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. …

Monday, December 26, 2011

Is this really Jakarta?

The Jakarta Post, Nurhayati,  Jakarta, Mon, 12/26/2011

Is this really Jakarta?: Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta looks relatively
empty  on Monday following the Christmas holiday. In normal days, the street is
fully packed with cars and other vehicles. 
(JP/Nurhayati).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thai Army: Mystery bang mid-air explosion

Bangkok Post, 22/12/2011

Metal debris were scattered over an area in Si Sa Ket on Dec 22, 2011
 following a mysterious loud bangs. The army reckons the loud bangs 
were from an unidentified mid-air explosion. (POST PHOTO)

The mysterious loud bangs heard near the Thai-Cambodian border in Si Sa Ket this morning were from an unidentified mid-air explosion, 2nd Army chief Lt Gen Thawatchai Samutsakhon on Thursday.

He said there three or four reports of loud bangs about 11am.

They occurred about 10,000 feet above tambon Sao Thongchai in Kantharalak district.

Metal debris was later found scattered over the area. No one was injured, Lt Gen Thawatchai said.

Two or three similar incidents had previously been reported in this area but the cause remained unknown. He did not believe the explosions indicated an attack by Cambodian troops.

The reports triggered panic in the communities in this border tambon as the villagers assumed it was another shelling by Cambodian artillery.

Shortly after the explosions were heard, a piece of metal about 1 metre long and half a metre wide was found in a field at Phumsarol Witthaya School, said Chokchai Saikaeo, president of tambon Sao Thongchai administration organisation.

The same school was hit by artillery fire during the fighting between Thai and Cambodian forces earlier this year.

Mr Chokchai also said several more bits of similarly burned yellowish metal were later found in nearby spots in the tambon.

Troops who went to investigate the reports said the metal debris could be from a satellite, reports said, but  there was no confirmation.

According to Space.com, Russia's troubled, toxic fuel-loaded Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, which is stuck in low-Earth orbit due to an engine failure rather than on its way to Mars, appears to be doomed, with small pieces of the wayward probe already falling to Earth. There was no confirmation that the incident in Si Sa Ket was linked to this.

The satellite was expected to fall back to Earth in January.

Metal debris were scattered over an area in Si Sa Ket on Dec 22, 2011
 following a mysterious loud bangs. The army reckons the loud bangs 
were from an unidentified mid-air explosion. (POST PHOTO)

Mind the sleigh! Airlines given permission to fly over North Pole for the first time slashing the hours to exotic destinations

Daily Mail, by Ray Massey, Transport Editor, 24 Dec 2011

  • Long-haul flight times reduced by up to 50%
  • 'Whole new world opened up,' says Branson

Air passengers will be able to cut the times of long-haul flights by as much as half and fly faster to exotic destinations under a new relaxation of aviation rules.

It could also mean cheaper and cleaner flights for British holidaymakers.

The new rules will allow carriers operating in the South Pacific, to take a 'short cut' over the North Pole for the first time.

Shorter flights: A British Airways Boeing 777 which will be able to
take a 'short cut' over the North pole

While passenger jets from Australia to South America will be able to fly the most direct routes.

FLIGHTS FROM LONDON
  • Fiji (10,000 miles) - current time via Los Angles or Seoul: 24 hours. New time: 18 hours non-stop using 'polar express' short cut.
  • Tahiti (9,600 miles) via Los Angeles: 23 hours. New time: 17 hours.
  • Honolulu (7,300 miles) via Los Angeles: 18 hours. New time: 13 hours.
  • Anchorage (4,500 miles) via Seattle: 16 hours. New time: 8 hours

Until now, Boeing’s 777 and the new 787 ‘Dreamliner’ jets had for safety reasons to stay within a  three hour range (180 minutes) of the nearest diversion airport.

Under the new rules, that has been nearly doubled to five and a half hours, (330 minutes) taking account of improvements in aircraft and engine  technology.

It means, for example, that planes from the UK  will be able to take a non-stop flight - dubbed 'Santa's short cut' - over  the North Pole to destinations such as Hawaii, Alaska or French Polynesia.

It also means shorter journeys, cheaper flights, less fuel, and lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) - the so-called greenhouse gas’ blamed for global warming.

The ‘extended operations’ rules define the time that an aircraft is permitted to be from an emergency landing site in case of an engine failure and is applied to two-engine jets.

It follows a decision  by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to allow up  to 330-minutes ‘extended operations’ for Boeings'  777 fleet.

Frozen: An aerial view of the North Pole which passenger carriers
will now be able to fly over to exotic destinations

It allows airlines operating Boeing  777-300ER (extended range), 777-200LR (longer range), 777 Freighter and 777-200ER models equipped with General Electric engines to fly up to 330 minutes from a potential ‘diversion’ airport.

Approval for the Boeing 777-200ER equipped with British Rolls-Royce and American Pratt & Whitney engines is expected to follow over the next few months.

The first airline to take advantage of the new longer ‘extended operations’ option is Air New Zealand which earlier this month flew from Los Angeles to Auckland.

Capt. David Morgan, chief pilot for Air New Zealand said: ‘What this means is that the aeroplane  is able to fly a straighter route between pairs of cities and that's good for the environment.

‘Less fuel is burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. It's also good for customers because flights are potentially shorter and passengers could arrive sooner at their destinations.’

Virgin Atlantic airline president Sir Richard Branson said: 'This new development really does open up a whole new world.

'Our new fleet of 787s could well be flying to Honolulu or even Fiji one day.'

Last October The European Aviation Safety Agency granted a 207-minute rating after receiving an application from Air France to fly a 777-300ER from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti. The European agency is also  expected to adopt the 330-minute rule.

Planes once flew over the North Pole during the Cold War in the 1950s to avoid Communist Bloc airspace.


Related Article:


Richard Branson said the airline industry should aim for 50% sustainable
fuels by 2020. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP
.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

INDONESIA: BMW starts assembling 5-series in Indonesia

Just-Auto, Tony Pugliese, 15 December 2011

BMW has begun assembly of its 5-series in Indonesia, at the PT Gaya Motor plant in Jakarta which is owned by its local distributor PT Astra International.

The plant, which also makes the 3-series model as well as vehicles of other brands, has an initial capacity of four 5-series units a day. This will be increased to eight in early 2012. Around 80% of local 5-series sales are expected to be assembled at the plant.

BMW sold 1,399 units in the January-November period of 2011, including 496 3-series and 394 5-series.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Aviation could switch to low-carbon fuel 'sooner than thought'

Richard Branson says aeroplanes have few 'filling stations' compared with other transport, making it easier to supply them

guardian.co.ukJohn Vidal, environment editor, Monday 5 December 2011 

Richard Branson said the airline industry should aim for 50% sustainable
fuels by 2020. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

The world's 7,000 airlines could switch to low-carbon jet fuels much faster than other transport because aeroplanes have very few "filling stations", says Richard Branson.

"Unlike cars where there are millions of filling stations, there are only about 1,700 aviation stations in the world. So if you can get the right fuel, like mass-produced algae, then getting it to 1,700 outlets is not so difficult," Branson said in an interview with the Guardian from the British Virgin islands.

Branson, who announced last month he hoped Virgin would soon be able to use waste gases from industrial steel and aluminium plants as a fuel, said the industry should aim for 50% sustainable fuels by 2020.

"I would be very disapointed if not. Once the breakthrough takles place, getting to 50-100% is not unrealistic. Aviation fuel is 25-40% of the running costs of airlines so the industry is open to new fuels."

Branson, whose Virgin group owns 51% of Virgin Atlantic Airways, was speaking in advance of the launch in Durban of RenewableJetFuels.org, an open access website that assesses and updates the progress of companies planning to produce commercial-scale renewable fuel for aviation.

It suggests that of the 40 companies claiming to have the potential to deliver large-scale amounts – about one third of them are "credible" from an economic, scalable and sustainability perspective in their current state.

In the next five years, according to the website published by business NGO Carbon War Room and academic publisher Elsevier, some renewable jet fuel companies "could be producing enough renewable fuel to replace 10-20% of the fuel of a typical mid-sized airline".

The data, said Branson, should allow airlines to accelerate linkups with fuel companies.

"Producers can continually update and re-submit data. This is then reviewed by experts, enabling RenewableJetFuels.org to be the independent, gold standard for investors and airlines in the market," said Suzanne Hunt, head of operations at Carbon War Room.

"Trying to address climate change makes business sense", said Branson, whose Virgin airline spends around $3bn a year on jet fuel.

"The jet fuel industry can charge what they like at present. New fuels will compete. You could finds the price of aviation fuel comes down."

Three years ago Virgin flew a plane to Holland on coconut fuel and no one took it seriously, said Branson. "The industry thought it was PR. BA was pretty dismissive, saying planes will never fly on bio-fuels. But it actually kickstarted thinking. Since then, even BA has started investing in new biofuels.

"We're heading in the right direction. The industry could go from one of the dirtiest to one of the cleanest in 10 years. We are investing in different companies and really beginning to see traction".

The five leading alternative jet fuel companies identified by Carbon War Room are Lanzatech, SG biofuels, AltAir, Solazyme and Sapphire.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FAA chief resigns over drunk drive charge

Reuters, WASHINGTON, Tue Dec 6, 2011

Federal Aviation Administration head Randy Babbitt is 
seen in this Fairfax County Sheriff's booking
 photograph released to Reuters on December 5, 2011. 
(Reuters/Fairfax County Sheriff's Office/Handout)

Related Article

(Reuters) - The top U.S. aviation safety official resigned on Tuesday over a drunken driving charge.


Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement that his resignation was accepted by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Babbitt, 65, was arrested on Saturday in Fairfax, Virginia, and charged with driving while intoxicated.

A former pilot and union official, Babbitt has led the FAA since 2009.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Missing Cessna found in Majalengka

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Mon, 11/28/2011

Authorities say they have discovered the remains of a small aircraft that went missing last week.

The Cessna C172-PK NIP belongs to PT Nusa Flying School was found at the forested area of Kawah Burung in Mt. Cireme, Majalengka, West Java.

The aircraft, used to train aviation students, left Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta at 7:33 a.m. on Wednesday last week. Air traffic controllers reported the aircraft missing at 8:53 a.m. after losing contact.

Three people were on board the aircraft: pilot instructor Capt. Partogi Sianipar, 25, and students Muhammad Fikriansyah, 19, and Agung Febrian.

Kompas.com reported that the fuselage remained intact, but both wings were reportedly broken.

It was found at around 7 a.m. The Nusa Flying School said it had sent a team to the location.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Three die in Borneo as suspension bridge collapses

BBC News, 26 November 2011 

The bridge was reported to be the
longest in Borneo
At least three people have died and 17 others have been injured after a bridge collapsed on Indonesia's Borneo island.

A bus, cars and motorcycles plunged from the bridge, which connects Tenggarong and Tenggarong Seberang town, into the Mahakam River below.

The bridge, 720m long and completed in 2002, is reported to be the longest suspension bridge in Borneo.

Witnesses described survivors screaming as they swam to the shore after the bridge gave way.

Many of the injured were reported to be suffering from head wounds.

Rescuers found the bodies of three men who had apparently drowned in the river, while 17 others were taken to Parekesit hospital in Tenggarong, the capital of Kutai Kertanegara district.

The bridge was built to resemble San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Bicycles demonstrate Indonesia's new spending power

BBC News, By Karishma Vaswani,  Jakarta, 20 November 2011

Indonesians can now afford to spend more money on their expensive hobbies

It's just past dawn on a Monday morning and the streets of Jakarta are still and quiet.

It is a vast contrast to what this city of 12 million is like during the day, when the roads are packed with cars and motorcycles buzz around the streets.

Only the sounds of the call to prayer, wafting through the suburbs and slums of the capital of the world's most populous Muslim nation, breaks the silence.

In Jakarta, there's no time to breathe. The stresses of work and life are felt deeply by some in the country's middle classes.

But some have found novel ways to unwind.

Adrianka, a digital imaging artist who runs his own successful business in Jakarta, is one such person.

A couple of times a week, the 27-year-old and his friends hit the back streets of Jakarta to relax - by going mountain biking.

He works in the advertising industry and is always rushing to meet deadlines. It's an expensive sport - but he thinks its worth it.

"The first I was shopping for bicycles, I thought even spending $500 was too much," he says as he takes a break from the rigorous morning bike ride. "But then I tried my friends bicycles that cost more - and they felt very comfortable."

"So I kept buying more expensive bikes - because the more they cost, the better they are. When my parents heard how much my bicycles cost they said I was crazy. But my work is very demanding - so I need this hobby to let off some steam."

Posh bikes

Foreign bicycles were rarely seen in Jakarta's shops just over a decade ago.

But now the latest models from Europe and the US are becoming increasingly common.

Most of the bicycles on these roads are relatively inexpensive - but some Indonesians willingly pay up to $5,000 for one.

Jimmy Lie started a series of upmarket stores selling branded bicycles a few years ago, because he recognised a growing trend amongst affluent and aspirational Indonesians.

They were taking to the streets on Sundays, to find some way of working out the stresses of daily life and biking was becoming fashionable.

So Mr Lie capitalised on the new expensive tastes of his consumers and is now in the midst of opening another branch in the city.

Mr Lie says Indonesians these days are far more exposed to what's going in the rest of the world, and want to have access to the same standard of goods they see their counterparts enjoy overseas.

"People nowadays, they get a lot of their information from the internet, or from watching the Tour De France," he says in between serving customers in his busy store.

Growing middle class

Just over a decade ago, it would have been unthinkable for an average Indonesian to spend a few thousand dollars on a bike.

Today though Indonesia's middle classes are far more confident about the future.

Indonesia has one of the fastest growing middle classes in the region - up from 80 million five years ago to 130 million now.

That's more than half of this country's 240 million strong population. 

Not all parts of Jakarta are experiencing a boom
in living standards
And that number is expected to grow - by 2020, many think that Indonesia's middle class will be wealthier than many in Asia.

Indonesia's economy has been one that has managed to continue to grow, despite bumps in the global economic environment.

Largely insulated from the troubles overseas because of strong domestic demand, economists say Indonesia will see growth rates stay stable or possibly even rise next year, at a time when many in the region are cutting their growth forecasts.

All this has meant Indonesian consumers are feeling far more confident about their prospects than ever before.

They consistently rank as some of the most optimistic in Asia about their economic future.

And you can see signs of that all over the streets of Jakarta these days - but especially on Sundays.

The local government has made some Sundays in a month a car-free day - an opportunity for Indonesians to get some fresh air after a busy week at their desks.

Indonesia's next generation has the ability and the desire to spend money on what it wants and not necessarily what it needs.

Not so lucky

But while the future may look bright for some Indonesians, for others not much has changed at all.

In the district of Menteng Dalam, just outside one of the poshest areas in Jakarta, life still moves at a much slower pace.

Tiny shacks are packed densely against one another, and people living in them spill out on to the streets.

The strong economic growth that is so visible just a few kilometres away has yet to touch this part of Jakarta.

Sewi, 62, has lived here for the last two decades.

He has owned his tattered, worn out and old fashioned bicycle for just as long. 

Sewi says he prefers to look after things from the past
Even if he wanted to he wouldn't be able to buy a new one - he just doesn't have that kind of money.

"I've always liked old bicycles like this," he says as he tinkers with his rusty old machine.

"I'm not tempted by newer models. The young generation - they like to change their bicycles all the time and throw the old ones away. But I like to look after things from the past. "

Sewi doesn't understand how some young Indonesians are so eager to spend their hard earned cash.

He's from a generation that still remembers the hard times here. Millions like him have yet to taste the benefits of growth.

Indonesia's future generations need to ride the waves of prosperity for this country's economic rise to be considered a true success.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Govt chooses Karawang as location for new airport

The Jakarta Post, Sun, 11/20/2011

The government has chosen Karawang, West Java, as the location for a new airport, an official from the Transportation Ministry has announced.

“At the moment we are still studying it. By early next year we will know how much money will be needed. But the location has been chosen, which is Karawang,” ministry director general for air transportation Herry Bhakti said on Sunday as quoted by tribunnews.com.

He said that the government planned to build a new airport in response to complaints about services at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkareng due to overcapacity.

“Soekarno-Hatta Airport there are two runways, the Karawang airport will provide a third runway,” he said.

Herry was unsure when construction of the new airport would begin, but said that the need for a new airport would become urgent by 2015.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

U.S, Indonesia Agree on F-16 Transfer

U.S. Department of Defense, by Karen Parrish, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2011 – The U.S. and Indonesian presidents issued a joint statement today from Bali, Indonesia, reaffirming their deepening engagement and announcing the planned transfer and upgrade of 24 Excess Defense Article F-16s to the Indonesian air force.

President Barack Obama is in Indonesia participating in the East Asia Summit. The summit has occurred annually since 2005, following the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders’ meeting. The United States and Russia participated in the summit for the first time this year.

Obama’s joint statement with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono today noted the two leaders affirm the summit is the region’s premier forum for leaders to discuss strategic political and security issues.

According to a White House fact sheet, Indonesia’s addition of 24 F-16s will allow that nation’s government to significantly bolster air defense capacity without compromising the defense budget and other national priorities.

The fact sheet notes that when the regeneration is complete, the aircraft will be updated with advanced modular mission computers, improved radar and avionics, and the capability to carry and field more advanced weaponry and sensors. At least 30 Indonesian pilots will receive F-16 training in the United States, and mobile training teams from the United States will train Indonesian aircraft maintainers.

According to the fact sheet, the Defense Department is currently working with the Indonesian Ministry of Defense to develop a letter of offer and acceptance for the 24 aircraft while awaiting completion of the final required congressional notification. The notification is expected to be complete and the offer and acceptance letter ready to be signed in early 2012.

The U.S. government is working to begin delivery of aircraft by July 2014, as requested by the government of Indonesia.

The new agreement represents the largest transfer of defense articles in the history of the U.S.-Indonesia bilateral relationship, the fact sheet said.

The joint statement also reflected discussion between the two countries on issues including human rights, clean energy, education, climate change and environmental projects.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Indonesia’s Lion Air Roars with Record Boeing Order

Jakarta Globe, Janeman Latul, November 18, 2011

Indonesia's Lion Air has placed the largest ever commercial airplane
order in Boeing's history, valued at $21.7 billion. (AFP Photo)
 

Related articles

Little over a decade ago, Indonesian budget airline Lion Air served a single route on remote Borneo island. On Friday, it placed a $21.7 billion order with Boeing, the airplane giant’s biggest commercial order on record. 

Lion Mentari was founded with just $10 million in start-up capital in 1999 by Kusnan and Rusdi Kirana, who ran a travel agency until they spotted a growth opportunity when the Indonesian government deregulated the aviation industry.

Lion Air -- 48-year-old Rusdi is now CEO, and Kusnan is president commissioner -- was one of dozens of new carriers to emerge around that time in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, including Sriwijaya Air and the now bankrupt Adam Air.

The Boeing deal for 230 short-haul jets takes Lion Air’s orderbook to more than 400 planes, which they aim to use to fly across an Asia-Pacific region still seeing robust passenger growth despite the shaky global economy.

The deal includes options for another 150 aircraft valued at $14 billion, bringing its potential total value to $35 billion.

The aggressive buying spree comes ahead of regional air liberalization in 2015, part of a planned Southeast Asian free trade economic community.

At the moment, some Southeast Asian nations shut out airlines to protect their national carriers.

“If you’re looking at a short term view, people will call us nuts, but we’re talking about an opportunity here and we’re taking a long term view,” said Edward Sirait, a Lion Air director. “Look at the growth in the region -- China, India and Southeast Asia. It’s tremendous and what we’re doing now is to anticipate 5-10 years ahead,” he said. 

The deal for 201 of Boeing’s updated 737 MAX planes and 29 Next-Generation 737-900 extended range planes -- announced as US President Barack Obama attended a regional meeting in Indonesia -- will be financed in part by the U.S. Exim Bank, Sirait said. 

The rest will come from a consortium of international banks, which is still being finalized. Delivery of the planes will be in 2017-25.

Lion Air plans an initial public offering next year to raise more than $1 billion through the sale of a 20-30 percent stake, to help finance its rapid expansion.

It aims to fly to China, India, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

Much of the growth in Asia’s air travel industry has been driven by budget carriers, but Lion Air plans to use the blueprint of regional leader AirAsia and set up a premium airline, too. Space Jet is expected to launch in a year’s time.

Lion Air operates 92 planes and has a load factor of above 80 percent. The latest order comes on top of a $14 billion deal signed in 2008 with Boeing for 178 737-900s, which will be delivered in stages until 2016.

Apart from flights around the sprawling Indonesian archipelago, Lion Air flies to Jeddah and Singapore, but is banned from flying to the European Union because of safety concerns.

The EU last year allowed flag carrier Garuda Indonesia to resume flights after a similar ban. 

No Lion Air plane has crashed in a domestic industry that regularly sees deadly aviation disasters, but its planes have skidded off runaways and it has been criticized for regular flight delays.

As the air industry takes off, analysts say Indonesia must revamp overloaded and dilapidated infrastructure, including airports and power supply, to sustain current growth levels.

Reuters
Related Article:


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chinese Shenzhou craft launches on key space mission

BBC News, By Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent,  31 October 2011

Related Stories 

It will be a couple of days before Shenzhou 8 is in
a position to attempt the docking
China has taken the next step in its quest to become a major space power with the launch of the unmanned Shenzhou 8 vehicle.

The spacecraft rode a Long March 2F rocket into orbit where it will attempt to rendezvous and dock with the Tiangong-1 lab, launched in September.

It would be the first time China has joined two space vehicles together.

The capability is required if the country is to carry through its plan to build a space station by about 2020.

The Long March carrier rocket lifted away from the Jiuquan spaceport in the Gobi Desert at 05:58, Tuesday (21:58 GMT Monday). TV cameras relayed the ascent to orbit.

Shenzhou separated from the rocket's upper-stage about nine minutes into the flight. Confirmation that its solar panels had been deployed was received a short while after.

It will be a couple of days before Shenzhou is in a position to attempt the docking, which will occur some 340km above the Earth.

The vehicles will be using a radar-based system to compute their proximity to each other and guide their final approach and contact.

The pair will then spend 12 days circling the globe before they separate and attempt a re-docking. Finally, Shenzhou 8 will detach and its re-entry capsule will head back to Earth.

This will allow experiments carried into orbit to be recovered for analysis. The German space agency has supplied an experimental box containing fish, plants, worms, bacteria and even human cancer cells for a series of biological studies.



  
  • Tiangong-1 was launched in September on a Long March 2F rocket
  • The unmanned laboratory unit was put in a 350km-high orbit
  • Shenzhou 8 will will try to rendezvous and dock with Tiangong-1
  • The project will test key technologies such as life-support systems
  • China aims to start building a 60-tonne space station by about 2020

Assuming the venture goes well, two manned missions (Shenzhou 9 and 10) are likely to try to make similar dockings in 2012.  

Shenzhou 8 carries experiments developed
 with the German space agency
Chinese astronauts - yuhangyuans - are expected to live aboard the conjoined vehicles for up to two weeks. There is speculation in the Chinese media that one of these missions could also include the country's first female yuhangyuan.

The 10.5m-long Tiangong-1 module was launched on 29 September and has been operating well, according to Chinese officials.

Its orbit has been lowered slightly and the vehicle turned 180 degrees in preparation for its upcoming union with Shenzhou 8.

Beijing sees the Tiangong and Shenzhou dockings as the next phase in its step-by-step approach to acquiring the skills of human spaceflight operations.

It is a learning curve China hopes will eventually lead to the construction of a space station, starting at the end of the decade.

At about 60 tonnes in mass, this future station would be considerably smaller than the 400-tonne international platform operated by the US, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan, but its mere presence in the sky would nonetheless represent a remarkable achievement. 

Tiangong-1 was launched in September
Concept drawings describe a core module weighing some 20-22 tonnes, flanked by two slightly smaller laboratory vessels.

Officials say it would be supplied by freighters in exactly the same way that robotic cargo ships keep the International Space Station (ISS) today stocked with fuel, food, water, air, and spare parts.

China is investing billions of dollars in its space programme. It has a strong space science effort under way, with two orbiting satellites having already been launched to the Moon and a third mission expected to put a rover on the lunar surface.

Next week should see its first Mars orbiter - Yinghuo-1 - begin its journey to the Red Planet.

The Asian country is also deploying its own satellite-navigation system known as BeiDou-Compass.

Bigger rockets are coming, too. The Long March 5 will be capable of putting more than 20 tonnes in a low-Earth orbit. This lifting muscle, again, will be necessary for the construction of a space station.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lombok International Airport starts operations

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Sat, 10/01/2011


Premier landing: A Garuda Indonesia airplane carrying West Nusa
 Tenggara Governor Zainul Majdi and his entourage from Jakarta lands
at Lombok International Airport on Saturday. The plane was the first
 commercial aircraft landing at the new airport, officiated on Saturday.

(Antara/Ahmad Subaidi)


The West Nusa Tenggara administration officially opened, on Saturday, Lombok International Airport in a move to boost tourism in Lombok, an island next to Bali which is becoming popular among both local and foreign tourists.

The new airport is located in Pujut district in Central Lombok regency, about 40 kilometers to the south of Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara.

It is managed by state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I, and replaces the old Selaparang Airport, which had been the main portal for entering Lombok.

A Boeing 737-800 JR airplane operated by national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia was the first commercial aircraft to land at the new airport, carrying West Nusa Tenggara Governor Zainul Majdi and his entourage, as well as Transportation Ministry director general for air transport Harry Bhakti, from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Antara reported.