Canada's Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd. has created TerraStar, a real-time in-flight safety monitoring system that could make the post-crash search for cockpit voice and flight data recorders -- as well as some crashes -- obsolete. TerraStar tracks, and can continuously encrypt and transmit to ground-based monitoring systems, up to 18,000-plus aircraft parameters per minute. The system filters "out of spec" indications as "alert notifications," which are prioritized in remote aircraft monitoring data feeds that can be accessed in real time, online. In practice, that means that operators on the ground could know about problems with an aircraft before the plane's pilots, or (in the case of distracted or incapacitated pilots) air traffic controllers observe any symptoms. The company believes that capability could not only vastly improve scheduling and maintenance, but also provide operators with the necessary data to break some accident chains before the crash. And, in the case of Air France 447 and the recent Air India crash, it could have provided more information to investigators, immediately, says the company.
Researchers are proposing a frequent flyer tax to pay for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the airline industry. A new paper from the International Council on Clean Transportation proposed the tax as a way to fund some of the $121 billion that needs to get invested every year to decarbonize flying. "Varying the levy based on flying frequency focuses the tax burden on wealthier frequent flyers and helps ensure that people with lower incomes are not priced out of air travel because of climate policy," the study's authors, Xinyi Sola Zheng and Dan Rutherford, wrote. A sliding fee for flights beginning at $9 for the second flight and $177 for their twentieth in a given year would raise $121 billion -- versus a flat tax of $25 per ticket for all flights. For the study's authors, the tax is a way to avoid penalizing people in lower income brackets and shifting the load to the wealthiest 10 percent of the world's population. Not only would the revenues come from wea
Image Credits: Thomas Jackson / Getty Images The energy giant Shell has joined a slew of strategic investors — including All Nippon Airways, Suncor Energy, Mitsui and British Airways — in funding LanzaJet, the company commercializing a process to convert alcohol into jet fuel. A spin-off from LanzaTech , one of the last surviving climate tech startups from the first cleantech boom that’s still privately held, LanzaJet is taking a phased investment approach with its corporate backers, enabling them to invest additional capital as the company scales to larger production facilities. Terms of the initial investment, or LanzaJet’s valuation after the commitment, were not disclosed. LanzaJet claims that it can help the aviation industry reach net-zero emissions, something that would go a long way toward helping the world meet the emissions reductions targets set in the Paris Agreement . “LanzaJet’s technology opens up a new and exciting pathway to produce SAF using an AtJ process and will he