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U.S. FAA says handling aircraft approval on its own would cost $1.8…

WASHINGTON ( ) – It would cost $1.8 billion and take 10,000 new employees for the U.S. aviation regulator to handle all aircraft certification internally, the agency’s acting chief told a Senate panel on Wednesday, facing tough questions after two Boeing 737 MAX crashes on how new planes are approved for flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration delegates much of the work o,上海夜生活群Queena,f airplane certification to manufacturers such as Boeing under a decades-old process. The FAA has agreed to significantly improve its oversight of organizations performing certifications on its behalf by July 2019, U.S. Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel told the panel.

The FAA’s acting head Daniel Elwell was asked why the FAA did not require disclosure of a new anti-stall software system in flight manuals or new pilot training before it certified the now grounded 737 MAX passenger jet in 2017.

Senator Ted Cruz, who chairs the Subcommittee on Science and Space, told after the上海夜生活 hearing Elwell’s estimate was “a little bit of straw man” and deflected from serious concerns about the FAA delegation of responsibilities to Boeing.

Cruz said “there have been long standing concerns that have been raised about the closeness of the FAA with Boeing” and noted a 2012 audit that raised those questions.

“At this point we don’t know that’s what caused this, but on the face of it, it certainly seems inadequate – the pilot training material did not raise the details of this new system,” Cruz said.

Boeing said on Wednesday that it had reprogrammed software on its 737 MAX passenger jet to prevent erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system that is under m,上海晚上耍女人的地方Kaia,ounting scrutiny following the two deadly nose-down crashes.

The planemaker said the anti-stall system, which is believed to have repeatedly forced the nose lower in at least one of the accidents, in Indonesia last October, would only do so one time after sensing a problem, giving pilots more control.

Elwell also said that an alert to pilots that Boeing was making standard on all 737 MAX planes as part of a software upgrade was not “safety critical.” Boeing will stop charging for that alert and will not charge for another optional indicator.

“I find it hard to believe that a safety company like an airline would save a couple thousand dollars on an option that might improve safety,” Elwell said, who also defended the decision not to require new training after it was tested by pilots. “Fundamentally, the aircraft layout, the handling and the performance of the aircraft was the same.”

A group of 16 Democratic senators wrote Boeing on Wednesday raising “serious concerns” that Boeing charges extra for safety features like “backup fire extinguishers in the cargo hold and oxygen masks for flight crews” and some said they may introduce legislation to bar the practice.

In earlier comments on Wednesday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asked why Boeing did not require safety features on its top-selling 737 MAX that might have prevented the crashes and said that would be “troubling.”

Related CoverageFAA tells U.S. Senate it would need 10,000 new employees, $1.8 billion to assume all certification

Shortly after Chao spoke, Boeing confirmed the company will make standard a safety feature on its 737 MAX that might have warned earlier of problems that possi,上海夜生活去哪玩Radcliff,bly played a role in the crashes of Indonesian and Ethiopian planes that killed almost 350 people. It also said it would stop charging for another optional safety feature.

Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat and pilot, questioned Chao why it took the FAA so long to ground the 737 MAX while regulators around the world moved faster to halt planes.

He also questioned why safety features were not mandated by Boeing or the FAA. “It looks like we are following,” Manchin said, adding it was “just wrong” not to require the alert.

India’s Jet grounds much of its fleet as it awaits bailout funds

NEW DELHI ( ) – India’s Jet Airways has been forced to ground more than three quarters of its fleet after failing to pay lessors as it awaits bailout funds promised by state-run banks.

Jet struck a deal to escape bankruptcy earlier this year in which State Bank of India (SBI) and othe,上海夜网官方网站Nala,r lenders were to pump $218 million into the firm and temporarily own a majority stake in the airline.

But Jet has not got any of the funds so far and has not paid its employees for March, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Once India’s leading full-service airline, Jet was founded 25 years ago by Naresh Goyal at a time when state-run carrier Air India was the only real formidable opponent. In recent years, however, Jet has struggled to compete with low-cost carriers such as IndiGo and SpiceJet that now dominate Indian skies.

GROUNDED

Jet’s operational fleet stood at 28 aeroplanes as of Wednesday, a company spokesman told , versus 119 planes last year.

At least 69 aircraft have been grounded due to money owed to lessors, according to stock exchange filings by Jet, while the remainder are out of service for maintenance.

Some lessors with direct knowledge of the matter said Jet had told them it would pay for one month’s rental and maintenance by the end of last week, but no payment had been received.

“We already have five to six months of delinquencies and we were promised just one month and even that hasn’t been paid. This is very disappointing,” said one of the people, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Jet did not respond to specific queries on lessor and salary payments but said in a statement that the airline has informed the aviation regulator it is operating a curtailed schedule.

For a graphic on Jet Airways planes hamstrung by lessor defaults, see – tmsnrt.rs/2HWffZk

For an interactive graphic on Jet’s fleet grounding, click here tmsnrt.rs/2IdxKb7

In a statement late on Wednesday, former Jet chairman Goyal, who resigned from the airline’s board last month but still holds a 25.5 percent share in the company, said he was cooperating with the Indian lenders and had agreed to their terms in a timely manner.

“I have … signed on the dotted line as required上海夜生活网 to ensure release of the much needed funds committed by the lenders, in order to secure a sustainable future for Jet Airways,” Goyal said.

PRECARIOUS SITUATION

The Jet rescue plan itself is also facing difficulties. It was based on a directive issued by the country’s central bank last year but India’s top court quashed that directive on Tuesday.

SBI and Jet did not respond to requests for comment on the court ruling.

Madhukar Ladha, an equity analyst at Mumbai-based firm HDFC Securities, said he did not see Jet’s rescue p,上海夜生活服务Kade,ackage being in peril as the deal was already agreed.

After the bailout was announced, Jet told India’s aviation regulator it would not ground any more planes and would fly,上海夜生活乌托邦Gabriella, 40 more aircraft by the end of April, taking its operational fleet to 75 planes.

But late on Tuesday, Jet grounded 15 planes.

With a smaller operating fleet, Jet has given pilots and cabin crew the option of flexible working days and taking extended leave with or without pay, according to a note to staff seen by .

Even as the aircraft groundings are currently impacting Jet’s operations, the airline needs to rationalize its fleet and focus on profitable routes, said HDFC Securities’ Ladha.

“The situation remains precarious,” he said.