Morgan shared this photo taken while flying in Northwest Montana. The flight was out of Missoula (KMSO) north to Polson (8S1) and back in a rented 172K.

Flying Solo: Having one pilot in the cockpit might be scarier than having none

Safest Seat on a Plane: PM Investigates How to Survive a Crash

As this (intentional) 727 crash shows, you can survive

Killer Brace Position

Deep Freeze Cooling Down

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

 

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Linear Air

An air taxi operation, cabin branding at Delta, Phenom 100 crash initial findings, IATA recommendations for airline tracking, Airbus A380 orders, and A350 first delivery in the news.

Guest

William Herp is CEO and Co-Founder of Linear Air. Bill holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, is single-pilot type-rated in the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet, and is Director of Operations of Linear Air’s Eclipse charter management company, as well as CEO of Linear Air’s air taxi digital marketplace.

We talk about the air taxi business, how it operates today, and where it is headed. Bill likes to operate at the “intersection of technology and aviation” and he applies that approach at Linear Air.

Bill explains the economics of air taxi and how it represents good value for many travelers. We consider pilot qualifications, applicable regulations, the pricing model, and how large numbers of today’s technically advanced small airplanes can play a role in the future of air taxi.

Linear Air has been creating the technical connections that let people find them through online booking services. They expect to expand their reach by bringing in additional operators, and also focus on creating more awareness among potential customers through promotional events in 2015.

Linear Air staff

Bill has a background in consumer marketing and has used this experience to guide Linear Air’s strategy in the air taxi marketplace. He co-founded e-Dialog, a 500 person online marketing company now owned by eBay, with clients including Dell, British Airways, Avis, and CheapTickets.  Bill is a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization and serves on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Eastern Massachusetts, the non-profit educating young people in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness.  Bill graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Business School.

News

Delta’s New Seating Arrangement Somehow Makes Coach Even Worse

Delta’s Big Branding Exercise Reflects Changes That Have Already Been Made, Not New Ones

Delta has a plan: segment the cabin into three economy sections and two premium cabins. These would be distinguished by price and service. Delta looks to bring branding into the cabin starting March 1, 2015.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Information on Phenom Crash

A Phenom 100 crashed in Maryland on December 8, killing 3 on board and 3 in a house struck by the aircraft. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt reported on the initial findings from the flight data recorder: both the landing gear and flaps were down, “automated stall warnings began about 20 seconds before the end of the flight” and continued to the end of the recording at impact.

IATA submits aircraft tracking recommendations to ICAO

Airlines Push Back at Plane-Tracking Proposals From IATA

The International Air Transport Association’s Aircraft Tracking Task Force submitted its report to ICAO.  The report will be considered in ICAO’s development of a Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System, or GADSS.

Airbus Faces Investment Conundrum as A380 Orders Vanish

Airbus hasn’t been finding new buyers for the A380. They now have a choice: invest a lot of additional money, or just let it go.

Qatar Airways Refusal Of First Airbus A350: Looks Bad But No Cause For Concern, Expert Says

Airbus A350 launch customer Qatar Airways has delayed delivery of the first aircraft due to “a couple of minor issues.”

Flight Attendant Says Korean Air Exec Made Him Kneel After Nut Mishap

The Daughter of Korean Air’s chairman ordered a flight attendant off the plane when she didn’t like the way the nuts were served. She had the plane return to the gate. The daughter is also an executive in charge of cabin service. Or at least she was at the time.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

David’s gives us his annual Holiday message.

The Australia News Desk

Qantas is in the news with reports of a shake-up in some senior positions. It’s time to re-visit the PelAir crash of 2009 as the ATSB is re-opening the case following a scathing review of the original report by the Transport Safety Board of Canada. Steve and Grant take a moment to thank Pieter for his efforts with Across the Pond and, sadly, announce the loss of our friend Charlie Willwerth from the FlightTime Radio Show in Florida.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

On the issue of pilots taking photographs from the cockpit.

WWII Flying Tigers Photo Exhibit Review

Brian Coleman gives us his review

Mentioned

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

 

 

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Navion

The single engine Navion airplane, air traffic controller hiring guidelines, Air France pilot’s strike, robots flying airplanes, Delta Air Line’s refinery, and NextGen.

Guest

Chris Gardner is founder and CEO of Sierra Hotel Aero, holder of the type certificate for the single engine Navion airplane.

Chris has a commercial aviation background, as well as extensive experience with North American Aviation aircraft including rebuilding and modification for racing of the P-51 Mustang, the T- 28, and Navion aircraft.

We review a little of the history of the Navion and how it was originally envisioned by North American Aviation to attract the interest of pilots returning from World War II.

With Sierra Hotel Aero now owning the type certificate, there are opportunities to modernize and upgrade the airplane. Chris is working on an STC for larger engine for the airplane.

Sierra Hotel Aero provides rebuild and modification services, including installation of the BRS Aerospace ballistic recovery parachutes in Cessna 172’s and 182’s.

For more on the Navion, see Navion X and the American Navion Society. Find Navion Aircraft on Facebook.

News

Two Illinois lawmakers seek to dump new FAA controller hiring rules

For years, when it came to recruiting new air traffic controllers the FAA favored graduates from FAA-accredited college aviation programs and also military veterans with aviation experience. The general public came last. But the FAA changed that not too long ago and started to favor inexperienced applicants. Some think this negatively impacts safety, and have introduced the Safe Towers Act.

French govt ups pressure to end Air France pilots strike

Air France pilots are worried that a a new Air France-KLM initiative to increase the size of its LC carrier Transavia will suck jobs away jobs.

Tiny Humanoid Robot Learning to Fly Real Airplanes

At the 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Chicago, the PIBOT from Korean maker Robotis was demonstrated. It operated simulated aircraft controls autonomously.

Benet Wilson Named New Co-Editor-in-Chief at Airways News

Aviation Queen Benet Wilson is set to join Airways News, the strategic alliance between Airchive.com and Airways Magazine.

Memorium

Union leader Robert E. Poli led the 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike, which prompted President Ronald Reagan to dismiss 11,500 controllers. Poli died September 15 at his home in Meridian, Idaho. He was 78.

Airplane of the Week

Grumman OA-12 Duck USAF

Jamie Dodson presents the history of the Grumman J2F Duck. Be sure to visit Jamie’s website at NickGrantAdventures.com and have a look at his historical fiction novels.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob gives us a list of great aviation writers you should read.

The Australia News Desk

Grant and Steve join live from Steve’s studio, and talk about RAAF fighter pilots being deployed in an active combat area, the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championship, and the Great Tiger Moth Air Race in Australia.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @PCDU. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Mentioned

How Delta Bought A Refinery And Wound Up Saving Its Rivals A Ton Of Cash

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

Play

Diva Flight

We talk with pilot and journalist MayCay Beeler about her book Buccaneer: The Provocative Odyssey of Jack Reed, Adventurer, Drug Smuggler and Pilot Extraordinaire. As the personal biographer for the late Jack Reed, she brings us some insights into this unique man. We also take a look at MayCay’s Diva Flight program, which puts women in the pilot’s seat at the controls to help them discover their inner strength.

Find MayCay on Twitter, Facebook, or her home page. You can purchase the book directly from publisher Strategic Media Books, or from Amazon.com (be sure to leave a review!), or from bookstores.

Photo above: MayCay (left) takes Tabitha (right) up in the TAA Flight Training Cessna 172 for her first flight, as Tabitha’s husband looks on from the rear.

The week’s aviation news:

EP-3

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week:  From Failure to Success, Part 4, The weird, the wacky, and the wonderful P-3 Orion variants.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

The boys are back in the studio and wishing they could be back flying again. Meanwhile, they missed out on a bit of important news from last week:

  • They also chat about the hijacking that wasn’t – a Virgin Australia 737 squarks 7500 on approach to Bali but it turns out it was a disoriented passenger banging on the cockpit door thinking it was the toilet. Ooops.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute:  Rob talks about the College Training Institute (CTI) program to train new air traffic controllers.

KLM

Photo Courtesy of KLM

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter talks to Frenchez Pietersz from Aviation Platform about the KLM Air France Group. From investing in airlines in Brazil through to Code Sharing in Germany the KLM AF Group seems to be turning a corner.

Find Aviation Platform Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS (28 RED) at Engels Air Force Base, Russia, by Marina Lystseva

Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS

Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.

Play

DH 89A Dragon Rapide in Royal Flight colours, Wanaka 2010 by Errol Cavit

Steven Frischling (“Fish”) builds jigsaw puzzles that divine the state of air travel, and he might be unique in his methodology. Fish also follows aviation security pretty closely.

We talk with him about what he sees in the air travel industry, including which airline is the best when it comes to social interaction and demonstrating a commitment to customer service. And of course, you can’t talk with Fish without getting his comments on airport security.

Fish blogs at Flying With Fish and you can follow him on Twitter as @FlyingWithFish. He also runs Travelers’ Night In, a travel chat on Twitter every Thursday At 3:30pm EST. Follow the #TNI hash tag.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: From Failure to Success, Part 3, The Many Countries of the P-3.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Staying closer to home this week, the boys lead off with a story about Hainan Airlines’ parent company HNA Group signing an MOU with Avalon Airport owners LinFox to spend 18 months expanding Avalon in readiness for a Melbourne-China route.

Victoria’s premier promises to build a rail link from Melbourne CBD to the airport. Must be an election coming up, eh?

Air Marshall Mark Binskin is promoted to Chief of Defence Force and Grant recently recorded an interview with him.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute: This week Rob talks about SATAS – the synthetic air traffic advisory system to prevent midair collisions at non-towered airports.

BA 777 by XTP Media

BA 777 by XTP Media

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter goes back to the spot 40 years ago at London Heathrow Airport, where he watched the planes come in wave after wave as a young boy. He still wonders at the awesome nature of aircraft flight and ponders the question how something as big as a Boeing 777 can vanish.

Pieter also has a suggestion for a great museum to visit – the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (@FASTmuseum), followed by a visit across the road to the National Aerospace Library, both of which are free and you will see aircraft, aerospace items and memorabilia seen no where else in the world.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

Post photo: DH 89A Dragon Rapide in Royal Flight colours, Wanaka 2010, courtesy Errol Cavit.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.

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PZL104 Wilga

David and Max talk about the FAA/EAA agreement for Airventure, a unique Delta perk, and nano particle technology applied to jet engines.

The Australia Desk covers increased air traffic activity due to the search for MH370, and a Tiger Moth AD. In the Across the Pond segment, we learn about aviation in Scandinavia.

As always, the listener mail adds great topics, including more on the Flarm system, learning to fly first in a glider, a call for the fanciest/prettiest airport compass rose, cockpit voice recorder run time, the future of the A-10, nose-wheel cameras as IFE, and aviation book recommendations.

The week’s aviation news:

The Aircraft of the Week: the PZL104 Wilga by Jamie Dodson(Photo above.)

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Grant is away this week so Steve is joined by PCDU’s Western Australia correspondent Ben Jones from Perth, WA, which has seen an increase in air traffic recently as aircraft from several nations stage from RAAF Base Pearce in the search for missing flight MH370.  The RAAF AP-3C Orions are being joined by an RNZAF P3-K2 Orion, Chinese Il76s, and various civilian aircraft in the search, some 2,500 off the Western Australian coast.

Australian vintage Tiger Moth aircraft are now subject to an airworthiness directive from CASA concerning lateral tie rods, following recent crash where a wing was found to have failed during an aerobatic maneuver.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter introduces a new guest contributor Marisa Garcia from Denmark to talk about aviation in Scandinavia. Working in the aerospace sector for over 20 years, Marisa now focuses her business on leading edge aviation journalism. In this inaugural segment, they discuss Marisa’s background in aircraft interior design and her website Flight Chic, along with the major Danish airlines, airports and their relative health in today’s marketplace.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

KDTA airport compass rose

KDTA airport compass rose

Patrick’s challange: Email us a photo of an airport compass rose, and we’ll pick the best ones.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.

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Skycatcher

Guests Edward Honey and Benjamin Alimena are two of the Discover Flying Interns for Cessna in a program to take the 162 Skycatcher to various aviation fly-ins and events, ending with AirVenture in OshKosh. Cessna is handing the keys of these brand-new light sport aircraft to college students (and recent graduates) and trusting them to fly all over the country to promote the airplane.

Chris Manno from the JetHead blog is our guest co-host. Be sure to check out his JetHead Live podcast.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Grant is on the cell phone this week from far north west Victoria, 600km from Melbourne, and Max’s favourite Australian, Anthony Simmons also joins us. In the news, on the one year anniversary of their grounding, Tiger Airways opens its new Sydney base, announces 150 new jobs and re-commences Sydney – Gold Coast flights, Qantas check in systems affected by world wide Amadeus System malfunction, Air Pacific announces an operating profit of $A9million for the year. Just for fun, we also nominate our favourite Americans.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week on Across The Pond, Pieter along with Gareth visit the Royal Navy Air Day at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, UK. Apart from reminiscing about the Fairy Swordfish Pieter talks to Gareth about his chariot for arriving, speaks about some of the static exhibits demonstrating the air power in the Falklands conflict and see’s a Condor fly past.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, and on Facebook at XTPMedia. You can also find Pieter and Gareth at the Aviation Xtended podcast, and on Twitter at @AviationXtended.

Mentioned this episode:

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of our friend Harriet.

Play

Guest Linda L. (Heid) Maloney had a 20 year military career as a naval flight officer flying the A-7, EA-6A, and the EA-6B Prowler. She was one of the first women to join a combat military flying squadron. Since then, she’s provided engineering and technical support to the Navy’s aviation acquisition programs and has just authored the book, Military Fly Moms ~ Sharing Memories, Building Legacies, Inspiring Hope.

We talk with Linda about being a female military aviator, and the time she had to eject from her plane. In her book, a collection of women military pilots tell their stories, the decisions they have had to make, the legacy they want pass down to their children, and the encouragement they give to other women. A portion of the proceeds from the book go to Girls With Wings.

Find Linda (and her book) at www.LindaHeidMaloney.com or on Twitter as @militaryflymoms. Also see the Military Fly Moms ~ Sharing Memories, Building Legacies, Inspiring Hope Facebook page.

The week’s aviation news:

David’s Aircraft of the Week: The EA-6A Electric Intruder.

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

In addition to the airshow noise, Grant and Steve talk about CASA grounding another animal themed airline, Qantas considering laying off 400 maintenance workers in Melbourne, Qantas delaying two A380s but increasing domestic capacity to fight off Virgin Australia and the recent Australian decision to delay making a decision on when to purchase the F35.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

This week on Across the Pond, Pieter again talks with UK airline consultant Tim Gresty from Cognitio. Tim shares more of his views on the way the industry is developing and where he thinks things will develop for some of the carriers.

Find Pieter Johnson on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, and also on Facebook at XTPMedia.

Mentions:

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

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Guest Steve Harris is currently a senior at the University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering and writes the Aeroscholar blog. He’s also the president of the UofM Student Chapter of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and is a member of the Jet Engine Team of Michigan. Steve is starting to pursue a private pilot’s license, he has taken students on a tour of the top aerospace companies in southern California, he attends the Aerospace Sciences Meeting every year, and through the AIAA he lobbies for the aerospace industry in Washington D.C. Steve Tweets as @Aeroscholar.

The week’s aviation news:

David’s aircraft of the Week: the Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama.

No Australia Desk news report this week, but you can still find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

This week on Across the Pond, Pieter talks again to Rohit Rao from AeroBlogger about developments in India with the focus on airlines. There’s more news from Kingfisher and the guys look at some of the new airlines starting up in the region. Find Rohit on Twitter as @TheAeroBlogger.

Find Pieter Johnson on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, and also on Facebook at XTPMedia.

Links from Listener Email:

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

Post photo by David Vanderhoof

 

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1000th Boeing 777 delivered to Emirates

Guest Steve Fulton is a Technical Fellow with GE Aviation. He was the pilot at Alaska Airlines who helped develop the world’s first RNP procedure (that’s Required Navigation Performance), and he was a co-founder of Naverus, now part of GE. RNP enables aircraft to be placed on efficient predefined paths from top of descent to the runway.

We discuss RNP, the FAA reauthorization, and what the U.S. Congress has mandated. We talk about bringing what was developed in simpler situations to more complex ones here in the U.S., and mention “The Highways in the Sky” study where GE identifies significant benefits at airports that are not at the top of the FAA priority list. Steve points out that besides techincal challanges, this technology requires attention to the human element because it represents such a large change for pilots and air traffic controllers. Controllers, for example, have great vectoring skills that work well for loading the runways, but not very efficiently. RNP brings efficiency, but the task is more about managing automation. Steve also talks about translating the benefits of RNP to general aviation and unmanned aviation as well.

Steve writes for the GE Aviation Skyward Blog, and you can follow him Twitter at @captstevefulton.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report: Virgin Australia restructure goes ahead despite Qantas trying to block it, damaged Qantas A380 V-OQA repaired and returning to Aus next month, AirNZ ATR 72s grounded due to wing cracks, and Air Asia X pulling out of Christchurch route.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

In his Across The Pond segment, Pieter Johnson talks with AeroBlogger Rohit Rao about the situation for airlines in India. Rohit gives his views on Kingfisher and their well publicised troubles as well as looking at Indigo. It’s a fascinating insight into Indian aviation.

Follow Rohit on Twitter as @TheAeroBlogger and Pieter can be found on Twitter as @Nascothornet or XTP Media’s Facebook Page.

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.