Haryana proposes a Pod car system between the old and new terminal building of Chandigarh airport

Radhika Bansal

14 Sep 2022

The Haryana government has proposed a cost-effective personalized rapid transport based on Pod car to provide faster connectivity between the old Chandigarh International Airport terminal and its new terminal building located in Mohali. 77 pods each with the capacity to ferry 6 passengers, luggage to be used.

The Pod car proposal was submitted by Haryana Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal at a recent meeting here convened by Punjab Governor-cum-Chandigarh Administrator Banwari Lal Purohit and attended by senior officers of Haryana and Chandigarh.

The proposal, on implementation, will cut down on the long road travel which residents of Chandigarh and Panchkula and some parts of Mohali have to take at present, said an official statement here on Tuesday, September 13.

Haryana proposes a Pod car system between the old Chandigarh International Airport terminal and the new terminal building in Mohali

Chandigarh International Airport Limited is a joint venture company incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Governments of Punjab and Haryana. The airport runway is located in Chandigarh while the international terminal is located on the south side of the runway in the village of Jhiurheri, Mohali.

He said that the current connectivity to the International terminal is such that passengers coming from Himachal Pradesh, Panchkula, and Ambala side International Airport have to cover a longer distance to reach the new international terminal.

Sanjeev Kaushal said that Haryana Metro Rail transport Corporation (HMRTC), a wholly-owned company of the Haryana Government, under Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran, has proposed a Pod car system to connect the old Airport terminal to the new Airport terminal which is cost-effective, convenient and requires only about 6 acres of land along the boundary of Chandigarh International Airport.

The ownership of this land will remain with the Air Force, it said. Notably, the airport lies in a defence airfield that is being used by civilian operators as well. The Air Traffic Control and runway operations lie with the IAF.

"A preliminary study has been conducted by HMRTC to provide connectivity between old Airport Terminal and New Airport Terminal of Chandigarh International Airport wherein the total land involved is approximately 6 acres only," he said.

The Pod car proposal was submitted by Haryana Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal at a recent meeting

Kaushal said that 77 numbers of pods are initially envisaged to be placed in service for transporting passengers as well as goods. It will be a guided transit system fully secured with only two stoppages. Pods cannot be forcefully stopped in between and thus it addresses any security concern. The time travel will be only 8 to 10 minutes, he added.

"The project cost is just INR 231.50 crore, including INR 116 crore Infra cost," he said. He said the Chandigarh Union Territory administration is already in the process of providing road connectivity from Chandigarh to the airport's new terminal.

"Two alternative alignments have been suggested and submitted to Indian Air Force, as Chandigarh being the Defence Airport. The proposals are under consideration in the Ministry of Defence, Government of India," he said.

77 pods each with the capacity to ferry 6 passengers, luggage to be used.

However, the Chief Secretary explained that the two options of road connectivity under consideration are very costly and time-consuming due to the involvement in the acquisition of land and removal of unauthorized structures.

The recent meeting also decided that the UT administration will support the Pod car proposal and Haryana can go ahead with its implementation after necessary clearances from the Indian Air Force and the involvement of Chandigarh International Airport Limited, he said.

To cut down the distance and travel time two proposals - Underpass connectivity and Road Connectivity are under consideration for a long time.

However, the underpass connectivity faced objections from the IAF authorities because an underpass below the operational surface of the IAF station would not be acceptable for security reasons.

Road connectivity along the boundary wall of the IAF station was also proposed after clearing all obstructions within its 100 meters. This would have reduced the distance by 8-9 km. However, it involves the acquisition as well as the demolition of illegal construction. Due to this & various other reasons, the road connectivity projects also hang in the air, said the Haryana government statement.

Kaushal said that given the delay in implementation and non-finalisation of any proposal despite various meetings between the stakeholders, Haryana Government had proposed the Pod car connectivity at a much less cost, including land.

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The merger of Air India-Vistara to have clarity soon

Jinen Gada

14 Sep 2022

Tata Sons are the holding company of the Tata Group, which took over Air India from the government earlier this year. Ever since Tata Sons acquired Air India, there have been talks of a possible merger between the two airlines, both owned by the group.

Tata Sons have held exploratory talks with Singapore Airlines (SIA), its joint-venture partner in Vistara, for a potential merger of the airline with Air India.

Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Sons (51%) and Singapore Airlines (49%). The airline carried 1.01 million passengers and became the second largest airline by market share in July.

Vistara's CEO Vinod Kannan gave an update about the merger in a recent interview.

But Vistara is jointly owned by Singapore Airlines, which remained quite bullish about its prospects in India, and which is why the merger depends on Singapore’s Competition Commission being convinced about the cleanliness of the deal.

ALSO READ - Singapore Competition Commission concerned about Tata Group’s acquisition of Air India

Vinod Kannan, the CEO of Vistara said in an interview that they were already at a pre-Covid level in November last year and currently are 25% more than the pre-Covid level.

"All possibilities are being discussed. Since we are a joint venture, the two shareholders will have to discuss a road-map for the future. Whether it’s going to be a merger, or we will have two separate airlines are all options that are still on the table.However, if this leads to a commercial agreement such as a codeshare or an interline agreement (something that allows passengers to book connecting flights across two airlines) will probably be the next step, which we have not started discussing.Air India and Vistara are still independent entities until a decision is made on how they will work together. We do not have any code share with Air India but we have started working on those lines by having the ‘flight interruption agreement’ (that allows the two airlines to offer first available alternative flights in case of a disruption, to lessen passenger inconvenience).To be sure, the discussions have begun and according to me, we should have a clarity on this in the next few months." Vinod Kannan, CEO, Vistara

The Tata Group won the bid to acquire Air India in October 2021, and the airline was transferred to its new owner in January. Vistara was launched in 2015.

While Vistara has been established as a premium airline brand in the domestic segment, Air India’s strength lies in the international markets, especially the US and Europe. Currently, Air India is the only Indian carrier that flies to the US; Air India and Vistara are the only ones that fly to Europe.

ALSO READ - Vistara may merge with Air India, a decision expected by end of 2023

(With Inputs from The Hindustan Times)

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Air Works receives EASA Part 145 approval for twin-hangar MRO facility at Cochin Airport

Radhika Bansal

14 Sep 2022

Air Works – India’s largest independent MRO and aviation services and solutions major, today announced that it has received the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Part 145 Approval for its state-of-the-art twin-hangar MRO facility at the Cochin International Airport.

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 145 Approval is a company-level certification to the European Commission Regulation standards of design, production, maintenance and operation of aircraft components. An aircraft component is described as any product, part, or appliance installed in European aircraft.

Air Works receives EASA Part 145 approval for twin-hangar MRO facility at Cochin Airport

With EASA approval, Air Works will be able to offer full MPD support for the Airbus 320 family (includingA318/ A319/ A320/ A321) for Base maintenance up to and including 120-month inspection for all 4 engine options viz. PW1100G, CFM 56, Leap-1A and IAE V2500, C-Checks, structural and corrosion inspections, as well as undertaking major repairs and modifications for the Airbus 320 aircraft family, in addition to End-of-lease-transitions, bridging checks and engine changes.

“We are excited to enhance our EASA-certified capacity and capabilities which will expand the scale of our operations and support to regional aircraft operators and global lessors. EASAs 145 approval of our Kochi facility was a much-awaited and long-overdue milestone and is a step forward in accelerating indigenous maintenance, complementing the country’s ambition of becoming Atmanirbhar and an MRO hub. I take this occasion to acknowledge the relentless commitment of our Quality team who have been instrumental in securing this approval.”D Anand Bhaskar, Managing Director & CEO, Air Works Group

The location of the Kochi MRO facility at the Cochin Int’l Airport is strategic, given that Kochi has been a hub for leading carriers from the Middle East.

The EASA 145 approval comes at a time when Air Works recently expanded its operations to Dubai in an endeavour to enhance access to its cost-effective and industry-leading workmanship to both international and domestic carriers, reinforcing its position of being India’s most loved MRO.

“With EASA Part 145 approval, we are now uniquely poised to offer flexible maintenance support to our customers from two independent facilities providing end-to-end Engineering & maintenance services. The approval enables us offer and undertake a comprehensive series of maintenance checks and repairs, ranging from simple to complex ones on A320 aircraft that dominate the narrow body market in India, including the various airworthiness directives (AD) & Supplemental Type Certifications (STC) from time to time.Over time, I see Kochi becoming a preferred maintenance facility for both domestic as well as incoming carriers from the SAARC, South-East Asia, Middle East and North Africa."Mangesh Karyakarte, Chief Sales Officer - Commercial & Defense MRO, Air Works Group

The Kochi facility – commissioned in March 2021 during the pandemic, is already certified by the DGCA. It is also a DGCA-certified facility for Air Works’ Business Aviation (General Aviation) customers for a variety of aircraft.

The twin-hangar MRO facility at Kochi, spread over 50,000 sqm, has been thoughtfully designed and is acompletely integrated, independent setup, housing key workshops equipped to undertake structures, interiors, and composites repairs to support timely aircraft maintenance & turnaround.

Kochi complements Air Works’ primary facility at Hosur, Tamil Nadu, which incidentally, is India’s first EASA-certified Commercial MRO facility in 2009. In addition to the Airbus320 family, Hosur also offers full MPD support for ATR 42-400/500/72-212A and Boeing B737-600/700/800 and 900.

The Kochi facility – commissioned in March 2021 during the pandemic, is already certified by the DGCA.

The consistent and successful renewal of Air Works’ EASA certification for over a decade demonstrates Air Works’ unwavering commitment to its customers to upholding the highest standards of quality in aviation. The Group also undertakes MRO work for the Indian defence forces.

Having two independent facilities will allow it to spin them into specialized bases offering a comprehensive yet independent scope of services at each location, creating Centres of Excellence. Air Works intends to deepen its capabilities at Kochi by adding Type Approvals for maintenance for the B737NG family.

ALSO READ - Air Works to get 462 cr offer from Adani Group

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Boeing all set to up the production of its 787 Dreamliners

Jinen Gada

14 Sep 2022

The Boeing Company is planning to up the production of its 787 Dreamliners, since the US air regulatory bodies give the aircraft manufacturer a green light to resume its deliveries, citing a source familiar with the matter.

According to the source, the company is aiming to boost the production of the wide-body jet to three aircraft per month, from previously making one a month. After six months, Boeing is planning to further increase production to five 787 Dreamliners per month.

ALSO READ - Boeing to resume 787 Dreamliner deliveries

Nonetheless, the source noted that further decisions to rise production will depend on the aircraft's demand. In the past two years, Boeing was unable to deliver Dreamliners as a result of numerous production flaws.

Federal regulators said they are satisfied with changes Boeing has made in the production of its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, clearing the way for the company to resume deliveries.

After more than a year, aviation giant Boeing will be allowed to resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft after the company made changes to its manufacturing process.

ALSO READ - FAA halts B787 deliveries due structural issues

Deliveries of the top-selling widebody plane have been halted since 2021, so the news will be welcomed by US airlines and travellers who have suffered from massive delays and cancelled flights in recent weeks, partly due to the shortage of aircraft.

Approval to resume deliveries would be a boost for Boeing, which collects a big chunk of each plane’s purchase price at delivery. Boeing has accumulated a backlog of about 120 undelivered 787s.

The plane, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, lists at USD 248 million to USD 338 million depending on size, although airlines pay far less than the sticker price.

The increase in deliveries of the Dreamliner could help Boeing with a positive cash flow this year.

Issues with the 787 started in 2020 when small gaps were found between panels of the fuselage that are made of carbon composite material. That prompted inspections that turned up problems with a pressurization bulkhead at the front of the plane.

Boeing also had to replace titanium parts including fasteners after it was discovered that the Italian supplier used alloys that did not meet FAA standards. Boeing hopes to resume production rates for the Dreamliner to be at least 5 aircraft per month

With new orders and excluding the Dreamliner backlogs, Boeing currently has a backlog of 3,959 aircraft, consisting primarily of its narrowbodies with 3,550-737s, 3-747s, 104-767s, and 302-777s. However, clearing these production backlogs would be slightly more complex for Boeing than its Dreamliner deliveries as the manufacturer faces supply chain constraints.

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Why do commercial jets have sweptback wings?

Jinen Gada

14 Sep 2022

If you look at commercial jets — as well as many privately owned airplanes — you’ll probably notice that most have sweptback wings. In other words, their wings don’t extend straight out from the sides. Instead, they angle backwards to form a V shape.

In swept wing technology the airplane wings are swept back at an approximate angle of 35 degrees. This angle varies as a result of an increase in wing length.

Generally speaking, the faster an airplane is intended to fly, the greater the angle of its wing sweep. So, what’s the purpose of swept wings, and is it really necessary for commercial airplanes?

Sweeping The Wing Back Delays Supersonic Flow.

The main reason airplanes have swept wings is to reduce turbulence. During the flight, airplanes encounter turbulence from the friction created as air runs across the plane’s wings. The speed at which an airplane flies will affect the amount of turbulence it encounters.

At faster speeds, airplanes encounter more turbulence due to the increased friction of the air running across their wings. In some cases, the air can travel faster than the speed of sound, resulting in heavy turbulence that’s not only a nuisance for passengers but also a danger to the aircraft’s structural integrity.

Swept wings, however, are designed to reduce turbulence by slowing down the air as it moves across the surface of the wings. As previously mentioned, swept wings are longer than straight wings. Therefore, air moves more slowly across them, which reduces the amount of turbulence the airplane encounters.

The speed at which an airplane flies will affect the amount of turbulence it encounters.

On a straight-wing airplane, all of the airflow over the wing travels parallel to the aircraft's chord line. But, on a swept wing, only some of the air flows parallel to the chord line. The other part flows perpendicular to the chord - this is called spanwise flow.

Airliners, like all airplanes, fly because of the greater air pressure on the bottom side of the wings than on the top side. Air moves more smoothly on the top side of the wings than on the bottom. But when airliners move faster and faster, the airspeed that moves over the top side of the can wing exceeds the speed of sound. This results in the vibration in the plane body because of the resulting shock waves.

When an aircraft approaches the speed of sound, the airflow over the wing reaches supersonic speed before the airplane itself does, and a shock wave forms on the wing. The airflow behind the shock wave breaks up into a turbulent wake, increasing drag. The idea of swept-back wings was tested on high-speed supersonic planes.

When the airplane exceeds the speed of sound, a shock wave forms just ahead of the wing's leading edge.

Supersonic and subsonic refer to speeds faster or slower than the speed of sound. Anything going faster than the speed of sound, which is 343.2 m/s (1,126 ft/s), is travelling at supersonic speeds. Anything going slower than the speed of sound is travelling at subsonic speeds.

When speed increases, so do turbulence and drag, as a result of air friction on the wings. Swept back wings technology was introduced to solve this instability and vibration in supersonic jets at high speed. Wings are angled towards the back end, which creates an imaginary increase in wing length.

Airliners can achieve high speed, almost twice the speed of sound in the case of the Concord. Air travels further on the top side, thus safeguarding the airliner from shock waves.

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Delhi HC clarifies no stay of investigation in the alleged cheating case against SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh

Radhika Bansal

14 Sep 2022

The Delhi High Court has clarified that there is no stay of investigation in an alleged cheating case against SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh concerning the transfer of shares of the airline to certain individuals.

The clarification came on an order passed by Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta on Singh's anticipatory bail application in the matter.

The court, which had earlier granted interim protection from arrest to the businessman stated in its order dated September 8, As prayed by learned Additional Standing Counsel for the State, it is clarified that there is no stay of investigation.

Delhi HC clarifies no stay of investigation in the alleged cheating case against SpiceJet's Ajay Singh

ALSO READ - FIR filed against SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh; the airline calls it a “bogus complaint”

The court listed the matter for further hearing on November 29 and said the interim order shall continue to remain in operation in the meantime. List on November 29, 2022. Interim orders to continue, it said.

In the present case, which pertains to two similar FIRs, a Delhi businessman and his family members have alleged that there was a share-purchase agreement between him and the accused and they paid INR 10 lakh for 10 lakh shares of SpiceJet.

ALSO READ - SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh’s anticipatory bail application denied by the Delhi Sessions Court

These shares, however, were not transferred leading to the filing of the police complaint against Singh. The complainant has also claimed that the accused "dishonestly" handed over outdated and invalid DIS (delivery instruction slip) to him.

On April 7, the court had ordered that no coercive action shall be taken against Ajay Singh while directing him to join the investigation and keep the disputed shares secured and give an undertaking in this regard to the investigating agency.

The court had opined that the dispute between the parties appeared to be civil and it cannot be ignored that the petitioner is a Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet Airlines and has deep social roots in the society.

Seeking anticipatory bail, Singh represented by senior advocates Vikas Pahwa and Siddharth Aggarwal -- has submitted that ex-facie no offence was made out against him and the criminal case was an abuse of the criminal machinery.

Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa appeared for the complainant in the matter and strongly opposed the anticipatory bail plea and submitted that Ajay Singh has cheated the complaints by handing over invalid transaction slips in 2018 which were already expired in 2016.

He’s also taking a false plea of not transferring the shares due to ongoing arbitration proceedings, where no stay or embargo is given. His plea is fraudulent and dishonest. He has pledged the same shares to the bank and taken loans during the subsistence of the arbitration proceedings.