AEM and FEMIA Sign Space Collaboration AgreementBy Alessa Flores | Thu, 11/19/2020 - 15:45
FEMIA and the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) have signed a collaboration agreement to promote specific projects related to Earth observation, telecommunications, science and space technology. According to René Espinoza, FEMIA's new President, the agreement seeks to promote the development of a new stage for the space industry in Mexico. As part of this renewal, two projects will be prioritized: the launch of the AztechSat 2 Constellation satellite and the Air Centre mission, in collaboration with the Atlantic International Research Centre, according to A21.
Now let’s jump into the Week in Aerospace!
Yesterday, Minister of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard announced that the Latin America and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE) is moving forward, with new participants joining its ranks. On Oct. 9, the Argentinian Cancellar Felipe Carlos Solá, together with Ebrard, signed a collaboration intent to develop ALCE, which would be the first step towards sharing knowledge and strength in space technology.
ALCE is a big step toward building an adequate aerospace infrastructure. The first actions planned are to build satellites, develop earth stations and terminal equipment and share the built infrastructure among member parties, reported by El Financiero. Solá and Ebrard also highlighted this will promote collaboration in the region, as well as economic development, reported MBN. ALCE hopes to encourage new projects and talent in Latin America and the Caribbean, while strengthening transport infrastructure and promoting environmental protection, according to Forbes.
Boeing's 737 Max can now fly again. The 20-month flight ban ended for the Boeing 737 Max after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued an order approving the plane for passenger flights once again. This marks the first step for Aeroméxico, Interjet, Viva Aerobus and Volaris to fly these planes after their grounding back in early 2019. Airlines, however, may opt to switch to brands like Airbus, after orders made in the months following Boeing’s ban.
The FAA order, which is only valid for the US, states that before aircraft can be flown with passengers again, the required changes to the aircraft must be made, in addition to individual inspections and specialized training for pilots. "The path that led us to this point was long and grueling," pointed out Steve Dickson, FAA Administrator, in a statement today. "But we said from the start that we would take the time necessary to get this right. We were never driven by a timeline, but rather following a methodical and deliberate safety process. During this time, FAA employees diligently worked on the fixes that were necessary."
After the paralysis the aviation industry suffered earlier in the year as domestic and international air traffic dried up across the globe, the sector seems to be picking up thanks to growing demand for air travel. However, demand has not picked up equally across all regions and domestic travel seems to be faring better than international flights, explains the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In its latest report on air passengers, the association pointed that international demand measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) remains 88.8 percent below 2019. On the other hand, domestic demand is down only by 43.3 percent across all member nations. While this could be a positive sign for the recovery of aviation it is necessary to point out that domestic travel represents 36.2 percent of total demand.
The local aviation industry still has some way to go before a complete recovery but airlines seem positive about their chances. For instance, in its report, Volaris highlighted its “strong recovery in ASMs and healthy load factors” and pointed out that it would operate at 94 percent of its total capacity during November 2020.