Regional News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuide - Regional News North America) Dec 18, 2012

AAI AAI has unveiled the Shadow M2, a significantly larger and heavier version of its RQ-7B Shadow, the US Army's standard tactical unmanned air vehicle (UAV). The wingspan of the Shadow M2 grows from 20ft to 25ft (6.1m to 7.6m), and the aircraft is heavier by 120lb (54.4kg). It also features a redesigned fuselage, replacing the signature box with a streamlined, lift-generating structure. These changes extend the flight duration to 16h. "Basically the internal guts are the same internal guts that are in the upgraded RQ-7B," said Steven Reid, senior vice-president of AAI. "It's just that we can now carry additional payload and make use of that increased bandwidth that the TCDL [tactical common datalink] gives us." With the M2 upgrades, Shadow M2 can carry two separate payloads instead of the standard single EO/IR turrets. Dec 15, 2011

Air Canada Air Canada Voted Top Honours for In-Flight Service and International Travel by Business Traveler Magazine . Air Canada has won two top honours in Business Traveler's "Best in Business Travel" award program, winning awards for the North American carrier with the best in-flight service and the best for international travel. "Air Canada is very pleased to be recognized by the readers of Business Traveler magazine because these are the travelers who fly most frequently and have the widest experience of different airlines to draw upon in making judgments. It is especially meaningful to win awards for in-flight services and for our international travel experience because that has been a primary focus at Air Canada, which is building upon its international reputation and developing its main Toronto hub as a convenient international connection point. These awards show our customers appreciate the amenities we offer, such as our lie-flat suites in our Executive First international service and the seatback video available throughout our fleet at every seat. Most importantly, these awards also honour the hard work of Air Canada's 26,000 employees, who are the real winners of these awards," said Ben Smith , Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada. Air Canada has been voted by the readers of Business Traveler as offering the Best In-Flight Services in North America and the Best North American Airline for International Travel, the fourth consecutive year it has won these awards. Earlier this month, Air Canada was honoured by another influential business travel magazine when Global Traveler named Air Canada the Best Airline in North America . Results of the 23rd annual "Best in Business Travel" awards were revealed at a ceremony in Los Angeles . Business Traveler is one of the world's leading authorities on business travel and the awards were based on its North American readership survey. Business Traveler has an audited circulation of more than 150,000 subscribers. Air Canada has renewed its international and North American fleets with new Boeing 777 and Embraer aircraft. Air Canada has also refurbished its existing fleet to offer all customers personal entertainment systems at each seat, fleet-wide on North American and international routes. Fleet-wide amenities include digital in-seat monitors with touch-screen controls offering hundreds of hours of audio and video on-demand programming, standard in-seat power within reach of every customer, lie-flat beds in Executive First suites, Air Canada's international business class service, and the ability to collect and redeem Aeroplan miles. In addition, Air Canada customers benefit from a simplified airport experience for connecting between U.S.- Canada transborder flights and either domestic Canada or international overseas flights world wide, via new facilities all under one roof at its main Toronto hub. Dec 13, 2011

Air New Zealand, Boeing, FAA FAA extends 777 ETOPS approval to 330-min.. Boeing has received type-design approval from the FAA for up to 330-min. extended operations (ETOPS) for its 777 fleet. The new FAA approval allows airlines that operate routes in the south Pacific, over the North Pole, and from Australia to South America and southern Africa to fly the most direct routes. The first airline to purchase the new longer ETOPS option is Air New Zealand (ANZ), which completed the worldOs first commercial 240 min. ETOPS flight between Los Angeles, Calif., to Auckland, New Zealand using a 777-300ER. ANZ chief pilot Captain David Morgan said one of the key benefits of the new 240 min. ETOPS operations is a reduction in carbon emissions. OThe new ETOPS operations enable us to fly a more direct route between airports, which means we can get our customers to their destination a little quicker and at the same time reduce the amount of fuel required, resulting in fewer carbon emissions being emitted,O Morgan said. ANZ was also the first airline to secure 180 min. ETOPS approval for its 767 operations between Auckland, Nadi, Honolulu and Los Angeles in December 1989. Dec 14, 2011

Airborne ISR Enhancing ISR Capability to Ensure Total Domain Awareness. Over the last 8 years, Airborne ISR has become Europe's foremost event for the Airborne ISR industry. Directors and operators of Air ISR technology from both military and industry will be coming together to discuss the most prevalent issues of the time, with an in-depth asset analysis and examination of how best to achieve future ambitions the event will give both requirement and operational updates. Bringing together leaders and those at the forefront of the industry from both military and the private sector "Aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities are crucial to coalition operations both in conflict and in response to natural disaster. It is incumbent on the U.S. and allied nations to ensure future ISR systems are interoperable with one another, flexible in responding to a multitude of problem sets, and inclusive of a variety of collection methodologies. Forums like this are essential to fostering the dialogue that gets us there." - Major General Blair Hansen, Deputy Commander. One of the main keynote speeches will be given by Air Marshal Mark Green , Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Air Command from RAF will be briefing delegates on "The Future of ISR in the UK Armed Forces" and how ISR provision will be met after 2015. In addition, from the US Air Force, Brigadier General John Horner , Director of ISR Capabilities will brief on - Balancing ISR Capability: Future Ambitions of the USR Air Force: [yen]Existing capabilities and the future requirements to provide increased domain awareness [yen]Current methods of information sharing between allied nations [yen]Future application of UAVs Dec 12, 2011

Airline Reporting Company warns travel agents of rise in fraudulent tickets. More cases of fraudulent airline tickets were uncovered in the past few months, Airline Reporting Corp. says. The company reported 82 incidents of fraudulent tickets issued from August through November. Many of the tickets were issued after a "phishing" e-mail sent to travel agents required them to log in to a website with their information; the site turned out to be fraudulent. Dec 14, 2011

Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines Resumes Service Between Portland, Ore. and Long Beach, Calif.. Alaska Airlines today announced it will resume daily nonstop service between Portland, Ore. , and Long Beach, Calif. , starting March 12, 2012 . Alaska Airlines previously served Portland - Long Beach for about one year until April 2010 . "The addition of Portland - Long Beach gives our customers another conveniently timed alternative for traveling between the Pacific Northwest and Southern California ," said Joe Sprague , Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. Sprague said the route augments the carrier's thrice-daily Seattle - Long Beach service. To introduce the service, Alaska Airlines is offering USD69* one-way fares between Portland and Long Beach . The flights will be operated for Alaska Airlines by SkyWest Airlines with a 70-seat Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jet. Dec 13, 2011

Albany Hotel Albany, N.Y., hotel will remodel, convert to Hilton brand. The 384-rooom Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Albany, N.Y., is preparing for a multimillion-dollar remodeling project that will coincide with the hotel's plans to reposition itself under the Hilton brand. The hotel had earlier received a USD14.3 million tax break from the Albany economic development panel, which would free up at least USD10 million to be spent on the renovation. Owner Albany Hotel Inc. plans to begin the renovation next year, to end in 2013. The rebranding is expected to finish next year as well. Dec 12, 2011

Allegiant Air Allegiant Celebrates Inaugural Flight Between Niagara Falls and Tampa Bay. Allegiant today inaugurates low-cost, nonstop flights between Niagara Falls, N.Y., and the Tampa Bay, Fla. area via St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE). The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, will offer fares as low as USD72.99* one-way between the two cities and will award a free trip on the inaugural flight to four adventurous travelers. The inaugural flight between Niagara Falls and the Tampa Bay area comes on the heels of Allegiant's announcement to begin service from Niagara Falls, N.Y. to Orlando / Sanford, Fla. Allegiant, one of few commercial airlines to service Niagara Falls International Airport (IAG), is quickly introducing the market to its many affordable, convenient travel options. The new flights will operate twice weekly between Niagara Falls International Airport (IAG) and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), carrying as many as 150 passengers on each flight. For flight days and times please visit www.allegiant.com. With an average 361 days of sunshine each year, the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg-Clearwater areas are the perfect winter escape for Northern travelers...

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