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Jean46's picture

Drone and plane in 'very near miss' over central London

A passenger aircraft narrowly avoided a collision with a drone over central London, according to a report.

The Airbus A320, which was carrying around 165 passengers as it approached Heathrow Airport on 18 July, was within 66ft (20m) of the device.

The report, based on the pilot's observations, described the incident as a "very near miss".

The plane was at an altitude of 4,900ft (1,494m) when the drone was seen from the right-side flight deck window.

The incident was deemed to be in the "most serious" category of risk. The drone operator has not been traced.

2_b_or_not's picture

Avinor, Finavia launch cross border air traffic services across Norway and Finland

Norway-based air navigation service (ANS) provider Avinor, in cooperation with Finland’s ANS provider Finavia, has introduced new air traffic services across the border of the two countries.

Located in the north of Norway, Kirkenes Airport will offer new services covering parts of Finnish airspace, as well as enable more efficient and safe flight operations at the airport.

Developed under the North European Functional Airspace Block (NEFAB) programme, the new cross border air traffic services aim to optimise airspace between participating ANS providers in Norway, Estonia, Finavia, and Latvia.

Finavia senior vice-president Raine Luojus said: “The cross border services with Norway are a good proof of how we are working in NEFAB towards building more efficient airspace structures for the benefit our customers, and are one among many other initiatives.

loulou's picture

Porter flight from Ottawa to Toronto evades possible drone

Canada's transportation safety authority is investigating after an aeroplane had to take evasive action to avoid a near mid-air collision.

The Transportation Safety Board confirmed that at 07:30 EST (12:30 GMT), a Porter Airlines flight from Ottawa to Toronto nearly collided with what they believe was a drone.

Two crew members received minor injuries during the manoeuvre.

Investigators at Billy Bishop Airport are looking into the incident.

The flight was at an altitude of approximately 9,000ft (2,740m) over Lake Ontario and making its initial approach for landing at Toronto's island airport on Monday when the pilots noticed an object in the distance.

As they got closer the pilots realised the object, which they first believed was a balloon, was very close to the flight path. They decided to take evasive action.

Porter is working with the Transportation Safety Board investigators, according to a statement.

Australian air traffic controller warns radio hoaxer may risk lives

As the police hunt continues for a radio hoaxer who illegally communicated with aircraft over Melbourne continues with no new leads, an air traffic controller has broken ranks to warn the "menace" hoaxer could endanger lives.

The air traffic controller, emailing Fairfax Media on the basis of anonymity, said the hoaxer was well-known to air traffic controllers because of "continual disruption for whatever personal gain" and he could "eventually compromise safety. He is a menace."

Air traffic controllers working from Avalon and Melbourne airports had built up a profile of the offender, who is breaking federal laws under the Radio Communications Act and Aviation Transport Act and presenting a massive security risk to the airports and airlines.

dallas's picture

German Labour Court declares air traffic controllers strike illegal

The federal Labour Court in Erfurt on July 26 declared a strike by air traffic controllers to be illegal. The air traffic controllers union GdF must now pay millions in damages to the airport operator Fraport AG following the strike in February 2012.

In February 2012, ground controllers held a nine-day strike at the Rhein-Main airport to enforce an arbitrator’s decision that granted them their own contract with better pay and shorter working hours. Ground controllers are airport employees who coordinate ground traffic and accompany aircraft prior to take-off and after landing as guides or “follow-me” drivers.

Fraport AG did not want to accept the arbitrator’s decision presented, even though they appointed an arbitrator, CDU politician Ole von Beust, and went to court against the strike as it took place, as well as claiming for damages.

2_b_or_not's picture

Real-time flight data exchange between Eurocontrol, UAE goes live

Eurocontrol and the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have begun exchanging real-time flight data, as part of a cooperation agreement signed in October last year.

The agreement was signed with the aim of addressing a lack of predictability of traffic between Europe and the Middle East. It covers not only the exchange of real-time flight data, but also updated flight plan and airport departure planning information.

Eurocontrol DG Frank Brenner said: “Real-time updates of departure times and other trajectory information is now being exchanged between the operational systems of the Eurocontrol Network Manager and the UAE main air traffic control center on the major traffic flows between Europe and the UAE. This is a significant contributor to realize the Global Air Traffic Flow Management Concept, where the different parts of the world connect and exchange these very important data.”

Irish Aviation Authority backs new plane tracking system

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is a shareholder in Aireon, a multinational partnership developing a new satellite-based air traffic control system that can pinpoint the location of craft even in remote areas with no infrastructure, such as the north Atlantic.

Tests by the IAA and Aireon confirm the equipment that the Irish regulator will use to collect surveillance data is operating to the highest standards.

The company, in which the authority is a 6 per cent shareholder, hailed the success as a significant breakthrough in the development of the system, which is due to go live in 2018.

As part of the project, the IAA’s communications centre in Ballygirreen, Co Clare will operate Aireon’s emergency tracking system, dubbed Alert, which will provide precise details on a craft’s last known location if it goes missing.

Jean46's picture

Italy’s ENAV getting in shape ahead of flotation

Cost-cutting efforts and a recovery in international traffic allowed Italian air traffic control to deliver an improved first-quarter performance.

The air navigation service provider which is due to be privatised when it floats on the Italian stock market in July saw en-route traffic over Italy enjoying a 0.3% year on year increase on 360,702 flights managed.

There was a 2.4% increase in the number of service units which takes into account the weight of the aircraft and, in the case of the en-route traffic, also the distance travelled, to 1,587,750.

Total consolidated revenues for the first quarter reached €177.4 million, increasing by 5.3% from €168.4 million – helped by a mechanism that allows ENAV to recover any difference between the planned air traffic, as defined in the performance plan, and the actual traffic recorded (€11.5 million).

Giorgos's picture

FAA’s bid to expand air traffic hiring pool hits turbulence

A revamped hiring process for federal air traffic controllers that the government says is designed to broaden the applicant pool is being assailed by critics who say it has resulted in the selection of candidates with no experience over graduates of rigorous aviation programs.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it changed the process and added a personality test, called the Biographical Questionnaire, as the first hurdle in hiring controllers in order to get the best possible job candidates.

The test, officials said, measures risk tolerance, dependability, cooperation, resilience, stress tolerance and other traits. It was developed through years of research to predict pass rates at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, the agency’s principal training facility, and whether a controller will be certified at his or her first air traffic site.

Swedish air traffic controllers debunk cyber attack disruption theory

Sweden's civil aviation administration (LFV) has concluded that radar disruptions that affected services in Stockholm and Malmö last November were down to the effects of a solar flare, scotching rumors reported by El Reg and others earlier this week that a hacker group linked to Russian intelligence might be to blame.

Radar stations were not relaying the correct data to air traffic control during the afternoon of November 4, prompting controllers to switch over onto a different way of managing the aircraft, and to restrict the number of planes allowed into Swedish airspace. The disruption lasted for around 90 minutes.

An investigation by LFV did consider the possibility that a cyber attack against the system might be behind the disruption, but this theory was quickly discounted by aviation experts.

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