Thursday, December 13, 2018

Palladium mine expansion announced as spot price passes gold

Toronto-based North American Palladium Ltd. announced Thursday it has signed a contract with Redpath Canada Limited of North Bay, Ontario, Canada, for underground mine development at its Lac des Iles mine. This is part of a major mine expansion that will take the mine from its current rate of just over 6,000 tons per day (tpd) to 12,000 tpd. The Redpath scope of work consists of approximately 6550 meters of lateral development and 560 meters of vertical development to access ore reserves in the upper mine beneath and around the perimeter of the dormant Roby open pit. The contract is expected to be approximately two years in duration.

The Lac des Iles mine development crews will continue with their work to sustain ongoing production, which is expected to rise to over 7,000 tpd by the end of 2019.

North American Palladium is the only pure play palladium producer in the world.

Meanwhile, the palladium spot price closed above gold at $1,243.00 on Thursday. Gold closed at $1,241.70.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

240,000 power outages as winter storm hits the Carolinas

Almost 9,000 personnel are responding to Duke Energy power outages due to a winter storm that is rolling through the Carolinas this weekend.
As of noon Sunday, the company reported 240,000 outages – 170,000 in North Carolina and 70,000 in South Carolina. The company has restored power to 80,000 customers since last night and early this morning.
Among the hardest hit counties:
North Carolina:
Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Mecklenburg, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania and Wake counties.
South Carolina:
Greenville and Spartanburg counties.
A mix of heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain are causing branches to sag and trees to fall, bringing power lines down with them. Also, hazardous road conditions are resulting in vehicle accidents. Cars hitting power poles and other electrical infrastructure further increase the risk of power outages.
The company typically requires 12-24 hours to fully assess damage from a significant weather event, even while simultaneously restoring power. Winter storms can present additional challenges to moving personnel and equipment within hard-hit areas.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

2019 should be a good year for gold, silver, and platinum

The price of rhodium ($2,410 an ounce) is leading the pack in precious metals, followed by gold ($1,247.80 an ounce), palladium ($1,209.00 an ounce), platinum ($792.00 an ounce) and silver ($14.58 an ounce). Which one will make the big break in 2019 to a major upswing?

Platinum vs. Palladium

I believe that the current price of platinum at $805 is a good entry point,” said Bill Stack, in an article posted on the U.S. Gold Bureau's blog Dec. 5. It has since dropped to $792.00 an ounce. Difficulties in the auto sector are largely responsible for platinum’s fall, “and I am not confident those issues will be resolved in 2019,” Stack said. “Platinum could go lower, to $750, with an upside potential of $870. This could come at the expense of palladium, which has temporarily surpassed platinum due largely to financial speculation. I believe 2019 will likely see platinum overtake palladium in price, but both struggle due to difficulties in the auto sector.” Commerzbank in Germany expects the platinum price to increase to $900 by the end of 2019 with palladium ahead at $1,100.

Gold vs. Silver

While a significant floor has been established for gold around $1,200, it is conceivable that we could see a dip to $1,160 or so during a market disruption or sell-off between now and December 2019,” Stack said.

“We are only slightly above the current average mining costs for gold, and below the average mining costs for silver,” Stacks said, based on data through the third quarter of 2018. “While many try to project gold and silver prices based mainly on supply and demand considerations, I believe a more accurate method considers the costs of production as a primary driver. If we use a base of $1,204 for gold and $16.10 for silver, then it would appear to be much more likely that any significant moves will be greater to the upside, than the downside."

With silver currently at a spot price of $14.45 (Dec. 5), it is currently below primary mining costs of $16.10. This analysis alone indicates that silver has significant room to spring to the upside. “Think of that - an 11.4 percent increase in the silver price is needed, just for silver miners to break even,” Stack said.

What about the upside? “I believe gold will close 2019 near $1,351 an ounce, and silver near $17.60,” Stack said. “While there may be spikes to $1,402, and $18.40 respectively, I believe that is where we will close the year.” Commerzbank sees gold at $1,350 and silver at $16.00 at the end of 2019.

Precious Metals Gains & Losses Year-to-Date (Dec. 8, 2018)
  • Rhoduim – up 34%
  • Palladium – up 13%
  • Gold – down 4%
  • Silver – down 16%
  • Platinum – down 17%

Friday, December 7, 2018

HU-16 Albatross flight services contract

The Air Force Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California needs a HU-16 Albatross, along with a qualified flight instructor, for the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS). The Air Force announced the contract on Friday. The anticipated period of performance for the contract is Feb. 1, 2019 – Jan. 31,2024.

“The objective of this program is to provide test pilot training in a HU-16 Albatross for approximately 50 USAF TPS students and staff members during 2-4 deployments per year," the Air Force said.

The Air Force Test Pilot School is where the Air Force's top pilots, navigators, and engineers learn how to conduct flight tests and generate the data needed to carry out test missions. An HU-16 Albatross is sought to provide the unique experience of flying a historic, multi-engine, water-landing capable aircraft.

Deployments will be conducted at Edwards Air Force Base and typically occur in April and October.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Drone Delivery Canada signs $2.5 million commercial agreement

Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) has executed a commercial agreement with the Moose Cree First Nation to deploy DDC's drone delivery technology platform with the Moose Cree First Nation communities.

The company is currently permitted to commercially operate its drone delivery platform within the Moosonee and Moose Factory communities with its Compliant Special Flight Operations Certificate which permits DDC to conduct drone operations in all Canadian provinces and territories. The drone delivery platform will service two northern towns located in Ontario approximately 19 kilometers south of James Bay. 

Financial terms of the agreement are $2.5 million of revenue for year one with the potential to expand services in following years.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Little Caesars Pizza opens in Singapore and Philippines

Little Caesars Pizza, the third largest pizza chain, will open its first restaurant in the Republic of Singapore in January. The global pizza brand, which is currently operating in 23 countries and territories, is continuing the expansion of its international footprint with new restaurants in Southeast Asia. The franchisee, Palm Tree Foods Pte Ltd., is owned by James Kodrowski. The first restaurant under the new franchise relationship will be located at the Income at Raffles building in Singapore. Additionally, Little Caesars Pizza will open its first location in the Philippines next month.

"Our expansion into this region was motivated by its strong growth in the food and pizza industries, plus a population of middle class customers that will double by 2020," said Paula Vissing, senior vice president of International for Little Caesars Pizza.

Little Caesars Pizza has grown its international presence with franchisees in Latin America, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Headquartered in Detroit, Mich., Little Caesars is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States. The company was founded in 1959 as a single family-owned restaurant.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

US Army invites concepts and ideas for High Altitude AISR capability

The U.S. Army Contracting Command Redstone Arsenal in Alabama is seeking information on potential concepts and ideas for a High Altitude Airborne Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AISR) capability.

According to a Request For Information (RFI) document released Wednesday by the Army, the Special Electronic Mission Aircraft Product Directorate of the FixedWing Project Office has an emerging potential requirement for a High Altitude AISR capability.
  1. Operate above 35,000 feet Above Mean Sea Level.
  2. Operate in an Anti Access/Area Denial environment.
  3. Endurance of 8 hours or greater.
  4. Communication Intelligence and Electronic Intelligence payloads.
  5. Global Air Traffic Management Compliant.
  6. Aircraft Survivability Equipment.
  7. Aviation Mission Equipment/Assured Positioning Navigation and Timing.
  8. Tactical Communications (Line of Sight, Beyond Line of Sight, Voice and Data).
  9. Novel and advanced threat detection and avoidance techniques/systems.
This Request For Information does not commit the government to contract for any supply or service whatsoever,” the Army said. “All firms responding to this RFI are advised that their response to this notice is not a request that will be considered for contract award. Further, the Army is not at this time seeking proposals and will not accept unsolicited proposals. The information from this market research is for planning purposes only. This is strictly market research.”

Companies interested in responding to the RFI must submit a response by Jan. 11. It is the intent of Program Managers of the Fixed Wing and Sensors Aerial Intelligence Project Offices to conduct individual conference calls as necessary.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Oil leak likely cause of 2017 plane accident in Manitoba, Canada

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report Thursday into the November 2017 loss of control on landing involving an aircraft at Thompson Airport in Manitoba, Canada.
On Nov. 2, 2017, a Perimeter Aviation Fairchild Metro III (serial number AC-756B, registration C-FLRY) was operating on a ferry flight from Gods River Airport, Manitoba, to Thompson Airport, Manitoba, to reposition the aircraft for inspection and repair. As the aircraft neared the airport, the crew advised air traffic control that they had received a low oil pressure indication on the left engine. After consultation with maintenance, the crew considered the risks associated with landing single engine and without hydraulic pressure for the nose-wheel steering, and decided to continue the flight with both engines running. After touchdown, the aircraft suddenly veered to the right and exited the runway. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The two crew members received minor injuries.
The investigation found that the low oil pressure indication was likely the result of a steady oil leak past an air-oil seal in the left engine. The loss of oil pressure thus resulted in a loss of propeller control authority on landing and a runway excursion. The investigation also found that the decision to continue the flight with both engines running was not consistent with the quick reference handbook procedures for low oil pressure indications.
The aircraft was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder but was not equipped with a flight data recorder, nor was one required by regulation. The aircraft's integrated flight management system was capable of capturing engine parameters, but it was not configured to do so. If flight data, voice, and video recordings are not available to an investigation, the identification and communication of safety deficiencies to advance transportation safety may be precluded.
Following the occurrence, the TSB issued an Aviation Safety Advisory letter suggesting that Transport Canada review the Fairchild Metro III aircraft flight manual's emergency procedures for low engine oil pressure indications. In addition, Perimeter Aviation installed memory cards that store engine parameter data on its aircraft that are equipped with an integrated flight management system. It has also implemented crew resource management training for all of its air-taxi and commuter flight crews.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The potential for Electrified Aircraft Propulsion

NASA will lead a meeting next month that will perform a market assessment of U.S. industry leaders regarding the potential for electrified aircraft to include electric drive train, power distribution, and energy storage concepts to be used, in whole or in part, as primary propulsion for fixed-wing passenger-carrying transport aircraft.

The Industry Day meeting, scheduled for Dec. 6, will be held at the Logistics Management Institute in Tysons, Va. The event is being organized by the Associate Director for Flight Strategy, Integrated Aviation System Program at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. There will be up to eight one-hour briefing slots allocated to the industrial base during the meeting.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

An organ transplant stock to transfer to your portfolio

Organ transplants are one of the greatest advances in modern day medicine. Organ transplantation is a medical procedure in which an organ is removed from one body and transferred to another body to replace the missing or damaged organ. One of the most important aspect of the organ transplantation is the consent of the patient or the family of the patient. Organ harvesting without proper consent is illegal and a massive crime. Organ transplantation is mostly carried out with the brain dead patient who’s other organs are healthy and can be used to save another person’s life. The process of organ transplantation needs to be done right after the death of the patient or within a couple of hours. Kidneys are the most widely transplanted organ which is followed by liver. Unfortunately, the need for organ donors is much higher than the number of people who donate organs. According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month worldwide. According to United Network for Organ Sharing, 21 people die everyday in the United States waiting for an organ, and more than 120,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants.

CareDx, Inc.

One company dedicated to improving the lives of organ transplant patients through noninvasive diagnostics is CareDx, Inc. By combining the latest advances in genomics and bioinformatics technology, with a commitment to generating high quality clinical evidence through trials and registries, CareDx strives to stay at the forefront of organ transplant surveillance solutions. Based in Brisbane, Calif., CareDx stock (Nasdaq: CDNA) leads the medical services sector with a major upswing over the past year for investors.

Shares of CDNA are up 402 percent over the last 52 weeks (Nov. 20, 2017 to Nov. 16, 2018). This year alone, the stock is up 308 percent, closing Friday at $29.95 per share, up 0.81 percent for the day. CDNA has a 52-week low of $4.92 and high of $30.15.

The only dividend stock I see in the medical services sector comes from Global Cord Blood Corp. (NYSE: CO).

Global Cord Blood Corp.

Global Cord Blood Corp. is the first and largest umbilical cord blood banking operator in China in terms of geographical coverage and the only cord blood banking operator with multiple licenses. Under current PRC government regulations, only one licensed cord blood banking operator is permitted to operate in each licensed region and no new licenses will be granted before 2020 in addition to the seven licenses authorized as of today. Global Cord Blood Corp. provides cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem cell processing, and stem cell storage services.

Shares of CO are down 40 percent over the last 52 weeks (Nov. 20, 2017 to Nov. 16, 2018). This year alone, the stock is down 34 percent, closing Friday at $6.53 per share, down 2 percent for the day. CO has a 52-week low of $6.01 and high of $12.25. The company issued a $0.08 dividend on July 31, 2018.

DisclaimerThis post is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. I am neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. Keith Stein has no position in any stocks mentioned in this post. DCNewsroom has no position in any of the stocks mentioned in this post.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Cygnus cargo ship on its way to space station after launch from Virginia

Northrop Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station with about 7,400 pounds of cargo after launching at 4:01 a.m. EST Saturday from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

The spacecraft launched on an Antares 230 Rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad 0A at Wallops on the company's 10th cargo delivery flight, and is scheduled to arrive at the orbital laboratory on Monday. Expedition 57 astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the space station's robotic arm to grapple Cygnus.

This resupply mission will support dozens of new and existing investigations as Expeditions 57 and 58 contribute to some 250 science and research studies. Highlights from the new experiments include a demonstration of 3D printing and recycling technology and simulating the creation of celestial bodies from stardust.

The Cygnus spacecraft will remain at the space station until February before its destructive reentry into Earth's atmosphere, disposing of several thousand pounds of trash. This is the seventh flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft, and the fourth using Northrop Grumman's upgraded Antares 230 launch vehicle featuring new RD-181 engines that provide increased performance and flexibility.
The spacecraft for this mission is named in honor of astronaut John Young. Young was selected for NASA's second astronaut class and flew during the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. He walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 in 1972 and commanded the first space shuttle mission in 1981. Young passed away in January.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

US Border Patrol looks into small unmanned aircraft operations

The United States Border Patrol (USBP) agency is planning to add small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to their operations that will provide Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) capability along the U.S. southern and northern border. USBP announced their plans in a Request For Information (RFI) document released Thursday.

The Border Patrol is a sub-component of the United States Customs and Border Protection whose mission is to prevent the illegal flow of people and contraband into the U. S. via air, land, and sea. The USBP’s primary mission is to conduct law enforcement activities along the U. S. border and between the official U. S. ports of entry. As the nation’s single, unified border agency, USBP's mission is vitally important for the protection of the American people and the national economy. USBP represents the first line of defense of America's borders. One of USBP's strategic objectives is to establish and maintain effective control of air, land, and maritime borders with the appropriate mix of infrastructure, technology, and personnel. An integral component to this situational awareness is the planned use of sUAS to provide RSTA capability to the USBP along the southern and northern border.

The Border Patrol is seeking to obtain information from industry about the availability of fixed wing sUAS. “This RFI is issued solely for information, planning purposes, and market research only; it does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a promise to issue an RFP,” the agency said in the RFI document.

The number of sUAS deployed within each USBP sector will vary based on geography, availability of equipment and trained operators, and operational need. When deployed, the system will provide the sUAS operator with video data that enables the detection, identification, classification, and tracking of Items of Interest (IoI) in rugged, remote, rural, urban, riverine, and coastal environments. The sUAS will also support vectoring of USBP agents to the immediate vicinity of the IoI for interdiction and event resolution, and if the sUAS has illumination capabilities (laser illuminator) will provide covert IoI illumination to assist agents in prepositioning themselves for intercepting the IoI.

The sUAS can be transported in several form factors, from a single backpack to several large hard cases that need to be transported by vehicle to a location closer to the final deployment location. The sUAS must be ruggedized so it can be transported in a 4x4 vehicle over terrain in the USBP operational environment, sometimes for long distances. The sUAS, packaged for transport, must not obstruct or disrupt the driver while in transport. Once the system is deployed, the agent will operate the system for the duration of their 10-hour shift. The operator interface (ground control system) shall allow the agent to control the sUAS easily for extended periods of time. The agent shall be able to adjust the screen brightness as necessary. The operator interface controls shall be intuitive and placed so that they are easy to reach. The agent will need to have the ability to rapidly move the system from one deployment location to another. The system shall allow the agent to easily and quickly prepare the sUAS for deployment to a different site.

Interested vendors are requested to submit their response to the USBP no later than Dec. 10.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

NASA interested in strong commercial satellite-servicing industry in orbit

NASA is working on several projects to mature satellite servicing crosscutting technologies, including Restore-L, a technology demonstration project to utilize a robotic spacecraft to refuel an operational client. Other missions include the Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) – which is developing technologies for cryogen – and Raven – a technology demonstration of state-of-the-art relative navigation capabilities.

These projects allow NASA to check important items off of its technology checklist to put humans closer to lunar exploration. NASA plans to infuse Satellite Servicing Projects Division (SSPD)-derived technologies and capabilities to meet the agency’s objectives for science and exploration. Candidate applications for individual satellite servicing capabilities could include on-orbit manufacturing and assembly, propellant depots, observatory servicing, and active orbital debris removal. NASA anticipates that SSPD-derived technologies and capabilities will help unlock numerous new and perhaps unforeseen opportunities in both commercial and government arenas.

In parallel with the development of satellite servicing technologies and the execution of various missions to prove these technologies, NASA is transferring satellite servicing technologies to interested domestic U.S. commercial entities to accelerate the commercial in-orbit robotic satellite servicing industry, as well as to help ensure the serviceability of future satellites. NASA is interested in a strong domestic, commercial satellite-servicing industry that could potentially provide the U.S. government with cost-effective operations.

NASA is hosting a series of industry day meetings to receive data from major SSPD project reviews. The initial industry day was held April 19, 2017, the second industry day was Jan. 30, 2018, the upcoming industry day is scheduled for Dec. 6 at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “This industry day encourages additional transfer of technology being developed by the SSPD,” NASA said in a Special Notice document released Tuesday. “The derived capabilities would facilitate servicing of spacecraft, plus ensure that future spacecraft can be easily serviced.” Future industry days will be held as additional technology progress is made.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Overview: Army Short Range Reconnaissance platform

The Department of Defense seeks commercial solutions for fielding of the U.S. Army's Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) platform. The SRR is intended to be an inexpensive, rucksack portable, vertical take-off and landing small unmanned aircraft that provides a platoon with a rapidly deployed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability to provide situational awareness beyond the next terrain feature. The Army announced the request in a Special Notice document released Monday.

Companies supporting SRR will participate in a “Pitch Phase” which will consist of an in-person pitch as well as a flight demonstration. The in-person pitch will be conducted concurrently with the flight demonstration and will be executed in Boston, Ma., from Jan. 7-18.

The Unmanned Aircraft (UA) flight characteristics desired:
  • 30 minute flight endurance.
  • 3 kilometer operational range.
  • 8,000 feet service ceiling.
  • Operate in 15 knot winds or greater.
  • UA assembly and disassembly should take two minutes or less by a single person.
  • The UA should have the capability to enable detection of people and vehicles at standoff ranges of 300 and 200 meters.
The Army will accept responses to the Special Notice until Nov. 18.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Lady Lucky Casino slot machine revenue down 17 percent in October

On Friday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released their monthly report for total revenue generated from the play of slot machines at casinos during October.

According to the report, October's gross revenue from slot machines at the 12 casinos was $186,255,556, a 1.7 percent decrease in revenue when compared to the $189,527,493 generated in October 2017. Tax revenue from the play of slots machines in October of this year was $97,115,033.

The average number of slot machines operating on a daily basis was 25,407 during October compared to 25,941 at the casinos in October 2017.

Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin experienced the biggest drop in October down 17.99 percent.

United Airlines looks to increase service between New York and Shanghai

United Airlines submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday for authority to increase service between New York/Newark Liberty and Shanghai Pudong beginning in June 2020. If approved, United's second daily flight will create new opportunities for customers to conveniently connect to Shanghai from more than 90 U.S. and Canadian destinations served by United from New York/Newark. The effort is in response to “the demand for travel between each country's financial center, which has grown annually for the last several years," said Oscar Munoz, United's Chief Executive Officer.

This proposed additional flight provides enhanced time of day coverage for customers traveling between New York/Newark and Shanghai, with United offering both a morning and afternoon departure from both New York/Newark and Shanghai. An expanded schedule will further enhance United's service as the only U.S. carrier serving mainland China and Hong Kong from the New York City area and in the Northeastern United States.

United in China
United first began service to China in 1986 and has grown to operate more non-stop flights to more cities than any other U.S. carrier, with a total of more than 90 weekly flights from the U.S. to Greater China.

US military seeks countermeasures to protect KC-130 and C-40 aircraft

The Naval Air Systems Command-Aircraft Division, Aircraft Combat Survivability Division is seeking information from industry on Countermeasure Systems to protect KC-130J and C-40A aircraft operating in a variety of threat environments. The Navy announced the project in a Request For Information (RFI) document released Friday.

The United States Marine Corps and U.S. Navy are conducting a study/market research in order to:
  • evaluate the existing combat survivability of the KC-130J and the C-40A, a derivative of the Boeing 737-700C, configurations and assess material solutions to enhance the combat survivability of these aircraft in their respective threat environments.
  • develop a KC-130J and C-40A Combat Survivability Enhancement Roadmap to include the Technical Readiness Levels of potential survivability enhancement material solutions.
  • provide recommendations for survivability enhancement Operational Requirements Document/ Capability Production Document requirements.
“For the purpose of this RFI, the threats of primary interest for the KC-130J include medium range Radio Frequency (RF) guided Surface-to-Air Missile systems (RF SAMs), Electro-Optical or RF-guided Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) systems, and Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) missiles acting independently or as part of an Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS),” the Navy said in the RFI. “However, the threats may also include long range RF SAMs and Air-to-Air Interceptors (AAIs); armed with a variety of IR and RF guided missiles, operating as part of the IADS.

"The threats of interest for the C-40A include MANPADS and potentially long range RF SAMS and AAIs armed with a variety of IR and RF guided missiles, operating as part of the IADS.

For planning purposes, the countermeasure suites should be of sufficient Technology Readiness Level to support production incorporation in the 2025 to 2030 timeframe.” The suites for the KC-130J and C-40A do not need to be the same; however, commonality of weapons replaceable assembly selected for use on each aircraft would be beneficial, the Navy said.

Companies interested in supporting the project should contact the Naval Air Warfare Cetner-Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, Md., no later than Nov. 30.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

US Marshals Service needs a Boeing 737 aircraft

The U.S. Marshals Service, Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS), Las Vegas, Nev., operational site, is seeking information from responsible sources and commercial agencies concerning the "Lease with the Option to Purchase" of one large transport category turbine powered aircraft to fulfill its unique mission objectives. The lease will include the aircraft, insurance, and limited maintenance for a base period and four option years, JPATS said in contract documents released Friday. JPATS will have the option to purchase the aircraft at any time during the lease period. JPATS has determined the following aircraft types meet their need: Boeing 737-700 (HGW) or Boeing 737-700ER. JPATS anticipates utilizing the aircraft approximately 900 hours annually.

The government is interested in feedback from the commercial market on the aircraft that may be available meeting these requirements. Capabilities packages, information and/or any feedback must be submitted to JPATS no later than Nov. 7.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Video: Delta Air Lines first U.S. carrier to take delivery of Airbus A220

On Friday, Airbus welcomed Delta Air Lines as the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft.  On hand for the delivery ceremony at the aircraft's assembly line in Mirabel were members of the A220 team as well as government officials and executives from Delta, Airbus, Bombardier and Investissement Quebec.

Delta's A220 will enter service in early 2019, making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series. The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) welcomed Airbus as lead partner earlier this year, prompting the change of name to the Airbus A220.  Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.

The A220-100 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney's latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.

With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion's share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

As of the end of September, Delta was operating a fleet of 235 Airbus aircraft, including 182 A320 Family members, as well as 42 A330s and 11 A350 XWB, or eXtra Wide Body aircraft. The airline has more than 275 additional Airbus aircraft on order. Next year, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to operate the new Airbus A330neo.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Brazil's largest airline renewing aircraft fleet with Boeing

GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, Brazil's largest airline, is renewing its fleet with an order of 135 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which are expected to be fully delivered by 2028. GOL already operates Brazil's newest and most modern fleet. The airline will receive 105 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 30 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft.
The first three MAX 8 aircraft were delivered to GOL between June and October and are already operating on commercial flights. The company will add four MAX 8 aircraft to its fleet by the end of the year, replacing its Next Generation models.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 was developed with the help of GOL's pilots, engineers and technicians. The new aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, offering the best operational performance and a range of over 4,000 miles, enabling GOL to fly to new destinations.
The 737 MAX 10 aircraft will comfortably accommodate 30 additional passengers when compared to the MAX 8 seating configuration, which accommodates up to 186 clients. It expects to fly the first MAX 10 aircraft in its fleet in 2022.

Friday, October 19, 2018

First 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft for Juneyao Airlines

The Boeing Company delivered the first 787-9 Dreamliner for Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines. The new, super-efficient Dreamliner will also be the first widebody commercial jet operated by a privately-held Chinese airline.

Juneyao Airlines, previously an all-Airbus operator, mainly offers flights from Shanghai to more than 50 cities across China. In introducing the long-range 787 Dreamliner, the carrier is looking to expand its international network and increase flights to Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea.

The 787-9 is part of a family of three airplanes that offer long ranges and unmatched fuel efficiency in the 200 to 350 seat market. The 787-9 can carry 290 passengers and fly up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 kilometers), while reducing fuel use and emissions by 20 to 25 percent compared to older airplanes.

This delivery marks the first of 10 787-9 Dreamliners for Juneyao and their emergence as an international carrier.

The 787 Dreamliner is the fastest-selling widebody jet in history with nearly 1,400 orders since its launch. More than 700 of those Dreamliners have entered service around the world, helping airlines open 210 new, non-stop routes and saving more than 28 billion pounds of fuel.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Pallas Aviation becomes first LM-100J aircraft operator

Lockheed Martin introduced Pallas Aviation as the first LM-100J commercial freighter operator on Thursday. The LM-100J is a production variant of the proven C-130J Super Hercules, which is the military airlifter of choice for 18 nations around the world.
Pallas Aviation will provide management services and operational control of two LM-100J aircraft requiring heavy-lift/oversized cargo capability into and out of unconventional airports and remote locations for a specific set of clients in multiple industries. Pallas will operate its LM 100Js out of Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas.
In conjunction with this announcement, an LM-100J aircraft will be on static display at the Alliance Air Show in Fort Worth on Saturday and Sunday.
Lockheed Martin introduced the LM-100J freighter in 2014 as an updated version of the L-100 legacy Hercules commercial variant. Lockheed Martin delivered more than 100 L-100s to private and government operators from 1964-1992.
Two LM-100Js are currently flying in support of FAA type certificate update testing.

Space station crew lands safely after Soyuz rocket malfunction during launch

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on Thursday. Shortly after launch, there was an anomaly with the booster and the launch ascent was aborted, resulting in a ballistic landing of the spacecraft.
The crew who were aboard, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, are in good condition. After landing, the crew was transported to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, outside Moscow.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), a partner in the International Space Station program, is monitoring the situation. “Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for all space agencies,” CSA said in a statement following the launch abort. “A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted by Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. It is not known whether this will affect Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques' launch date of Dec. 20, 2018.”

Monday, October 8, 2018

First 787-9 Dreamliner for Air Tahiti Nui

The Boeing Company, Air Lease Corp. (ALC) and Air Tahiti Nui celebrated the delivery of the airline's first 787-9 Dreamliner, via lease from ALC. This is the first Boeing airplane to join the Tahitian airline, which plans to use the longest-range Dreamliner to replace aging A340s and connect its home base in the South Pacific with world capitals such as Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles.

The airplane can fly up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 kilometers), while reducing fuel use and emissions by 20 to 25 percent compared to older airplanes.

Air Tahiti Nui configured its new Dreamliner to seat 294 passengers in three classes. The cabin features a new business class equipped with 30 full lie-flat seats, along with 32 premium economy seats.

The airline announced in 2015 it would lease two 787s through ALC and purchase two 787s directly from Boeing as part of its plan to upgrade its fleet for the future.

Jamul Casino hires new management to support rebranding and relaunch

The Jamul Indian Village Development Corp. (JIVDC), an entity owned by Jamul Indian Village of California, announced Monday that Jamul Casino has made numerous key hires as part of its rebranding and relaunch.  Approximately 20 miles east of downtown San Diego, Jamul Casino rebranded in May, and celebrated a relaunch in August. Completing its transition, JIVDC has welcomed several key managers to the Jamul Casino team.

Jamul Casino hired new President and General Manager, Mary Cheeks, to lead the transition. Cheeks has 30 years of experience in casino management and casino finance. One of her career highlights includes her pivotal role in transforming Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., into a resort that became one of the most profitable gaming establishments in Atlantic City. Prior to joining the Jamul Casino team, she was General Manager for Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, N.Y., one of four new casino licenses outside of Tribal Gaming and Racinos.
Cheeks has recruited a world-class management team at Jamul Casino consisting of:
  • Allison Owen, Vice President of Human Resources
  • Josh Ford, Vice President of Business Intelligence
  • Raman Natarajan, Vice President of Food & Beverage
  • Scott Bauer, Vice President of Marketing
  • Tony Ventura, Vice President of Gaming Operations
  • Cathy Behnen, Chief Financial Officer
As part of its relaunch, Jamul Casino has developed a new logo and identity focused on being friendly, fun, and true to its roots. The word "Jamul" means "Sweetwater."
The official relaunch of the newly renamed Jamul Casino was marked with a block party celebration on Aug. 4. The event drew over 12,000 guests and produced some of the highest activity ever on the gaming floor and in its seven restaurants. The gaming floor has 1,700 slots with everything from penny slots all the way up to $100 slot machines, and 40 table games with over a dozen different types of live games.
The $460 million casino had been managed and operated by a Penn National subsidiary since its opening on October 10, 2016. JIVDC announced in May they would terminate that management agreement. JIVDC stated that the termination of the casino’s current management company agreement with Penn National is a natural next step toward economic self-sufficiency for the Jamul Indian Village.
California's San Diego County has an extremely active gaming community, home to nine casinos. According to the National Indian Gaming Commission, tribal casinos generated nearly $9 billion in revenue in California and Northern Nevada (which doesn't include Las Vegas) in fiscal year 2017, which is a 7.3 percent increase in revenue over the previous year.

SSL selected to compete for Department of Defense small spacecraft contracts

SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, has been selected as one of three companies qualified to compete for Department of Defense business under a contract called Small Spacecraft Prototyping Engineering Development and Integration – Space Solutions (SSPEDI). NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley manages the contract under an interagency agreement with the Department of Defense's Space Rapid Capabilities Office.

SSPEDI establishes a rapid and flexible method for the Department of Defense's Space Rapid Capabilities Office to acquire commercially-developed solutions for small to medium spacecraft and related systems from a pool of pre-qualified candidates. As one of the awardees, SSL is eligible to compete for multiple future awards over the five-year ordering period of the contract, up to a cumulative value of $750 million. To supercharge its offerings, SSL is harnessing the collective power of Maxar Technologies, and will closely partner with Maxar's geospatial insights company, Radiant Solutions. Radiant will study next-generation systems for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance and contribute its world-class mission engineering expertise to the company's solutions.
SSPEDI is one of many successes over the last year. Other recent progress and achievements that demonstrate momentum in the US government market include:
  • Expanding the scope of work on the NASA asteroid exploration mission Psyche, on track for its scheduled launch in 2022;
  • Reaching a major milestone in building the spacecraft bus and robotic arms for the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites program, developed through a public-private partnership with DARPA;
  • Progressing on schedule for both the spacecraft bus and robotic arms for NASA's Restore-L project to provide satellite servicing in Low Earth Orbit;
  • Contracting with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to design and build critical equipment for a spacecraft that will explore Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter.
The company also continues to work across the U.S. Department of Defense, civil, and commercial space communities on several leading-edge programs and studies that aim to help U.S. government agencies define next-generation space technologies: