Briefs From The Singapore Airshow—Day 2
ANA, Joby, Announce UAM Partnership
Japan’s largest airline and California-based electric-vertical-takeoff-and landing developer Joby have announced a wide-ranging partnership intended to scope out the art of the possible for aerial ride-sharing in the country. The two firms will collaborate on areas such as infrastructure development, pilot training, air-traffic management, regulatory issues and public acceptance. Joby’s long-term partner, Toyota, will also be involved in examining the ground-transportation aspects. “Our customers value efficiency very highly, so being able to provide them with the option to travel rapidly—and sustainably—from an international airport to a downtown location is very appealing,” says ANA Holding’s director and executive vice president, Koji Shibata.
Japanese Defense Ministry Extends Airbus Helicopter Support Contracts
Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have renewed their HCare agreements with Airbus to continue support of their H225 and H135 fleets. The former three-aircraft fleet is operated by the Japan Ground Force, and the HCare Infinite contract covers maintenance, repair, parts supply and technical support. The Maritime Force’s 15 135s, which are used for ab initio pilot training, have been covered by an HCare Smart contract since 2016, including parts supply and maintenance management. The extended deal now includes engine parts supply, cockpit voice and flight-data recorder retrofit, and technical support.
Hainan Gets Collins Sensors
Collins Aerospace has signed a long-term agreement to supply air data sensors to Hainan Airlines’ fleet of over 500 airliners. The carrier’s Airbus A320s and A330s will receive a retrofit of the 0851MC Pitot probe, while the company’s Air Data Sensors (ADS) will be fitted to the airline’s Boeing 737NGs. The ADS systems measure several different data points, including airspeed, altitude and calculations performed by the air-data computer. No value or timescale has been published for the deal, which was announced at the Singapore Airshow on Feb. 16.
Leonardo Sees Increasing Regional Requirements for DIRCM
The proliferation of man-portable air-defense systems, and in particular their adoption by pirates and terrorists, is spurring nations across the Asia-Pacific region to look for effective ways to protect their aircraft against such threats, according to Leonardo. The company’s Miysis directed infrared countermeasures system (DIRCM) was developed in the UK and is free of export controls that have previously restricted the technology’s proliferation. The company says they are “expecting to hold discussions . . . with a range of interested regional governments and armed forces” during the Singapore Airshow about potential sales of Miysis, which, in live-fire trials by the UK and other customers has demonstrated a success rate of 100%.
Tigerair, Liebherr Sign A320neo Service Deal
Liebherr-Aerospace will provide repair support services to a large number of air conditioning and bleed components on board Tigerair Taiwan’s 15 Airbus A320neo aircraft under a new long-term deal signed at the Singapore Airshow. The wholly owned subsidiary of China Airlines will be supported by Liebherr-Singapore, the Toulouse-based company’s dedicated regional service center. The deal is “a great step ahead for Liebherr-Aerospace in the Asia-Pacific region,” says Ekkehard Pracht, general manager of the Singapore facility. No information on contract duration or value has been made public.
Nepal Expands Collins Passenger-Processing Tech
Three airports in Nepal are to be equipped with passenger processing and baggage systems from Collins Aerospace, following an agreement between the company and the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced during the Singapore Airshow. The company delivered its Common Use Passenger Processing System to Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Implementation of further systems across the three airports will assist the CAA in managing customer confidence during the ongoing pandemic. The systems’ customizable and scalable design “helps enable social distancing, reduce anxiety and improve the passenger experience by reducing bottlenecks around the airport,” says Rakan Khaled, Collins’ general manager for airport systems.
Alliance Air to Operate ATR 42-600s on Himalayan Routes
Two ATR 42-600 aircraft, leased via TrueNoord, will be joining Alliance Air’s fleet as the former Air India subsidiary looks to expand its footprint in the Himalayas. The 42s will join a fleet of 18 ATR 72-600s, with the new aircraft chosen because of their particular suitability for operations in and out of Shimla and Kullu-Manali airports. Both are at high altitudes—1,546 m (5.072 ft.) and 1,089 m respectively—have short runways and regularly experience very high temperatures.
Kullu sits deep in a valley surrounded by mountains. “Thanks to the unique features of the ATR 42-600, Alliance Air will proudly fulfill the mission assigned by the Indian government to make the most inaccessible regions accessible,” said Alliance Air CEO Vineet Sood while announcing the deal during the Singapore Airshow. Commonality between the ATR 42 and 72 will assist the airline in speeding up the introduction to service. The first aircraft is due to be delivered this year.