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Prince George RCMP respond to Floatplane crash in the Fraser River

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From My Prince George Now – link to source story

Prince George RCMP respond to Floatplane crash in the Fraser River


Dione Wearmouth, staff | Wednesday, Jul. 14th, 2021 

Fraser River (Photo courtesy of MyPGNow.com staff)

The Prince George RCMP responded to a floatplane that crashed into the Fraser River water earlier today (Wednesday).

According to Prince George RCMP Constable Jeniffer Cooper, police were called to the incident which occurred halfway between the Shelley Bridge and the Fraser River Bridge at about 3:30.

Two people were safely removed from the plane as police worked with the Conservation Officer Service, BCAS, and the Prince George Fire Rescue.

Cooper says it is unknown if the occupants of the plane were injured.

The cause of the crash is still unknown as the file is still under investigation.

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/07/15/prince-george-rcmp-respond-to-floatplane-crash-in-the-fraser-river/

Aerospace

BSF to Get Anti-Drone Technology

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Considering the increasing threat of drones on the entire western border, including Jammu, BSF is soon going to acquire anti-drone technology.

BSF western command special DG S S Panwar on his two-day visit to the border areas told reporters that along with whatever latest technique is required for guarding the borders, BSF is planning to acquire this tech.

Panwar visited border outposts in the Shahgarh bulge area of 108 battalions and took stock of operational readiness, effectiveness and other security arrangements. Battalion commandant Satyanand Pandey, sector north DIG Arun Kumar Singh and other company commanders briefed him about the entire border area.

Addressing a soldier’s meet at Veerhill BOP, he warned them about the threat of drones and advised them to remain alert. He praised the jawans for discharging their duty in these tough conditions. He asked the jawans to plant more trees around BOPs.

The post BSF to Get Anti-Drone Technology appeared first on ELE Times.

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Source: https://www.eletimes.com/bsf-to-get-anti-drone-technology

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Aerospace

Rajnath Singh-led DAC to finalise deal to buy 30 US made MQ-9 Reaper drones

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India is finalising its deal to acquire 30 US made MQ-9 Reaper or Predator B armed drones for its military. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh-led Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) will take the final call in its meeting scheduled for next week.

Official sources claim that India will be acquiring 30 MQ-9 Reaper—10 each for the three services (Army, Navy and IAF)—from the US worth $3 billion (approximately ₹22,000 crore).  Procurement of armed drone will further sharpen India’s offensive capabilities as till date Indian military only operates drones for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

“Earlier, one of the services was not keen to go ahead with the procurement of Predator B armed drones. But, now all issues have been resolved. DAC will take a final call on the issue soon,” said a defence official.

Moreover, if the deal goes through, it would be the first tri-service procurement since Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was appointed to synergise the operational and procurement requirement of the armed forces. Once cleared by the DAC, the cabinet committee on security will give its final approval.

In 2019, Donald Trump-led US administration had approved the sale of Predator-B armed drones to India. If it happens, India will become the first country outside the NATO alliance to get such a weapon from Washington.

Last year, Major General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed along with several officials from Iraqi militia backed by Tehran when an American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport.

The MQ-9B, manufactured by San Diego-based General Atomics, has an endurance of 48 hours, can carry a payload of about 1,700 kilograms (3,700 pounds) with a range of over 6,000 nautical miles. It comes with nine hard-points, capable of carrying sensors and laser-guided bombs besides air-to-ground missiles, with a maximum payload of two tonnes.

With the weaponised drone, the Indian military will be able to do what NATO forces did in Afghanistan; launching remote control operations and surgical strikes on terrorists’ hideouts in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and engaging with targets on Himalayan borders. It has also given long legs to Indian navy to keep an eye on Chinese warships loitering the southern Indian Ocean.

Last year, Indian navy leased two unarmed MQ-9 Predators amidst tension on border with China in eastern Ladakh. Presently, Indian security agencies use Israeli UAVs, and Defence Research and Development Organisation-developed Netra and Rustom drones.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is already in India to enhance bilateral relations between the two strategic partners. Last week, the US has handed over two MH 60 R multi-role helicopters to Indian navy. The Indian navy is procuring 24 of these Multi Role Helicopters (MRH) manufactured by Lockheed Martin under foreign military sales from the US government at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion. The deal was signed in February 2020, when then US President Donald Trump was on his maiden visit to India

The post Rajnath Singh-led DAC to finalise deal to buy 30 US made MQ-9 Reaper drones appeared first on ELE Times.

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Source: https://www.eletimes.com/rajnath-singh-led-dac-to-finalise-deal-to-buy-30-us-made-mq-9-reaper-drones

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Aviation

Alitalia Cargo lifts 1 million vaccine doses from Italy to El Salvador

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Alitalia Boeing 777 cargo flight landed in San Salvador, El Salvador at 1:55 pm on July 26, 2021 with one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China.

Alitalia flight number AZ9460 operated by Boeing 777-243ER EI-DDH. It returned as AZ9461 the following day to Milan Malpensa.

A few weeks ago Alitalia Cargo operated a similar cargo flight from Milan Malpensa to Port of Spain for delivery vaccines to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Marco Finelli reporting from Italy.

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/07/29/alitalia-cargo-lifts-1-million-vaccine-doses-from-italy-to-el-salvador/

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Aviation

ITA – Italia Trasporto Aereo Shareholders’ meeting approves capital increase of €700 million

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The Shareholders’ Meeting of ITA, which met on July 28, approved a capital increase of €700 million, as proposed by the Board of Directors of the company.

This resolution follows the approval, by the Board of Directors on July 15th, of the 2021-2025 Business Plan lines and the completion of the ongoing approval process by the European Commission on the basis of the “Comfort Letter” issued by the Commission on the same July 15th.

The Chairman of ITA, Alfredo Altavilla, said: “Today is another important milestone in the process that will see the start of operations of the new airline on October 15th. With the just approved capital increase, the public shareholder confirms the solidity of the project from a private investor’s point of view. The following step will be the immediate beginning of negotiations with Alitalia under Extraordinary Administration for the acquisition of the “Aviation” sector, pending the tender for the sale of the Alitalia brand that we hope will take place as soon as possible.

More on the new airline:

ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo) will be operational from October 15, 2021, flying a fleet of 52 aircraft that will grow to 105 by the end of 2025, as envisaged in the 2021-2025 business plan approved by the Board of Directors of the newly established company destined to take over from Alitalia. The plan also provides for the ‘discontinuity’ requested by the European Commission during negotiations with the Italian Government over the past few months. ITA will be able to acquire, through direct negotiation with Alitalia, the assets to manage the flight sector, the so-called ‘aviation’ branch. The Alitalia brand will be sold through a public tender, issued and managed by Alitalia, in which ITA itself will participate, as it believes that the brand is an essential element for the plan. ‘Ground Handling’ and ‘Maintenance’ activities will also be contracted through a public tender.

ITA will initially operate with a fleet of 52 aircraft. By 2022, it will grow to 78 aircraft and, from 2022 onwards, new-generation aircraft will be gradually added to the fleet. By the end of 2025, the number of aircraft will rise to 105. Over the plan period, ITA plans to rely on a single strategic partner for aircraft, and discussions are underway with the main partners. All employees will be hired under a new employment contract. The ‘Aviation’ branch is expected to employ 2.750-2.950 people, rising to 5.550-5.700 by 2025. In the event that ITA is awarded contracts for the ‘Ground Handling’ and ‘Maintenance’ activities, 2.650-2.700 and 1.100-1.250 staff are expected to be employed respectively.

ITA’s plan has been approved, forecasting a turnover that will reach  3.329 million euros in 2025, with an economic result of 209 million euros and an operational break-even to be reached by third quarter 2023.

At first, the airline will fly to 45 destinations with 61 routes, growing to 74 destinations and 89 routes by 2025. As for long-haul routes, ITA will initially provide connections to New York, Tokyo, Boston and Miami, but new routes to São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Washington and Los Angeles are expected to be added in the summer 2022. From Fiumicino (Rome) and Linate (Milan) airports there will be connections to the main EU destinations. During the shareholders’ meeting scheduled for July, it will be decided on an initial capital increase of 700 million euros.

ITA’s executive chairman Alfredo Altavilla stated: “The approval of ITA’s business plan by the European Commission and the confirmation of compliance with the MEOP, which certifies the soundness of the project in terms of private investment by the public shareholder, is an important result that paves the way for the launch of ITA. Now, within 90 days, we should complete the transition leading to the take-off of the first aircraft on 15 October. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Italian Government and our representatives in Brussels for the teamwork that made it possible to achieve this important result after months of negotiations, and which we trust will continue in the months to come”.

The CEO and managing director of ITA, Fabio Lazzerini, said: “I am particularly satisfied with the acknowledgement of the industrial and financial solidity underlying the approval of the Plan. A plan which, starting from the customer and its needs, will place ITA among the best companies in Europe in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability, while guaranteeing connectivity to businesses, tourists and citizens. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the ITA team for the enthusiastic and total commitment with which they have worked during these challenging months, and to the institutions and stakeholders in the sector (ENAC, ENAV, the airport system) for the openness and trust they are showing us. Now we face the great challenge of launching a successful airline in three months. A challenge to which we will devote all our energy.”

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/07/29/ita-italia-trasporto-aereo-shareholders-meeting-approves-capital-increase-of-e700-million/

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