You may know Airbus as that Boeing competitor that also makes planes, but the European company is in fact an defense and aerospace giant that makes helicopters, satellites, and drones, and now it's using its aircraft not just to move people, but to give those on the ground a whole new view from the skies. A year-old effort called Airbus Aerial will seek to serve climate modelers, farmers, city planners, engineers, first responders, and anybody else who needs a a particular view of the world. The company combines data from observation satellites (of which Airbus is the largest global operator), manned planes with cameras slung underneath, and drones, to get to the places others can't reach. Airbus Aerial packages it all up, and presents it neatly to the customer, via a cloud-based interface. "It's a very complex thing to just say'I need satellite data'," says Jesse Kallman, president of the company.
The tech giant will build a $1.39 billion hub for drone delivery service Amazon Prime Air at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Kentucky. The Cincinnati Business Courier reported the news on Tuesday and Amazon confirmed it with a press release shortly after. The 900-acre project will serve as Amazon's primary air cargo hub and as the home to its fleet of Prime Air cargo planes. Amazon leased 40 dedicated cargo planes last year, and 16 of them are in service today. "As we considered places for the long-term home for our air hub operations, Hebron quickly rose to the top of the list with a large, skilled workforce, centralized location with great connectivity to our nearby fulfillment locations, and an excellent quality of living for employees.
A Memphis Airport Authority official told Reuters that it had also been picked and that FedEx Corp is a partner that will use drones for inspection of aircraft at its hub in Tennessee as well as parts deliveries for aircraft and some package deliveries between the airport and other Memphis locations. Another partner is General Electric Co, Memphis said.
WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday that 43 flights into New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport were required to hold after drone sightings at a nearby airport on Tuesday, while nine flights were diverted. The incident comes as major U.S. airports are assessing the threat of drones and have been holding meetings to address the issue. The issue of drones impacting commercial air traffic came to the fore after London's second-busiest airport, Gatwick Airport, was severely disrupted in December when drones were sighted on three consecutive days. An FAA spokesman said that Tuesday's event lasted for 21 minutes. The flights into Newark, the 11th-busiest U.S. airport, were suspended after a drone was seen flying at 3,500 feet over nearby Teterboro Airport, a small regional airport about 17 miles (27.3 km) away that mostly handles corporate jets and private planes.
"This is one more incident that could have brought down an airliner, and it's completely unacceptable," she said in a statement. Operators also must keep their drones away from other aircraft and groups of people. The FAA has received at least 42 reports of drones flying unsafely near LAX, the nation's second-busiest airport, since April 2014, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis last fall of federal data released by Feinstein. The data shows nearly 200 pilot reports of close encounters involving drones in California alone during the past two years, the most of any state, according to the Times. In a 2014 letter to the FAA, Feinstein cited three instances in which drones flew dangerously close to passenger planes near major airports -- two on the same day in May of that year at New York City's LaGuardia Airport and LAX, and another at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in March 2013.