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No more Tom and Jerry?

National aviation authorities (NAA) face a dilemma. Aviation is getting much safer, implying big NAAs are not so necessary, but the industry is also getting larger and more technically and operationally complex, which seems to imply a need for more oversight. The one certainty is that NAAs will not get more ­resources in the future, […]

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In defence of Boeing

Qatar Airways’ Akbar Al Baker rarely holds back when pointing out suppliers’ shortcomings. Airbus and Boeing have both been publicly chastised when they have fallen short of the uncompromising standards set by the boss of the fast-growing Gulf airline. Indeed, although he was full of praise for Airbus and the “masterpiece” he collected at Hamburg […]

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O’Leary’s widebody wait

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 16 September issue of Flight International It is an absurdly great time to be selling widebody airliners. One look at the order backlogs of Airbus and Boeing confirms this point, but also consider this: there is a premier customer with ample access to financing – Ryanair’s […]

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Keeping it credible

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 16 September issue of Flight International The fuselage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 operating flight MH17 was extensively punctured by “high energy objects” that entered from outside, says the initial report. The weakened hull then broke up, and wreckage was widely scattered over agricultural land […]

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Ash costs cash

This first appeared as a Comment in the 2 September issue of Flight International When Icelandic volcanic ash visited Europe’s skies in April 2010, it cost the continent’s economy at least €5 billion ($7 billion) – just by grounding most commercial aviation for a week. With seismic rumblings beneath Iceland’s fragile crust gathering strength, how […]

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The age of the airship?

This first appeared as a Comment in the 2 September issue of Flight International The five decades from 1914 saw heavier-than-air ­aviation evolve from basic biplanes to the jet age.  The subsequent 50 years welcomed stealth, supersonic airliners, huge advances in aerostructures and mass air travel. However, lighter-than-air technology has moved somewhat more hesitantly in […]

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Le jour de gloire est termine

This first appeared as a Comment in the 26 August issue of Flight International Eurocontrol has just revealed that more than 13% of all the en-route delay in Europe’s skies during 2013 was caused by industrial action by air traffic control officers (ATCO) – mostly strikes by French ATCOs, which have more effect than they […]

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Room on the deck?

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 26 August issue of Flight International So far, unmanned aviation has changed warfare mainly by providing tactical units with a level of reconnaissance and targeting support unimaginable even 15 years ago – and that is only the start. The two-year deployment of the Lockheed Martin/Kaman K-Max […]

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Was BA pilot Richard Westgate poisoned by contaminated cabin air?

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 5 August issue of Flight International British Airways may be centre stage for this week’s report on a case of pilot and cabin crew illness, but it is an industry-wide problem not related to a specific airline or aircraft type. As more and more pilots and […]

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Risks and conflict zones

This article first appeared as a Comment in the 5 August issue of Flight International In the wake of flight MH17’s loss over eastern Ukraine, it is right that ICAO has called a high-level meeting to examine what, if anything, could be done to mitigate risks to commercial air transport in conflict zones. It not […]

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