Airbus signs MoU with Chinese authorities on cooperation in ATM

Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chinese air traffic management authorities on air traffic management cooperation.

According to the MoU signed by Airbus and the Air Traffic Management Bureau (ATMB) under the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), Airbus will assist ATMB with the introduction and implementation of new ATM technologies and best practices in China, and will share its experience in Europe with ATMB for the development of future ATM systems in China. The MoU is signed by Wang Liya, Director General of CAAC ATMB and Eric Stefanello, Senior Vice President of Airbus in charge of air traffic management.

An Air Traffic Control Tower.

Within the MoU framework, Airbus will support ATMB in advanced R&D, the validation and deployment of new ATM technologies, and training. Airbus will also act as a coordinator in terms of extended expertise from some of the ATM players, including Quovadis, Cassidian and German air navigation service provider Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS).

Airbus will support ATMB in 16 potential areas of cooperation identified by ATMB, including R&D, concept and technology validation, support to deployment, airspace design and training. As the first step, five concrete projects have been selected and agreed by both parties to be implemented for the 2010-2012 period, which will pave the way for the long-term cooperation between the two sides.

“CAAC is making efforts to build modernised ATM systems, which will help to improve air transport efficiency in China and contribute to the global air transport industry. The cooperation between CAAC ATMB and Airbus will help us draw on the experience of other regions to develop our future ATM systems, which will be more integrated with global systems,” said WANG Liya, Director General of CAAC ATMB.

“With the MoU, Airbus has expanded its cooperation with China’s civil aviation into a new area. Global interoperability of air traffic management systems, in particular between the future ATM system in China and SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) is key for the air transport industry, and strengthening cooperation between Europe and China will support global interoperability,” said Laurence Barron, President of Airbus China.

A modernised ATM system will bring benefits in terms of operational efficiency and eco-efficiency by reducing flight delays, saving aircraft fuel consumption and reducing CO2 emissions.

Airbus offers new fuel saving engine options for A320 Family

Airbus has decided to offer for its best-selling A320 Family new fuel saving engines as an option.  Airlines have the choice between CFM International’s LEAP-X engine and Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G engine.  Known as the A320neo, this new engine option also incorporates fuel-saving large wing tip devices called Sharklets. Airbus will start deliveries of the A320neo Family in spring 2016.

The A320neo will not only deliver significant fuel savings of up to 15 percent, which represents up to 3,600 tonnes of CO2 savings annually per A320neo. In addition, A320neo customers will benefit from a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions, reduced engine noise, lower operating costs and up to 500nm (950 km) more range or two tonnes more payload.

Airbus A320

As new engine technologies become available in the middle of this decade, Airbus is committed to providing its customers with the latest and most eco-efficient technologies to continuously improve aircraft performance and airline operations while reducing the environmental impact. Airbus sees a market potential of 4,000 A320neo Family aircraft over the next 15 years.

“We are confident that the A320neo will be a great success across all markets and with all types of operators, offering them maximum benefit with minimum change. We are leveraging a reliable, mature aircraft and are making it even more efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO.

Over the past months, Airbus has taken the time to carefully assess and weigh up the benefits of the A320neo business case with the allocation of the highly skilled engineering resources needed while at the same time securing the engineering skills required on other Airbus aircraft programmes.

“Finding the necessary resources for the A320neo wasn’t exactly a walk in the park,” Enders added. “The enabler was to devise a stringent phasing of critical engineering assets throughout our various development programmes and to optimise the management and organisation of all our programmes and R&T projects. Our international engineering centres, suppliers and partners play a big role in this.”

Today’s A320neo announcement follows the approval given by the Board of Directors of EADS, Airbus’ shareholder company.

An Airbus A320 in Factory.

The new engine option is offered on the A321, A320 and A319 models which will require limited modifications, primarily to the wing and pylon areas. The A320neo will have over 95 percent airframe commonality with the standard A320 Family. The unique Airbus operational commonality enables operators of several Airbus Family types to continue to benefit from lower pilot and maintenance training costs.

Airbus launched its new “Sharklet” large wingtip devices, specially designed to enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 Family. Offered as a forward-fit option, Sharklets are expected to result in at least 3.5 percent lower fuel burn over longer sectors. The A320 will be the first model fitted with Sharklets, which will be delivered around the end of 2012, to be followed by the other A320 Family models from 2013.

The A320 Family is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. With over 6,700 aircraft sold, and more than 4,400 aircraft delivered to some 310 customers and operators worldwide, it is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. With 99.7 per cent reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft.

A new alternative fuels success for Airbus

Airbus is continuing its support of alternative fuel research with a cooperative flight involving a TAM Airlines A320 using Jatropha-based biofuel – the widespread use of which could reduce the air transport sector’s overall carbon footprint by up to 80 per cent.

Airbus A300

This month’s milestone flight took off from Brazil’s Galeão Antonio Carlos Jobim International airport in Rio de Janeiro, with the A320 flying for 45 minutes before returning to its point of origin. It used a 50 per cent blend of locally-sourced Brazilian Japtropha-based bio-kerosene and conventional aviation kerosene processed by UOP LLC, a Honeywell group.

The experimental flight was approved by Airbus and engine provider CFM International, and was authorized by aviation authorities in Europe and Brazil.

Airbus is continuously working with international, industry and cross-industry partners to fully explore the potential benefits of alternative fuels. To coordinate these efforts, the company has developed an alternative fuels roadmap, which estimates that some 30 per cent of all jet fuel used in 2030 could be sustainable biojet fuel.

The company launched this programme in 2008, when – in collaboration with Shell International Petroleum and Rolls-Royce – an A380 became the first civil airliner in commercial aviation history to fly using a 40 per cent blend of synthetic liquid fuel derived from natural gas (GTL).

Another milestone was marked the following year with the world’s first passenger flight using 50 per cent blended GTL – a joint effort between Airbus and Qatar Airways, which utilised a four-engine A340-600 jetliner.

Boeing Calls WTO Ruling a Landmark Decision and Sweeping Legal Victory

CHICAGO, June 30 — Boeing (NYSE: BA) today praised the World Trade Organization’s final ruling that billions of dollars in European launch aid subsidies used by Airbus to develop its commercial airplanes are illegal and must end. The decision, which the WTO made public earlier today, also declares that a broad array of government funding for Airbus research and infrastructure development violated international trade agreements.

“This is a landmark decision and sweeping legal victory over the launch aid subsidies that fueled the rise of Airbus and that continue to provide its products a major cost advantage,” said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney. “The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative deserves tremendous credit for today’s decision. We now join the U.S. government in urging full compliance with the ruling and a permanent restoration of fair competition within our industry,” McNerney said.

Boeing Executive Vice President and General Counsel J. Michael Luttig explained the details and implications of the ruling. “Each and every instance of launch aid that the U.S. challenged was held to be illegal,” said Luttig. “The panel said that without the illegal subsidies it received, Airbus would not have the aerospace market share it now enjoys. This ruling will alter the competitive landscape in the aerospace industry forever, forcing Airbus to compete in the marketplace on the same terms as Boeing.”

Luttig noted that European-provided launch aid for the A380 was found to include prohibited export-contingent subsidies, which WTO rules require be withdrawn “without delay.”

“Under today’s decision, Airbus must repay the $4 billion in illegal launch aid it received for the A380 or restructure the A380’s financing to proven commercial terms. Likewise, Airbus must abandon its plans to finance the A350 through the use of illegal subsidies,” he said.

Luttig added that “the WTO rejected all excuses for continuing launch aid, the most pernicious form of subsidy Airbus receives, as well as all other forms of subsidies Airbus and parent EADS use for unfair advantage in the commercial airplane market and in defense markets for military-derivative aircraft. Airbus must now compete on its own, without the assistance of European taxpayers – assistance the U.S. estimates has exceeded $200 billion in value to Airbus.”

Airbus has used government-provided launch aid to fund the development of all its commercial airplanes since the entity was formed in 1970. It now commands more than half the commercial airplane market. Launch aid typically comes in the form of no- or low-interest loans with repayment terms so generous that no repayment need occur during the several years it takes to develop a commercial airplane, and not at all in the event a program fails. Launch aid is a unique benefit to Airbus, as the U.S. government does not fund development of commercial products.

“The World Trade Organization has now unequivocally declared that government subsidies to Airbus violate WTO rules, are market-distorting, and have caused significant harm to America’s aerospace industry and its workers,” Luttig said. “Compliance with the WTO’s ruling is essential to establishing a fair and level playing field between Boeing and Airbus. It also is essential to preserving the integrity of the WTO process and, by extension, the integrity of the rules-based trading system that has been a key driver of global economic growth.”

Luttig said the WTO’s ruling not only makes clear that there can be no new government-subsidized financing for Airbus’ future A350 model, but also clarifies rules for other new market participants. “The ruling establishes an overarching principle governing all those entering aerospace markets: Anyone that wants to use government funding arrangements to develop new, competing products must demonstrate that monies are provided on proven commercial terms,” he said.

The WTO is an independent, unbiased arbiter of global trade disputes. Today’s ruling results from the U.S. government’s 2004 decision to file a case with the WTO to end European subsidies to Airbus. While the WTO process allows the European Communities to appeal the ruling, Boeing expects the appeals process to conclude before the end of 2010.

“A successful conclusion to this longstanding dispute is now in sight. Within a year, the U.S. government will have authority to act decisively to ensure compliance if Airbus has not entirely restructured the A380 program so that it is financed and funded on objectively verifiable commercial terms,” Luttig said.

“America thrives on competition,” said McNerney. “American workers have shown repeatedly they can compete successfully in the global market. But they understandably insist that competition occur on a level playing field, with competitors playing by the agreed-upon rules.”

The trade case against launch aid subsidies has enjoyed strong bi-partisan support from the U.S. Congress and multiple presidential administrations.

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