September's top stories: ISRO launches eight satellites, UAE to implement new law for drones

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched eight satellites into space, and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority is planning to enforce a new law to restrict the import and export of drones in the country. Aerospace-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from September 2016.


ISRO launches eight satellites in single flight

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched eight satellites, including the SCATSAT-1 advanced weather satellite, into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

During the single launch, ISRO’s PSLV-C35 launch vehicle has put the satellites into two different orbits.

Five foreign satellites have accompanied SCATSAT-1 during the flight, including the ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N from Algeria; the NLS-19 from Canada; and the Pathfinder-1 from the US.

UAE to implement new law for drones

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is planning to enforce a new law that aims to restrict the import and export of drones in the country.

GCAA air navigation and aerodromes department director Mohammad Al Dossari said that they are working closely with the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology on the implementation of the new law.

Al Dossari was quoted by gulfnews.com as saying: “We are working with the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology on a law that will have a framework for the UAE on the sale and import of drones.

Airbus and Boeing won US licence to sell aircraft to Iran

The US Treasury Department granted approval to Airbus and Boeing to sell planes to Iran Air, after economic sanctions imposed on Iran have been lifted.

Following the approval, Boeing will be able to deliver 80 aircraft, which Iran agreed to buy in June.

The treasury department licence also includes 29 aircraft to be leased by Boeing to Iran Air.

Portuguese airlines Azores to add A321neo and A321LR to its fleet

Portuguese airline company Azores Airlines unveiled plans to add Airbus A321neo and longer range A321LR aircraft to its fleet.

Owned by Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos (SATA), the airline’s short-haul and transatlantic aircraft fleet will be upgraded with A321neo and has plans to add longer range A321LR by 2019.

The decision is part of company’s growth strategy, as well as to expand into new transatlantic routes.

Lufthansa Technik and MTU Aero Engines to establish PW1000G engine maintenance joint venture

Germany-based Lufthansa Technik and MTU Aero Engines are planning to establish a joint venture (JV) to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the PW1000G family of geared turbofan (GTF) engines.

Manufactured by Pratt & Whitney, PW1000G has been selected as the exclusive engine for the Bombardier C Series, Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Embraer's second generation E-Jets, and other aircraft families.

In order to establish the JV, both companies have already entered a memorandum of understanding.

FAA issues guidance to airlines on recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued general guidance to airlines about the policies regarding recalled or defective lithium devices on-board aircraft as cargo or in carry-on luggage.

Known as safety alert for operators (SAFO), the directive has been issued after the recent recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone, due to concerns over the devices’ batteries catching fire.

"The existing US hazardous material regulations ban air cargo shipments of recalled or defective lithium batteries and lithium battery-powered devices."

Virgin Galactic finalises launch deal with Sky and Space Global

Global communications company Sky and Space Global entered a binding launch services agreement to buy four missions on Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne system, an orbital launch vehicle dedicated to the small satellite market.

The deal, value of which has not been disclosed, will allow Sky and Space Global to deploy its initial constellation of satellite into space.

Scheduled to be launched from low latitudes, the flights are expected to start in 2018.

Thales Alenia Space and LeoSat Enterprises finalise deal to develop satellite constellation

Global aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space signed a phase B contract with LeoSat Enterprises to develop a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation.

Once completed, the constellation will provide very-high-speed broadband, low latency and secure global connectivity.

The newly signed deal will focus on the detailed definition of the overall system architecture and performance specifications, which includes both ground and space segments of the LeoSat constellation.

GE to purchase two European 3D printing companies for $1.4bn

US-based General Electric (GE) is planning to purchase additive manufacturing equipment suppliers Arcam and SLM Solutions Group for $1.4bn, in order to boost the aerospace and industrial sector.

With the purchase, GE expected to develop the new additive business to $1bn by 2020, as well as $3bn-$5bn of product cost-out across the company over the next decade.

Following the completion of the deal, both companies will report to GE Aviation president and CEO David Joyce.

Airbus secures 20 A321 aircraft order from Vietjet

French aerospace group Airbus won a firm order for 20 new A321 single-aisle aircraft from Vietnam’s Vietjet, including ten A321ceo and ten A321neo units.

With the deal, Vietjet intends to expand its domestic and regional network. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Airbus also agreed to provide training for flight crew and maintenance personnel at Vietjet’s new facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.