Drones: Rise of the machines

 As it flew through the air, the buzzing drone looked more like a gigantic insect, hang­ing in the summer breeze, than the future of airfreight. It made a beeline for its appointed destination, and then suddenly halted, hovering over a designated spot. A tether slowly extended, lowering the craft’s vital cargo – 24 medical pack­ages […]

An answer for lithium battery fires?

AmSafe Bridport, a U.K.-based business that develops engineered textiles designed for safety in the aerospace industry, conducted a full-scale test with a certified fire containment cover system on a lithium-ion battery fire. The test, using lithium batteries covered by the fire containment cover, took more than six hours, with the fire being successfully suppressed. The […]

FAA allows first drone delivery in U.S.

The first federally approved cargo delivery by an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in the United States was completed successfully last week, transporting nine pounds of medical supplies. The July 17 exercise, in partnership with NASA, made three three-minute flights from Lonesome Pine Airport, in Virginia, to a clinic at the Wise County Fairgrounds, about two […]

FAA loosens up on drones

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it will allow the testing of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, to be flown at or below 200 feet at six approved test sites in the United States. A certificate of waiver or authorization will be required, but it drops the ceiling from 400 feet. The six chosen […]

U.S. Senator proposes temporary drone rules

U.S. Senator Cory Booker has introduced the “Commercial UAS Modernization Act,” which could create temporary rules to allow commercial drone operations in the United States. Forbes reported that the bill could be presented to the Senate’s Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security for the purposes of using small drones for surveying construction sites or […]

FAA to take another look at drone rules

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will partner with three major industries to explore ways to test unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) so they can be used out-of-line-of-sight of the operator. The FAA originally proposed that the operator must be able to retain visual contact of a UAS.  Drone advocates such as Amazon and DHL say it’s […]

Lithium battery packaging to be explored by group

The hazardous cargo committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the United Nations, heard a detailed presentation last week in Montreal about the dangers presented by shipping lithium ion batteries on freighters or in the bellies of passenger aircraft. Aircraft manufacturers and members of pilot’s unions, presented findings by the U.S. Federal […]

Cargolux joins other carriers in lithium battery ban

All-cargo airline Cargolux has decided to temporarily impose a ban on the transport of lithium-ion battery bulk shipments beginning May 1. The decision came after the carrier reviewed new information released by the FAA, Boeing and International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) regarding the effectiveness of on-board fire extinguishing systems. The FAA tests showed that an […]

Cathay Pacific issues latest ban on lithium batteries

Another lithium domino falls. Cathay Pacific joined Qantas, Delta, United and Virgin Australia in banning the shipment of lithium-ion batteries on either freighters or in the bellies of passenger aircraft. The rule only applies to batteries being shipped in bulk, not those that are being used in laptop computers, mobile phones or similar devices. JOC.com […]

Outlook stormy as U.S. open skies debate rages

FROM THE PRINT EDITION: What began as a slow-simmering disagreement over the use of government subsidies – one that has lasted for years – has recently mushroomed into a thunderhead of angry rhetoric, threats of lawsuits and proposed legislative action to roll back open skies agreements. The major U.S.-based carriers continue to accuse Middle Eastern […]

ICAO, FAA consider international drone standards

The water cooler topic of late seems to be drones. The technology for small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for use in domestic commerce is evolving faster than standards for larger drones, but how to regulate them has the aviation industry wringing its hands. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is working on new safety standards […]

Lithium battery shipments deemed too risky

Lithium batteries are everywhere – in your cell phone, laptop or iPod. They are lightweight, cheap to make and can hold much more energy than standard batteries. But they can also burst into flames occasionally, and that is the impetus for the call by aircraft manufacturers to ban bulk lithium battery shipments on cargo and […]

How to respond when the feds come knocking

NEW ORLEANS – Most forwarders hope to never have to deal with a government enforcement action, but the smart ones know that it’s best to be prepared just in case the TSA or the FAA come knocking when you least expect it. Speaking at yesterday’s Air Cargo 2015 session, attorney Braden K. Core, with Scopelitis, […]

News Briefs: Emirates in Paris, top UPS drivers, Globe expands

Emirates SkyCargo has started a weekly main-deck frequency between Dubai and Paris. The flight operates on Thursday evenings from Paris to Dubai, using a 777F. With 20 weekly departures from Paris operating A380 aircraft, the carrier also offers bellyhold space. Seven weekly frequencies using the 777F operate from Nice, and five from Lyon, also using […]
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