23 Jul 14. China builds listening station in Hong Kong. The existence of a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) communications installation atop Hong Kong’s tallest mountain – the 957 m-high peak of Tai Mo Shan – recently came to light. Construction began around 2010, with a geodesic dome first appearing in satellite imagery in 2011. The facility has been operational for approximately three years. The installation sits inside a fenced compound that also includes a Civil Aviation Department terminal area radar and Hong Kong Observatory weather radar. The Hong Kong government has admitted giving the PLA a plot of land measuring 9,300 m² on which the army has constructed a geodesic dome, antenna mast, two large buildings, and a basketball court for use by the resident garrison. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Jul 14. Airbus opens Canberra headquarters. The Airbus Group opened an Asia-Pacific headquarters in Canberra on 16 July that is geared towards boosting its presence across the region. The launch of the new office coincides with the rebranding of Australian Aerospace Ltd (a subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters) as Airbus Group Australia Pacific. A statement said that Airbus Group Australia Pacific would represent Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space. It added that Airbus Group Australia Pacific would remain 100% owned by Airbus Helicopters.
Jens Goennemann, managing director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific, said: “Airbus Group Australia Pacific seeks to grow the business within the region where we have identified a range of opportunities to expand our portfolio of products… We seek to further partner with the defence forces of Australia, New Zealand and nations of the South Pacific”.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Jul 14. Malaysia launches Asia Aerospace City. Malaysia launched its Asia Aerospace City (AAC) at the Farnborough Airshow on 15 July, with the site expected to attract USD1.1bn worth of business to Malaysia by 2020. The plans for the AAC, first announced by the Malaysian government’s Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) or Council of Trust for the People in March, is to act as a technology hub for aerospace engineering services. Mara subsidiaries M-AeroTech and Pelaburan MARA Berhad (PMB) are to take control of the management of the development of the AAC, with M-AeroTech overseeing revenue generation, while PMB is to act as the master developer in meeting AAC’s infrastructure needs. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Jul 14. SpaceX buys more land at proposed South Texas launch site.
SpaceX has purchased more land near a proposed commercial rocket launch site in South Texas, according to media reports, offering another indicator that Texas will land the space exploration company’s facility.
Founded by billionaire Elon Musk, SpaceX plans to build the world’s first private, commercial vertical rocket launch site. The South Texas site — which is at Boca Chica, a remote beach surrounded by wildlife areas about 20 miles east of Brownsville — has been competing with sites in Florida and Georgia for the launch facility. Musk has portrayed Texas as the frontrunner since he testified to the Legislature in 2013. SpaceX has not made a formal announcement on the selection of Boca Chica Beach, but the company this month completed the purchase of an additional 50 acres of land at the South Texas site, the Brownsville Herald reported. Citing public records, the newspaper reported that the 50 acres were purchased through SpaceX subsidiary Dogleg Park LLC. The purchase brings SpaceX’s property holdings at Boca Chica Beach to about 100 acres. According to the final environmental impact statement from the FAA, the launch facilities would be constructed on 68.9 acres of the currently undeveloped property that SpaceX has purchased or leased. The proposed site is 17 miles east-northeast of the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport and 5 miles south of South Padre Island.
The records for the latest land