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MAX returns

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reinstated the Boeing 737 MAX’s operating license. It was rescinded on 13 March 2019 after two fatal crashes. American Airlines has set 29 December for the plane’s reintroduction into service. In addition to rescinding the order that grounded the aircraft, the FAA published an Airworthiness Directive specifying design changes that must be made before the aircraft returns to service, issued a Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC), and published the MAX training requirements. These actions do not allow the MAX to return immediately to the skies. The FAA must approve 737 MAX pilot training program revisions for each U.S. airline operating the MAX and will retain its authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates of airworthiness for all new 737 MAX aircraft manufactured since the FAA issued the grounding order. Furthermore, airlines that have parked their MAX aircraft must take required maintenance steps to prepare them to fly again.

Europe’s aviation safety regulator is intending to issue its own proposed Boeing 737 Max airworthiness directive before the end of this month. The EASA would normally validate FAA directives automatically but, in the case of the 737 Max, it has chosen to take a bespoke approach.

At the present time some 387 MAX are grounded and with another 450 in an advanced stage of production and around 4,000 on order although this figure is likely to be reduced as airlines consider their future requirements.


Pilatus appoints TAG as service center for PC-24

Pilatus has appointed TAG Maintenance Services to support the Pilatus PC-24 for comprehensive base and line maintenance in Geneva, Switzerland. TAG Maintenance Services also offers services for the PC-12 single-engine turboprop.

Ignaz Gretener, VP General Aviation of Pilatus says: “As the worldwide fleet of PC-24s continues to grow, we are constantly strengthening our support network. Geneva is a top destination for many of our customers, so we are delighted to expand our relationship with TAG Maintenance Services.” In summer this year, in an independent survey conducted by Professional Pilot magazine, operators voted Pilatus number 1 in turboprop customer service for the 19th consecutive year.


SAF advancements

As part of its ongoing decarbonisation strategy, Rolls-Royce is to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel for the first time in engine ground tests on next-generation engine technology. The SAF being used in the tests was produced by low-carbon fuel specialist World Energy in Paramount, California, sourced by Shell Aviation and delivered by SkyNRG. This unblended fuel has the potential to significantly reduce net CO2 lifecycle emissions by more than 75 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel, with the possibility of further reductions in years to come.

These tests aim to demonstrate that the current Rolls-Royce engines can operate with 100% SAF as a full “drop-in” option. At present, SAF is certified for blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel and can be used on all current Rolls-Royce engines.

Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer, said: “Aviation is a tremendous force for good, keeping the world connected, but we have to do that sustainably. If SAF production can be scaled up – and aviation needs 500 million tones a year by 2050 - we can make a huge contribution for our planet.”


People: Claus Bauer named new Head of Technical Division at Swiss

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

Swiss International Air Lines has appointed Claus Bauer to be the new head of its Swiss technical division. He will succeed Peter Wojahn, who will be taking scheduled company retirement on 31 January 2021 after almost 40 years in the airline industry, the last 13 of them as Head of Swiss’s Technical Fleet Management.

Claus Bauer, who is 51, will assume his new duties as Head of Technical Fleet Management and Process Owner Engineering, in overall charge of some 1,000 personnel, on 1 February 2021. Claus Bauer can draw on 20 years of airline experience at Lufthansa Technik, most recently as Head of Product Division Engine, with responsibility for an international production network of the Lufthansa Group subsidiary. Claus Bauer has driven the global growth of Lufthansa Technik’s engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities over the past few years, including the establishment of major new operating locations under joint-venture partnerships. He has also been a keen proponent of digital innovations such as numerical fleet life-cycle optimization.

A native of Frankfurt, Claus Bauer holds a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Darmstadt, Germany. He is married and has two children.

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