The new federal spending bill includes $1 billion for airports but does not raise the cap for passenger facility charges. "The extra funding in this bill will help but it can't be leveraged over time in the same way as a dedicated PFC revenue stream," said Todd Hauptli, CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives.
Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio is hopeful about the progress of US-UK Open Skies talks as negotiators prepare to meet again. "The political will on the UK side and the US side is very significant to get something done," Calio said. "Hopefully, by the beginning of April you'll see something happen there."
Congress has released details of a $1.3 trillion bill to fund the government and avoid a shutdown, and it includes $80 billion more for defense. The Trump administration has indicated it will support the bill.
France is planning to spend $3.4 billion on concept and feasibility studies covering new weapons systems, including aircraft carriers, a future fighter jet and tanks. "With this draft law, we are preparing the future by committing to the preparatory stages of large arms programs, which will structure the future of our forces," said Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly.
Saab is putting its fighter jet radar technology on the table in a bid to convince South Korea to buy its Swordfish aircraft for the country's $1.8 billion anti-submarine patrol program. Boeing's P-8A Poseidon reportedly has the inside track, but Saab is offering radar technology for South Korea's KF-X fighter jet in an effort to win South Korea's business.
The Air Force is investigating arming the KC-135 tanker with lasers, and a program to put lasers on fighter jets is in the works. "It's time to move out and show we're serious about this to our airmen," said Gen. Carlton Everhart.
Boeing has delivered the first 737 Max 9 to Lion Air Group, which put the plane into service with Thai Lion Air. "The 737 has been the backbone of our business since we began, and we will use the added capacity the airplane provides to expand our network and start additional routes to Bangladesh, China, and India," said Thai Lion Air Chairman and CEO Darsito Hendro Seputro.
The Federal Aviation Administration predicts long-term stability for US general aviation aircraft, with the number of active planes remaining stable through 2038. The FAA says helicopters and turbine aircraft sales will offset the declining piston market.
Boeing Co. will promote the identification and development of aviation biofuel feedstocks in Africa as part of a partnership with US energy company SKYNRG, South African Airways, the South African government, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials and the World Wide Fund for Nature. In July 2016, SAA used biofuel made from tobacco plants to power Boeing 737-800s that flew from the Johannesburg area to Cape Town, South Africa.
The 2018 omnibus spending bill from Congress gives NASA $20.7 billion, including funding for Earth science programs. The latest total is $1.6 billion more than the Trump administration's request.
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