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   Vol. 15  No. 12
Wednesday February 10, 2016

 

Drones Outnumber Airplanes

   On December 21 the U.S. FAA began drone registration, and right now they are awfully glad they did.
As of today, the number of drones potentially flying in U.S. skies outnumber the number of piloted aircraft—including private and commercial crafts—as more than 325,000 people have registered their drones as of last Friday.
   The FAA Administrator Michael Huerta reports that in the U.S. there are 320,000 piloted aircraft registered with the agency. The kicker in all of this is in less than two months the average operator could hold 1.5 drones, which means the FAA drone count might be a bit conservative and could even exceed one half million.

Chesley Sullenberger
Former Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger with US Airways Flight 1549, an A320-214 built for US Airways in 1999. Today Flight 1549 is on permanent display at the Carolina Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

   “About 7,000 planes fly in U.S. skies any time during the day,” according to the FAA, “along with an untold number of drones.”
   “FAA receives about 100 reports per month from aircraft pilots who say they spotted drones flying near them, but the remote-controlled aircraft can be difficult to trace,” the agency said.
   “With registration, the FAA can track down operators flying dangerously or after a crash.
   “The agency has opened 24 investigations into unsafe or illegal drone operations,” Mr. Huerta declared.
   Chesley Sullenberger, the retired US Airways Captain who landed a jet on the Hudson River after geese knocked out both of the plane's engines on January 15, 2009, tells USA Today he has warned about the need to prevent drones from colliding with airliners.
   “The sheer numbers concern me, as they increase the risk of a collision and it is likely that the actual number of drones is much greater than the number registered,” Sullenberger said.


Air Cargo News 40th Anniversary Issue

Cant We Talk It Over

      Indian exporters will benefit from a new gateway in the south of the country.
      At least, that is the plan.
      Visakhapatnam International Airport has chalked out plans to boost domestic cargo and will hopefully see full-scale operations by the end of February 2016.
      Now that the airport operator, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has finalized a private entity, Delex Cargo India, to operate the cargo terminal, moves have begun to start international cargo operations.
      The AAI has, in fact, sent out requests to Customs authorities to finalize its set-up for exports.

Room To Grow

      The airport currently sees around 50-odd flights everyday, of which the carriers flying abroad include AirAsia, SilkAir, and Air India.
      The frequencies fly from Visakhapatnam to Dubai, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. The city and its hinterland feature a number of seafood processing and pharmaceutical units in addition to apparel and jewel manufacturers which reportedly have been looking forward to sending cargo abroad directly from the city’s airport, with obvious benefit.

Shorten Shipping Times

      Today, exporters and a good number of domestic freight forwarders send their consignments by truck to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, or Chennai airports. 
      As for domestic cargo, the AAI has enhanced the infrastructure at an expense of $94.5 million to renovate the old terminal building of the airport into an integrated air cargo terminal.
      More than 400 square meters of covered space have been created in the old terminal in addition to another 400 square meters of paved surface for cargo handling operations. 
      The refurbished terminal will be able to handle the growth in domestic air cargo that has been noticed every year (in 2010-11, it handled 1,107 tons; in 2013-14, it went up to 1,823 tons, but in 2014-15 it fell to 1,244 tons, primarily because of the shut down of flights to the airport after cyclone Hudhud).
      The recorded numbers from April to December 2015 measured 1,334 tons.
      While between 60 and 70 percent of domestic cargo is made up of shrimps and seafood, e-commerce consignment numbers are looking up.
      Also, with a number of domestic carriers connecting Visakhapatnam to cities like Jaipur and Ahmedabad, the domestic cargo scenario looks promising.

      The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, at a meeting with the Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, and the Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, in New Delhi in December 2015.

Multi Modal Logistics Abuilding

      Another development that bodes well for the future of export cargo from the airport is the finalization of the expansion project of the Multi Modal Logistics Park being developed by the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) near the airport, with plans to see that enterprise fully operational by 2017-18.
      According to CONCOR sources, the park will be created—as per international standards—with seamless connectivity.
      In the first phase a container freight station was set up and by the end of the third phase, it will have capacity to handle 0.3 million TEU.
      Meanwhile, demand put up by none other than Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapati Raju is worrying air cargo stakeholders.
      A scion of the Pusapati royal family from Vizianagaram (he is the son of Maharaja Pusapati Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju, the last Maharaja of Vizianagram) Raju spares no opportunity to mention that the airport at Visakhapatnam, which is barely 75-odd km from Visakhapatnam and just 24 km from the Pusapati palace, has a number of geographical handicaps and that a new airport needs to be set up at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram.

Can’t We Talk It Over?

      The handicaps: the airport was primarily a defense airport and ran according to the priorities of the Union Ministry of Defense, and the geographical location of the airport, with hills on one side, necessitated landings and take-offs in one direction only. 
      The Civil Aviation Minister is believed to have assured that he would take steps to acquire the land by speaking to the farmers and villages in the area.
      However, the Bhogapuram airport issue has already started a furor.
      Some time ago, the farmers and village people in the area—who were needed for the proposed airport—protested and stopped traffic (see header image above).
      The government of the state led by Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu from the Telugu Desam Party—which is, incidentally a partner of the Narendra Modi-led government in Delhi—formed teams to convince the farmers to part with around 5,000 acres of land, but until today they have refused to budge.
      But then Raju, with the might of the central government backing him, could wield the magic wand and establish the airport.
      Aviation experts believe that if the Greenfield airport does come up in Bhogapuram, it will cater to the people of Visakhapatnam as well as the north coastal districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.
In addition, it will attract fliers from the neighboring state of Odisha, who have to travel to the state capital Bhubaneswar or all the way to Kolkata to take a flight.
Tirthankar Ghosh

Editor's Note: Reminds us of a song…


Cant We Talk It Over

 

Etihad Into The Light

   Although it has often found itself caught up in rows with regulators and competitors (mainly in Europe) about how it has funded and managed its expansion, there is no doubt that Etihad, alongside Qatar and Emirates, is a major star in the world of air freight even when markets are stubbornly slow.
      In 2014 Etihad Cargo recorded a 19.2 percent year-on-year surge in cargo revenue, which totaled $1.11bn, aided by a 16.8 percent increase in freight and mail volumes to 569,000 tons.
     Its cargo division produced a “standout performance” said the Abu Dhabi-based airline. Industry veteran James Hogan, the carrier’s Australian President and Chief Executive, saluted Etihad Cargo, adding that it “has consistently outperformed the global market” and its “impressive 17 percent growth in freight ton kilometers in 2014 is four times the industry average.” High praise, indeed.

     Growth was a bit slower in 2015, but it has still been eye-catching given the disappointing growth in world trade and the bearish nature of cargo markets for much of the year.
      David Kerr, VP of Etihad Cargo, attributes the growth to the continued expansion of the airline’s global passenger and cargo network, and the addition of new passenger aircraft to the fleet, which have provided extra bellyhold capacity.
     “We have also rolled out new cargo products designed to meet the specific needs of customers and the strong export and import demands between financial centers and key emerging markets,” he told FlyingTypers.
     “During the first half of the year the airline launched new passenger services to Kolkata, Madrid, Entebbe, Edinburgh, and Hong Kong to complement our existing global network, enabling Etihad Cargo to extend its reach and offer bellyhold capacity to new routes in India, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
     “At the beginning of the year we also launched Tempcheck, a new cargo solution created to ensure the integrity of all temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical and healthcare products as they are transported around the world.
     “As part of the Tempcheck introduction, we upgraded our temperature controlled storage facilities in Abu Dhabi and installed purpose-built facilities to support the new venture. We are continuing to providing a range of active solutions from all major industry providers, which include recognized providers such as Envirotainer, C-Safe, and Va-q-tec.”
     Etihad currently operates a fleet of 10 freighter aircraft to 38 destinations on its passenger network while its freighter-only routes serve key cities around the world including Bogotá, Chittagong, Dar es Salaam, Djibouti, Dubai World Central, Eldoret, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Houston, Kabul, Miami, Sharjah, and Tbilisi.
     “We’re witnessing new trade patterns from emerging markets such as China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India to Africa via our hub in Abu Dhabi,” said Kerr. “We are perfectly positioned to take advantage of those trends through our strategic location and with new long range aircraft being added to the fleet.”
      An additional two B777Fs are due to join the fleet next year, joining its current freighter roster of three Boeing 777Fs, three Boeing 747Fs, and four Airbus A330Fs.
     Cargo operations will also be aided when Abu Dhabi airport is upgraded. “The Midfield Terminal project is due to complete in 2017,” said Kerr. “We are building for the future here and that is why we are currently investing in a new cargo terminal in Abu Dhabi to help create an even larger global freight hub.”

SkyKing


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Recharge Lithium SoC

   On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, our story “Recharge Lithium in 2016” reported that an Addendum to IATA’s 57th edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) mandates April 1, 2016, as the date a maximum state of charge (SoC) of 30 percent rule would be applicable for all lithium ion batteries “shipped or contained in or packed with equipment.”
   That sentence should have read lithium ion batteries (UN 3480) “shipped by themselves must be at no more than 30 percent SoC” (not including the words “shipped or contained in equipment”).
   Here is the exact IATA DGR Addendum wording on the subject that was also included in our original report:
   “Lithium ion cells and batteries must be offered for transport at a state of charge (SoC) not exceeding 30 percent of their rated design capacity. Cells and/or batteries at a SoC of greater than 30 percent may only be shipped with the approval of the State of Origin and the State of the Operator under the written conditions established by those authorities. Note: Guidance and methodology for determining the rated capacity can be found in Section 38.3.2.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, 5th revised edition, Amend. 1.”

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Vol. 15 No. 9
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Ray Ray At JFK
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Letter To The Editor-Remembering Peter Spaulding
FT020316
Vol. 15 No. 10
Recharge Lithium In 2016

Hope Floats
In The Picture
Chuckles For February 3, 2016
Regarding Pete Spaulding
Mardi Gras Know What It Means

FT020316
Vol. 15 No. 11
Jan Krems Sexy Cargo

Letter To The Editor February 8, 2016
Year Of The Fire Monkey
It's Your Fortune Cookie


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