More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Friday, December 2, 2016

Bolivia shuts down Colombia crash airline

Yahoo – AFP, Rodrigo Almonacid, Dec 1, 2016

Rescue teams recover of the bodies from the LAMIA airlines charter flight that
crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, Colombia, on
November 29, 2016 carrying members of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense
Real (AFP Photo/Raul Arboleda)

Medellín (Colombia) (AFP) - The Bolivian charter airline behind a plane crash that killed 71 people in Colombia was shut down Thursday, as shock grew over a harrowing recording of the pilot's final minutes without fuel.

Bolivia said it had suspended charter company LAMIA's permit and ordered an investigation into its operations.

It also sacked the executive staff of both the civil aviation authority and the airports administrator for the duration of the probe.

The government did not explain the decision.

But it came as investigators examine pilot error and air traffic control problems as possible factors in the Monday night crash, which killed most of Brazilian football club Chapecoense Real and 20 journalists traveling with them to a championship match.

LAMIA, which specializes in flying Latin American football teams, has ferried local clubs and national sides around the region, with players including superstar Lionel Messi.

Investigators are trying to piece together the last moments of the doomed flight, which slammed into the mountains outside Medellin with 77 people on board, six of whom miraculously survived.

Details of the jet's terrifying end emerged in an audio recording aired by Colombian media in which the pilot radioed frantically that he was out of fuel.

In the recording, pilot Miguel Quiroga contacts the control tower seeking priority to land.

The operator tells him he will have to wait seven minutes for another plane to land first.

"We have a fuel emergency, ma'am, that's why I am asking you for it at once, full stop," the pilot replied.

The timeline was not immediately clear, but shortly after the pilot radioed: "Ma'am, Lima-Mike-India 2933 is in total failure, total electrical failure, without fuel."

The operator responded: "Runway clear and expect rain on the runway Lima-Mike-India 2933. Firefighters alerted."

The pilot is heard asking: "Vectors, ma'am, vectors to the runway." Vectors is the term for the navigation service provided to planes by air traffic control.

The operator is heard giving him directions, and asking his altitude.

"Nine thousand feet, ma'am. Vectors! Vectors!"

Those were Quiroga's last words to the control tower.

Fans of Brazil's Chapecoense football club take part in a tribute to their players
killed in a plane crash (AFP Photo/DOUGLAS MAGNO)

Six-month wait

Colombia's civil aeronautics agency said the time sequence of the tape was "inexact," and had no comment on the content of the recording.

But the agency's air safety chief, Freddy Bonilla, confirmed at a news conference that the plane was out of fuel at the moment of impact.

Bonilla said international rules require aircraft to maintain fuel in reserve when flying between airports, and that the LAMIA plane had failed to do so.

The British Aerospace 146 jet was scheduled to make a refueling stop in Bogota, but skipped the Colombian capital and headed straight for Medellin, reported Bolivian newspaper Pagina Siete, citing a representative of the airline.

Civil aviation director Alfredo Bocanegra said it would take investigators at least six months to analyze the black box recorders recovered from the plane and reach a conclusion on the cause of the crash.

Bodies identified

Investigators finished identifying the victims' bodies Thursday.

A representative for the funeral homes preparing them said they would be sent home to Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Paraguay late Thursday or early Friday.

Cinderella-story club Chapecoense had been traveling to what would have been the biggest match in its history, the finals of South America's second-largest club tournament, the Copa Sudamericana.

Tearful tributes to the club were held Wednesday evening, at the time the match was to have been played, in Medellin and the team's hometown, Chapeco in southern Brazil.

Both stadiums were packed to capacity.

Mourners held candles in the air in Chapeco as the handful of remaining players from the team took to the pitch in tears.

A minute's silence for Chapecoense will be held before every Champions League and Europa League game next week, UEFA said Thursday.

People participate in a tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense
killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains (AFP Photo/LUIS ACOSTA)

Caring for survivors

Six people survived the crash.

Bolivian crew members Ximena Suarez and Erwin Tumiri are expected to be released from hospital Thursday, an official said.

Chapecoense defender Alan Ruschel was in critical but stable condition in intensive care after having back surgery.

Journalist Rafael Henzel and player Helio Neto were listed as stable.

Goalkeeper Jakson Follmann was meanwhile set to undergo surgery again, after having his right leg amputated.

Related Article:


Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Netherlands in the race for Tesla for mega battery factory

DutchNews, November 30, 2016

The Netherlands is actively putting itself forward as the location for a new $5bn European battery factory for US electric car producer Tesla, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp confirmed in a letter to parliament. 

Tesla announced plans for the ‘gigafactory’ in early November without indicating its location. 

Tesla has had a spare parts and distribution centre in Tilburg since 2013 and a final assembly plant was added last year. Many car industry suppliers are located in the area.  The projected car battery factory would create 6,000 to 10,000 new jobs, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday. 

In his briefing, Kamp said the factory would contribute to the further expansion of the Dutch position in the electric car sector. He said the Netherlands was attractive to Tesla for a number of reasons including its good modern industrial policy, fiscal facilities which support innovation, accessible financing and eased regulations. 

Good location

Kamp added that the Netherlands was ideally positioned for electric transport: ‘The short distances and the heavily populated Randstad western urban region make the country especially suited to electric transport.’ Tesla founder and chairman Elon Musk has said production should be close to the customer. 

There is much support for the project on the local level. Brabant province is being pressed by council members to exploit its ‘excellent position’. They argue the plant would provide many new jobs. Kamp said it was premature to  put a price of the plant or to determine how many jobs would be added if the Netherlands won the project. 

In early November, Tesla’s Musk only said that the company is going to make considerable investment in Europe.

Related Articles:





“… New ideas are things you never thought of. These ideas will be given to you so you will have answers to the most profound questions that your societies have had since you were born. Inventions will bring clean water to every Human on the planet, cheaply and everywhere. Inventions will give you power, cheaply and everywhere. These ideas will wipe out all of the reasons you now have for pollution, and when you look back on it, you'll go, "This solution was always there. Why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we do this sooner?" Because it wasn't time and you were not ready. You hadn't planted the seeds and you were still battling the old energy, deciding whether you were going to terminate yourselves before 2012. Now you didn't…. and now you didn't.

It's funny, what you ponder about, and what your sociologists consider the "great current problems of mankind", for your new ideas will simply eliminate the very concepts of the questions just as they did in the past. Do you remember? Two hundred years ago, the predictions of sociologists said that you would run out of food, since there wasn't enough land to sustain a greater population. Then you discovered crop rotation and fertilizer. Suddenly, each plot of land could produce many times what it could before. Do you remember the predictions that you would run out of wood to heat your homes? Probably not. That was before electricity. It goes on and on.

So today's puzzles are just as quaint, as you will see. (1) How do you strengthen the power grids of your great nations so that they are not vulnerable to failure or don't require massive infrastructure improvement expenditures? Because cold is coming, and you are going to need more power. (2) What can you do about pollution? (3) What about world overpopulation? Some experts will tell you that a pandemic will be the answer; nature [Gaia] will kill off about one-third of the earth's population. The best minds of the century ponder these puzzles and tell you that you are headed for real problems. You have heard these things all your life.

Let me ask you this. (1) What if you could eliminate the power grid altogether? You can and will. (2) What if pollution-creating sources simply go away, due to new ideas and invention, and the environment starts to self-correct? (3) Overpopulation? You assume that humanity will continue to have children at an exponential rate since they are stupid and can't help themselves. This, dear ones, is a consciousness and education issue, and that is going to change. Imagine a zero growth attribute of many countries - something that will be common. Did you notice that some of your children today are actually starting to ponder if they should have any children at all? What a concept! ….”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Car manufacturers to power Europe with e-charging network

Yahoo  - AFP, Tom Barfield, November 29, 2016

Hybdrid and all-electric cars remain little-used in Europe, hobbled by high prices,
 the short range of the vehicles and a lack of recharging infrastructure (AFP Photo/
Odd Andersen)

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) - German carmakers BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Audi and US competitor Ford said on Tuesday they would cooperate on a Europe-wide network of electric charging stations.

The move is an "important step towards facilitating mass-market battery electric vehicle adoption", the manufacturers said in a joint statement, and comes as German carmakers rev up their offers of electric cars for the coming years.

"We intend to create a network that allows our customers on long-distance trips to use a coffee break for recharging," Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said.

The firms have signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint venture and plan to begin construction of some 400 high-speed charging stations across Europe in 2017.

Completion of the network is slated for 2020.

Hybrid and all-electric cars from any manufacturer using the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard will be able to use the stations, in a move aimed at boosting growth of electric car use on the continent.

German carmakers have lagged behind some competitors when it comes to introducing electric models.

The technology remains little-used in Europe, hobbled by high prices, the short range of the vehicles and a lack of recharging infrastructure.

But recent months have seen a fresh commitment from the industry, a pillar of Europe's largest economy, to speed up the introduction of electric cars.

Tesla announced an ambitious goal of producing 500,000 electric cars a year by 
2018, which would take in from being a niche producer of luxury sedans to a 
mainstream competitor in the auto industry (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)

Audi and Porsche parent Volkswagen announced this month that it aims to sell one million electric vehicles per year by 2025.

VW sees non-polluting technology as a chance to clean its tarnished reputation, after it admitted in September 2015 to installing software designed to cheat regulatory emissions tests on 11 million diesel-powered cars worldwide.

Meanwhile, higher-end manufacturers like BMW and Daimler, which owns Mercedes, face a challenge from newcomers like Tesla, which has a head start in autonomous driving as well as electric power.

Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche was a surprise keynote speaker at the German Green Party conference this year, and has promised 10 new all-electric models in the next few years.

BMW has so far limited its electric ambitions to its BMWi range.

This year the Munich-based manufacturer said it would go further, with plans to offer an all-electric version of its iconic Mini by 2019 and a BMW X3 4x4 by 2020.

Beyond Tesla, German carmakers fear being overtaken by new home-grown competitors in China, which remains a major market.

Chinese plans to introduce a quota system -- which would require a share of vehicles produced in the country to be all-electric -- prompted complaints from German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel ahead of a visit to Beijing last month.

Related Article:


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Embassies promote Dutch cycling culture abroad

DutchNews, November 18, 2016

Photo: Meredith Glaser via
Amsterdamcyclechic.com
Although the Netherlands is lagging behind on wind and solar energy it has one trump card when it comes to energy saving: the bike. The Netherlands is touting one of its most popular national symbols to countries across the planet, the Volkskrant writes. 

In order to promote bike use and boost Dutch bike manufacturers, Dutch embassies around the world have been instructed to get peddling and involve themselves in bike-related promotional schemes. 

‘There are economic opportunities, particularly for bike makers,’ Chris Kuijpers, directer general of environmental issues at the economic affairs ministry, told the paper. 

From China to Mexico embassies are persuading high-ranking officials to climb on and go for bike rides in an effort to highlight Dutch expertise. 

In Marrakesh, host of this week’s climate summit COP22, Dutch embassy personnel have been busy too, supporting a bike repair project for the locals initiated by the Pikala Bikes foundation. The foundation transports abandoned bikes from bike depots in Amsterdam and The Hague to Marrakesh where Moroccan youngsters are taught how to repair them. 

Many countries are keen to make room for bikes in their cities and are willing to learn from Dutch experience, says Matthijs van Bonzel, ambassador to Spain. 

Spain already boasts a number of municipal bike hire schemes and Seville is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Madrid, too, is willing to give more space to cyclists, Van Bonzel says. He has even gone on a bike ride with mayor Manuela Carmena, he told the paper.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

No strings attached: Rotterdam trials wireless electric car charging

DutchNews, November 8, 2016

Rotterdam is working towards green transport with no strings attached – the municipality has begun a trial to recharge electric cars wirelessly, reports the AD on Tuesday. 

Three city companies are beginning a trial after two years of preparatory work, using specially converted vehicles.

‘This could be an ideal way to recharge batteries, especially at taxi ranks and bus stops,’ Hans Boot, of Engie Services Nederland told the AD.

The charging system works using an induction plate and coil, which transmits electricity to a car battery sitting above the plate, and is activated with a smartphone or tablet app. Boot said he expects that in future cars would even be able to be recharged on roads equipped with the technology. 

Rotterdam is determined to reduce its carbon emissions, and this trial is part of the effort. Pex Langenberg, head of sustainability, said: ‘We already have a lot of charging points but perhaps in future, we can install some of these plates to make charging as easy as possible. Compare it with an electric toothbrush. You put it down, and it charges up.’ 

At the end of September, Rotterdam celebrated opening its 2000th charging point, and it is aiming to have 3,600 by the end of 2018. 

Subsidies

But on Sunday evening, organisations including the motoring organisation ANWB, environmental group Natuur & Milieu, technical universities and electric car industry firms, warned that electric car use could splutter to a standstill when subsidies are withdrawn. In October, environment minister Henk Kamp said he was not convinced about the effectiveness of subsidies for buying electric cars in a letter to MPs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Schiphol experiments with new scanner to speed up security checks

DutchNews, November 7, 2016

Photo: Schiphol airport 

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has begun testing a new form of security scanner which removes the need for passengers to take liquids and laptops out of their luggage.

The new scanner makes a 3D picture of the luggage so that controllers can look at it from every angle. Researchers also want to know if the new scanner will speed up security checks. 

The pilot project is taking place at two security lanes: one in departure hall 3 and one in transfer hall E/F. Passengers will, however, still be required to put liquids and gels in a sealed plastic bag. 

If everything goes according to plan and the pilot project is successful, Schiphol will gradually introduce new scanners to all 67 security lanes. The process will be completed at the end of 2017.

Monday, November 7, 2016

US regulator finds another cheat device in Audi car

A year on since the parent party Volkswagen was hit with near bankruptsy, German media has reported the discovery of a second illegal software function in automatic transmission Audis.

Deutsche Welle, 6 November 2016



German newspaper "Bild am Sonntag" reported on Sunday that the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) had discovered another illegal software function in an automatc transmission in Audi last summer.

The paper said the device, which was not the same as the one which triggered last year's diesel emissions scandal at Audi's parent company, Volkswagen, was also used in gasoline and diesel-powered cars in Europe.

The illegal software deactivated pollution controls on more than 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide, triggering the deepest business crisis in the German carmaker's history.
Investigators found that the cars emitted more than 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide, which can cause respiratory problems.

Unorthorized


According to "Bild am Sonntag" the most recently discovered software was installed on many Audi models with a certain automatic transmission. If the steering wheel does not turn, this indicates laboratory testing conditions, and a gear shifting program which produces less carbon dioxide is activated.

If the driver turns the steering wheel by more than 15 degrees, however, the "warm-up strategy" deactivates, "Bild am Sonntag"said.

Audi reportedly stopped using the software in May 2016, just before CARB discovered the manipulation in an older model, the paper said, adding that the carmaker had suspended several engineers in connection with the matter.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Air France – KLM to launch new ‘competitive’ airline, nicknamed Boost

DutchNews, November 3, 2016

Air France.com via Wikimedia Commons
Air France – KLM is going to set up a new airline to compete with Gulf state airlines as part of a nine-point plan to win back market share and turn loss-making routes into profit centres. 

The new initiative, dubbed Boost, is the Air France – KLM ‘response to Gulf State airlines which are developing at low production costs in key markets,’ the airlines said in a statement

Based at Charles de Gaulle airport, the new company will be ‘simple, modern and innovative’ and will not be positioned as low cost, the statement said. ‘It will offer its customers business and leisure destinations with standards comparable to those of Air France in terms of product quality and the professionalism of the crews.’ 

The planes will be staffed by Air France pilots on a voluntary basis and talks with the unions on staffing arrangements will begin soon. 

The new strategy, named Trust Together, also aims to boost competitiveness, improve links between the various airport hubs and set up lobbying activities on competition issues. 

Air France – KLM also said on Thursday it had booked net profit of €544m in the third quarter of the year, up from €481 in the same period last year. Revenue was almost €7bn, down €400m on a year ago.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Kia, Hyundai reach $41.2 mn settlement with US states

Yahoo – AFP, October 27, 2016

Hyundai and Kia, which is partially owned by Hyundai, claimed fuel efficiency
ratings of up to 40 miles per gallon for some of their cars, exaggerating the true
consumption rate by one to six miles per gallon (AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan)

Washington (AFP) - South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai reached a $41.2 million settlement with US states over inflated fuel economy claims for their cars, officials said Thursday.

The settlement with 33 states and the District of Columbia was the latest fallout after the automakers were caught in 2012 artificially boosting the fuel economy ratings.

"Consumers who do thoughtful research and purchase a vehicle in line with their budget and their desire to protect the environment should be able to trust what automakers say about their cars," Karl Racine, District of Columbia attorney general, said in a statement.

Hyundai and Kia, which is partially owned by Hyundai, claimed fuel efficiency ratings of up to 40 miles per gallon (7.1 liters per 100 km) for some of their cars, exaggerating the true consumption rate by one to six miles per gallon.

About 1.1 million vehicles in the 2011-2013 model-years sold in the United States and Canada had bogus fuel ratings, the companies admitted. They both agreed in 2012 to reimburse car owners for their additional fuel costs.

Both companies also agreed in 2014 to pay a combined $300 million in fines and regulatory credit forfeitures to settle a two-year probe by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department.

The news follows this week's approval of a $14.7 billion class-action settlement of Volkswagen's case in US courts over the German automaker's emissions cheating scandal.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sweden wants EU to switch to emission-free cars by 2030

Yahoo – AFP, October 22, 2016

Sweden's environment minister urged the European Union to ban petrol and
diesel-powered vehicles from 2030 (AFP Photo/Fred Tanneau)

Stockholm (AFP) - Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Speaking to the Aftonbladet daily, Isabella Lovin of the Green Party hailed a non-binding resolution adopted by Germany's upper house of parliament to switch to emission-free cars by 2030.

"It's a really interesting proposition ... In order to achieve it, we will need to implement an EU-wide ban along the same lines," she said.

"As the environment minister, I do not see any other way than to relegate vehicles powered by fossil fuels to the dustbin of history."

The Swedish government aims to produce all of its power from renewable energy sources by 2040.

Monday, October 10, 2016

South Africa basks in continent's first solar-powered airport

Yahoo –AFP, Beatrice Debut, October 9, 2016

George, a town of just 150,000 residents on South Africa's south coast, is home
to Africa's first 'green' airport to be powered by the sun (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

George (South Africa) (AFP) - At first glance there's nothing out of the ordinary about the regional airport in George, a town of just 150,000 residents on South Africa's south coast.

In fact though, the small site is Africa's first "green" airport to be powered by the sun.

The control tower, escalators, check-in desks, baggage carousels, restaurants and ATMs -- every service here depends on a small solar power station, located a few hundred metres away in a field of dandelions next to a runway.

Its 2,000 solar panels produce up to 750 kW every day, easily surpassing the 400 kW needed to run the airport.

The excess is fed back into the municipal power grid, and a computer screen in the terminal informs passengers: "Within this month (September), 274 households were supplied through this system with green electricity."

For environmentally-conscious travellers keen to reduce their carbon footprint, it's a welcome development.

"Planes have such a big carbon print," said passenger Brent Petersen, 33, in George. "If we compensate, that's cool."

George Airport was originally built in apartheid-era South Africa in 1977 to make getting home easier for PW Botha, a government minister at the time and later president.

It now serves as a transit hub for shipments of homegrown flowers and oysters, as well as golfers visiting one of the region's many courses. Some 700,000 passengers pass through its doors each year.

The solar plant, launched in September 2015, is the second solar-run airport in the world after Cochin airport in southern India.

Nestled between the Indian Ocean on one side and the majestic Outeniqua Mountains on the other, George was a surprising location for the first attempt at a solar-powered airport in South Africa.

Africa gets is first solar-powered airport in George, with a plant that converts 
solar energy into direct current electricity using solar panels (AFP Photo/
Gianluigi Guercia)

Ambitious project

The town's weather is unpredictable: in the space of half an hour, the temperature can plummet by 10 degrees celsius, the blue skies quickly replaced by a steady drizzle.

But so far, so good: even on overcast days, the plant still produces some power.

At night or when necessary, the system automatically switches over to the traditional power grid.

"The thinking was if we put (the solar system) in the worst unpredictable weather, it will absolutely work in any other airport in the country," the airport's maintenance director Marclen Stallenberg told AFP.

The environmental value of the ambitious project is already evident.

Since solar became the airport's main source of power, the hub has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 1,229 tonnes –- the equivalent of 103,934 litres of fuel.

The electricity bill has been cut by 40 percent in the space of a year, "which is a plus for me on the budget," said airport manager Brenda Voster.

Voster says it will take another five to 10 years to pay off the initial 16-million rand ($1.2 million) cost.

Meanwhile, regular power cuts, which in recent years have plagued Africa's most developed economy, are a thing of the past, she adds.

Heavily dependent on coal, which is the source of 90 percent of the country's electricity, South Africa is looking to diversify its options to avoid power cuts.

Robyn Spence, who works at Dollar car hire company at the airport, said they "had to replace quite a few computers" fried by electricity surges caused by power cuts last year –- no longer an issue with the solar system.

George airport's 2,000 solar panels produce up to 750 kW every day, easily 
surpassing the 400 kW needed to run the facility (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

Untapped potential

But not all the retailers at the airport are feeling the benefits yet.

Lelona Madlingozi, a kitchen manager at Illy restaurant in the main terminal, said they had two power cuts lasting about three hours each just a month earlier. "We could not sell anything in the shop," she said.

Restaurants, said the airport, are not one of the essential services prioritised during power cuts.

Expanding the use of renewable energy is a key focus for management firm, Airports Company South Africa, said its president Skhumbuzo Macozoma.

The company's goal is to achieve "carbon neutrality", or net zero carbon emissions, by 2030.

In a country with an estimated average of 8.5 hours of sunshine a day throughout the year, solar's untapped potential looks huge.

After the success in George, the airports in Kimberley -- South Africa's diamond capital -- and Upington near the Namibian border have also gone green, with three other regional airports next in line.

George Airport now plans on increasing the capacity of the small power station by an extra 250 kW and will soon install batteries capable of conserving energy generated during the day for use at night.

Related Article:


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Mauritius wing debris from missing MH370: Australia

Yahoo – AFP, October 7, 2016

A trailing edge section of Boeing 777 left, outboard flap, originating from the
Malaysian Airlines aircraft registered 9M-MRO (MH370), the Australian
Transport Safety Bureau said (AFP Photo)

Sydney (AFP) - A piece of wing debris found in Mauritius is from MH370, Australian authorities said Friday as they cautioned the discovery shed no new light on the missing passenger jet's specific location.

The composite debris, recovered from the island nation in May, is the latest fragment found along western Indian Ocean shorelines linked to Malaysia Airlines MH370.

The Boeing 777 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 carrying 239 passengers and crew.

Despite an extensive underwater search in the southern Indian Ocean far off Western Australia's coast where investigators believe the plane crashed, no trace of the aircraft has been found there.

The wing part "was a trailing edge section of Boeing 777 left, outboard flap, originating from the Malaysian Airlines aircraft registered 9M-MRO (MH370)", the government agency leading the search, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), said in a report.

"A part number was identified on a section of the debris," the ATSB said, adding that another "unique work order number" assigned by the flap manufacturer corresponded to MH370.

Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said investigators "remain hopeful" MH370 would be found.

"The finding of this debris... continues to affirm the focus of search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean," Chester said in a statement.

A large piece of debris found in Tanzania that has been confirmed as a
 part of a wing flap from missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet MH370 
(AFP Photo)

"It does not, however, provide information that can be used to determine a specific location of the aircraft."

The ATSB report came two weeks after the agency said officials had yet to link debris recovered from Madagascar by US amateur investigator Blaine Gibson to MH370 or a Boeing 777.

Officials also said the debris found in Madagascar was not exposed to fire, quashing earlier speculation.

The failure to locate any debris in the search zone has fuelled speculation the plane may have crashed outside the area.

Several pieces of debris linked to the flight have been discovered along western Indian Ocean shorelines -- in Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius.

The Mauritius part is the third fragment to be confirmed as coming from MH370. Malaysia said in mid-September that debris found in June off Tanzania came from the doomed airliner.

The first piece found -- a two-metre (six-foot) wing part known as a flaperon that washed up on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion in July 2015 -- was confirmed by French authorities as from MH370.

More than 110,000 square kilometres of the search area has been scoured so far, Australia said this week, adding that the hunt was set to be completed in December.

Aviation industry agrees deal to curb carbon emissions

The international airline industry has reached deal on limiting carbon emissions, billed as the first such worldwide deal for a single sector. Critics say aspects of the plan are unfair - or just too little, too late.

Deutsche Welle, 7 Oct 2016


The agreement to set limits was adopted by the overwhelmingly by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at a meeting in Montreal on Thursday.

The deal was approved by a meeting of the ICAO's 191 member states.

Airlines that exceed limits, as most are expected to do, will have to buy credits from other industries to offset their emissions.

To avoid them having to do so, the ICAO - a UN agency - is pushing for great use of fuel-efficient engines that run on biofuels, lighter aircraft materials and route optimization.

"It's a document arising from compromises and consensus," said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of ICAO's governing council.

Malaysia's aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, who chaired the session said the deal - to cap carbon-dioxide emissions at 2020 levels by 2035 - was "historic."

The first phase of the airline agreement - which is voluntary - covers 2021 to 2027, while participation will become mandatory from 2028 through to 2035.

Responsibility for putting the agreement into effect will fall onto individual nations.

India and Russia sit out voluntary phase

More than 60 states - representing some 8 percent of global air traffic - will participate in the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.

Russia and India have already said they will not join the voluntary phase, and said the deal placed an unfair burden on emerging countries. However, China - which also expressed reservations - said it would take part.

The system is the first global emissions pact to cover a single, specific industry. However, there has been criticism that the arrangement will fail to sufficiently reduce emissions from commercial flights.

The fact that the initial phase is a voluntary one, and that exceptions are in place to protect smaller aviation markets, has led environmentalists to suggest that the scheme will not achieve its aims.

"This agreement is a timid step in the right direction when we need to be sprinting," said Greenpeace UK Chief Scientist Doug Parr.

rc/bw (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)