Posts Tagged ‘Air China’


[BBC News] An unidentified drone came close to hitting a plane as it landed at Heathrow, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed.

An Airbus A320 pilot reported seeing a helicopter-style drone as the jet was 700 feet off the ground on its approach to the runway at 1416 GMT on 22 July.

The CAA has not identified the airline or how close the drone came to the plane, which can carry 180 people.

It gave the incident an “A” rating, meaning a “serious risk of collision”.

This is the highest incident rating the CAA can give.

Investigators were unable to identify the drone, which did not appear on air traffic control radar and disappeared after the encounter.

In May the pilot of an ATR 72 turbo-prop plane reported seeing a helicopter drone only 80 feet away as he approached Southend airport at a height of 1,500 feet.

The incidents have prompted a warning from the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) that the rapid increase in the number of drones operated by amateur enthusiasts now poses “a real risk” to commercial aircraft.

The association’s general secretary, Jim McAuslan said drones could cause a repeat of the “Hudson River experience”, when a plane was forced to land in water in New York in 2009 after birds were sucked into its engines.

“The risk of a 10 kilogram object hitting a plane is a real one that pilots are very concerned about” he said.

“A small drone could be a risky distraction for a pilot coming into land and cause serious damage if they hit one.”

Sales of drones have increased rapidly, with UK sales running at a rate of between 1,000 and 2,000 every month.

They are expected to be very popular as Christmas presents.

They cost as little as £35 for a smaller model – more advanced drones capable of carrying a high definition camera and travelling at 45 miles per hour cost almost £3,000.

Only a very small minority of people operating drones have attended training courses in how to fly them.

A spokesman for the CAA said it had to depend on people using their common sense when they operated drones.

He said the current level of risk should be “kept in perspective” but warned that breaking laws governing the use of drones could potentially threaten commercial aircraft.

“People using unmanned aircraft need to think, use common sense and take responsibility for them”, he said.

“There are rules which have the force of law and have to be followed.”

Drones may not be flown higher than 400 feet or further than 500 metres from the operator, and they must not go within 50 metres of people, vehicles or buildings.

There are exclusion zones around airports and the approaches to them for drones weighing more than seven kilograms.

Mr McAuslan said there was an urgent need for rules to be tightened before much larger unmanned cargo planes – potentially the size of a Boeing 737 – took to the skies.

Read the original story at BBC News…..


BBC News
7th December, 2014


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[Breaking Travel News] Gatwick has continued its emergence as a serious rival to London Heathrow airport with the launch of its summer schedule.  

verage load factors were up 1.2 percentage points to 80.9 per cent in April 2012

Average load factors were up 1.2 percentage points to 80.9 per cent in April 2012. Photo: Wikipedia

Korean Air commenced services between Gatwick and Seoul on April 28th, followed shortly afterwards by Air China, which started flights to Beijing on the May 2nd.

However, passenger numbers were down 1.3 per cent on the previous April, primarily driven by the Easter holidays starting in April last year but in March this year, and the additional public holiday in April 2011 to mark the royal wedding.

Average load factors were up 1.2 percentage points to 80.9 per cent in April 2012, despite the year-on-year shift in holidays.

Air traffic movements were down 2.6 per cent year-on-year due to reductions in charter operations and some away-based carriers, offset by growth from Gatwick-based low cost operators and new long haul airlines.

Air Nigeria confirmed they will commence daily flights to Lagos from May 17th.

Gatwick will also welcome Caribbean Airlines on June 15th who are planning to operate a six times per week service Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Nick Dunn, Gatwick Airport’s chief financial officer said……

Read the rest of the story at Breaking travel News…..


Breaking Travel News
11th May, 2012



[Telegraph] Gatwick Airport has laid bare its ambition to rival Heathrow after announcing it had struck a deal with Air China over direct flights to Beijing.

Air China, a national flag carrier, will operate four direct flights a week between Gatwick and Beijing Photo: Bloomberg News

Air China, a national flag carrier, will operate four direct flights a week between Gatwick and Beijing Photo: Bloomberg News

Air China is the latest long-haul carrier to sign up to Gatwick, which is trying to build a reputation as an alternative gateway between the UK and emerging markets.

The airport has started flexing its muscles as Heathrow’s owner BAA battles with the Government over building a third runway.

Air China, a national flag carrier, will operate four direct flights a week between Gatwick and Beijing.

Guy Stephenson, chief commercial officer at Global Infrastructure Partners owned Gatwick, said the airport – the UK’s second largest – could serve London “just as effectively” as Heathrow, where take-off and landing slots are…….

Read the full story at The Telegraph…..


By Nathalie Thomas
02 May 2012