Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

Monday, October 10, 2016

South Africa basks in continent's first solar-powered airport

Yahoo –AFP, Beatrice Debut, October 9, 2016

George, a town of just 150,000 residents on South Africa's south coast, is home
to Africa's first 'green' airport to be powered by the sun (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

George (South Africa) (AFP) - At first glance there's nothing out of the ordinary about the regional airport in George, a town of just 150,000 residents on South Africa's south coast.

In fact though, the small site is Africa's first "green" airport to be powered by the sun.

The control tower, escalators, check-in desks, baggage carousels, restaurants and ATMs -- every service here depends on a small solar power station, located a few hundred metres away in a field of dandelions next to a runway.

Its 2,000 solar panels produce up to 750 kW every day, easily surpassing the 400 kW needed to run the airport.

The excess is fed back into the municipal power grid, and a computer screen in the terminal informs passengers: "Within this month (September), 274 households were supplied through this system with green electricity."

For environmentally-conscious travellers keen to reduce their carbon footprint, it's a welcome development.

"Planes have such a big carbon print," said passenger Brent Petersen, 33, in George. "If we compensate, that's cool."

George Airport was originally built in apartheid-era South Africa in 1977 to make getting home easier for PW Botha, a government minister at the time and later president.

It now serves as a transit hub for shipments of homegrown flowers and oysters, as well as golfers visiting one of the region's many courses. Some 700,000 passengers pass through its doors each year.

The solar plant, launched in September 2015, is the second solar-run airport in the world after Cochin airport in southern India.

Nestled between the Indian Ocean on one side and the majestic Outeniqua Mountains on the other, George was a surprising location for the first attempt at a solar-powered airport in South Africa.

Africa gets is first solar-powered airport in George, with a plant that converts 
solar energy into direct current electricity using solar panels (AFP Photo/
Gianluigi Guercia)

Ambitious project

The town's weather is unpredictable: in the space of half an hour, the temperature can plummet by 10 degrees celsius, the blue skies quickly replaced by a steady drizzle.

But so far, so good: even on overcast days, the plant still produces some power.

At night or when necessary, the system automatically switches over to the traditional power grid.

"The thinking was if we put (the solar system) in the worst unpredictable weather, it will absolutely work in any other airport in the country," the airport's maintenance director Marclen Stallenberg told AFP.

The environmental value of the ambitious project is already evident.

Since solar became the airport's main source of power, the hub has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 1,229 tonnes –- the equivalent of 103,934 litres of fuel.

The electricity bill has been cut by 40 percent in the space of a year, "which is a plus for me on the budget," said airport manager Brenda Voster.

Voster says it will take another five to 10 years to pay off the initial 16-million rand ($1.2 million) cost.

Meanwhile, regular power cuts, which in recent years have plagued Africa's most developed economy, are a thing of the past, she adds.

Heavily dependent on coal, which is the source of 90 percent of the country's electricity, South Africa is looking to diversify its options to avoid power cuts.

Robyn Spence, who works at Dollar car hire company at the airport, said they "had to replace quite a few computers" fried by electricity surges caused by power cuts last year –- no longer an issue with the solar system.

George airport's 2,000 solar panels produce up to 750 kW every day, easily 
surpassing the 400 kW needed to run the facility (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

Untapped potential

But not all the retailers at the airport are feeling the benefits yet.

Lelona Madlingozi, a kitchen manager at Illy restaurant in the main terminal, said they had two power cuts lasting about three hours each just a month earlier. "We could not sell anything in the shop," she said.

Restaurants, said the airport, are not one of the essential services prioritised during power cuts.

Expanding the use of renewable energy is a key focus for management firm, Airports Company South Africa, said its president Skhumbuzo Macozoma.

The company's goal is to achieve "carbon neutrality", or net zero carbon emissions, by 2030.

In a country with an estimated average of 8.5 hours of sunshine a day throughout the year, solar's untapped potential looks huge.

After the success in George, the airports in Kimberley -- South Africa's diamond capital -- and Upington near the Namibian border have also gone green, with three other regional airports next in line.

George Airport now plans on increasing the capacity of the small power station by an extra 250 kW and will soon install batteries capable of conserving energy generated during the day for use at night.

Related Article:

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Mauritius wing debris from missing MH370: Australia

Yahoo – AFP, October 7, 2016

A trailing edge section of Boeing 777 left, outboard flap, originating from the
Malaysian Airlines aircraft registered 9M-MRO (MH370), the Australian
Transport Safety Bureau said (AFP Photo)

Sydney (AFP) - A piece of wing debris found in Mauritius is from MH370, Australian authorities said Friday as they cautioned the discovery shed no new light on the missing passenger jet's specific location.

The composite debris, recovered from the island nation in May, is the latest fragment found along western Indian Ocean shorelines linked to Malaysia Airlines MH370.

The Boeing 777 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 carrying 239 passengers and crew.

Despite an extensive underwater search in the southern Indian Ocean far off Western Australia's coast where investigators believe the plane crashed, no trace of the aircraft has been found there.

The wing part "was a trailing edge section of Boeing 777 left, outboard flap, originating from the Malaysian Airlines aircraft registered 9M-MRO (MH370)", the government agency leading the search, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), said in a report.

"A part number was identified on a section of the debris," the ATSB said, adding that another "unique work order number" assigned by the flap manufacturer corresponded to MH370.

Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said investigators "remain hopeful" MH370 would be found.

"The finding of this debris... continues to affirm the focus of search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean," Chester said in a statement.

A large piece of debris found in Tanzania that has been confirmed as a
 part of a wing flap from missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet MH370 
(AFP Photo)

"It does not, however, provide information that can be used to determine a specific location of the aircraft."

The ATSB report came two weeks after the agency said officials had yet to link debris recovered from Madagascar by US amateur investigator Blaine Gibson to MH370 or a Boeing 777.

Officials also said the debris found in Madagascar was not exposed to fire, quashing earlier speculation.

The failure to locate any debris in the search zone has fuelled speculation the plane may have crashed outside the area.

Several pieces of debris linked to the flight have been discovered along western Indian Ocean shorelines -- in Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius.

The Mauritius part is the third fragment to be confirmed as coming from MH370. Malaysia said in mid-September that debris found in June off Tanzania came from the doomed airliner.

The first piece found -- a two-metre (six-foot) wing part known as a flaperon that washed up on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion in July 2015 -- was confirmed by French authorities as from MH370.

More than 110,000 square kilometres of the search area has been scoured so far, Australia said this week, adding that the hunt was set to be completed in December.

Aviation industry agrees deal to curb carbon emissions

The international airline industry has reached deal on limiting carbon emissions, billed as the first such worldwide deal for a single sector. Critics say aspects of the plan are unfair - or just too little, too late.

Deutsche Welle, 7 Oct 2016

The agreement to set limits was adopted by the overwhelmingly by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at a meeting in Montreal on Thursday.

The deal was approved by a meeting of the ICAO's 191 member states.

Airlines that exceed limits, as most are expected to do, will have to buy credits from other industries to offset their emissions.

To avoid them having to do so, the ICAO - a UN agency - is pushing for great use of fuel-efficient engines that run on biofuels, lighter aircraft materials and route optimization.

"It's a document arising from compromises and consensus," said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of ICAO's governing council.

Malaysia's aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, who chaired the session said the deal - to cap carbon-dioxide emissions at 2020 levels by 2035 - was "historic."

The first phase of the airline agreement - which is voluntary - covers 2021 to 2027, while participation will become mandatory from 2028 through to 2035.

Responsibility for putting the agreement into effect will fall onto individual nations.

India and Russia sit out voluntary phase

More than 60 states - representing some 8 percent of global air traffic - will participate in the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.

Russia and India have already said they will not join the voluntary phase, and said the deal placed an unfair burden on emerging countries. However, China - which also expressed reservations - said it would take part.

The system is the first global emissions pact to cover a single, specific industry. However, there has been criticism that the arrangement will fail to sufficiently reduce emissions from commercial flights.

The fact that the initial phase is a voluntary one, and that exceptions are in place to protect smaller aviation markets, has led environmentalists to suggest that the scheme will not achieve its aims.

"This agreement is a timid step in the right direction when we need to be sprinting," said Greenpeace UK Chief Scientist Doug Parr.

rc/bw (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Indonesia and Airbus Join Hands on Sustainable Aviation Development

Jakarta Globe, Sarah Yuniarni, October 03, 2016

French aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation's
Directorate General of Civil Aviation have signed a long-term partnership in
Montreal, Canada, in a bid to mitigate aircraft carbon emissions. (Reuters Photo/

Edgar Su)

Jakarta. French aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation's Directorate General of Civil Aviation have signed a long-term partnership in Montreal, Canada, in a bid to mitigate aircraft carbon emissions.

The agreement to share information and conduct best practices in improving sustainable aviation development was signed on Sept. 26, during the two-day World Aviation Forum on Aviation Partnerships for Sustainable Development, which was organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Under the terms of the agreement, Airbus will assist Indonesia to implement environmental best practices and equip its latest-generation aircraft with the company's newest technologies to optimize air traffic management and the use of sustainable fuels to reduce noise and fuel emissions.

The Airbus "Sustainable Aviation Engagement Program" was established by the Airbus in 2015 to educate and share information on environmental issues with airplane operators worldwide.

"We are very pleased to see the sustainable aviation engagement program taking shape with world-leading airlines," Airbus environment head Jean-Luc Taupiac said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Monday (03/10).

He added that the company is working closely with its customers and building long-term partnerships with them.

Civil Aviation director general Suprasetyo said in the statement that Indonesia is committed to reducing emissions and demonstrating the change in environmental performance on the next-generation aircraft, as the demand for flights keep growing in the archipelago.

He said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation seeks to work with strategic partners and welcomes the opportunity to work closely with Airbus.

Related Article:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dutch ports at centre of dirty diesel trade, Swiss report claims

DutchNews, September 19, 2016

A lorry near Accra. Photo: Carl De Keyzer – Magnum 

Swiss commodity trading firms are exploiting lax regulatory standards to sell toxic fuel to Africa and much of the dirty diesel is stored in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, according to a report by Swiss NGO Public Eye

Rotterdam oil firm Vitol and Dutch Swiss Trafigura, have major refining and storage interests in the Netherlands and in Antwerp where crude oil is mixed with other substances to keep prices low, Public Eye claims.

‘The 160-page report also shows that the trading companies not only ship dirty diesel and dirty gasoline — and in some areas even sell it at their own pumps — but also produce both fuels themselves,’ Public Eye said.

‘On land or at sea, they mix up a petrochemical cocktail from refinery products and other components known in the industry as “African Quality”. These toxic fuels are mainly mixed in the ARA-Zone (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) where Swiss trading firms have their own refineries and storage facilities,’ the report said. 

Banned substances

Many West African countries that export high grade crude oil to Europe receive toxic low quality fuel in return. 

Public Eye researchers drew fuel at local pumps in eight countries and found diesel samples contained up to 378 times more sulfur than is permitted in Europe. Other toxic substances, such as benzene and poly-cyclical aromatic hydrocarbons, were also found in concentrations that are banned in Europe. 


‘It is unacceptable that we continue to supply developing countries with sub-standard fuels and vehicles, which result in major health impacts by increasing air pollution,’ said Eric Solheim, executive director of the UN’s environment programme.

‘In our globalized economy, there are good reasons to universallyapply clean fuel and vehicle standards in every country. Dumping old and dirty substances and technologies needs to stop now.’ 

According to Trouw, both Vitol and Trafigura say they support measures to reduce pollution and will reduce the level of sulfur permitted in fuel if the countries concerned change the regulations.

Related Article:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Legal eagles recruited to take down drones after successful police trial

DutchNews, September 12, 2016

Photo: politie.nl 
The Netherlands has become the first country to recruit police eagles to take out drones in mid-flight following a successful trial. 

Police began training the birds of prey in January, despite concerns from some animal welfare experts that the exercise could damage their claws. A spokesman told NRC there had been no injuries so far but protective gear could be introduced.

‘A common or garden drone has no impact on the claws of a bird of prey, but very large drones with powerful motors could cause lacerations,’ he said. ‘We are currently looking at protective measures such as a sort of clawed shoe for the birds’ feet.’ 

‘A lot of drones have perished [during the exercise],’ he added. 

The move is in response to concerns about the growing risk of drones being flown in unauthorised airspace, such as close to an airport, or interfering with other aircraft such as rescue helicopters. 

The birds which were trained in the trial are owned by a private company, but police will now recruit their own flying squad for active service.

‘Police have purchased four month-old American sea eagle chicks. From next summer they will go out hunting drones,’ the spokesman said.

Related Article:

Eagles v drones: Dutch police to take on rogue aircraft with flying squad

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The shifting of the Earth’s poles means a change at Cork Airport

The poles ain’t where they used to be, apparently.

Thejournal.ie, Jan 20th 2016

Image: Sean Barry via Flickr/CC
CORK AIRPORT IS to change the numbers assigned to its runways for the first time ever.
The move comes after shifts in the earth’s magnetic poles.

Each airport runway is assigned a runway designator number. The runway designator is made up of a two digit number displayed at each side of the runway, which shows its magnetic heading nearest the full 10 degrees.

The main runways at Cork Airport have been numbered as runway 17 and runway 35 since 1961 and the drifting of the Earth’s magnetic poles has shifted the runways’ magnetic headings, which now stand at 164°M and 344°M, respectively.

Pole shift is a constantly occurring geological phenomenon, in which the Earth’s magnetic field shifts.

Nasa says:
Earth’s polarity is not a constant. Unlike a classic bar magnet, or the decorative magnets on your refrigerator, the matter governing Earth’s magnetic field moves around. Geophysicists are pretty sure that the reason Earth has a magnetic field is because its solid iron core is surrounded by a fluid ocean of hot, liquid metal.

The numbers are required to change in April 2016 in order to remain safety compliant and licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority.

Speaking about the change Ciaran Carton, General Manager of Operators at Cork Airport said:
This is an unusual occurrence for Cork Airport as an airport runway number only changes approximately once in every 50 years. The different runway numbers are crucial for pilots during take-off, landing and taxiing.

“There will also be an alteration of software systems, new airfield mapping and a change in communications with private and commercial pilots. Additionally, we will be replacing the taxiway signage and painting new designation numbers on runway thresholds.”

Related Articles:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Inaugural commercial flight from US lands in Cuba

Yahoo – AFP, Hector Velasco, with Leila Macor in Fort Lauderdale, August 31, 2016

JetBlue Flight 386 departs for Cuba from Fort Lauderdale airport, Florida, on
August 31, 2016 (AFP Photo/Rhona Wise)

Santa Clara (Cuba) (AFP) - The first regular commercial flight in more than 50 years from the United States landed in Cuba on Wednesday, as the two nations took the latest step in their efforts to boost ties.

JetBlue Flight 387 landed in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara a little before 11:00 am (1500 GMT), about an hour after leaving Fort Lauderdale in southeastern Florida with 150 passengers on board.

The plane was greeted with a water cannon salute, an aviation tradition in which aircraft pass under arcs of water before flying to their destinations for the first time. Its departure from Florida was celebrated the same way.

The first two passengers off the plane carried US and Cuban flags as they descended the stairs onto the tarmac, where they symbolically exchanged the banners in a sign of friendship.

The plane was scheduled to complete the round trip later in the day, returning to Fort Lauderdale.

The flight was the first of 110 expected daily trips connecting US cities to airports in the Communist-run island, many of them in or near tourism hotspots.

Regular air service was severed during the Cold War, and charter flights have been the only air links since.

US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the watershed.

"The 1st US commercial flight to #Cuba since 1961, just over a year after raising the flag at US Embassy Havana. Another step fwd," he wrote on Twitter.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who was on the JetBlue flight, will meet with local officials during his visit, Cuba's transport ministry said.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx arrives at the airport of Santa Clara, Cuba
 on August 31, 2016 on the first commercial flight between the United States and
Cuba since 1961 (AFP Photo/Alejandro Ernesto)

Party in Florida

The Fort Lauderdale airport was in full party mode near Jet Blue's departure area -- a live salsa band blared Cuban favorites as passengers and bystanders broke into spontaneous dances.

There were cheers, applause and a sea of balloons as boarding for the historic flight got underway.

For some, there were also tears of joy.

"I am so proud, so overcome with emotion," said Domingo Santana, 53, who left Cuba when he was just six years old.

Since then, he said, "I've never been in my country. I don't know my country," adding: "It's a great opportunity."

History in the making

The JetBlue flight was flown by Captain Mark Luaces and First Officer Francisco Barreras, both Americans of Cuban descent, the airline said.

One passenger, Aleisy Barreda, 46, was overcome with emotion.

Passengers arriving at the airport of Santa Clara, Cuba on August 31, 
2016 (AFP Photo/Yamil Lage)

"This reopening has really benefitted us," she gushed.

"Not only in terms of the ticket prices, but also in terms of how much easier it is to purchase them," she said -- a reference to the rock bottom promotional ticket price starting at $99 one way, including checked bag.

"Now we only need more vacation time!"

The last regular commercial flight between the two countries took place in 1961, when air links fell victim to the Cold War.

Air travel between the United States and Cuba has been restricted to charter flights since 1979.

Washington and Havana agreed in February to restore direct commercial flights -- one of several watershed changes initiated in December 2014, when US President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro announced a thaw after more than 50 years of hostility.

Diplomatic relations were restored in July 2015.


Washington still bans Americans from visiting Cuba as tourists, but travel is permitted for 12 other categories, including cultural and educational exchange.

The renewed links are a "milestone" in relations between the United States and Cuba, said Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.

Regular flights "will allow more fluid movement of people, goods, information and ideas between two places that are very close geographically but distant politically," he said.

Cuban ambassador to the United States Jose Cabanas unveils a 
poster during a press conference at Fort Lauderdale airport, Florida, on 
August 31, 2016 (AFP Photo/Rhona Wise)

Cuba: 'Hot' travel destination

Of the 3.5 million tourists in Cuba in 2015, only 161,000 were Americans.

However, that number was up 77 percent from the previous year and Americans are now expected to become a major component in a growth industry expected to reach 6.8 million visitors in 2018.

Travel agents said US interest in making the short journey to the island has skyrocketed.

"There's a lot of interest in Cuba. It's the hot, 'in' place right now," said Frank Gonzalez, owner of the Mambi travel agency which offers packages to the island from the United States that include cultural workshops.

Twenty daily routes to Havana are pending.

The airlines designated to fly to the nine Cuban airports -- not including Havana -- include American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines, according to the US government.

Flights departing from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Minneapolis and Philadelphia will head to the Cuban cities Camaguey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguin, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Passengers flee Emirates jet after Dubai crash-landing

Yahoo – AFP, Ali Khalil with Karim Abou Merhi, August 3, 2016

The Emirates airliner burst into flames following the crash-landing at Dubai
airport on August 3, 2016 (AFP Photo/Ahmed Ramzan)

Dubai (AFP) - Hundreds of passengers fled an Emirates airliner that crash-landed and caught fire in Dubai Wednesday, resulting in the death of a firefighter and a four-hour shutdown of the busy airport but no other fatalities.

The exact circumstances of the accident involving a Boeing 777 flying from India with 300 people on board were not immediately clear.

Footage on social media showed thick black smoke billowing from the aircraft on the ground.

Emirates chief executive officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum spoke of an "operational incident" that happened on landing and ruled out any "security issue".

The fire erupted on board the aircraft after the incident, he said, adding that the cause was not yet clear.

Emirates said that all passengers and crew on board flight EK521 from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai were accounted for and safe.

Sheikh Ahmed later told reporters later that 13 people on board were hospitalised, most of them for minor injuries.

The director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, Saif al-Suwaidi, said in a statement that "one of the firefighters lost his life while saving the lives of the others."

Investigators had been sent to work with Emirates and the Dubai airport authorities, he said.

Emirates said that there were 282 passengers and 18 crew members on board, including 226 Indians, 24 Britons and 11 Emirati nationals.

The Emirates Boeing 777 was carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew 
members (AFP Photo/Warwan Naamani)

Sheikh Ahmed said that the pilot was an Emirati with more than 7,000 hours of flight time and the aircraft had "all necessary inspection checks" before take-off.

Footage on social media showed thick black smoke coming out of the centre of the plane while the fuselage appeared to be lying on the runway with escape slides opened.

'I ran without my shoes'

Shaji Kochikutty, who was on board the plane with his wife and three daughters, recounted surviving the "near disaster."

"We are grateful to be alive. What more can we ask for?" the Dubai-based businessman said, speaking to weekly newspaper XPRESS.

After the plane caught fire on landing, airline staff "opened all emergency exits and guided us out," Kochikutty said.

"I first sent my three daughters. My wife went next but hurt her knee while jumping out. I bruised my feet as I ran without my shoes. We were promptly given first aid and we are all fine now," he said.

The accident comes almost four months after a plane belonging to Dubai's other carrier, flydubai, crashed and burst into flames as it was landing in Rostov-on-Don, in southern Russia, killing all 61 people onboard.

On July 26, an Emirates Boeing 777-300 aircraft heading to the Maldives made an emergency landing in Mumbai because of a "technical fault".

Airport authorities halted all operations at Dubai International Airport for around four hours Wednesday, causing delays and diversions.

Anxious passengers and relatives wait for news at Thiruvananthapuram 
airport after hearing that Emirates flight EK521 had crash-landed at Dubai
 airport on August 3, 2016 (AFP Photo)

Arriving planes were diverted to other airports in the UAE, Oman, and Bahrain, Emirates said.

Despite later resuming operations, Dubai International said its capacity was still restricted and it was operating with one runway.

It is the world's largest air hub in terms of international passengers, and is the base for Emirates, from where it serves more than 153 destinations.

Dubai opened a smaller second airport, Al-Maktoum International, in 2013.

Emirates, Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi's Etihad have seized a significant portion of transcontinental travel, capitalising on the geographic locations of their Gulf hubs.

Emirates is the largest single operator of the Boeing 777, as well as the Airbus A380 superjumbo, and expanded its fleet to 250 aircraft last year.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

University of Indonesia Designs, Launches Electric Car and Bus

University of Indonesia's electric bus was shown at UI Engineering Center,
 Depok, West Java, on Monday (18/07). (Photo courtesy of University of Indonesia)

Jakarta. The University of Indonesia on Monday (18/07) launched four electric vehicles designed by campus engineers at the university's engineering center in Depok, West Java.

The launch featured a bus and three city cars, with one car named Makara, after the UI logo.

The bus has been tested and will be used on campus, replacing traditional buses, to transport students.

The Molina UI team of engineers have also researched the impact of electric cars on economic, social, cultural and legal aspects within the community. A solar-powered recharge station is also in the development stage to complement the cars.

"Soon, this electric bus will operates transporting students around the campus to support UI green campus vision," UI rector Muhammad Anis said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday (19/07). "Considering that air pollution is already harming our society, this initiative is expected to push that issue."

"It also encourages students to master technology and not be dependable on the major car industry that has made Indonesia consumers."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dutch lorry maker DAF fined €753m for cartel forming over 14 years

DutchNews, July 19, 2016

Photo: Alf van Beem via
Wikimedia Commons
The European Commission has fined a group of truck manufacturers, including Dutch firm DAF, a total of €2.93bn for operating as an illegal cartel for 14 years. 

The commission said in a statement that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF had broken EU antitrust rules by colluding on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules. The cartel operated between 1997 and 2011, the commission said. 

Eindhoven-based DAF was given the second biggest fine of nearly €753m. 

MAN was not fined as it revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission. All companies acknowledged their involvement in the cartel and agreed to settle the case.

‘It is not acceptable that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, which together account for around nine out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other,’ competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement

DAF has been part of American listed industrial group PACCAR since 1996.

Related Article:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Self-driving bus passes first road test

DutchNews, July 18, 2016

Driverless buses could be in
service by 2020.
Self-driving buses have been tested on the open road for the first time between Schiphol airport and Haarlem. 

The buses are equipped with 20 cameras that can react to traffic lights and programmed to travel in the middle of the road. A driver sits at the controls ready to step in if the automatic system fails, BNR reported

The goal is to have the first automatic buses in service by 2020. ‘I think it’s going to be a while before we can be driven around automatically in any kind of vehicle,’ said Edith Post, of the North Holland provincial assembly, at the official launch in Amsterdam. ‘But we think it’s important to make our roads accessible and carry out these kinds of tests.’