Monday, August 1, 2011

Cessna 207: A runway lighting failure may have led to Port Vila air crash.

CRASH SITE: The Cessna 207 crash landed at the Le Lagon Resort in Vanuatu.


Authorities in Vanuatu are investigating whether a lack of airport runway lights may be to blame for a light plane crash in Port Vila involving five New Zealand tourists.

Two foreign pilots were also on board the Cessna 207 which crash-landed on a golf course at the Le Lagon hotel resort.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says two New Zealanders were admitted to hospital last night and are being treated for non-critical injuries.

It says one of the patients has been flown back to New Zealand and the High Commission is providing consular assistance to the New Zealanders involved.

A spokesman for the Vanuatu police Kalshem Bongran says civil aviation authorities in Vanuatu are investigating whether the automatic runway lighting system may have failed.

“Because it was raining heavily yesterday evening and there was plenty of cloud and fog, so the pilot had difficulty locating the runway lights.”

Kalshem Bongran says it appears the pilot ran low on fuel as he circled trying to land.

INDIA: Security breach at Delhi airport

MiD DAY has a video clip that shows passengers of a GoAir flight roaming on the taxiway, a highly restricted area, when no shuttle arrived to ferry them several minutes after the plane had landed on Thursday evening

It appears to be a walk in the park. A video clip available with MiD DAY shows a bunch of passengers strolling on the taxiway at Delhi airport after a Srinagar-Delhi flight landed here on Thursday evening. The video footage clearly shows how about 25 people reached the taxiway after they didn't find the shuttle to take them to the airport. The aircraft was parked in bay no. 21.

Touchdown
The GoAir flight (G8-457) landed at Delhi at about 5 in the evening. The plane was to leave for Mumbai next as a new flight. When the passengers couldn't find a shuttle even after several minutes from aircraft evacuation, a group of commuters started walking towards the taxiway to reach the airport building. However, when one of the officials saw them - by then the people had already reached the taxiway - they rushed to the spot and took them back behind the no-entry line. The video was shot by an airport official, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Danger!
Sources at the airport said that it is not a usual practise and is absolutely prohibited as walking on the taxiway is very risky. "An aircraft is huge and if its engine is on the ejected gases can throw you several metres if you come in too close. Everyone should take precautions in preventing such a thing and passengers should not be allowed beyond a certain point (a line which is marked, called the 'yellow line')," sources said.

"At some airports where there is not much air traffic or resources, some airlines practise this (walk the passengers up to the airport from the runway), but at Delhi airport this certainly should not have happened," sources said.

The video shows that it was only after around a group of passengers reached the taxiway, a white jeep - which belongs to GMR and is called 'follow-me' - ostensibly taking rounds to keep a tab on the activities at the runway and ensure that no violations are happening, came and asked them to go back. Had they not spotted them the passengers might have gone on towards the main airport entrance from the runway.

Out of sight
Besides, sources said that even in terms of security it was not something that should have happened as anyone can become a security threat if he/she goes away from airline officials' sight.When contacted, GoAir officials said that they have forwarded the case to senior officials and they are awaiting response from them.

Aviation expert, N Shashank, who was previously working with airlines and is now into aviation Consulting & Support, said: "As per security norms no passenger can enter taxiway.

Only ground security staff works there, and that too when they are connected through wireless. It is bizarre if some passenger had entered the taxiway as he/she may get injured and this can even lead to security breach. Airport is one place which is under high surveillance and proper protocol is followed. If a group of passengers have been recorded on camera walking on the taxiway then the matter should be inquired into."

Do you know?
A taxiway is a path on an airport connecting runways with ramps, hangars, terminals and other facilities. They mostly have hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, although smaller airports sometimes use gravel or grass.

Source:  http://www.mid-day.com

Works Minister Jack Warner kept out of airline tragedy incident. Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800, 9Y-PBM, Performing Flight BW-523. Georgetown, Guyana.


Works Minister Jack Warner says he is not being kept informed on developments regarding the incident involving Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 which broke into two on landing in Guyana. Speaking to reporters at the winding up of Moruga’s Heritage festival last night, Warner said he was sad that the State owned airline’s reputation had been tarnished by the incident in which the aircraft skidded off the end of a slick runway stopping short of a deep ravine in Guyana’s capital Georgetown on Saturday. Warner explained that he had no new information on the matter as he was not being kept up to date by authorities.

He said: “It is unfortunate. I am glad that no lives have been lost. I am sad that CAL’s image has been tarnished somewhat and I don’t know what the investigations shall reveal and so therefore I will wait until the whole thing is investigated fully before I make a definite statement.” He added: “I don’t know how this matter is being handled. I have been kept outside the loop so I really don’t know what is happening. All I know is what I read in the newspaper. I have not been directly involved in the matter.” Asked whether he agreed with the decision to take the pilots off roster, Warner replied: “I don’t know if this was a good move. If you take them off the roster because you want to save them from worry and from harm and from concern, then fine. But if it is because you have already pre-judged the issue it is not correct. I don’t know if this was the case.”

Asked why he wasn’t being kept informed, Warner said: “Girl, listen, I don’t have any answers to give, I am not in the loop, I don’t have any reasons but I am batting in my corner but I have colleagues like De Couteau who support me but I don’t even care, honestly.” Warner also said that he was warmly welcomed by the Moruga people and he assured them that he would fix their landslips and bad roads.

Source:  http://www.guardian.co.tt

Soon Private Jets Will Include Touch Controls: Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion Touch Screen.


Soon private airplane pilots will abandon their old instrumentation and adopt a modern touch-based interface in their airplanes.

Avionics company Rockwell Collins is developing the first touchscreen primary flight display (PFD) for business jets and turboprop planes. These displays will make it easy for pilots to change flight parameters and even the flight plan with a few taps and a couple of gestures.

Besides a modern interface, these new touchscreens will also be safer for pilots. Pilots won't have to look down and fiddle with their instrumention. The PFD will be installed in a location that allows pilots to keep their eyes upward and forward while flying, similar to a properly mounted GPS device in a car.

FAA certification of this new display is expected in 2013 and it'll land in cockpits soon after. [Rockwell Collins via GizMag]

Mumbai: Airline compensation law only on paper? Loopholes in guidelines stipulated by the DGCA enable airlines to get away without paying compensation in several cases of delays.

The absence of clear-cut rules about compensation that airlines should pay to customers in case of flight delays is acting as a boon in disguise for flight operators.

For instance, there is no rule to stipulate the amount of compensation to be paid by an airline if it defaults on payment to oil companies, resulting in curtailment of fuel supply to the airlines and eventual delay or cancellation of flights. This incongruity is adding to the woes of passengers.

On July 18, Air India and Kingfisher Airlines fights could not take off for two to four hours across the country due to shortage of fuel. The oil companies had apparently curtailed fuel supply to the defaulters, resulting in mass delay of flights.

To cap it all, the airlines neither informed its passengers about the development, nor they paid any compensation, making the most of porous compensation rules.

"We believe that the airline must pay passengers for the delays caused by their inability such as defaulting on payment to the oil companies. But the same is not happening, thanks to the loopholes in existing guidelines," said Devang Sanghvi of Venus Holidays, a travel agency in Andheri.

"We got many calls from the passengers regarding the delays that occurred due to recent suspension of flight operations by the defaulter airlines.

The airlines are at fault here and they should be penalised," added Sanghvi.

A city-based frequent flier who got stranded for at least two-and-a-half hours recently owing to the flight suspension told MiD DAY that they were not even informed about the reason behind the delay.

"The versions kept changing from the ground staff to the help desk. While someone said it was a technical delay because of a snag in the Air Traffic Control system (ATC), another said it was due to the bad weather. We only came to know about the actual reason, the day after through newspaper articles."

The Kingfisher airlines and Air India, which owe heavy dues to the oil companies, had to suspend their flight operations as the firms stopped fuel supply. The Kingfisher airline had to shut down its entire flight operations for at least two hours on July 18 because of depleted fuel supply.

In the last two-and-a-half months, the services of Air India had also been put on hold twice for the same reason.

On July 19, MiD DAY had reported ('Oil companies starve debtor Kingfisher' on July 19) how airlines apologised to their respective passengers by issuing a statement and did not pay compensation to the fliers.

According to the new rules from DGCA, which came into force on August 15, 2010, passengers are entitled to Rs 2,000 as compensation in case of a two-hour delay (excluding delays caused by an ATC snag, inclement weather and shortage of fuel) and Rs 4,000 in case of a four-hour delay.

The law further says that passengers must be informed at least three hours in advance about cancellation of flights. In case the airlines fail to do so, they must refund the price of the ticket to those who don't want to fly that day or make some alternative travel arrangements for them.

The Other Side

E K Bharatbhushan, chief of the Directorate of General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), did not elaborate much on the loopholes in the existing law. "There is no existing law to penalise airlines in such a situation," he said.

The DGCA chief, however, remained non-committal about stopping recurrence of such incidents in the future.
Kingfisher and Air India officials could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

Source:  http://www.mid-day.com

MANILA: Witness - former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo involved in chopper scam.

MANILA (Updated 10:53 a.m.) -- A businessman engaged in aircraft charter and sale of helicopters on Tuesday named former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo as the previous owner of choppers sold to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

During a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the purchase of “brand new” used choppers by the PNP, Lion Air Inc. president Archibald Po, the supplier of the questioned choppers, said he personally met with Arroyo at his office in Makati in 2003.

Po, in his affidavit, said Arroyo inquired about choppers in 2003 but all have been loaned by the late Fernando Poe Jr. who was running for president against his wife, former President and now Pampanga Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He added he suggested that Arroyo buy his own choppers instead and Arroyo agreed to purchase the five Robinson R44 Raven.

He said the five purchased helicopters by Arroyo were all registered under Asian Spirit.

Po also said that in 2006, Arroyo asked him to sell his helicopters at $350K each. Arroyo bought the five choppers for only $475K.

“Sometime in 2006, FG told me that he was selling the helicopters at US Do11ar 350,000.00 each. I commented that the price is on the high side for pre-owned helicopters, but FG said that was the price he was willing to sell the helicopters.” Po said.

Arroyo told Lion Air to prepare a proposal for the Manila Aerospace Products Trading (Maptra) in 2009, he said.

In November 2009, Lion Air sold the two pre-owned helicopters to Maptra.

It was Maptra that sold the choppers to the Philippine National Police.

Payments were delivered to Arroyo, Po claimed.

“On l6 April 2010, Maptra paid us in full. I then delivered and turned over the full payment of Maptra to FG,” he said.

Maptra owner Hilario de Vera, for his part, said “the PNP-Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) secretariat had asked him to sign supply contract for choppers. The supply contract indicated the choppers were brand new.”

De Vera questioned why the choppers were declared as brand new, but still, he signed the contract.

He added Po gave him the assurance to deliver second-hand choppers following the order from First Gentleman Arroyo.

De Vera said he confronted Po for the misdeclaration, but Po assured that no one will question the deal.

“Po had assured me the PNP had orders from Mike Arroyo to accept the choppers I will deliver,” he added.

He also said that the two choppers delivered to PNP had different serial numbers than those in his proposal to PNP.

Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, earlier filed a resolution to hold an inquiry on a purchase in 2009 of three Robinson Raven helicopters for the PNP’s Special Action Force.

They said that according to flight records, two of the helicopters had flown for around two years before the PNP bought them.

Earlier, Lacson in a press statement said, “Initial findings would indicate that the previous and original owners of the pre-owned, yet sold as brand-new, light police operational helicopters are the Arroyos.”

Maptra and the PNP may have entered into an anomalous contract that was “manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government,” the senators added.

Source:  http://www.sunstar.com.ph

Helicopter Crash, Pilot Uninjured. Northern Iowa

Helicopter crash



MASON CITY, IA-One man is counting his blessings tonight - walking away unharmed after crashing his helicopter.

25 year old Joseph Sailer from Shakopee hit a power line while crop dusting near Joice.

He crashed into the field.

Those responding to the scene are still talking about how lucky he is to have walked away with only a few scratches.

When see what's left of the wreckage, you'll have a hard to believing it, as well!

Dispatchers got a 9-1-1 call Monday morning that a helicopter crashed in Joice.

There's one main thought for law enforcers responding to the scene.

Worth County Sheriff Jay Langenbau said, "you don't see too many, especially do not see too many people walking away from it.”

As they arrived, no one could exactly pin-point where the chopper went down. That’s when they got some surprising news

Langenbau said, "Then we got a call that the pilot had walked out and someone picked him up and brought him into town."

25 year old Joseph Sailer walked away from this helicopter.

He was crop dusting when he hit a power line.

That sent him crashing right into a corn field he was working.

Langenbau said, "He's fine, walking. More mad about what happened to the helicopter then what happened to him."

The sheriff says flying helicopters for spraying crops is not that un-common.

In fact, he says airplanes usually fly at around 100 miles per hour and helicopters at only 50.

Choppers fly slower than planes, and some say that's what makes them more capable of doing the job well.

He said, "Helicopters can do a little bit different things then planes can, they can get a little bit lower and be more precise on where they are going."

Unfortunately this aircraft will no longer be making any rounds but everyone who's seen what's left is just relieved nobody's hurt.

Langenbau said, "He's not injured; he walked away from it and just got sprayed down to make sure all the chemicals were off him."

Sailer was still at the scene when we arrived. He told us he did not feel like talking about what happened this morning.

Meanwhile, the FAA is still investigating the crash.

The Sheriff tells us they're the ones who decide if anyone gets fined. He said any crop or power line damages would be more of a civil issue. The power did go out for a while around Joice, but everything is back up and running now.

Source:  http://www.kimt.com

Vampire NZ5772 : Ohakea gate guardian returns. Ohakea Air Base - New Zealand.

REVAMP: A World War II jet-engine fighter, the Vampire, is returning to the entrance of Ohakea Air Base.
ROBERT KITCHIN

For two years, the gate guardian of Ohakea Air Base has been missing.

The former WWII jet-engine fighter, the Vampire, has been locked away in a hangar to recieve a thorough revamp by dedicated airforce volunteers.

Flight Lieutenant Barb Finlayson said the Vampire NZ5772 was pulled down because of wear and weather.

Volunteers started putting it up yesterday morning, with the aircraft almost completed by mid-afternoon.

The refurbished aircraft will grace the new official entrance to the base.

Flight Lientenant Finlayson said it was always the wish of Tim Walshe, the former Commanding Officer of Operation Support Wing, for the Vampire to remain the gate guardian.

The Vampire was piloted in the 1950s by several sqaudron leaders from 75 Squadron. 

Source:  http://www.stuff.co.nz

Three in hospital after Air Evac helicopter hits power line. Polk County, Tennessee.

An an Air Evac helicopter hit a power line on its way back from picking up a patient in a car accident.

According to WRCB in Chattanooga, a spokesperson for Erlanger Medical Center said an Air Evac helicopter was called to cover a vehicle crash in Polk County.

Three people were injured in the crash and emergency responders were planning to take two by ambulance and one by a chopper.

Once the helicopter landed, it picked up a patient and was on its way back up when it hit a power line and came back down. A spokesperson from Air Evac said the helicopter made a safe landing.

No one in the chopper was injured in the hard landing. Authorties called UT to send Lifestar and called Erlanger for a chopper as well.

All three patients are now at Erlanger in stable condition.

EDITORS NOTE: A previous version of the story said the helicopter made a hard landing, which was based on information from WRCB-TV and Erlanger Medical Center. Air Evac disputes that information.

Supplier says Philippine National Police helicopters owned by former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo.

The supplier of the two helicopters that were sold as new to the Philippine National Police (PNP) has confirmed that the same aircraft were previously owned by former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo.

During Tuesday's blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged misrepresentations in the PNP's multi-million purchase of helicopters, Lion Air president Archibald Legaspi Po said Mr. Arroyo approached him in 2003 to inquire about chartering helicopters.

Po said he told the former First Gentleman that all their available choppers were already loaned to the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. At the time, Poe was running against Mike Arroyo's wife, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for the presidency in the 2004 polls.

"I offered to him the Robinson R44 Raven 1 helicopters, five units of which would be the price for just one European helicopter. FG then told me to go ahead, buy him five (5) Robinson helicopters," he said.

He said Mr. Arroyo even remitted $475,000 as a deposit. He likewise revealed that Mr. Arroyo asked that the importation of the choppers be coursed through his other company — Asian Spirit — because it would make the importation tax-free.

"I agreed to FG's proposal, and the helicopters were delivered to Asian Spirit at the Clark Export Processing Zone," he said.

As of posting time, GMA News Online was still trying to reach the camp of Mr. Arroyo for comment.

Lion Air was the company which sold two pre-owned R44 Raven I choppers to the Manila Aerospace Trading Corporation (MAPTRA), which later sold and priced them as brand new to the PNP.

During last week's hearing, Supt. Claudio Gaspar Jr. had confirmed that he used to pilot the two choppers, which were used by the First Family when former President Arroyo was still in power.

Gaspar noted, however, that from what he understood, the choppers were owned by Lion Air and not the former First Family.

Earlier, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that two more choppers owned by the former First Gentleman were still with Lion Air.

Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros: Airport solves puzzle of rare visitor in Hawke's Bay skies. New Zealand.

FRIENDLY MISSION: The Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros.

It was compact, fast and left a distinctive jet-engine echo across Napier on Saturday, leaving some wondering if the RNZAF had fired up its jet squadron again.

The sleek blue and white single-engined jet was seen and heard during the middle of the afternoon and appeared to be doing relatively low-level circuits of Napier, and over Hawke's Bay Airport.

It left two people who contacted Hawke's Bay Today mystified - and wondering if the air force had fired up one of its parked-up Macchi jet trainers.

While not one of the air force's grounded planes, and not bearing military colours, the jet is a type which is used by several air forces around the world as a light attack aircraft.

It was identified by aircraft controllers at the airport yesterday as an Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros - built in the Czech Republic and one of three known to be in New Zealand.

The aircraft is privately owned and based at Ohakea where it is used for advanced commercial jet training.

The sophisticated two-seaters have a top speed of about 750km/h and have featured at air shows throughout the country, although they are relatively rare visitors to Bay skies.

Source:  http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz

Kingston, Washington: 27-Year-Old Man Killed In Skydiving Accident


Watch Video:  http://www.kirotv.com

KINGSTON, Wash. -- Investigators identified a skydiver who was killed over the weekend as a 27-year-old man from Kingston.

Zack Fogel was killed near Marion, Montana, Saturday when his parachute didn't open.

Fogel’s profile picture on Facebook was taken with his niece Jaeda, a little girl his brother Jay Fogel said Fogel loved.

Jay said Fogel was badly hurt in a car accident 10 years ago, and doctors said he would never walk again.

Fogel proved them wrong and eventually was able to walk with the help of canes.

But Fogel, who his brother said loved life, didn’t just walk. He skydived, bungee jumped, parasailed and even went swimming with sharks.

Jay said there wasn't one thing in life that would hold Fogel back, and described his brother as an inspiration to not just disabled people, but to the healthy as well.

On Saturday, Fogel was skydiving at an event in Montana. His brother said after Fogel jumped from a plane, witnesses said he had trouble righting himself into a position in which he could deploy his chute. It didn't open.

The sheriff's office is ruling Fogel’s death an accident. Jay Fogel said he's lost a brother and best friend, who helped him start his dental business. A man with an undying desire to succeed and to never quit.

On Facebook, tributes are being posted on Fogel’s page.

One friend wrote, "He flew through the sky and made us all believe it could be done."

Another wrote, “Your attitude, sense of humor and determination were an inspiration to us all." 

Watch Video:  http://www.kirotv.com

Kiwi injured in Vanuatu plane crash

A Kiwi is being flown home to New Zealand for medical treatment after they were injured in a plane crash in Vanuatu yesterday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that five New Zealand tourists were on a small plane that crash landed in Port Vila around 6pm NZ time.

Two New Zealanders were hospitalised and an MFAT spokeswoman said one of them would be transported to New Zealand today for medical treatment.

The ministry would not confirm what injuries they had sustained.

The small air taxi crash landed in the Le Lagon Resort at around 6pm NZ time, New Zealand's High Commissioner in Vanuatu, Bill Dobbie, said.

He confirmed that five of the seven people onboard were New Zealanders and said the commission had provided them consular assistance.

It was unclear what caused the plane to crash but a local man, who lived 600 meters from where it landed in Port Vila, said it was raining so hard he didn't hear it come down.

He said there had been a severe tropical storm which meant there was zero visibility when the plane was attempting to land.

He said the plane hit a raised golf tee in the middle of the course which caused one of the wings to hit the ground and tip the plane on to its side. 

Source:  http://www.stuff.co.nz

Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane landed badly. Flight BW-523. Georgetown, Guyana.

The Caribbean Airlines jetliner overran the runway at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri because of a “long landing” at high speed, well-placed sources said Monday.

The pilots were interviewed by officials of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Caribbean Airlines and American agencies.

Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com ) was told that the Boeing 737-800 might have touched down more than half way down the runway and travelling to fast to stop effectively. The runway is 7,500 feet long.

Officials said the plane also landed at approximately 90 knots instead of 80 knots Saturday morning around 1:25. Investiagtors noted that the speed might not have been a major consideration but the touch-down point was a key consideration in the plane overruning the ruway. Officials said there was light rain and visibility was eight kilometers. The pilot has 25 years experience.

Investigators are now expected to corroborate the pilots’ account when they download contents of the Flight Data Recorder and the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder.

The recorders left Guyana around 6 PM for the Washington-based National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), at the request of the GCAA which is spearheading the probe.

None of the 162 passengers and crew was killed. One person suffered a fractured leg and another concussion, while the others sustaained bruises and hits about their bodies.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who visited Guyana hours after the incident, said she expected the results of the probe to be made available soon so that authorities would be able to avoid future incidents.

Caribbean Airlines is owned by Trinidad and Tobago. A senior government official, who had accompanied the Trinidad and Tobago leader here, noted that the pilot did his best in the circumstances.

The NTSB said it designated Bob Benzon as the U.S. Accredited Representative. He is leading the U.S. team, which includes seven NTSB staff with expertise in operations, meteorology, airworthiness, survival factors, and aircraft performance. There are also representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and the aircraft's manufacturer, Boeing.

Devastated by assault charge. Wings and Wheels over Waikato air show.

An entrepreneur left ruined by disgraced air show organiser Ken Ross is flabbergasted police have decided to charge him with assaulting the disgraced promoter more than three years earlier.

Grant Hall, company director of The Good Water Company, was a key witness for police during their prosecution of Ross over the failed Wings and Wheels over Waikato air show.

The air show was set for March 7 to 9, 2008, but after months of promotional hype was postponed indefinitely - leaving sponsors and exhibitors about $350,000 out of pocket.

Mr Hall lost $28,000 to Ross after agreeing to be the event's official bottled water supplier.

Ross was later convicted of fraud.

Mr Hall said he was still battling to rebuild his life when police contacted him last week to say he was being charged with assaulting and threatening to kill Ross.

The charges relate to a stoush between the pair at Hamilton Airport in February 2008 when Ross met with sponsors.

Mr Hall followed Ross out into the airport car park where he grabbed him by the collar and demanded Ross "bloody-well give us our money back".

Mr Hall said he was "absolutely mortified" to be charged over the incident.

"I just feel this is a real travesty," he said.

"I gave a victim impact statement and was very helpful to police so to have them turn around and out of the blue lay these charge is real salt in the wounds. Has it taken police three years to get this file to the top of their pile?"

Mr Hall admits he grabbed Ross but said the confrontation only amounted to "a bit of verbals".

The Good Water Company borrowed money to invest in Ross' air show, a move which financially ruined the fledging business.

The company has since been liquidated and Mr Hall is facing bankruptcy.

Proceeds from the company were earmarked for the Sir Peter Blake Trust to educate young people about the environment.

"The air show could have generated a couple of hundred grand of revenue but we never had $28,000 to invest so we borrowed money and robbed Peter to pay Paul," Mr Hall said.

"Instead of getting some really good cash flow we were dealt a devastating loss and it was the catalyst for the business failing."

Mr Hall said he was "very emotional" when he confronted Ross but was assured by police the matter would probably not go any further.

It is understood Ross reported the incident to police in 2008.

Mr Hall will appear in the Hamilton District Court later this month and plans to plead not guilty to the charges.

He has no previous convictions and will apply for legal aid to fund his defence.
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Mr Hall said the prospect of seeing Ross again in court was upsetting.

"I've lost all my life savings and will have to travel from Auckland on a bus to court because I don't have a vehicle. I'm also going to have to take time off from my part-time job. It just seems so wrong. It's very twisted. It seems like a twisted ironic turn of events."

Waikato Times' efforts to contact Ross were unsuccessful.

The Ken Ross saga:

- Air show organiser Ken Ross promotes Wings and Wheels over Waikato, scheduled to be held at Hamilton Airport on March 7-9, 2008.

- The Good Water Company signs up in December 2007 to supply bottled water to the event, paying Ross $28,000.

- After months of promotional hype Ross postpones the event indefinitely in late February, 2008, leaving sponsors and exhibitors about $350,000 out of pocket.

- In March 2008, the Commerce Commission applies for court orders ensuring ticketholders funds are protected. Approximately $500,000 is repaid to ticketholders.

- Ross found guilty in November 2009 of five criminal fraud charges following a 3 1/2-week defended hearing in the Hamilton District Court. Ross also found guilty of five breaches of the Fair Trading Act.

- Ross sentenced in March, 2010, to nine months' home detention and 200 hours' community work.

- Waikato Times

Crash could hurt Caribbean tourism, Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister says. Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800, 9Y-PBM, Flight BW-523. Guyana.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday August 1, 2011 – As investigations continue into the crash landing of a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) plane at the airport in Guyana over the weekend, Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the accident that resulted in the aircraft breaking in two could have a negative impact on travel to the region.

And she says some form of damage control may be required.

Persad-Bissessar was speaking in Guyana where she travelled to get a firsthand look at the crashed Boeing 737-800 plane which CAL, Trinidad and Tobago’s national carrier, bought four years ago.

 “It would not just be Caribbean Airlines; it may affect tourism visitors to the CARICOM nations and to the areas that Caribbean Airlines serves,” she said.

“We would have to assess that impact and, therefore, do such damage control as we can.”

However, during a press conference on her return to Trinidad yesterday, the Prime Minister said CAL’s safety record was still intact.

“Caribbean Airlines, formerly BWIA, has maintained its track record of safety because so far there have been no fatalities,” she said. “Thank God for his mercies in allowing Caribbean Airlines to continue with that track record for safety."

CAL Chairman George Nicholas added that the airline would get past Saturday’s accident and continue with business as usual.

"We will bounce back," he said.

Investigators from the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board and the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority are assisting the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority in the crash probe.

Heavy rain and fog, resulting in poor visibility, have been initially blamed for the accident that occurred at 1:32 am on Saturday when Flight BW523 overshot the runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and broke in two. It landed in the gully on the northern side of the airstrip, close to a ravine.

The vast majority of the 163 passengers and crew member on board were seen by a team of doctors and nurses on the scene before being shuttled to nearby hospitals and clinics, with the more serious being taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Four were admitted to hospital while others were treated and released. The most serious injuries were broken limbs.

Both Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar and Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo said it was a miracle that there were no fatalities or more serious injuries.

Meantime, acting CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite has expressed “deep concern” about the crash and has wished the injured a full and speedy recovery.

“The Community…is greatly relieved that there has been no loss of life,” she said in a statement over the weekend. “The Community commends the authorities in Guyana and the airline for their swift response to the crisis which ensured the safe evacuation of all passengers and crew.

Ambassador Applewhaite said CARICOM looked forward to the results of the investigation, “with the expectation that it would assist in ensuring no recurrence of such an incident”
 
Source:  http://www.caribbean360.com

Aircraft firm fined over fuel leak. Tullamarine airport, Australia.

EPA Victoria has fined an aeroplane engine-testing company for causing an environmental hazard at Tullamarine airport.

About 3000 litres of jet fuel was released on December 2 after a rubber gasket seal from a fuel pump base plate blew out at LTQ Engineering Pty Ltd.

EPA's Chris Webb said the fuel leak was damaging to the surrounding environment and posed a safety risk.

The company was fined $6000.

Bulgaria's Economy Minister: Jet fuel crisis is quite unlikely

If there is a jet fuel crisis in Bulgaria, the culprit will be obvious LUKOIL Aviation, whose responsibility it is to supply kerosene to the airports in Bulgaria, Bulgarias Economy and Energy Minister Traycho Traykov told bTV.

In his words, however, a jet fuel crisis is hardly likely to unfold in Bulgaria.

However, sources from LUKOIL Aviation said they were struggling to supply the necessary quantity of jet fuel from abroad, as their main supplier LUKOIL Nefotchim had had its license suspended by the Customs Agency.

The situation is further aggravated by the higher demand for kerosene in summer, compared to the rest of the year.

LUKOIL Aviation did not share Bulgarian governments optimism that the state reserve of jet fuel would fully compensate the shortage caused by the halted production.

Plovdiv Airport CEO Doychin Angelov expressed hope that the awkward situation with the suspended license of LUKOIL Neftochim would be resolved soon and that no flights would be cancelled because of shortage of fuel.

Source:  http://paper.standartnews.com

VIDEO: Pilot, Michael Trapp, is back home in Gouverneur, New York. N3050X, Cessna 150. Lake Huron.

http://www.faa.gov/Accident_incident


It's a survival story that some are calling a miracle. A Gouverneur pilot survives a plane crash and a night in the cold waters of Lake Huron. Michael Trapp has returned to New York after days in a Michigan hospital and as our Rachael Paradis tells us, his night facing ten foot waves will not stop him from flying again.

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- Michael Trapp has faced death and survived not once, but twice.

Michael Trapp said, "You have to focus on the survival aspect."

The 42-year-old pilot left the small town of Gouverneur on a two seater plane last Tuesday afternoon. He was heading toward Wisconsin to visit family.

Just a few hours into his trip, he made a call to the Coast Guard. He was having engine problems. Shortly after, he lost communication and his plane crashed into Lake Huron.

Trapp said, "It was just a horrific accident."

The plane crash was just the beginning. Trapp was then in cold waters without a life jacket. He tried to use his pants as a flotation device, but that failed.

Trapp spent 18 hours treading water and facing ten foot waves. Whenever a boat was close he would wave his sock in the air. Several boats passed him by without catching a glimpse of the sock. It wasn't until the next morning that he was spotted and rescued. Trapp says his legs were so weak, he had to be dragged onto the boat.

Trapp said, "It feels good. It feels good to be on dry ground I tell you."

Trapp spent a few days in the hospital recovering before driving back to New York with his family. He got back into Gouverneur late Sunday night, greeted by a parade and many who are thankful to have him home.

Trapp's father-in-law, Richard Card said, "I missed him I can tell you that."

Trapp said, "I cried of course. Who doesn't love their family?"

Trapp's wife asked him to stay out of the water and get a Harley instead, but he says the experience will not keep grounded.

Trapp said, "I will fly again. I love flying."

Trapp says his wife has saved his hospital tags and the sock to remember what he survived, but as for his plane, it will stay at the bottom of Lake Huron.

Despite the near-death experience, Trapp is very good-natured about it all. In fact, his friends brought him gifts including a life jacket and a beach towel.

As for all the media attention, after the crash, he had requests from about 70 different media outlets the day after it happened.

Fear of arrest ‘delayed’ help for helicopter crash victims. Ọṣun State, Nigeria.

Two peasant farmers, a septuagenarian, Pa Agboola Atanda and a 50-year-old Samuel Oyewole, were the first to see the crashed helicopter at the hilly side of the Government Reserved Forest in Ife-Odan, a boundary community between Ola-Oluwa and Ejigbo local government areas of Osun State.

According to the duo, they saw the chopper before the crash and the deafening sound that followed the mishap last Friday.

According to them, they ran away in fear, rather than alerting the police, who possibly would have initiated help for the victims. The farmers, out of ignorance, said they were afraid the police would hold them accountable for the crash. But the flames from the crashed helicopter forced the whole village with about 40 houses to start running helter- skelter, a development which eventually aroused the suspicion of motorists along the road leading to Iwo town.

However, it was learnt that the victims, the chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Josepdam Group of Companies, Mrs. Josephine Damilola Kuteji, a senior pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), her Personal Assistant, Mrs. Adedoyin Okubanjo and the Filipino pilot, Catameo Arnold, trapped in the ill-fated chopper were not likely to have been rescued alive even if help had come in good time. It was said that the impact of the crash was fatal because the chopper suddenly hit the tree on the mountainous hill and lost balance.

The head of the Disaster Management Unit of the Osun cammand of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Alhaji Olaniyi Babalola, blamed the crash on poor visibility caused by fog that enveloped Ikonifin community on that fateful day.

Babalola, and his team got to the scene of the crash around 1am the following day, more than 12 hours after the aircraft owned by Ogedengbe Air Services (OAS) had crashed.

They were later joined by sister agencies, including the National Emergency Mangement Agency (NEMA), the State Security Service (SSS), led by the state Director, Mr. Adeboye Olusegun, the Poilce, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. O. Henry and the Fire Services in Osun and Oyo states.

Segun Ajayi, an engineer and the director of Osun State Emergency Management Agency (OSEMA), said his team got to the scene shortly after the NSCDC team’s arrival. He said N49,000 cash and some foreign currencies, five cell phones, two of which belonged to the pilot, three bags containing personal belongings, including the Bible, a hymn book, anointing oil and some documents were recovered from the scene.

Source:  http://www.thenationonlineng.net

Cirrus SR20 N365DP: Sonoma man killed in Grand Canyon plane crash.

http://www.faa.gov/Accident_incident

(08-01) SONOMA -- A Sonoma man was identified Monday as one of two victims of a plane crash near the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

Jacobe Daniel Foster, 32, is believed to have died when a single-engine Cirrus SR20 flying from Rock Hill, S.C., to Henderson, Nev., crashed Friday night in the Kaibab National Forest.

Foster and Andrew Jay Weiner, 39, of Henderson were both believed to be on board the plane, authorities said. It is unknown who was at the controls, but records show that Foster was a licensed pilot.

The plane was built in 2000 and has no previous record of incidents, according to federal aviation databases. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Foster's family declined to comment Monday.

Foster ran track and served as team captain at the University of North Carolina, where he majored in computer science.

A Facebook page dedicated to Foster describes him as "the superhero who officially has his wings in heaven now."

Airport shooting last week came after passenger improperly inspected gun. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (KMSY), New Orleans, Louisiana.

Before Edward "E.J." Deubler left his home in Harvey for Louis Armstrong International Airport last week, he gave his hunting rifle a quick once-over to ensure it wasn't loaded.

A glance in the half-opened bolt was enough to convince him that the Browning A-Bolt 7mm rifle was ready for the flight. But as he placed the gun in its case and headed off to the airport, Deubler, an officer with a variety of state and national hunting organizations, seems not to have thought to remove the rifle's internal magazine.

The oversight led to an accidental discharge that left a United Airlines ticket agent wounded after a second check of the rifle -- this time at the ticket counter of the airport -- moved a bullet from the magazine into the rifle's firing chamber, according to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office report on the July 25 incident.

The Browning A-Bolt 7mm is an older rifle popular with hunters, said Charles Donovan of Donovan's Guns and Ammo in Metairie. It uses magnum cartridges large enough for big game, Donovan said. Its magazine, when installed, is concealed by a floor plate in the gun.

Donovan said the shooting was a careless mistake that could have been avoided by a proper inspection. "You do it a million times, but it only takes one mistake," he said.

Deubler, 65, told a deputy that he had inspected the rifle at home by slightly opening the bolt to make sure there wasn't a round in the chamber. The partial opening was not enough to chamber one of the three rounds in the rifle's magazine, and, satisfied it was empty, Deubler packed the gun and headed out to the airport.

While only law enforcement personnel may carry guns into the passenger cabin of an airplane, travelers are allowed to take unloaded firearms as checked baggage as long as they are in a hard-sided case. But before a gun is allowed on a plane, it must be unpacked and inspected by both its owner and a ticket agent.

That check, designed to ensure the weapon is unloaded, is what ultimately chambered the round that went off last week.

After Deubler unpacked his gun at the ticket counter, he opened the bolt once again to show that it was empty. But this time he opened the bolt completely, moving a bullet from the magazine into the chamber. Because he had already checked the gun at home, Deubler told the deputy, he did not look at the rifle as he did so, according to the Sheriff's Office report.

His part of the inspection complete, Deubler placed the rifle back in a case and pulled the trigger to release the pressure on the firing mechanism, according to the report.

And that's when the shot rang out.

The bullet pierced the baggage scale at the ticket counter and shattered, sending a piece of shrapnel into the ticket agent's lower right leg.

Deputies and paramedics responded. The ticket agent was taken to a hospital to treat his wound, and airline officials said he was in stable condition

Deubler, who missed his flight, was given a negligent injuring summons, a misdemeanor punishable by as long as six months in prison and a $500 fine or both.

When asked about the shooting by deputies, Deubler said he typically puts the magazine in a separate pocket of the gun case. This time, he said, he forgot it was still in the rifle.

He would not give police a written statement about the incident on the advice of his lawyer, and he did not respond to a request for comment left at his home last week.

Source:  http://www.nola.com

Sky Ranger: Aircraft on take-off, crashed. 2 seriouly injured. Wautoma Municipal Airport (Y50), Wautoma, Wisconsin.




WAUTOMA – Two men are in critical condition at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah where they are being treated for injuries they sustained in a plane crash this morning at Wautoma Municipal Airport.

One man was ejected from the plane during the 8:23 a.m. crash that occurred during take-off. The plane, identified as a Sky Ranger, crashed on a grassy area adjacent to the paved runway just south of the airport terminal, according to a news release from Waushara County Sheriff David Peterson.

The identities of the injured men were not released. They are aged 55 and 49, and are from Iowa, according to a spokesman from Theda Clark.

The sheriff’s office received a 911 call about the crash. Deputies responded along with personnel from the Wautoma Police Department, Waushara County EMS and Wautoma Area Fire and Rescue. The injured men were air-lifted by ThedaStar and Flight For Light helicopters and transported to Theda Clark.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene at mid day conducting an investigation.

The picnic previously scheduled forTuesday at the airport has been moved to the Wautoma Senior Center, W8220 Cottonville Ave.


WAUTOMA, Wis.— Two people suffered serious injuries when their small plane crashed at the Wautoma Municipal Airport shortly after takeoff Monday.

The Waushara (wah-SHAYR'-ah) County Sheriff's Department says one of the two men in the Sky Ranger plane was ejected. Both have been airlifted to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. Authorities say both appear to have life-threatening injuries.

Authorities say the pilot was attempting to take off when the plane went down south of the airport terminal about 8:30 a.m.

Federal agencies are investigating. Authorities did not immediately identify the men or their hometowns, but say they were not from Wisconsin.

Aircraft on take-off, crashed: Matson Airport (2WI6), Stoughton, Wisconsin.


STOUGHTON, Wis. -- A Minnesota father and son were hurt after a small plane crashed in an area near Stoughton on Monday morning, according to the Dane County Sheriff's Office.

The victims were identified as Richard Cross, 51 and his son, Brennan Cross, 14, of Brewster, Minn. They were seriously injured when their single-engine plane crashed Monday in Dane County. Authorities said that the plane went down in the Town of Dunkirk near Highway 51 about 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said that the boy was taken by Med Flight helicopter to University of Wisconsin Hospital and his father was taken by ambulance to UW Hospital. Both remain hospitalized, authorities said.

Schaffer said that their 1950s plane crashed in a grassy area in the middle of some woods shortly after taking off from Matson Airport in Stoughton. The father and son had visited the Experimental Aircraft Association convention in Oshkosh and spent the night at relatives in Stoughton. Schaffer said the two were on their way back to southwestern Minnesota when they went down. She declined to name their hometown.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration are headed to the area and will look into the crash. Authorities said that the cause of the crash is currently unclear.

The crash isn't visible from the nearby Highway 51 and traffic wasn't affected, Schaffer said.

Piper Cherokee PA28-140, N4533R: US Coast Guard Searching For Stolen Airplane.


http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N4533R

The US Coast Guard is searching for a stolen single-engine airplane they believe has crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.

GULF SHORES, Alabama - The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a stolen single-engine airplane they believe crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.

The airplane took off this morning from Jack Edwards Airport in Gulf Shores, according to Lt. Bill Cowan of the Gulf Shores Police Department.

The pilot, whose name has not been released, flew over south Baldwin and Mobile Counties before heading south over the Gulf.

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration confirms the pilot was not authorized to fly the plane.

Crews are searching an area 100 miles south of Pascagoula and 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

The Piper PA-28 Cherokee with the tailnumber N4533R is registered to Gulf Air Charter, Inc., which is based at Jack Edwards.

Source:  http://www.wkrg.com

Piper PA28-140, N4533R: US Coast Guard seeking missing airplane near Venice, Louisiana.

 .
The Coast Guard is searching the Gulf of Mexico off the Plaquemines Parish coast for private airplane that dropped out of radar contact this morning.

The single-engine Piper PA28 departed Jack Edwards Airport in Gulf Shores, Ala., about 7 a.m., and the Federal Aviation Administration lost contact about 11 a.m., according to the Coast Guard.

The area is about 40 miles southeast of Venice, according to the Coast Guard.

The FAA asked the Coast Guard's 8th District to investigate after FAA air traffic controllers in Houston noted the airplane dropped 600 feet in three minutes and then lost radar contact.

The Coast Guard found no sign of debris in the vicinity of the aircraft's last known position, the agency said in a statement.

The Coast Guard dispatched an airplane from Mobile, a helicopter from Air Station, New Orleans, and a cutter to search a 2,500-square-mile area.

The agency did not identify the aircraft's destination or provide the number of people on board.

Mumbai International Airport Limited and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to tackle bird, animal menace at airport.

The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon start inspecting zones within a 10-km radius around the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) to tackle the growing bird and animal menace within the airport premises. “MIAL has proposed to the BMC to conduct monthly joint inspection in a 10-km radius from the airport to keep a check on slaughter house. We have issued a letter to BMC on July 27 and are awaiting a reply,” said a MIAL spokesperson.

Three BMC wards already conduct such inspections following the Airport Environment Management Committee meeting last September.

MIAL airport’s dog squad caught 293 stray dogs within the premises in 2010. In the first six months of 2011, the squad has already caught 131 dogs within the airport. There were 19 cases of bird hits in 2010, and 11 bird hits in the first six months of 2011. “Dogs caught inside as well as outside the airport are relocated far from airport premises,” the spokesperson said. In May, airport authorities had to chase away a monkey from the airport.

Cirrus SR20, N365DP: Police identify 2 men believed killed in crash. Grand Canyon, Arizona.



http://registry.faa.gov

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. -- Authorities released the identities of two men believed to have been killed in a plane crash near the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office says Monday that its investigators believe the two men were 39-year-old Andrew Jay Weiner of Henderson, Nev., and 32-year-old Jacobe Daniel Foster of San Francisco.

Investigators haven't been able to positively identify the two and are searching for evidence to more conclusively identify them.

Still, they found driver's and pilot's licenses for both men at the crash scene.

Investigators don't yet know which man was flying the plane.

The single-engine Cirrus SR20 was flying from Rock Hill, S.C., to Henderson when it disappeared from radar Friday night.

A search plane spotted wreckage Saturday in the Kaibab National Forest.

Source:  http://www.lakewyliepilot.com

Mooney M20K, N231EH: Tulsan Injured In Louisiana Plane Crash. FAA investigates plane crash in Opelouas.




Opelousas, LA - A Tulsa man was treated for injuries suffered after his single-engine plane crashed in southern Louisiana.

The crash happened Saturday at about 11 a.m. The pilot, identified as 52-year-old Arnold Reed Johnstone of Tulsa, was taking off from St. Landry Parish Airport when the plane apparently lost power.

Johnstone, a retired commercial pilot, was taken to Opelousas General Health System and treated for mild to moderate injuries before being released later in the day.

Johnstone was the only one aboard the aircraft.

FAA investigators are now trying to determine what caused the plane to crash.


OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - Federal investigators are working to determine what caused a small plane to crash over the weekend shortly after takeoff from the St. Landry Parish Airport in Opelousas.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified after the single-engine plane crashed about 11 a.m. Saturday.

The pilot, 52-year-old Arnold Reed Johnstone, of Tulsa, Okla., was treated at Opelousas General Health System for mild to moderate injuries and released Saturday afternoon. Det. Darren Zachary of the Opelousas Police Department says Johnstone, a retired commercial pilot, was the only occupant in the four-passenger plane.

St. Landry Parish Director of Administration Jessie Bellard told The Daily World that the crash happened after the plane appeared to lose power.

INDIA: Speed up airport upgrade, says Chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is in a hurry and will brook no delay. Saying it in as many words during her visit to the airport, she repeatedly stressed upon the Kolkata airport director and top Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials on the need to complete the modernization project on time.

"If Kolkata has to attract investment, it needs a world-class airport. Remember, the city is the gateway to not just South-East Asian traffic but the Far East as well. The entire world is looking forward to the new terminal and it must be delivered on time," she told Kolkata airport director BP Sharma at the site on Monday evening.

Though Sharma & Co have made a commitment to complete the construction by this year-end and commence operations by March 2012, there are doubts internally. Sources said this year's monsoon delays as well as the one in 2009, coupled with the slow pace of work in the initial stages, could push the deadline back by a couple of months to May. Some even felt a more realistic target would be around the Pujas next year. Ironically, had AAI stuck to the original schedule, Mamata would have walked into the new terminal on Monday!

"I am sure the integrated terminal will be beautiful with inscriptions of Tagore on the ceiling and greenery all around. When completed, it will be a matter of pride for all of us. But what is imperative is that it must be ready on time," she reiterated while waving to the 5,200 workers who had taken a break to see their Didi.

The tour of the terminal site had to be cut short when enthusiastic workers- mostly from Murshidabad -broke through the cordon and surged forward to catch a closer glimpse of the CM.

Earlier, airport officials took her on an exclusive drive down the secondary runway and pointed to the need for a third airstrip. At present, operations at the primary and secondary runway cannot be operated simultaneously as the separation between them is not adequate.

"While the new terminal will increase the passenger handling capacity from 5 million at present to 24 million, flights will remain a constraint because only 25-30 flights can be operated in an hour at present against double the number if simultaneous operations were possible," said an airport official.

A third runway will require additional land acquisition, something that the state government is unlikely to pursue given its stand on the issue. Airport officials though, are hopeful that Mamata may consider it favourably given that airport is a public pupose project.

Mamata, meanwhile, asked regional executive director Gautam Mukherjee to take up the development of five airports across the state. While she wants airports at Sunderbans, Asansol, Bolpur, Sagar Islands and Haldia, officials said it was more feasible to take up Behala and Cooch Behar airport upgrade and develop Malda and Balurghat as AAI had land at these places.

Earlier, welcoming Silkair's four times-a-week services between Kolkata and Singapore, she invited Singapore high commissioner Karen Tan to explore opportunities in trade, tourism and cultural exchange. "Singapore was an ally of Netaji Subhas Bose in India's struggle for Independence. Now, it can partner us in our progress. Please bring a business delegation to Kolkata," she said.

Tan, who met 'old friend' and state finance minister Amit Mitra later in the day and is scheduled to attend a CII programme on Tuesday, acknowledged there were investment opportunities in infrastructure, urban planning and education. "More flights to the city is an indication of our confidence in Bengal's business potential," she said.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com