Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2011 Contents AsianAviation | APRIL 2011 29
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Italian business aircra manufacturer
Piaggio Aero, which brought its
P180 Avanti II to the Australian
International Air Show in Avalon
for the rst time, hopes to secure its
rst Australian customer for the high-
speed twin turboprop in "a short time".
e manufacturer secured Australian
certi cation for the type at the end of
" ere s some very nice prospects
here," says John Bingham, president
and chief executive o cer of Piaggio
America and chief marketing o cer
of Piaggio Aero, pointing in particular
to the Royal Flying Doctor Ser vice
e ueensland and Western Operations sections
of the RFDS have been evaluating the aircra for a
number of years. "We have good ongoing dialogue
with the RFDS," Bingham says.
The aircraft has appeared in Australia before,
with the manufacturer conducting a countrywide
demonstration tour in 2009, which included visits to
the RFDS. In addition, last year the ueensland and
Western RFDS sections also completed successful
evaluation trials when the aircra was put into RFDS
ser vice in full aeromedical con guration for a month.
Selection by the RFDS would not be a complete
rst for the Avanti II, which is already in aeromedical
service in Italy, Poland and the United States.
Peter Randell, deputy general manager of aviation
at the RFDS s ueensland Section, says the Avanti is
still very much under consideration, but any decision
will come with the ser vice s aircra -replacement
programme which is still two or three years away.
Piaggio believes the P180 is a good t for Australia
because of its fuel e ciency, low carbon footprint, top
speed of 402 knots (745kmh), range of 1,500 nautical
miles and its full stand-up cabin. e manufacturer is
hopeful of selling three to four aircra in the country
in the rst year, says Bingham. Piaggio has appointed
a local representative and is establishing customer
support infrastructure in Australia .
Some 210 P180s are currently ying, with eight in
ser vice in the Asia-Paci c region. "Asia-Paci c is a key
growth market for us," says Bingham.
e aircra that appeared at the show was on loan
from Indonesian operator Susi Air.
Thales Australia has started operations at its
new Centre for Advanced Studies in Air Traffic
Management (CASIA), which is responsible for
developing next-generation air traffic management
(ATM) technolog y.
The new facility began to take shape last October
and is located at the company s Melbourne site,
which has become a global centre of excellence for
the company s ATM capabilities.
The new centre will conduct research and
development on new ATM technolog y and
solutions that will be exported around the world.
A number of "pet topics" have been identified, says
Martin Ripple, vice-president and air operations
business unit managing director. The work is likely
to include Thales solution for Australia s next-
generation integrated civil-military ATM system
to replace the existing Australian Advanced Air
Traffic System (TAAATS), supplied by Thales.
CASIA comprises a research centre with 24
workstations. Thales is working with a number of
local universities on projects, including Swinburne
University of Technology and RMIT University.
The centre is also to be available for use by Thales
The facility has been developed with an
investment of "several million dollars" with a
"significant" contribution from the Victorian State
Thales ATM business has been particularly
successful in securing sales in the Asia-Pacific
region, with customers including Australia,
Singapore, China, Taiwan and the Philippines.
The company started with 15 employees in the
Melbourne business 15 years ago and now has
a workforce of 430, with the unit becoming the
"export engine" for Thales Australia, according to
HAWKER PACIFIC New Zealand in Auckland
has been appointed an authorised
Beechcraft Service Centre. The move follows
strong sales and deliveries of Beechcraft
aircraft in the region. The facility will provide
full support for Beechcraft aircraft, including
the King Air turboprop, and Baron and
Bonanza piston aircraft.
AUSTRALIAN air navigation service provider
Airservices Australia displayed its new suite
of control tower technology at the Avalon
show for the first time. The technology,
which is being rolled out across the country,
combines flight and operational data,
surveillance and voice communications into
a single, integrated, tower-specific layout,
says Airservices. It provides tower controllers
with up to four customisable touchscreens
displaying electronic flight strips, operational
information, weather, terminal area and
surface surveillance data. Melbourne,
Adelaide, Rockhampton and Broome will
be the first towers to receive the new
technology in a countrywide programme as
the towers are refurbished or rebuilt.
Piaggio Aero aims for
Australian launch customer
A Piaggio P180 Avanti II on loan from Indonesia's Susi Air
was on display at the Avalon show.
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