With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to drag on, the FAA is beginning to extend certain exemptions and other leniencies designed to keep the air transportation system operating during the crisis, the first among them surrounding air carrier crew training and checking requirements. In March, the FAA initially granted petitions for exemptions to provide Part 135 flexibility in meeting protective breathing equipment requirements during training, as well as to provide more time to meet the crew recurrent training requirements.
The Coronavirus impact on the aviation Industry
Flight Safety Foundation’s (FSF) Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) has gone virtual during the Covid-19 pandemic through the use of remote monitoring and video conferencing for safety audits. Launched in its current form 10 years ago in collaboration with resource and mining support companies, BARS establishes a consensus-based industry standard and provides for auditing, risk assessment, data collection, and information sharing among participants.
As Asian airlines continue to shift into a phase of recovery, revealing plans to restore domestic routes, the reintroduction of international operations is proving more complex as governments across the region apply divergent policies on reopening borders to the traveling public.
With most flight departments and aircraft operators seeing vastly reduced flight hours as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, companies are looking for ways to keep their pilots’ skills sharp and ready for when demand increases. In a webinar presented by Wyvern on Wednesday, that problem was explored from the perspective of Part 91 and Part 135 operators.
Epic Aircraft has delivered the first two customer copies of its E1000 all-composite turboprop single. The deliveries, announced by the airframer on Thursday, follow FAA type certification of the airplane last November.
Global business aviation activity through May 26 was about half of the normal levels from a year ago, but continues to show more resilience in this Covid-19 recovery period than airline traffic, which is still 85 percent below normal levels, according to data released today by WingX Advance. On average, 2,800 business aircraft have been active globally each day this month, which equates to 48 percent of the average fleet normally employed.
The Air Charter Association (ACA) has strongly criticized new Covid-19 quarantine rules that from June 8 will require almost all travelers arriving in the UK to remain isolated at a fixed location for 14 days. In a statement issued on May 28, the industry group questioned the validity of the quarantine rules and said that they will make it impossible for business people to come to the UK for short visits.
EasyJet plans to reduce staff numbers by as much as 30 percent to reflect an anticipated drop in capacity in the fourth quarter as compared with the same period last year, the UK low-fare carrier said Thursday. The announcement comes a week after the airline said it would resume flying on June 15 with a schedule consisting mainly of domestic service in the UK and France.
Business aviation activity rates in Brazil are varying significantly among different groups of travelers as the country struggles to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, according to speakers at a recent industry webinar. Participants agreed that a full recovery is several years away, but they also saw opportunities as shrinkage of airline routes enhances business aviation’s value for reaching far-flung destinations already underserved by the airlines.
Boeing notified its workers in a letter on Wednesday that it will begin involuntary layoffs this week of 6,770 U.S.-based employees, most of whom will leave the company on July 31. The move comes after Boeing approved voluntary layoffs for 5,520 U.S. employees as part of a 10-percent workforce reduction plan announced on April 29. The cuts will disproportionately affect the company’s commercial airplanes and services businesses, amounting to 15 percent of the workforce among those divisions.