Vol. 9  No. 95                                              WE COVER THE WORLD                              Wednesday Augustr 11, 2010 Extra


In this handout image provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), smoke from wildfires is seen from space August 11, 2010 over Moscow, Russia. Peat fields in the outskirts of Moscow have been burning for two weeks, and have killed over 50 people.
Moscow's St. Basil's Cathedral is seen through the heavy smog covering Moscow, Russia,as a woman with a boy wear masks protecting from the thickest blanket of smog covering. Temperatures up to 100 F (38 C) have exacerbated forest and peat bog fires across Russia's central and western regions, destroying close to 2,000 homes.

     Wads of thick smoke from peat-bog fires and forests southeast of the Russian capital have raised pollution in the city of roughly 18 million dwellers to a highly dangerous level.      Russian health officials speak of a steep increase of mortality that normally averages 360 dead people each day but has more than doubled now.
    The acrid smoke clouds also caused disruption to air navigation in Domodedovo airport, Russia’s busiest and biggest airport by passenger numbers.
    Hundreds of flights were delayed, diverted to other airports or even cancelled by air traffic controllers due to poor visibility conditions.
    Sergei Izvolsky, a spokesperson for Russia’s Federal Air Transportation Association told local media visibility at Domodedovo was partially reduced to as little as 200 meters making air traffic hazardous.
    So far no end of the roughly 600 different fires is seen although the army stepped in to extinguish the blazes. Their task however, is extremely difficult due to the ongoing heat of nearly 40 degrees Celsius, poor technical equipment, and no weather change forecast.
    Air Cargo News FlyingTypers managed to interview Konstantin Tyurkin, spokesperson for Domodedovo-based Transaero Airlines, is the second biggest Russian carrier.

  Konstantin, please tell us about the current weather situation Domodedovo airport and how Transaero Airlines is affected by the smoke.

  Well, regarding the smoke situation I must say that bad weather is not something out of the ordinary in Russia. That’s why most of Transaero’s pilots have certificates to land and take-off in low-visibility conditions (according to CAT IIIA requirements). Domodedovo Airport’s runways are also equipped according CAT IIIA requirements. That’s why when last week the situation with visibility became worse due to smoke Transaero’s operations were not seriously interrupted.
      We, of course, had some minor delays during which Transaero acted in line with Russian legislation: passengers were provided for beverages, meals and accommodation in hotels in certain instances. That happened only when Domodedovo closed the runways (each time not more then for two or three hours), and Transaero’s aircraft in flight were redirected to alternate airports, Moscow Sheremetyevo, also Saint Petersburg and Kazan.

 Sheremetyevo is located north of Moscow. Did traffic there face similar problems?

  Sheremetyevo’s runways are also equipped according to CAT IIIA. However, thanks to its location the airport was not affected by smoke and therefore, didn’t have to close its doors.

Are there any credible estimations how much the disruption of air traffic in Moscow has cost airlines so far?

I would not like to estimate the other carriers’ losses but I can say that Transaero didn’t suffer a lot, and the costs are minimal. I don’t have final figures on hand but according to preliminary data our expenses are comparable to those when there’s snowstorm or fog in Moscow.
     Although many fires keep on burning I like to emphasize that at this moment Transaero Airlines as well as Domodedovo Airport operate according to schedule with no traffic delays due to the smoke.
Heiner Siegmund

Transaero High Over Russia

      Russian Transaero Airlines (Code: UN) reports a 45.4 percent increase of cargo tonnage from January until the end of June 2010, compared to the first half of last year. The total, almost 16,000 tons, was transported in the bellies of the carrier’s passenger fleet and is seen as a remarkable leap since air freight is traditionally only a marginal by-product of the Moscow-based airline.
      Revenue ton-kilometers (RTK) upped almost 50 percent, reaching 1.11 billion RTKs during the same period. So did the passenger biz, which grew by 42.4 percent with 2.78 million guests carried.
      Commented Olga Pleshakova, Transaero’s General Director: “In the first six months of 2010, we achieved the best result in our nineteen year history as a private enterprise.” This was achieved by deploying additional Boeing B777 aircraft, thus offering the market a number of new domestic as well as international routes.
       “We are particularly pleased with new services from St. Petersburg and Moscow to the Russian Far East, and the outstanding success of our roundtrips between our gateway, Moscow Domodedovo, and Beijing Capital International Airport,” Mrs. Pleshakova stated.
       Currently, Transaero’s fleet consists of 51 aircraft, including twelve B747s, five B777s, eleven B767s, twenty B737s and three Tupolev 214s. It is the only airline deploying B777 and B747 passenger equipment in Russia, the neighboring CIS countries and Eastern Europe.
       The carrier announced the introduction of two new routes connecting Moscow (Domodedovo) with New York (JFK) and Miami. The services will commence at the end of next October. It is the first time ever UN flies across the North Atlantic. JFK will initially be served four times weekly by deploying B747-400 aircraft and Miami every Wednesday by putting a B777 passenger jet on that route.
       Transaero further plans to increase the capacity by adding four B777s and nine B747-400s to its fleet. With the arrival of the -400s, the ageing B747-200s will gradually phase out, says the carrier.
Heiner Siegmund

Gulf Oil Cleanup
Aided By EMO Trans

     As that terrible BP oil leak off the coast of USA electrified the world BP and HEPACO ordered 25 “Made in Germany” Beach Tech Cleaners in order to clean the most affected beaches in Alabama and surrounding shores of several states.
     Before the Beach Cleaners were shipped, experts from Kaessbohrer conducted several test drives in order to modify the highly sophisticated pieces of equipment to ensure that the best cleaning results could be obtained.
     The critical determining factor as to whether the cleaning efforts are successful is the consistency of the oil and the resulting oil “ball.”
     Heat is the single most influencing factor.
     Cleaning efforts are therefore conducted mostly at night and in the early morning hours, as the oil “balls” are less liquid at lower temperatures (much like honey or wax).
     The Beach Tech Cleaners had to be modified by removing the metal rakes in order to avoid the oil “balls” being destroyed or buried in the deeper layers of the sand.
     BP had ordered several models, in that total of 25 Beach Cleaners that have been of critical importance as witnessed in the recent report by U.S. government that enviromental impact of the incident has been minimalized.
     EMO Trans Germany was tasked with planning the moves from pick up to delivery in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
     The Sales Office of EMO Trans in Ulm, Germany took the lead, operationally supported by the Stuttgart and New York office.
     All moves were uplifted, cleared and delivered in Gulf Shores, Alabama ahead of schedule.
     Kaessbohrer and Bech Tech both praised the execution of this contract, realizing that the logistical demands were extremely high and top notch work was delivered on short notice.
     “We are proud to contribute our part to the clean up efforts in Alabama,” states Thomas Huchler, (above) General Manager Corporate Development for EMO Trans in Germany.
     “We are looking forward to assisting Kaessbohrer Beach Tech in the future with upcoming moves.”
Geoffrey Arend


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