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08 Aug 13. RAF base suggested as Heathrow overspill. Heathrow airport’s capacity crunch could be solved temporarily by using RAF Northolt in west London as a base for landing short-haul passenger jets, according to a former RAF officer who used to run the military airfield. Gerry Bunn is proposing that £3bn should be spent extending Northolt’s runway so short-haul aircraft can use it from 2018, leaving Heathrow to support long-range passenger jets. But Heathrow said the plan – which would also involve building a rail link between the two sites – was unworkable, and would struggle to be operational by 2018 because of the likelihood of a planning inquiry. In a submission to the independent commission looking at airport capacity, Rothwell Aviation – a company set up by Mr Bunn – backs the case for a new hub away from Heathrow but says it cannot realistically be fully operational until the early 2030s. In the meantime, Rothwell claims action is needed urgently to boost Heathrow, which is operating at near-full capacity on its two runways, because otherwise the UK’s status as a leading international aviation hub will be lost forever. (Source: FT.com)
BATTLESPACE Comment: Ironically the Editor suggested this in a published letter to the Times last year. Given that most private jets use chauffeur driven cars, there would be very little need for a rail link.

08 Aug 13. Ellison Surface Technologies, Inc. marked the beginning of construction of its newest coating and special process facility in Guaymas, Mexico on Wednesday during a special Groundbreaking
Ceremony in the Roca Fuerte Industrial Park, one of Mexico’s fastest growing cluster for aerospace and industrial gas turbine manufacturing. The event was highlighted by a special address from Mr. Guillermo Padres Elias, Governor of the State of Sonora. Also on hand were distinguished guests Mr. Moises Gomez Reyna, Secretary of Economy for Sonora and Mr. Otto Claussen, Mayor of the City of Guaymas. Ellison Surface Technologies announced its plans to open a new thermal spray coating and special process facility during the 2012 Farnborough International Air Show. The Guaymas facility marks Ellison’s fourth and latest expansion project in the past 12 months, including new facilities in Rutland, Vermont and Bromont, Quebec as well as a 22,000 square foot expansion in Hebron, Kentucky. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)

08 Aug 13. Iran has constructed a rocket-launching site that could be used for testing ballistic missiles, a report from a military intelligence publication said on Thursday. Satellite imagery analyzed by Jane’s Intelligence Review showed extensive construction over the last three years at a site of what Jane’s says is a launch tower and pad, an area to prepare rockets for launch and an administration and support section. The Islamic Republic has pursued ambitious goals to develop its space program in recent years. In January this year it demonstrated its missile delivery systems by launching a live monkey into space and returning it safely, officials said. Western countries are concerned that long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to delivering nuclear warheads. Assertions about the site, near the town of Shahrud some 100 km (62 miles) northeast of Tehran, come weeks after Iranian officials said they would inaugurate a new space centre to launch satellites. Jane’s says the Shahrud site is one of three that will ultimately serve Iran’s space program. “Imagery analysis of the Shahrud site suggests it will be a strategic facility used to test ballistic missiles, leaving the other two sites free to handle Iran’s ambitious program of satellite launches,” said Jane’s editor Matthew Clements. Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment. Iran’s efforts to develop and test ballistic missiles and build a space launch capability have contributed to Israeli calls for pre-emptive strikes on Ira

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