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

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

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. …

Saturday, December 28, 2019

US proposes remote ID requirement for drones

Yahoo – AFP, December 27, 2019

US regulators are seeking to require privately operated drones to have remote
identification, a kind of electronic license plate, to open up more commercial
opportunities and help law enforcement track illegal activities (AFP Photo/HO)

Washington (AFP) - US regulators on Thursday unveiled a proposal to require privately operated drones to use remote identification -- a kind of electronic license plate -- as part of efforts to ensure airspace safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration proposal for remote ID is now subject to a 60-day comment period before a final rule is adopted.

Officials said the new rule would help identify potential threats, and presumably enable security officials to act against them.

"Remote ID technologies will enhance safety and security by allowing the FAA, law enforcement, and federal security agencies to identify drones flying in their jurisdiction," said US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whose agency includes the FAA.

According to the text of the rule, the requirement would enable officials to remotely identify any drone in real time and "assist federal security partners in threat discrimination -- allowing them to identify an operator and make an informed decision regarding the need to take actions to mitigate a perceived security or safety risk."

The text noted that the FAA wanted to be able to act against activities such as smuggling of illegal drugs or hazardous substances, unlawful invasion of privacy or illegal surveillance.

According to the agency, drones are a fast-growing segment of the transportation sector, with nearly 1.5 million drones and 160,000 remote pilots registered with the agency. The requirement covers all private drones weighing at least 250 grams (0.55 pounds).

The move comes amid efforts by both large tech firms such as Google parent Alphabet and Amazon as well as startups to use drones for delivery of food, medical supplies and other items.

DJI, the Chinese firm which is a large manufacturer of drones, welcomed the action, saying it could enable drones to be used for complex operations, but added that it would review the details.

"DJI has long advocated for a remote identification system that would provide safety, security and accountability for authorities," said DJI vice president Brendan Schulman.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Boeing ousts Muilenburg, names Chair David Calhoun as CEO

Yahoo – AFP, December 23, 2019

Boeing replaced Dennis Muilenburg as CEO amid the protracted 737 MAX
crisis (AFP Photo/ALEX WONG)

New York (AFP) - Boeing on Monday replaced its embattled chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, saying a change was necessary as it attempts to restore its reputation amid the protracted 737 MAX crisis.

Boeing named board Chairman David Calhoun as chief executive and president, saying the company needed to "restore confidence" and "repair relationships with regulators, customers and all other stakeholders."

The company pledged to "operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers."

The aerospace giant's financial picture remains clouded following the global grounding of the MAX in March after two deadly crashes.

The move comes a week after Boeing took the monumental step of temporarily shutting down MAX production because of the crisis, which has pushed the aircraft's return to the skies into 2020.

Muilenburg will exit the company immediately but Calhoun, a former General Electric aviation executive, will not take the CEO post until January 13, 2020, while he exits existing commitments, Boeing said in a news release.

During that period, Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO.

Muilenburg's response to the crisis has been increasingly criticized as the MAX grounding has dragged on far longer than initially expected as more disturbing details have dribbled out about the certification of the MAX.

He has also been seen as tone deaf and awkward towards families of the 346 people killed in the crashes.

After enduring two withering congressional hearings in the fall, Muilenburg's leadership came under further scrutiny this month when the Federal Aviation Administration called the company out for overly-optimistic timeframe for restoring the MAX that the agency said created the perception that Boeing was trying "to force FAA into taking quicker action."

Boeing shares jumped 3.4 percent to $339.13 in early trading on the news.

The company took another hit to its reputation over on Sunday when its Starliner spacecraft landed six days early after a failed mission to rendezvous with the International Space Station.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

US aviation chief says Boeing 737 MAX won't be recertified until 2020

Yahoo – AFP, John BIERS, December 11, 2019

People hold up pictures of the victims of Boeing 737 MAX accidents as Federal
Aviation Administration Administrator(FAA) Stephen Dickson(R) testifies before
the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Capitol Hill (AFP

New York (AFP) - The top US air transport regulator on Wednesday doused Boeing's hopes that its 737 MAX will return to the skies this year while lawmakers probed why the agency did not ground the plane after the first of two crashes.

In an interview just ahead of a congressional hearing on the crashes, Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson told CNBC the aircraft will not be cleared to fly before 2020.

The process for approving the MAX's return to the skies still has 10 or 11 milestones left to complete, including a certification flight and a public comment period on pilot training requirements, he said.

"If you just do the math, it's going to extend into 2020," he said.

The MAX has been grounded since March following the second of two crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

Boeing has been aiming to win regulatory approval this month, with flights projected to resume in January.

But Dickson said, "I've made it very clear Boeing's plan is not the FAA's plan."

"We're going to keep our heads down and support the team in getting this report done right."

A captured agency?

Many of the questions at the subsequent hearing in the House Transportation Committee focused on why the FAA did not move more aggressively after the first crash.

FAA administrator Stephen Dickson, shown here at a swearing-in in August, is 
expected to face tough questioning at a congressional hearing Wednesday 

Boeing and the FAA have been under intense scrutiny following the crashes for their response to issues with the aircraft, including the flight-handling system involved in both accidents, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.

Rather than grounding the plane after the October 2018 Lion Air crash, the FAA determined that it would require Boeing to revise the MCAS flight handling system in a process overseen by the FAA.

The agency also issued guidelines to flight crews worldwide on how the respond to a problem with MCAS, an automated system that pilots were unable to control during the Lion Air crash.

At Wednesday's hearing, Representative Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat leading a congressional probe, cited an internal FAA risk analysis that, without fixes to MCAS, the MAX could suffer as many as 15 such catastrophic accidents over its decades of expected use.

That is a much higher rate than other planes and aviation experts consider it unacceptable.

Dickson, who did not join the agency until this summer following the two crashes, said he did not know who saw the internal analysis but that the agency's decisions after the Lion Air crash were "data driven."

"We really didn't know what the causes were" of the Lion Air crash, Dickson said, adding that issues with aircraft maintenance and pilot performance were also factors besides the MCAS.

"Obviously the result is not satisfactory," Dickson said when pressed if the agency had made a mistake.

After crashes that killed 346 people, Boeing has been aiming to get its 737 MAX 
certified to return to the skies this month, but the FAA says that cannot happen 
until 2020 (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

"The decision did not achieve the result it was intended to achieve."

DeFazio said the FAA's response was "way less than not satisfactory... it was catastrophic."

DeFazio said it was not clear how widely the internal FAA risk analysis had been distributed in the agency and whether officials on a key air worthiness panel saw the document.

"We may have a captive regulatory problem in the field offices," DeFazio said, referring to FAA officials in Seattle who on key decisions deferred to Boeing during the MAX certification.

A Boeing spokesman said the company agreed with the FAA's response to the Lion Air crash.

"The actions that Boeing and the FAA took, including the issuance of the Operations Manual Bulletin and Airworthiness Directive and the timeline for implementing the MCAS enhancements, were fully consistent with the FAA's analysis and established process," the Boeing spokesman said.

Dickson said he was determined to improve the agency's operations to prevent future crashes.

He said the accidents showed problems with "fragmented and inadequate" communications at the agency that inhibited the agency's ability to comprehensively assess safety during certification.

The House Transportation Committee also will hear from Edward Pierson, a former senior manager at Boeing who told company brass he feared production problems put plane safety at risk.

Michael Collins, a former FAA safety engineer who has criticized the agency's move to delegate some decisions to Boeing, will also testify.

Shares of Boeing were down 0.6 percent in early afternoon trading at $345.75.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Shoveled: Garuda Boss Fired for Smuggling Harley Davidson Bike and Brompton Bicycles

Jakarta Globe, NUR YASMIN, December 5, 2019

The disassembled parts of a smuggled Harley Davidson Shovelhead are shown 
by customs officials in Jakarta on Thursday. (B1 TV Photo)

Jakarta. Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia's president director I Gusti Ngurah Ashkara is soon to be fired for allegedly smuggling a Harley Davidson motorcycle and two Brompton bicycles, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said on Thursday.

The items were smuggled inside Garuda's brand new Airbus A330-900 Neo being delivered from its factory in Toulouse, France, in mid-November.

There were 22 passengers on the plane and four of them were Garuda directors: the president director, better known as Ari Ashkara, technical and services director Iwan Joeniarto, cargo and business development director Mohammas Iqbal and human resources director Heri Akhyar.

"As the SOE Minister, I will dismiss the Garuda president director. We will not stop there; we will look for other people who might have been involved in this case as well," Erick told a press conference in Jakarta.

The used Harley Davidson motorcycle had been disassembled prior to delivery and smuggled as parts. Customs officials found them wrapped in 15 boxes inside the plane's cargo area.

The Brompton bikes and accessories were found in three other boxes.

Erick said an audit by the customs office showed the smuggled items belonged to the president director, despite the baggage claim tags carrying different names.

Ari had instructed his subordinates to find him a classic Harley Davidson Shovelhead from the 1970s.

The used motorcycle was purchased in April 2019 with the help of a Garuda finance manager in Amsterdam.

"It's really sad that this [personal] transaction had to drag down an SOE," Erick said.

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhur Binsar Pandjaitan said during a visit to Tongxiang, China, on Thursday that he fully supported Erick's decision.

"[An act like] this will hurt our investment climate," he said.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati meanwhile said smuggling the Harley and the Bromptons had cost the country up to Rp 1.5 billion ($107,000) in unpaid taxes.

"The Harley bike is valued at Rp 800 million and the Brompton bicycles cost Rp 50-60 million each," Sri Mulyani said.

"Everyone should always obey existing regulations," she told reporters.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

More pain for German car industry as Daimler axes 10,000 jobs

Yahoo – AFP, Michelle FITZPATRICK, November 29, 2019

Electric shock to jobs: the costly switch to electric vehicles is pushing carmakers
to shed jobs, with Mercedes-maker Daimler become the latest on Friday with a plan
 to cut at least 10,000 posts in the coming years (AFP Photo/Miguel MEDINA)

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) - Luxury automaker Daimler said Friday it would scrap at least 10,000 jobs worldwide, the latest in a wave of layoffs to hit the stuttering German car industry as it battles with a costly switch to electric.

The Mercedes-Benz maker said it wanted to save 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in staff costs by the end of 2022 as it joins rivals in investing huge sums in the greener, smarter cars of the future.

"The total number worldwide will be in the five-digits," Daimler personnel chief Wilfried Porth said in a conference call about the job cull.

He declined to give a more detailed breakdown.

The group said in an earlier statement that "thousands" of jobs would be axed by the end of 2022, after clinching a deal with labour representatives.

The cull includes slashing management jobs "by 10 percent", Daimler said, reportedly amounting to some 1,100 positions around the world.

"The automotive industry is in the middle of the biggest transformation in its history," Daimler said.

"The development towards CO2-neutral mobility requires large investments," it added.

Along with other manufacturers, Daimler is scrambling to get ready for tough new EU emission rules taking effect next year, forcing it to accelerate the costly shift to zero-emissions electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

The group, which employs 304,000 people globally, said the job cuts would be achieved through natural turnover, early retirement schemes and severance packages.

Fewer parts needed

Daimler's announcement comes as the mighty German car industry is buffeted by trade tensions, weaker Chinese demand and a darkening economic outlook.

Other major car companies have in recent months already unveiled plans to cut some 30,000 jobs in the sector over the next years.

Germany's Audi said it wants to axe 9,500 jobs, followed by more than 5,000 at Volkswagen, some 5,500 at car parts supplier Continental, while Bosch aims to cut more than 2,000 roles.

US car giant Ford plans to scrap some 5,000 jobs in Germany alone.

Electric engines require fewer parts and are less complicated to assemble than internal combustion engines, needing fewer hands.

But auto bosses have said thousands of new, hi-tech jobs will also be created in the electric era to make cars more autonomous and connected.

German automotive expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer has said he believes the German car sector -- which currently employs 800,000 people -- will shed 250,000 jobs over the next decade.

A total of 125,000 new ones will be created, he predicted.

Daimler returned to profit in the third quarter and said it was expecting 2019 revenues to be "slightly above" last year's, while operating profit would be "significantly below" the 11.1 billion euros in 2018.

Adding to Daimler's woes this year were expensive recalls linked to faulty Takata airbags and to diesel cars allegedly fitted with software to dupe emissions tests.

While the company has staunchly denied cheating, it nevertheless agreed to pay an 870-million-euro fine in Germany for having sold vehicles that did not conform with legal emissions limits.

Friday, November 29, 2019

European Space Agency agrees record budget to meet new challenges

Yahoo – AFP, November 28, 2019

European Space Agency members agreed a record five-year budget of 14.4 billion
euros to face up to growing challenges and ensure Europe has a fully active space
presence (AFP Photo/jody amiet)

Seville (Spain) (AFP) - European Space Agency (ESA) members agreed Thursday a record 14.4 billion euros budget, promising to maintain Europe's place at the top table as the United States and China press ahead and industry disruptors such as Elon Musk's Space X present new challenges.

The budget is split, with 12.5 billion euros ($14.1 billion) committed for three years and the full 14.4 billion euros over five, representing an increase of some four billion euros on the previous spending plan.

"Its a surprise, even more than I proposed... this is good," ESA head Jan Woerner told a nwes conference after ministers from the 22 member states met in Seville for two days.

Woerner said the funding pledges meant that ESA could run a full series of programmes plus additional scientific work, citing moves to increase earth observation as part of efforts, among other things, to monitor climate change.

"It is a giant step forward for Europe, fifty years after the moon landing," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, head of the French space agency.

"We have beaten all records in terms of financial contributions," Le Gall added.

Germany made the largest contribution to the budget, at some 3.3 billion euros, followed by France on 2.7 billion euros, Italy 2.3 billion euros and Britain with 1.7 billion euros.

The ESA is not a European Union body and so Britain's position as a member remains unchanged despite Brexit.

To reinforce that message, the UK Space Agency issued a statement recalling that Britain was one of ESA's founding members, and detailing its commitments to a series of programmes including earth observation, 5G telecoms and monitoring space debris.

Moon, Mars, science

Among the projects ESA highlighted were the first gravitational wave detector in space, LISA, and the black hole mission Athena, designed to "enable fundamental advances in our understanding of the basic physics of the Universe."

ESA reiterated its commitment to the International Space Station until 2030 and its participation in the Gateway project, the first space station planned to orbit the Moon.

"European astronauts will fly to the Moon for the first time," it said in a closing statement, and ESA will support a "ground-breaking Mars Sample Return mission in cooperation with NASA."

In telecommunications, ESA aims to help develop flexible satellite systems integrated with 5G networks, "as well as next-generation optical technology for a fibre-like 'network in the sky,', marking a transformation in the satellite communication industry."

Ministers also endorsed the transition to the next generation of launchers, the massive Ariane 6 and the smaller Vega-C, "and have given the green light to Space Rider, ESA’s new reusable spaceship."

Going into the meeting, ESA officials had said the agency was hoping to get increased funding to ensure Europe does not lag behind.

Europe has established itself as a major space player, with the Ariane 6 launcher the latest off the production line and the Galileo GPS system operational.

Critics say however that it has been slow to develop some key innovations -- notably reusable rockets pioneered by the likes of Musk.

This "New Space" evolution has seen Musk develop reusable launchers for dramatically smaller yet more powerful satellites, many designed to create and run the "connected world" of driverless cars and countless other aspects of everyday life on earth.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Audi to slash 9,500 jobs in Germany by 2025

Yahoo – AFP, Yann SCHREIBER, November 26, 2019

Audi is to shed jobs as it shifts to electric models (AFP Photo/CHRISTOF STACHE)

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) - German luxury carmaker Audi said Tuesday it planned to slash 9,500 jobs in Germany by 2025 as part of a massive overhaul to help finance a costly switch to electric vehicles.

The job cuts will be achieved through an early retirement programme and natural turnover at its two German plants, the company said in a statement.

At the same time, the Volkswagen subsidiary said it would create 2,000 new jobs in the areas of electromobility and digitisation as it pivots to the smarter, cleaner cars of tomorrow.

The shake-up comes as Audi, like other carmakers, grapples with slowing demand in a weaker global economy, tougher pollution rules and the huge investments needed for the battery-powered era.

"In times of upheaval, we are making Audi more agile and more efficient," said CEO Bram Schot.

"This will increase productivity and sustainably strengthen the competitiveness of our German plants."

The remaining roughly 50,000 workers at Audi's Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm factories will have job security until the end of 2029 under the hard-fought deal struck with labour representatives.

"We have reached an important milestone," said Peter Mosch, head of Audi's works council.

"The extension of the employment guarantee is a great success in difficult times."

Audi said the reorganisation would help boost earnings by six billion euros ($6.6 billion) by 2029, keeping the premium brand on track to reach a profit margin of nine to 11 percent.


The jobs cull comes after Audi was hit by falling sales, revenues and operating profits over the first nine months of 2019.

But the company is far from alone in feeling the pain from an industry in the throes of transformation and buffeted by the knock-on effects from US-China trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty.

German car parts suppliers Bosch and Continental have themselves announced thousands of job cuts to slash costs, while Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler is reportedly planning to axe 1,100 managerial roles.

Hoping to turn the tide at Audi, the Volkswagen group earlier this month said it had picked former BMW purchasing chief Markus Duesmann to replace Schot as the brand's chief executive from April.

Under Schot, Audi suffered more than other German manufacturers from the introduction last year of strict new emissions testing standards in the European Union, which led to expensive production bottlenecks.

And like its rivals, Audi is spending billions on new technologies, including battery-electric and hybrid vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving.

But the firm last year also had to pay an 800-million-euro fine over its role in the "dieselgate" scandal.

The saga erupted in 2015 when the Volkswagen group admitted to installing cheating devices in 11 million diesel cars worldwide to dupe regulatory emissions tests.

Audi's engineers are suspected of having helped developed the software used to make cars emit less pollutants under lab testing conditions than on the road.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Dutch space technology ‘game changer’ for pollution detection

DutchNews, November 22, 2019


In a scientific first, Dutch and North-American scientists have detected a large source of methane pollution using space technology. 

The satellite-borne TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), which was developed in the Netherlands, was launched on 13 October 2017 and does world-wide sweeps of the planet in search of greenhouse emissions. 

The source of the harmful greenhouse gas turned out to be an oil and gas installation in Turkmenistan in Central Asia. After the leak was reported to the company subsequent satellite images confirmed that the leak had been dealt with. 

Physics professor Ilse Aben from the Dutch institute for space research SRON, which was involved in the research, told public broadcaster NOS the leak was discovered ‘more or less by accident’.  It was flagged up at the beginning of this year by Canadian and American colleagues and who were doing methane measurements related to volcanic activity. 

‘Their measurements are limited to smaller areas while Tropomi covers the whole planet. However, they can zoom in more and on detecting a number of methane sources they contacted us to see if we could spot them too. And we could,’ Aben told the broadcaster. 

Pieternel Levelt, head of satellite detection at project leader KNMI, called the event ‘a game changer’. ‘The fact that we can detect this sort of methane leaks all over the world is very important for the climate. The instrument is having a huge impact.’ 

Tropomi, and others like it, will in future be used not only for the detection of individual sources of methane but also to check whether countries and businesses are complying with international climate protection agreements. 

‘The European Union is currently working with the European Space Agency (ESA) on new satellites which are going to measure CO2 levels from space in a few years’ time,’ Levelt said. 

CO2 is largely responsible for the warming up of the planet but methane contributes about a third of harmful gases. The most common sources for methane are cattle breeding, the oil and gas industry and coal mines.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Airlines' fuel practices feed doubts over climate commitment

Yahoo – AFP, November 20, 2019

How serious are airlines about cutting emissions? (AFP Photo/JOEL SAGET)

Paris (AFP) - Airlines have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprints under the gaze of public opinion, but the pressure of the bottom line means some fly with extra fuel, boosting emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases.

As the highly competitive air travel industry is being pushed to reduce its carbon emissions -- which it puts at two to three percent of the global total -- the practice known as fuel tankering has become an acid test for airlines' commitment to really go green.

In fuel tankering, an aircraft's tanks are filled sufficiently at the departure airport to avoid having to take on additional fuel for the return leg at a destination airport where fuel costs may be higher, or there are supply issues.

According to a study by Eurocontrol, the practice is a money-saving strategy for airlines as it outweighs the cost of additional fuel needed to carry the extra weight on the outbound flight.

"Aviation is a very competitive market and each airline needs to minimise operating costs, in order to keep its ticket prices as competitive as possible," said the group, an inter-governmental organisation that helps harmonise regulations in the sector.

With fuel accounting for up to 25 percent of airlines' operating expenses, "saving fuel has become a major challenge for aviation", it added.

Eurocontrol found that in Europe fuel tankering concerns about one in six flights, on average resulting in an extra 136 kg of fuel burned.

Despite the additional fuel cost of 75 euros it still results in a net saving of 126 euros per flight. That saving also includes nine euros for purchasing carbon allowances for the 428kg of additional CO2 generated.

The report estimated that in Europe fuel tankering could generate net savings of 265 million euros per year for airlines, while adding 286,000 tonnes of fuel burnt and 901,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

"This represents about 2,800 round-trips between Paris and New York or the annual emissions of a European city of 100,000 inhabitants," said the report.

The airline industry estimates it accounts for 2-3 percent of global CO2 emissions 

Everybody does it.

After being called out for fuel tankering by the BBC, British Airways called it a "common practice across the airline industry" and said that it is done for "operational, safety and price reasons".

British Airways said it resorts to fuel tankering for "mainly short-haul destinations where there are considerable fuel price differences between European airports".

Willy Walsh, the head of IAG, British Airway's parent company, acknowledged that the issue shows that airlines are torn between economic and environmental imperatives.

"What we see today is that there is often a conflict between what we do that makes a commercial and financial sense and the things we should be doing from an environmental point of view," he told investors at a gathering at the beginning of November.

Germany's Lufthansa said it resorts to fuel tankering only exceptionally for operational reasons because the practice "goes against our goal of reducing carbon emissions," said a spokesman.

Air France said it practiced fuel tankering only on "some specific" routes for economic or organisational reasons.

Planting trees to offset emissions (AFP Photo/JOHANNES EISELE)


The airline industry adopted in 2016 a mechanism called CORSIA to offset any increase in CO2 emissions from 2020 levels using tree-planting and other schemes that absorb carbon.

This will allow the industry to continue to grow to meet rising demand for air travel without adding any additional carbon on a net basis.

Budget airline easyJet announced it plans to go further by offsetting emissions from all flights.

Most airlines have also undertaken efforts to reduce their emissions such as optimising flight paths, using electric towing vehicles or reducing the weight of seats.

But these efforts are not sufficient believes Andrew Murphy of the non-governmental organisation Transport and Environment.

"The increase of aviation emissions and stories like this show that actually the industry isn't doing enough and actually we can't just rely on the industry to cut it's own emissions," said Murphy.

"The equation is super complex" to arrive at a reduction of emissions when the volume of air traffic is expected to double every 15 to 20 years, said Pascal Fabre, an air travel expert at the consultancy Alix Partners.

The situation is even more daunting as airlines need to make money to survive, with around a dozen going out of business in the past year and a half according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Related Article:

Aviation is the big polluter in when it comes to transport: CBS research

DutchNews, November 20, 2019 

Aviation is responsible for almost half of the greenhouse gases emitted by the Dutch transport sector, according to new research by nationalstatistics agency CBS

In total, the transport sector was responsible for 26 billion kilos of carbon dioxide emissions last year, of which 49% was due to air travel. Sea shipping accounted for a further 26% and road traffic 21%. 

The CBS points out that road traffic is the only one of the big three causes of transport-related pollution to be tackled in the government’s climate change plans. 

The transport sector is responsible for some 12% of total Dutch greenhouse gas emissions, a rise of three percent on 2010, the CBS said. Aviation emissions have risen 13% over the period, as flying soars in popularity. 

Some 95% of aviation-related greenhouse gases have an impact abroad.

Related Articles:

Monday, November 18, 2019

Climate protesters block Geneva's private jet terminal

Yahoo – AFP, November 16, 2019

The activists said they were protesting the 'absurd' mode of luxury transport
(AFP Photo/Fabrice COFFRINI)

Geneva (AFP) - Dozens of climate activists blocked access to the private jet terminal at Geneva airport Saturday, demanding a halt to the "absurd" mode of luxury transportation.

Around 100 people took part, organised by pressure group Extinction Rebellion, large groups sitting in front of three entrances to block access to the building for several hours.

Extinction Rebellion describes itself as an international movement using non-violent civil disobedience "to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse".

As musicians played, protesters wearing armbands with the Extinction Rebellion logo sang songs and danced around with white, cloud-shaped placards and banners with slogans like "Be part of the solution, not pollution".

"We are facing a total climate emergency," Extinction Rebellion spokesman Micael Metry told AFP.

Activists block an entrance at Geneva airport's private jet terminal, during a protest 
by the climate change action group Extinction Rebellion (XR) in Geneva, Switzerland 
(AFP Photo/Fabrice COFFRINI)

"Private jets emit 20 times more CO2 per passenger than normal airplanes," he said.

"It is very important for us to denounce this completely absurd and unjust means of transportation, which is used by a tiny fraction of the population."

Sonia Ediger, who said she had come from Lausanne to take part in the protest, called on the "powerful people of the world" who fly private jets "to come down out of the clouds".

"We are seeing the world collapse around us, we see catastrophe after catastrophe, ever bigger, ever more frequent, all around us," she told AFP, insisting that "radical change" was needed.

A large number of Geneva police, some in riot gear, assembled to monitor the unauthorised protest, but kept their distance for several hours.

At mid-afternoon, police asked the demonstrators to identify themselves and then leave in small groups, which they did peacefully.

Police spokesman Silvain Guillaume-Gentil told the ATS news agency they had not yet decided whether to bring charges.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Promise and peril for German carmakers in Tesla's Berlin touchdown

Yahoo – AFP, Florian CAZERES with Yann SCHREIBER in Frankfurt, November 13, 2019

Tesla would be the first foreign car company to set up shop in Germany
"in decades" sector analyst Stefan Bratzel says (AFP Photo/John THYS)

Hopes are high that US electric pioneer Tesla's first European factory just outside Berlin will boost German carmakers, but it also ups the pressure on homegrown manufacturers to raise their battery-powered game.

Elon Musk's Tuesday announcement that his Californian firm is coming marks the first foreign car company setting up shop in Germany "in decades," said analyst Stefan Bratzel of the Center of Automotive Management -- "symbolic for the new world and the reordering of the industry."

Economy minister Peter Altmaier trumpeted "a great success," saying Germany had prevailed in "intense competition" with other European countries.

Musk unveiled Tesla's European touchdown at an industry event in Berlin, saying he had picked a site in Brandenburg for the factory, which is expected to bring roughly 7,000 jobs.

Slated for an area southeast of the German capital, the plant "will build batteries, powertrains and vehicles, starting with Model Y" SUVs, Musk later tweeted.

Production is to start in 2021 at the earliest.

"I think it's a good thing, it will create jobs and electric cars are good for the environment," said Mathias Wirth, who lives in Gruenheide, set to host the Tesla plant.

"It's a big opportunity for people living here," agreed fellow resident Iris Siebman.

Musk said the German state of Brandenburg offers "a lower than average paid workforce
 in the former East Germany" and space to expand (AFP Photo/Tobias SCHWARZ)

'Pressure on the Germans'

Tesla accounts for almost one in three electric vehicles sold in western Europe, and worldwide sales of its Model 3 have already overtaken those of BMW's 3 Series sedans, although "German sales remain disappointing", according to analyst Matthias Schmidt.

Electric vehicles more broadly have fallen short of ambitions, with Chancellor Angela Merkel this year targeting one million on the road by 2022 -- two years later than she had previously aimed for.

"Elon Musk's decision in favour of Germany... adds more momentum to electric mobility than 100 summits called by the chancellor," said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of the University of Duisburg-Essen's Center for Automotive Research.

"Competition has always made people better and faster, so it's good news for Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler too," he added.

But there is also no doubt Musk's move "puts pressure on the Europeans and the Germans," said Christoph Schalast, professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

German giants are behind in adapting fleets to meet new European emissions limits, and have left it until late to commit to electric drive in a big way.

In the near term, bosses "won't be losing too much sleep, but the danger is if they wait too long with their own credible electric vehicle offerings, they may begin to lose some of their credibility," analyst Schmidt said.

A German car industry source told AFP they were relaxed about Tesla's announcement, hoping the competitor's arrival would accelerate the country's electric transition.

Elon Musk hailed hailed "outstanding" German engineering as a factor in his 
choice of a site near Berlin (AFP Photo/Jörg Carstensen)

'Made in Germany'

On stage Tuesday, Musk hailed "outstanding" German engineering as one factor playing into the choice for Berlin.

The capital can lend "creativity" and English-speakers, "the engineering and programming hipsters," while Brandenburg offers "a lower than average paid workforce in the former East Germany" and space to expand.

But Schmidt warned the Californian risks running into "bureaucratic hell" in Germany, with Musk's new site just a few kilometres (miles) from the Berlin-Brandenburg airport.

The planned hub is almost a decade behind schedule, largely down to problems with its fire suppression system.

Even without such dramatic delays, Tesla is unlikely to throw together a factory in the one year its new Chinese site required.

Work is to start in early 2020 with a budget of several billion euros (dollars), Brandenburg's economy minister was quoted by the news agency DPA as sayin