The Week in brief
- According to Dow Jones, Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff has appointed Wagner Bittencourt de Oliveira as secretary of the nation’s new civil aviation department. Oliveira will be instrumental in managing the nation’s plans to allow private businesses to invest in airports. Launched in March, the civil aviation department was developed to elicit investments from private companies. As head of the division, Oliveira will manage this endeavor, awarding businesses permits to construct new terminals and airports. President Rousseff believes this new approach holds strong promise for the Brazilian aviation industry. “We can grant licenses where something already exists — to build a new terminal, for example,” he remarked in a recent interview with Valor Economico . “We can grant licenses were nothing exists, such as the construction of an airport, in the same way we do it for a hydroelectric dam.” Prior to joining the civil aviation department, Oliveira headed up the National Development Bank’s infrastructure, raw materials and project structuring endeavors.
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded Raytheon Company a $177 million contract modification for the deployment of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS), an air traffic automation system. STARS modernizes equipment in terminal radar approach control (TRACON) and tower facilities. Procured jointly by the FAA and Department of Defense, STARS is designed to completely modernize terminal air traffic within the National Airspace System. In addition to providing controllers with crucial data about aircraft positions, weather and flights, STARS also enables operators to observe and manage system resources. The deployment of STARS is an integral part of FAA’s plan to reform and replace air traffic control facilities. Raytheon Network Centric Systems Vice President of Command and Control Systems Andy Zogg fully endorses the benefits of STARS. “With more than 100 STARS systems delivered, it further confirms STARS is the best choice for the future of terminal air traffic modernization and provides a NextGen-ready platform,” Zogg said in a statement. Specified in the $177 million contract is the creation and implementation of 11 systems for the FAA’s largest TRACON facilities. These include: Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Northern California, Southern California, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Louisville, New York, Potomac and St. Louis TRACONs.
- Qatar Airways has ordered three 777 freighters and two 77-300ER aircraft — planes that have a total list price of $1.4 billion — from Boeing. The airline currently has two 777 freighters and 15 777-300ERs. "It's an opportune time to be introducing more cargo capacity to our fleet," Akbar Al Baker, the carrier's CEO, said in a statement. "As the State of Qatar and other parts of the region are growing at a phenomenal pace, we are well positioned to take advantage of this growth." Boeing also recently delivered a Next-Generation 737-800 to Air Algerie. The carrier currently operates 18 737s.
- According to the stock analysis group SmarTrend, UPS had the lowest sales growth in the freight and logistics industry last year. UPS' 8.4 percent growth was outpaced by FedEx (11.1 percent), Atlas (11.9 percent), Forward Air (13 percent) and UTi Worldwide (15.5 percent).
- The ocean and air freight forwarder FedEx Trade Networks has opened a gateway office in Chicago. The 104,000-square-foot building has 85,000 square feet of space devoted to distribution. According to a press release, FedEx Trade Networks is in the middle of a massive expansion, having opened 33 offices around the world since 2008. "Enhancing our North American infrastructure is also a key component of our global expansion. As we continue to grow our global footprint, and open offices around the world, we are reinforcing our North American offices to support our growth as a company," Fred Schardt, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement.
- Air France will begin thrice-weekly, non-stop flights between Paris CDG and Cape Town on November 3. The services will use Boeing 777-200 aircraft. By the end of this year, Air France will have also added services to the African cities of Freetown, Monrovia and Bata.
- Kuehne + Nagel has opened an 18,800-square-meter aviation logistics hub in Montoir-de-Bretagne, France. The facility will handle the logistical needs of Airbus' production facilities in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire. Services offered at the new site will include warehousing, order preparation, delivery and quality inspections.