April 5, 2012
UK Draft Aviation Policy Delayed
The UK Department for Transportation's draft aviation policy, which had been scheduled for a March release, is no longer expected to be made public before late summer. The hope among industry representatives is that the delay increases the likelihood that the policy will include a serious proposal to increase airport capacity. See Tom Allett, BAR - "Delay on UK Aviation Policy May Help Industry", Airports International, March 23, 2012 (available here).
April 4, 2012
German Court Upholds Restrictions on Night Flights
The German Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) has upheld a lower court's ruling prohibiting flights from landing at Frankfurt Airport between 11pm and 5am. See Chris Bryant, Night Flight Ruling Hits Lufthansa, Financial Times, April 4, 2012 (available here). The court also lowered the cap on flights permitted during the hours immediately before and after the night time no-fly period. These restrictions provide neighboring residents a respite from the noise created by landing aircraft, but do so at the expense of Lufthansa's profitability. The Federal Administrative Court is the highest German court with jurisdiction over this dispute, so the ruling will not be appealed. The text of the ruling is available (in German) here.
April 3, 2012
IALI Hosts John Byerly
DePaul University College of Law's International Aviation Law Institute is hosting former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation John Byerly this week. Byerly is guest lecturing for the Spring semester international trade law and public aviation law courses. Later this month he will be receiving the L. Welch Pogue Award from Aviation Week and the International Aviation Club of Washington. See Press Release, Aviation Week, March 15, 2012 (available here). Readers interested in Byerly's career and perspective on international aviation developments can view Byerly's 2010 interview for the Institute's Conversations with Aviation Leaders Oral History Project here.
April 2, 2012
Pinnacle Files for Chapter 11
Pinnacle Airlines Corporation has become the latest U.S. carrier to resort to the Chapter 11 process in the hopes of reorganizing a business model that has produced shortfalls in liquidity and profitability. See Jeremy Lemer, Pinnacle Files for Bankruptcy Protection, Financial Times, April 2, 2012 (available here). The U.S. regional carrier market, which operates short-haul routes primarily for the purpose of feeding the larger airlines, has struggled in recent years with high oil prices and reduced payments from major carriers. Pinnacle, which acquired Colgan Air in 2007 and Mesaba Aviation in 2010, apparently intends to wind down its Colgan operations, which serve United, and focus on its contracts with Delta. See Jerry Zremski, Colgan Parent Company Pinnacle Airlines Files for Bankruptcy, Buffalo News, April 2, 2012 (available here). Delta has agreed to provide financing to help Pinnacle restructure.