Bologna Airport has recruited the services of an unusual car for its follow-me drivers to direct pilots to their parking positions after landing.
Since 6th May, a Lamborghini Aventador LP has been in use. It is painted with a red and white chequered livery, and furnished with Follow Me signs. Drivers have been trained to use the car by Lamborghini test driver, Mario Fasanetto.
The use of the car is to promote the 50th Anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini, and will also see an exhibition on Lamborghini inside Bologna’s main terminal.
The V12 engined car will be in use, guiding up to 140 flights per day at Bologna Airport, until 16th May.
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has announced figures which make it one of the fastest growing commercial airports in the USA.
Formerly Williams Air Base, it opened as a commercial airport in 1994. Its new terminal was opened in the early 2000s with the introduction of flights by Ryan International. Whilst it would never seriously challenge Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (situated 27 miles to the west), it has established itself as a good alternative which is popular with low-cost airlines. Allegiant Air opened a focus city here in 2007, with McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and Boeing 757-200 aircraft operating flights to many US destinations.
The airport also has services from Spirit Airlines, and seasonal links to Denver with Frontier Airlines.
Recent growth at the airport has seen passenger numbers rise 45% to 1.39 million per year. This coincides with the decision to extend the terminal with the addition of two more gates. The Gateway 2030 project aims to construct a completely new terminal to the west, with 20 gates and a pier, along with the associated infrastructure, a hotel, offices and parking spaces.
Aside from passenger services, Phoenix-Mesa is a popular airport for flight training, and has a based FBO. It is also a service centre for Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft aircraft, which are regular visitors. The airport has three parallel runways.
Spotting at Phoenix-Mesa Gatway Airport
For the enthusiast, Phoenix-Mesa offers an interesting alternative to Sky Harbor and the various storage airports in the area. The best place to view movements is from the Flight Deck Cafe next to the General Aviation Terminal. There’s also a pilot shop here. The cafe has a viewing mound, and good photographs are possible in the afternoon and evening over the fence. This is a known place for spotters to congregate, so trouble from the authorities is unlikely.
Australia’s Melbourne Airport has had approval for its Southern Precinct Program by the country’s government.
The Southern Precinct Program will see the airport expand with a new domestic terminal, 17 extra gates and aircraft parking, and associated landside infrastructure to support it.
Melbourne Airport CEO, Chris Woodruff, said the Southern Precinct Program was an exciting step in Melbourne Airport’s continuing development as Victoria’s aviation gateway.
“We will look to finalise discussions with our airline customers with a view to the terminal being operational by mid 2015,” said Mr Woodruff.
Melbourne would be able to grow into a much more significant domestic airport once the new facility opens.
Porter Airlines of Canada has announced a significant order for Bombardier aircraft today.
The order sees the airline purchasing its first jet aircraft in the form of 12 C Series airliners, plus 18 options. The aircraft will be the CS100 series.
The order also includes purchase rights for a further six Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft.
Adding the CS100 jets to the fleet means the airline’s home base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will need to extend its runway by 168 metres at both ends to allow it to operate. Whilst the new aircraft is likely to match the noise emission levels of the Q400s currently operated into the airport by Porter, it anticipates opposition from neighbours to the downtown airport who oppose use of the aircraft and expansion of the runway.
The C Series aircraft will be delivered from 2016, and allow Porter to expand its network to Vancouver, Calgary, Los Angeles, Miami and Orlando.
Airbus has broken ground on its new aircraft assembly line at Mobile, AL.
The new facility will allow Airbus to manufacture its A320 family aircraft in the United States for the first time. At a capacity-crowd event attended by approximately 2,000 invitees, area residents and others, the final assembly line’s creation was hailed as a “game-changing” development in Airbus’ relationship with the United States.
JetBlue Airways CEO and President David Barger gave his perspective on how Airbus’ $600 million investment in the new Alabama industrial site is viewed by its U.S. customers: “It demonstrates the level of Airbus’ commitment of being close to its important American operator base for A320 aircraft.” He also announced that JetBlue will receive the very first A320 from the Mobile final assembly line – which is targeted for delivery in 2016.
Mobile will join the three existing Airbus final assembly facilities that currently build A320 Family aircraft: its original location at Toulouse, France, which was supplemented by a site in Hamburg, Germany; and subsequently followed by the latest at Tianjin, China.
Transaero Airlines has singed a deal to lease 12 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The airline already operates a number of the type, and plans to start taking delivery of the new aircraft from 2015. Transaero plans to operate these jetliners both on domestic and international routes.
In 1998 Transaero Airlines became the first in Europe and the second air carrier in the world to receive Boeing 737-700.
Dubai World Central Airport has announced that it will open to passengers on 27 October, 2013.
Construction of Dubai World Central’s passenger terminal building was completed in 2012. Upon opening, the new facility will offer full retail amenities. It is serviced by one A380 capable runway, 64 remote aircraft stands and has capacity for up to 7 million passengers per year. The terminal will undergo a full testing and trial programme over the coming months to ensure a seamless opening.
The first carriers to operate to the airport have been announced as nasair and Wizz Air. These will link Dubai World Central to Saudi Arabia and Eastern Europe respectively, and will likely offer a much cheaper alternative to reach Dubai from Europe than existing options through Emirates and other full service airlines.
József Váradi, Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air, said: “I am honoured to announce Wizz Air as a launch customer and first international low fares airline operating at Dubai World Central. For us this is a hugely significant milestone, with our 10 year European success story now crossing borders far beyond Europe.”
Dubai World Central first opened for cargo operations in June 2010 and has quickly established itself as an emerging cargo airport in the region with 36 airlines (scheduled and chartered) handling 219,092 tonnes of air freight on 16,317 aircraft movements during 2012.
Dubai has taken second place in the list of busiest international airports – that is, the amount of international traffic that is handled.
The airport is now ahead of Paris Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong airports, which previously handled more international traffic. Dubai now has its sights firmly on top position as it approaches London Heathrow, which has occupied top slot for many years but is now at full capacity. Heathrow’s options have been severely hampered by the UK government declining additional runways at the airport.
Dubai Airport handled 10,640,120 passengers in the first two months of this year, a rise of 13% over the same period last year. It hopes to gain top spot by 2015. It recently opened the new Concourse A, which is developed to handle up to 20 Airbus A380 superjumbos at once.
Sycamore Aviation has turned Durham Tees Valley Airport, in north east England, into one of the newest in a growing number of airports in which scrapping and recycling of old airliners takes place.
The company was founded by a former airline pilot, and he has big plans for the company, with potentially hundreds of aircraft ready to be disposed of over the coming years.
The company has already scrapped three Boeing 737 aircraft which had been retired in Russia – one -300 and two -500 models. The process involves removing usable parts for resale, whilst the fuselage is stripped down. One of the 737-500s is to have its cockpit section sent to an aviation academy.
Sycamore occupies Hangar 1 at Durham Tees Valley Airport. Aircraft will often be seen outside the hangar, and the company will potentially take aircraft on long term storage. These are likely to occupy one of the disused runways at the airport.
Virgin America has announced it will start flying to Austin-Bergstrom International from 21 May, 2013. The flight will operate daily from San Francisco International using Airbus A320 equipment.
Additionally, the airline will also begin flights from San Francisco to Anchorage Ted Stevens International. These will operate 6x weekly between 6 June and 9 September, 2013.