Focus remains on tracking technology

Updated 03 June 2016
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Focus remains on tracking technology

DUBLIN: Global airlines expect to agree by year end the best way of ensuring faster recovery of data from the flight recorders which might help shed light on disasters such as the disappearance of EgyptAir MS804.
Aircraft tracking was already a priority since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 in 2014 and the UN’s aviation agency ICAO said in March new aircraft needed to be equipped with improved means to have their black boxes recovered, or data from them made available in a timely manner, by 2021.
Gilberto Lopez Meyer, senior vice president for safety and flight operations at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said the organization would by the end of year state its view on which of various possible techniques would be best.
“I believe that by the end of this year we should have a concrete and definite position on this issue,” he said.
“IATA is in discussions. Every single option has pros and cons.”
Black boxes could either stream their data live or be fitted with a deployable beacon, or automatic deployable flight recorder, to make them quicker to find.
One concern related to a beacon system is accidental deployment, while a data streaming system would create huge amounts of data for all aircraft.
Under standards brought in by ICAO, aircraft will by 2018 have to carry devices which can transmit their location at least once a minute in cases of distress.


Foreign investment in Bahrain rising sharply, authorities say

Updated 25 September 2018
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Foreign investment in Bahrain rising sharply, authorities say

DUBAI: New foreign direct investment in Bahrain more than doubled in the first nine months of 2018 as the kingdom marketed itself as a base for companies to access the region, especially Saudi Arabia, data released on Tuesday showed.
Investment commitments between January and September jumped 138 percent from a year ago to a record $810 million from 76 firms, said the Economic Development Board, an investment promotion agency. That compared to $733 million in all of 2017, and was over five times the amount of FDI in 2015.
The rise in FDI is good news for Bahrain’s balance of payments, which has been under pressure as the kingdom runs fiscal and current account deficits fueled by low oil prices.
The central bank’s net foreign reserves hit a one-year low of 499.4 million dinars ($1.32 billion) in July, although they rebounded to 734.2 million dinars last month.
Manufacturing and logistics accounted for most foreign investment in the first nine months of this year, the EDB said. Some companies are locating operations in Bahrain to take advantage of reforms in Saudi Arabia, which aims to develop non-oil industries such as mining, light manufacturing and tourism.
Bahrain also wants to become a center for financial technology; last year it created a “regulatory sandbox” allowing companies in the field to experiment without facing normal regulatory constraints.
This year it established a $100 million fund of funds to support technology start-ups across the region, which it hopes will attract venture capital firms to Bahrain.