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Vietnam to have own fleet for flight inspection for Navaids and Surveillance equipment by 2015

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Vietnam to have own fleet for flight inspection for Navaids and Surveillance equipment by 2015

QĐND – Saturday, November 27, 2010, 21:42 (GMT+7)

According to the Vietnam Air Traffic Technical Company (ATTECH), Vietnam will have its own fleet for flight inspection for Navaids and Surveillance equipment by 2015.

So far, Vietnam’s aviation industry has been trying to fulfill the goal of its own flight inspection for Navaids and Surveillance equipment by 2010, said Mr. Trinh Van Hai, ATTECH’s Director.

Vietnam has been preparing, studying and implementing several practices in flight inspection as well as upgrading it to meet the strict requirements by the aviation industry.

Previously, Vietnam had to commission flight inspection from foreign companies. Because Navaids and Surveillance equipment did not meet ICAO’s standards, causing increases in flight inspection fees, USD 800.000 to 1 million each flight.

Flight inspection for Navaids and Surveillance equipment have already been carried out at northern airports, it is projected at airports in central and southern regions in the near future.

Vietnam is expected to have its own fleet of flight inspection for Navaids and Surveillance equipment to meet international standards.

Reported by Song Ha/ Photo:

Translated by Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Cathay expands fleet as demand returns

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2010 at 11:20 am

HONG KONG, Aug 4, 2010 (AFP) – Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific on Wednesday announced plans to buy 30 new airplanes for almost eight US billion dollars, underlining the carrier’s expansion as it reported strong first-half profit.

In a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange, Cathay said the total catalogue price for the Airbus A350-900′ would be approximately 7.82 billion US dollars.

Travellers walk past a Cathay Pacific check-in barrier at Hong Kong international airport on August 4, 2010. AFP

The planes, powered by two new generation Rolls-Royce Trent XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) engines, will form the backbone of the airline’s future mid-size widebody fleet and can be used for non-stop flights to Europe and North America.

The carrier said it also intended to exercise existing purchase rights for six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with a catalogue price of about 1.61 billion US dollars.

The news came as Cathay separately announced its net profit for the first half of 2010 had soared eight-fold to 6.84 billion Hong Kong dollars (880 million US) thanks to robust passenger and freight demand.

“Our passenger and freighter schedules have been restored almost to their pre-downturn levels,” chairman Christopher Pratt said in a statement.

Cathay’s passenger business experienced a “marked improvement from the lows of 2009 with revenues returning to almost pre-financial crisis levels,” he said, noting a particularly sharp increase in demand for business travel originating in Hong Kong.

Pratt said Cathay would continue to strengthen its fleet by adding modern, fuel-efficient aircraft.

The airline is set to take delivery of 12 Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft between now and 2013, having added four planes of the same model to its fleet in the first-half of this year, he said.

Cathay has also added Milan and Moscow as its new passenger destinations this year.

Pratt said cargo business had been very robust for the whole of the first half.

“We will significantly increase the operational efficiency of our freighter fleet when we begin taking delivery of a total of 10 Boeing 747-8Fs in January next year.”

Cathay’s share price jumped 2.99 percent to 17.90 Hong Kong dollars following its earnings announcement.

Pratt said the company expected financial results to stay strong in the second half of 2010, subject to further increases in fuel prices or any return to recessionary economic conditions.

The airline swung back to profit in 2009 after suffering a massive net loss of 8.6 billion Hong Kong dollars in 2008 on the back of huge fuel hedge losses and falling cargo revenue amid the global financial crisis.

Source: SGGP

Israel begins deporting aid fleet activists

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 2:06 am

A man holds a sign during a rally in New York. AFP photo

JERUSALEM, June 2 (AFP) – Israel began deporting all foreign activists detained during a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, as international pressure mounted and Turkey warned it risked losing its “sole friend” in the Middle East.

“Israel is faced with the danger of losing its sole friend in the region and the greatest contributor so far to regional peace,” a statement Wednesday quoted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as telling US President Barack Obama in a one-hour telephone conversation.

“The steps that it (Israel) will undertake in the coming days will determine its position in the region,” Erdogan said.

He told Obama Monday’s operation on an international flotilla carrying supplies to the Gaza Strip, which resulted in nine deaths, was “unacceptable lawlessness,” the statement said.

Erdogan stressed Israel’s blockade of Gaza, in place since 2007, should be lifted and called on Israel to release the passengers and vessels of the seized flotilla.

Earlier a statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “all foreign nationals who were on board the fleet and were arrested will be deported from Tuesday night.”

The operation was expected to be completed within 48 hours, it added.

About 120 people, mostly Algerians and Indonesians were about to cross the land border into Jordan, while 60 Turks were at Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, awaiting special flights home, Israeli army radio said Wednesday.

Another 70 Turkish citizens were on their way from prison to the airport, the radio said.

Of the 682 people from 42 countries aboard the six ships that were towed to an Israeli port after Monday’s bloody raid, 45 were flown out Monday and Tuesday.

The decision to release the activists came after mounting international pressure to free the detainees.

The UN Security Council called for the ships and the civilians who had been on board to be released and to transport the aid to Gaza.

It also called for “a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards.”

Israeli troops said they had killed nine of the activists during Monday’s operation to capture the six-ship flotilla, which had 682 passengers from 42 countries.

Pierre Wettach, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation, said his group was checking on the condition and whereabouts of those wounded and those detained by Israeli authorities.

Israel’s decision to back down and release the detainees followed two days of stinging international criticism.

The White House declined to specifically condemn Israel, but US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the situation in Gaza was “unsustainable and unacceptable.”

“Israel’s legitimate security needs must be met just as the Palestinians’ legitimate needs for sustained humanitarian assistance and regular access for reconstruction materials must also be ensured,” she added.

Clinton backed an Israeli probe of the raid, while stressing that it had to be “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent.”

Israel insists the boarding would have been peaceful if the commandos had not been attacked by dozens of club-wielding activists on the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, which carried most of the passengers.

Organisers of the aid convoy meanwhile insisted they would push ahead with a fresh bid to break the blockade.

“We knew what the risk would be and we will continue to run these flotillas,” said Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement.

“The Rachel Corrie will probably be there within the week.”

The aid-laden cargo ship, currently off the east coast of Italy, is named after a US activist crushed to death in 2003 by an Israeli army bulldozer during a protest on the Gaza Strip.

Greta Berlin said organisers were also working on plans for a new flotilla that would leave for Gaza in July.

But Israel was adamant it would not let any ships through.

“We will not let any ships reach Gaza and supply what has become a terrorist base threatening the heart of Israel,” deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai told public radio.

While Israel blamed the activists for the confrontation, passengers had an entirely different story.

“Personally, I saw two and a half wooden batons that were used… There was really nothing else. We never saw any knives,” former MP Norman Paech, 72, said on his arrival back in Berlin.

“This was a clear act of piracy,” said Paech, who was on the Mavi Marmara, where the worst of the violence took place.

Netanyahu, who consulted with his security cabinet after calling off White House talks with Obama, insisted the commandos had “defended themselves from a lynching.”

But the Israeli press was scathing about the botched operation, criticising the failure of the political and military leadership to anticipate such a scenario.

Flotilla organisers said the ships carried some 10,000 tonnes of aid destined for Gaza, which has suffered a crippling blockade imposed by Israel in 2006 and largely backed by Egypt.

Israeli authorities said some of the fleet’s supplies had been trucked to Gaza and more would follow.

The political fallout from the incident continued late Tuesday, as Nicaragua suspended diplomatic relations with Israel.

Source: SGGP

Festival to honour Hoang Sa Fleet due in April

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Festival to honour Hoang Sa Fleet due in April

QĐND – Monday, April 19, 2010, 21:33 (GMT+7)

A ceremony to commemorate the soldiers and sailors of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Flotilla on Ly Son island, the central province of Quang Ngai) will be held from April 28-29 (the 15 th and 16 th days of the third lunar month).

According to Nguyen Dang Vu, Director of Quang Ngai’s provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Paracel Soldier Feast and Commemoration Festival, which is held annually on the second or third lunar month, is a spiritual activity for the people on Ly Son island, as this is when they express their gratitude to their ancestors who sailed across the East Sea hundreds of years ago to defend the country’s Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

The festival is proposed to be the focal point of the first Festival for Vietnam’s Sea and Islands and is scheduled to be held in April 2012, the 180 th anniversary of the founding of Quang Ngai province.

One of the most important rituals in the festival is the launching of imitation boats with effigies representing the Hoang Sa-Truong Sa fleets sailors into the sea.

Artisan Vo Hien Dat, who is called the builder of the boats that carry the souls, said that each boat measures 4m in length, 1.2m wide and nearly 1m tall and their building must be entrusted to elderly and prestigious people from local families and villages.

As well as the festival, the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Culture also inaugurated a collection of historical and cultural relics from the Hoang Sa-Truong Sa fleet, including the An Vinh Communal House, a statue of the Hoang Sa-Truong Sa fleet, a museum containing the fleets valuable documents on the fleet, the empty tombs of some of the leading sailors and a temple commemorating the fleet.

The department will grant the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s certificate of merit to the Dang family, who deserve the credit for preserving and presenting the valuable historical documents concerning the sovereignty of the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Activists dodge Japanese whaling fleet after skirmish

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm

 Militant anti-whaling activists said they were dodging a Japanese surveillance ship in icebergs near Antarctica on Wednesday, following their first skirmish with whalers during the annual hunt.

Paul Watson, who is leading a campaign to harass this season’s hunt, said a ship loaded with Japanese security guards had been tailing his group since they left Western Australia on December 7.

When they attempted to approach the Shonan Maru No.2 from behind an iceberg on Monday, Watson said the Japanese targeted them with two water cannon and tailed them for two hours in a high-speed pursuit.

This handout photo released by the Sea Shepherd Society shows the Japanese ship Shonan Maru No. 2 in the seas off Antarctica on December 14.

“We had our water cannons at ready but we never opened up on them,” Watson told AFP, speaking via satellite phone from Antarctic waters.

“As long as they’re following us, they can relay our position to the whaling fleet so they can move if we’re approaching them,” he said.

Japan‘s government-backed Institute of Cetacean Research, which runs the whaling expeditions, said the water cannon was used because Watson’s ship had come dangerously close.

“It was only a normal warning procedure after we repeatedly issued verbal warnings,” said an official. “They know that we use water if they ignore our warnings and get close.

“Then they took pictures for the media, and the media got excited. We are only seeing the same pattern,” he said.

Watson said the Shonan Maru No.2 was still tailing them Wednesday, but that “we’re going to try and lose them in the ice pack down here off the coast.”

“They said if we try to block the operations they’ll put their ship between us and the harpoon vessels, which will most likely result in collisions,” Watson said.

“But we’re not going to back down, we’re there to block their operations and we’re not going to back down because they try to force us out of the way.”

Despite the beefed-up security, Watson said he was confident of disrupting the hunt for a sixth year, saying the activists had a futuristic powerboat which would be able to outrun the ships and block their harpoons.

“It’ll be our interceptor vessel, I think it will make a big difference,” he said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama this week asked visiting Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd to rein in the activists, describing their actions as “sabotage.”

The Sea Shepherd have chased Japanese whalers for years, sometimes hurling projectiles and climbing aboard Japanese ships, earning them the label of “eco-terrorists” in Japan and hardening the country’s position on whaling.

Hatoyama dismissed threats from Rudd that he would haul Japan before an international tribunal, saying his country’s whaling activity was legal.

Australia’s Greens party said the Rudd government should threaten to abandon a proposed free trade deal with Japan to force Tokyo‘s hand.

“Probably nothing else will get the Japanese prime minister‘s attention more than linking our concern and our desire to end whaling in Antarctica immediately with negotiations over the free trade agreement,” said Greens senator Rachel Siewert.

The FTA talks began in 2007, and the ninth round of negotiations was held in Canberra in July.

An international moratorium on commercial whaling was imposed in 1986 but Japan kills hundreds each year using a loophole that allows “lethal research” on the ocean giants.

Japan makes no secret that the meat ends up on dinner tables, and accuses Western nations of not respecting its culture.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share