Image credits: NASA on Unsplash
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Weekly Roundups

Space Explorations, Market Opportunities: The Week in Aerospace

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 12/30/2021 - 16:20

Groundbreaking alliances, new market ventures and space explorations mark the end of 2021 for the aerospace industry. As the aerospace industry is still being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines flying to Mexico need to prepare for the new Santa Lucia airport.

Here is the Week in Aerospace!

Mexico City’s New Airport to Open on March 23

Mexico City’s Felipe Ángeles International Airport in Santa Lucia is scheduled to be inaugurated in approximately 81 days. The airport’s construction process currently reports a progress rate of 83.1 percent, according to the latest official release. However, a report claims that the site is almost completely covered in dust clouds due to the overwhelming presence of heavy construction machinery. In this article, more about the airport’s close opening is exposed.

A Groundbreaking Partnership

Mexican air carrier Viva Aerobús and US Allegiant Air have announced their intentions to sign a fully integrated Trade Alliance Agreement, the first of its kind for the industry, expected to expand economic travel options between the US and Mexico. Allegiant currently offers nonstop travel services to more than 130 cities in the US but does not have operations in Mexico. The Las Vegas-based ultra-low-cost airline focuses on leisure travel. Maurice J. Gallagher, President and CEO, Allegiant, will join Viva Aerobús’s Board of Directors as the company will make a US$50 million equity investment in Viva Aerobús. Find out more about the benefits of this partnership in this article.

Concerns Over 5G Made Vocal

The deployment of 5G wireless technology across the US has raised concerns for aircraft operations, as the FAA continues to thoroughly assess the risks for the aviation industry. The Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) recommends radio altimeter manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers and operators to provide special information regarding altimeter design and functionality and usage specifications on deployments of radio altimeters in aircrafts while testing their equipment in collaboration with federal authorities. Even though the sharing of this information was deemed as ‘voluntary’, federal authorities must collect as much information as possible to continue regular operations in the aviation industry.

NASA Launches James Webb Space Telescope

After years of research and development, NASA has launched the James Webb Space Telescope alongside the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. “The promise of Webb is not what we know we will discover; it is what we do not yet understand or cannot yet fathom about our universe. I cannot wait to see what it uncovers,” said NASA’ Administrator Bill Nelson.

Space Test for Solar Energy

Equipment that could one day be launched into space to beam solar energy back to Earth was successfully tested by the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The project is currently known as the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) and it will use a spacecraft called “Arachne” to put a new kind of solar power cell into orbit. The cell is currently known as the “sandwich tile” (the technical denomination is “Space Solar Power RF Integrated Tile Experiment” or SSPRITE), and its purpose is to convert solar power into a radio frequency that is beamed into a forward operating base back on Earth. Learn more this test and the entire project here.

Omicron Cancels Thousands of Flights

More than 2,000 flights were canceled around the world, ahead of the Christmas holidays, The Guardian reported. “The rise in Ómicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our crews and the personnel who run our operation. As a result, we have had to cancel some flights,” reported United. Delta, Air China and Air India were among other airlines that canceled flights.

Photo by:   NASA on Unsplash
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst