The U.S. Department of Transportation has begun accepting applications for participation in the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) program, which provides funding to pay up to half of the compensation for certain manufacturer and MRO employees.
The Coronavirus impact on the aviation Industry
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifted its mask requirements for vaccinated individuals in outdoor areas on the premises of transportation hubs. This guidance comes in response to ongoing discussions between industry groups and federal agencies, the National Air Transportation Association said.
Just as it had in virtually every other aspect of life, the Covid pandemic caused many changes and alterations in the aeromedical realm, according to Dr. Susan Northrup, the FAA's federal air surgeon. Speaking this week during the virtual Flight Safety Foundation/NBAA Business Aviation Safety Summit, she noted how the agency reacted to the initial spread of the virus and had to adapt after the first cluster of infections was reported in mid-March 2020 among air traffic controllers working the tower at Chicago Midway Airport.
While Pfizer’s corporate flight department suffered a drop-off in flights during the pandemic, it was able to demonstrate the critical role it plays in the company and has been credited with helping to reduce by two weeks the time it took to bring the Pfizer vaccine to market, said v-p of corporate aviation John Witzig.
KlasJet, an Avia Solutions Group private jet charter company, took on what it said was one of its “most demanding assignments” when it repatriated a group of Covid-19 positive workers from Ghana to South Korea. The mission lasted five days and required 10 flights—including aircraft repositioning and overfly permissions from 14 countries on three continents, crew positioning and safe accommodation, and Covid testing.
As business optimism improves and business aviation prepares for a post-pandemic rebound, lingering issues surrounding supply chain threaten to slow progress and hamper a full recovery, industry leaders agree.
Business optimism has reached levels not seen since the 2003 to 2007 timeframe, according to Rolland Vincent, JetNet iQ creator/director and president of Rolland Vincent Associates. Speaking during a recent National Air Transportation Association webinar, he added that economic signs were very encouraging and some forecasts suggest “rocketship-like” acceleration.
The latest data collected by the International Air Transport Association shows that more than 20 countries have wholly or partially lifted restrictions for vaccinated travelers, reflecting what IATA called data- and evidence-driven decision making. The association supports unrestricted access to travel for vaccinated travelers and quarantine-free travel for unvaccinated individuals cleared through free-of-charge Covid testing.
Business aviation traffic jumped dramatically, but not surprisingly, year-over-year (YOY) in April, reaching triple-digit-percentage increases in both the U.S. and Europe, even as it ebbed in both regions over March operations, according to just-released TraqPak data from aviation research specialist Argus International.
In a move that had been requested by general aviation organizations, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has agreed to permit the use of Covid-19 home test kits as a means of complying with pre-departure testing requirements for passengers bound for the U.S.
With nearly 5,000 Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace employees in India, parent company Raytheon Technologies (RTX) is donating 1,000 oxygen concentrators through the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum as the country deals with a second wave of Covid-19 cases.