Island Aviation

Island Aviation (792)

SIMPSON BAY, St. MaartenThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) is showing keen interest in partnering with the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, with its Aviation Training Academy.

This was revealed at a recent meeting held between a delegation of SXM led by managing director Regina LaBega and representatives of IATA’s Training and Development Institute (ITDI) upon the latter’s invitation, at their regional office in Miami.

ITDI expressed great interest in exploring SXM’s needs, but more importantly wanted to determine how it could be part of SXM aviation training plans through a possible partnership. ITDI offers training in all areas related to the aviation industry except for the training of pilots.

According to LaBega, SXM Airport is interested in identifying training areas that would set it aside from the rest of the pack. The discussions therefore focused primarily on the excellent opportunity that presents itself due to the fact that the entire region is in need of an aviation training academy, especially in filling the void in training for the French Caribbean.

“As a multi-lingual destination, SXM can fill this void,” LaBega said.

The possible partnership with IATA in establishing the Aviation Training Academy would result in SXM Airport being fully endorsed by IATA and Airport Council International (ACI) as an IATA Regional Training Host. This in turn would mean that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) would certify SXM Aviation Training Academy.

As an IATA Regional Training Host, the SXM Aviation Training Academy would be authorized to host IATA classroom courses on its premises, and thus be included in the global IATA classroom schedule.

The Academy would also create high-skilled jobs for potential trainers and enhance business in a number of sectors, such as accommodation, car rentals, restaurants, supermarkets, etc. It would similarly attract business from the region, as trainees from all across the Caribbean would be able to make use of it.

“Some European countries have also indicated that they would consider training their staff at our Academy when established instead of having to do so in Miami and other areas that may be more expensive,” LaBega disclosed.

For all of this to happen, however, support and cooperation from the Civil Aviation Authority of St. Maarten would be critical, as would be the full cooperation of government.

“St. Maarten’s Civil Aviation Authority are completely on board with regards to this plan,” LaBega said.

ITDI, in its vision of becoming the global aviation-training provider of choice, offers top quality training solutions to aviation and travel professionals worldwide. Its approach is to offer practical and relevant training for professional development in areas such as Air Navigation Services, Ground Operations, Airport Planning, Management and Operations, Cargo, Safety, Dangerous Goods Regulations, and Aviation Law amongst others.

With over 430 Global Training Partners in over 90 countries, ITDI has trained more than 95,000 students through its highly sought after Classroom, Distance Learning, Virtual Classroom and Onlinetraining courses.

Diamond Aircraft has shared exclusive details with Flying of a hybrid-electric tiltrotor project it is embarking on with an unnamed major industrial partner, which the Austrian light aircraft maker says could become a certified reality within seven years.
Diamond founder and CEO Christian Dries revealed to Flying artist concepts of the four-rotor, VTOL craft, which he says will be propelled by two high-output Siemens electric motors with power to recharge the batteries in flight supplied by a pair of Austro diesel engines.
The concept, which at this early stage doesn't have a name, would be capable of taking off like an airplane or a helicopter and carrying up to six people with a maximum takeoff weight of 6,600 pounds.
Dries said Diamond and its project partner are wrapping up the initial design phase in preparation for the next phase, which will begin next month and involve building a 725-pound unmanned prototype. Next will come a 2,800-pound prototype, followed by the full fly-by-wire production version. The design could be scaled to build bigger versions in the future, Dries said.
The tiltrotor would be fitted with a full-airframe BRS parachute and incorporate stubby wings and a V tail. An intriguing detail Dries shared is that the takeoff and landing would be fully computer controlled. While the tiltrotor wouldn't be capable of hovering for more than six or seven minutes, it could enter a hover and touch down automatically using laser scanning techniques to survey the landing area within milliseconds.
You can read that a couple of ways. One is that the onboard computers would serve a critical safety role for the pilot to ensure that the landing zone was free of obstructions. The other, though Dries didn't come out and say it, is that this futuristic tiltrotor concept might not even need a pilot at all.

Bobby Breeden's great-grandfather dreamed of becoming a pilot and exploring Alaska, passions that inspired Bobby's father, Bob, who today flies bush airplanes and develops real estate in the Last Frontier State. Now Bobby, an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science (UASS) student, has put his own short and sweet stamp on that legacy: He's a four-time winner of Alaska's famed Valdez Short Field Take Off and Landing (STOL) competition and a YouTube celebrity. "It's pretty special to think something like that can transfer through a family," says Bobby.

When Bobby was growing up, his father kept a Super Cub on the family property in Virginia, and they frequently visited the nearby Flying Circus Aerodrome in Bealeton. "That also influenced me to want to be part of aviation," Bobby says. Soon after starting lessons at age 14 he saw a video of the Valdez STOL competition and "just got hooked," he recalls. "I wanted to compete." Besides, he adds, "I knew the skills of being able to land wherever you want and to stop short would help me tremendously with real-world flying."
Bobby began training, his father coaching via radio, as he refined his skills over thousands of landings, practicing "sometimes 15 minutes a day, sometimes three hours." Bobby also watched videos of backcountry operations, "learning everything about technique, breaking it down, seeing what I could improve."
He earned his license in 2011, just in time to enter that year's Valdez competition, taking fourth place. Bobby was back in Valdez for the 2012 contest, where he took first place, which he's now won every year since for a total of four titles. This year he competed in an experimental airplane that he and his father designed and built and set a new world record for shortest landing in competition: 20 feet.
Bobby is low-key about his accomplishments, even as his YouTube videos have become the ones bush enthusiasts watch to learn from. "They pulled up videos of mine [in class] and used them for a demonstration, and at that point I said, ‘That's me.' They thought I was lying at first," he says. He gets fan mail too, from people asking "what it takes to be a bush pilot, or if I can take them on photo flights."
So why is a record-setting bush pilot studying UASS?

"It will be just like the next computer boom, and I'll get my foot in the door and have a degree," Bobby says. "I would love to work for a defense company and design UAVs, or work in the R&D department and take all these skills I've developed with designing and modifying and testing new airplanes and transfer them to UAVs."

But first he'd like a summer job flying for a Part 135 operator in Alaska, where he could earn $20,000 to $25,000 the first season. "But I don't think I'll spend my career flying in Alaska," he says, before admitting an interest in starting a backcountry touring company and perhaps marketing the airplanes that he and his father design. Meanwhile, he'll be in Valdez for the next STOL contest, doubtless inspiring more backcountry dreamers. Says Bobby, "I feel we're really setting the example for what's possible."

SIMPSON BAY, St. MaartenThe Management of the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, is scheduled to meet with the Council of Ministers on Thursday, October 1, 2015 to make a presentation to government about developments at the airport.

Among the topics to be dealt with in the presentation is a progress report on the projects that form part of the Capital Improvement Program, which was part of the loan covenant entered into with the floating of the US$130 million bond issue on the international financial market.

Similarly, SXM Management will seize the opportunity to present to the Council of Ministers a printed copy of the airport’s 2014 Annual Report. The report is already available online at the SXM Airport website:

SIMPSON BAY, St. MaartenEmirates, the flagship of the United Arab Emirates, and Norwegian Air are among a number of airlines who have indicated interest in further exploring service opportunities to Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM.

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – LIAT’s management has launched an investigation into an incident involving one of the company’s employees and a customer at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport in Tortola late on Friday September 18, 2015.

AIRPORT ROAD, St. MaartenCommencing October 3, 2015 WINAIR will offer additional scheduled service utilizing ATR 500 aircraft with two flights per week on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s:

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – LIAT, The Caribbean Airline, announces the resumption of flights to and from the Douglas-Charles Airport in Dominica starting Friday September 18.

AIRPORT ROAD, St. MaartenWINAIR has extended its scheduled service from Princess Juliana International airport in St. Maarten to Canefield airport in Dominica until October 25, 2015.

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