Saturday, January 27, 2018

Week in review (1/21 to 1/27)

The week ended on an upbeat note for plane-maker Bombardier.

A U.S. trade commission handed a victory to the Canadian company, ruling that Bombardier can sell its newest jets to U.S. airlines without heavy duties. The vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission was 4-0 that Bombardier’s prices did not harm Boeing. That decision discards a U.S. Commerce Department recommendation to slap a near 300 percent duty on sales of the company's CSeries jets.

Chicago-based Boeing claimed it was forced to discount its 737 narrow-bodies to compete with Bombardier, which it said used government subsidies to dump the CSeries during the 2016 sale of 75 jets to Delta Air Lines. Bombardier called the trade case self-serving after Boeing revealed last month that it was discussing a "potential combination" with Brazil’s Embraer, which also builds smaller passenger jets.

Plans continue to move forward on a venture with Europe's Airbus, in which Airbus would take a majority stake in the CSeries and assemble them in Mobile, Ala. Those planes would be sold to U.S. carriers. (Post)

Before the ITC decision, Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., wrote to the head of the trade commission to express support for Bombardier. Byrne wrote that a decision favoring Boeing would take work away from U.S. suppliers and quash thousands of U.S. jobs. Byrne represents the district that includes Mobile. (Post)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott stopped by Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla., during the week to congratulate everyone who helped get Tyndall Air Force Base selected as the preferred site for the MQ-9 Reaper wing.

Scott was one of many people who attended a ceremony at the school’s Advanced Technology Center. An environmental analysis, which could take nine months to two years, still has to be completed before it’s a done deal.

Airmen could arrive in 2020, with aircraft following in 2022. The wing is expected to increase Tyndall's workforce by more than 30 percent. (Post)

-- Some 400 prime contractors, subcontractors, military officials, contracting officers, and defense agencies are expected to attend the two-day 2018 Air Force Contracting Summit beginning Jan. 29 at the Sandestin Beach Golf Resort at Miramar Beach, Fla.

During the summit, speakers and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the mission and contracting priorities of the U.S. Air Force, address contracting procedures for small businesses, identify federal contracting resources and connect prime contractors with new subcontractors. (Post)

-- Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla., along with naval installations across the country will participate in Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2018 Jan. 29 – Feb. 9. The exercise is designed to enhance the readiness of Navy security forces and ensure seamless interoperability among the commands, other services and agency partners.

Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions within local communities and to normal base operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases or delays in base access. Area residents may also see or hear security activities associated with the exercise. (Post)

San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) successfully completed test recovery operations of NASA's Orion test article, Jan. 23. The Underway Recovery Test-6 (URT-6) is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to safely retrieve the Orion crew module, which is capable of carrying humans into deep space.

URT-6 consisted of releasing the test capsule from the well deck, then maneuvering the ship alongside the capsule at slow speed and retrieving it. The tests allowed NASA and the Navy to continue to demonstrate and evaluate the recovery processes, procedures, hardware and personnel in real, open-ocean environment before conducting actual recovery operations.

The space-bound Orion is built at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and the RS-25 engines that will power the first stage of the Space Launch System are tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Post)

Enterprise State Community College will receive $2.5 million to expand the Alabama Aviation College in Ozark, Ala. The funds are part of the Alabama Capital Improvement Trust Fund which awards funds for projects that promote economic development and industrial recruitment in the state.

The Alabama Aviation College offers training and course work in one of Alabama’s fastest growing career fields. There are programs in aircraft maintenance and avionics technology. The funds will be used to renovate campus infrastructure to expand the College’s Advanced Composite Training Program and prepare the campus for future program expansions. (Post)

W.W. Gay Fire Protection Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., was awarded a $7.8 million task order under a previously awarded design-build multiple award construction contract for replacement of fire suppression system, aqueous film forming foam, hangars 1853 and 1854, at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. Work will be performed in Pensacola and is expected to be completed by January 2019. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, is the contracting activity.

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