AFGE leader warns Trump budget cuts at TSA, FEMA, Coast Guard endanger public safety

Budget cuts being proposed by the Trump administration will make America less secure and endanger the lives of the public and our public servants, the head of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) said.

The Trump administration is proposing double digit percentage budget cuts at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard´s budget would be cut by 14%, or USD 1.3bn, largely by cancelling or delaying new equipment purchases. FEMA´s budget would be cut by 11%, or USD 370m, by slashing funding for a program to counter violent extremism and prepare for a wide-scale terrorist attack, as well as cutting grants for port transit security by 40%.

TSA´s budget would be cut by 11%, or USD 500m. This includes a USD 65m cut in behavioral detection officers, who monitor airports for suspicious behavior, and a USD 55m cut in local law enforcement grants to airports, which help fund a local police presence in and around US airports.

The Trump administration is proposing to slash TSA´s operating budget even as it forces the public to pay more for air travel. The security ticket fee charged by airline passengers would increase by USD 1 to USD 6.60 for each one-way flight, which would generate USD 470m in additional revenue for DHS.

Homeland Security´s budget overall would increase 65 to USD 43.8bn in fiscal 2018, with most of the increase dedicated to the administration´s planned crackdown on illegal immigration.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

Embraer debuts the E195-E2

In a ceremony held today at the company´s facilities in Sao Jose dos Campos, Embraer presented the largest aircraft of the second generation of the E2-Jets family, the most efficient aircraft in the single aisle jet market: the E195-E2, the company said.

With the first flight scheduled for the coming months, the jet is expected to enter into service in the first half of 2019.

The E195-E2 has three additional rows of seats, when compared to the current generation E195, and it can be configured with 120 seats in two classes of service, or up to 146 in a single class. The aircraft also has a significant increase in range of 450 nautical miles, which allows trips of up to 2,450 nautical miles.

Since its launch, the E2 program has reached 690 commitments, 275 of which are firm orders and 415 of which are options and purchase rights, from both airline customers and leasing companies. Currently, the E-Jets are operating with about 70 customers in 50 countries, being the global leader in the segment of aircraft with up to 130 seats, with over 50% market share.

Embraer, headquartered in Brazil, is a manufacturer of commercial jets that seat up to 130 passengers. Nearly 900 aircraft from the 37, 44 and 50-seat ERJ 145 family of regional jets have been delivered to airlines since their introduction in 1996. The E-Jet family includes four larger aircraft that have between 70 and 130 seats. The company has received 1,700 firm orders for this aircraft family; more than 1,300 have been delivered. The company maintains industrial units, offices, service and parts distribution centers, among other activities, across the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe.

Southwest, HACU partner to enable Hispanic college students to travel home

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) and The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) have partnered for the 13th annual “¡Lánzate! / Take Off!” Program, which will provide selected Latino college students with a designated number of trips on Southwest Airlines to travel home to see family, the airline said.

Applicants must show economic need and be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at least 200 miles from home. Education advocates and HACU leaders from across the country will form a diverse selection panel this summer to choose the 2017 program recipients. Students can submit applications through April 14, 2017.

More than 1,900 roundtrips have been awarded to students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees since the program´s inception in 2005.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the US, Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. The association´s headquarters are located in San Antonio, Texas, with offices in Washington, DC, and Sacramento, California. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) operates a network of 101 destinations in the United States and eight additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season. Its 53,000 employees serve more than 100 million customers annually. As of December 31, 2015, it operated 704 Boeing 737 aircraft.

SBN awards Clear Channel Airports 5-year contract for digital media program

South Bend International Airport (SBN) has awarded Clear Channel Airports (CCA), a brand division of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA) (NYSE: CCO), and a subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc., a five-year contract with a five year extension option to provide a cutting edge digital media program, the company said.

The new advertising network with allow national and regional advertisers to reach a diverse passenger base travelling through SBN. CCA has been the out of home (OOH) advertising provider to SBN since 1994 and CCA will begin installing the new digital media program May 1, 2017.

For the new advanced advertising program, CCA will place a video wall in SBN´s baggage claim area, tension fabric displays by the baggage claim inventory and in the pre-security inventory, and 2 charging stations in the concourse area, among other elements.

Clear Channel Airports has been dedicated to airport advertising for more than 40 years. The company, a division of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO), one of the world´s largest outdoor advertising companies, currently operates more than 250 airport programs across the globe and has a presence in 31 of the top 50 US markets with major airports.

Bell Helicopter unveils FCX-001 rotorcraft

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has unveiled the FCX-001, its vision for the future of rotorcraft, the company said.

The FCX-001, Bell Helicopter´s first concept aircraft, was built to address the evolving demands of customers and demonstrate key technologies that revolutionize the pilot and passenger experience.

Bell Helicopter formed a core group of engineers and a team of graphic designers that proved to be a highly collaborative team of problem solvers. It was through this process that the FCX-001, a concept aircraft, came to light to physically demonstrate a new way of thinking.

Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell´s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services.

Thales, SES choose Hughes for next-generation aviation connectivity network

Thales, SES S.A. and Hughes Network Systems have announced a set of strategic agreements to enhance the delivery of FlytLIVETM, Thales´ connected inflight experience solution, offering the most advanced and efficient aeronautical connectivity solution available in the Americas, the companies said.

Under the agreements, SES contracts capacity on Hughes EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX high throughput (HTS) Ka-band satellites to complement its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network giving FlytLIVE the only redundant coverage network in North America.

SES will also purchase multiple JUPITER System gateways from Hughes to qualify Thales to deploy its FlytLIVE service on Hughes JUPITER Aeronautical platform. This will allow Thales to initiate its next-generation connected inflight experience offering in North America this year.

FlytLIVE by Thales provides an advanced, seamless inflight connectivity solution with unmatched performance and redundancy, giving passengers the full broadband Internet connectivity, including the ability to stream Internet services for video, games, social media and live television, creating an immersive and engaging experience in the air.

In addition, this new service enables airlines to upload content, download operational data, and provide live television channels to their entire fleet through managed end-to-end solutions and network services.

Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defense and Security markets.

SES is a satellite operator and the first to deliver a differentiated and scalable GEO-MEO offering worldwide, with more than 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 12 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).

Hughes Network Systems provides broadband satellite technology and services for home and office.

Motorola Solutions, ComEd join forces for diversity in workplace

Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) is hosting a series of events to celebrate International Women´s Day (IWD), observed today globally, the company said.

As part of the company´s continued commitment to diversity of people and ideas, a discussion about inclusion, culture and leadership was held March 7 featuring the leaders of two Chicago-based technology companies: Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown and ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore.

A cornerstone of Brown´s conversation with Pramaggiore, which was attended by Motorola Solutions employees in-person and virtually, was the importance of education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for young women and other underrepresented groups. Both Motorola Solutions and ComEd invest in STEM education to inspire the next generation of technology workers as part of their respective philanthropic and corporate responsibility programs.

Over the past 10 years, the Motorola Solutions Foundation has provided more than USD 45m in education grants through its “Innovation Generation” program, which supports STEM education-focused initiatives such as Girls Who Code. Since 2014, ComEd´s nationally recognized, award-winning Icebox Derby has paired young women with ComEd engineers to build solar-powered cars out of old refrigerators in an educational and fun competition.

In addition to Brown´s conversation with Pramaggiore, Motorola Solutions´ global Women´s Business Council will offer International Women´s Day activities throughout the week at locations in the US, U.K., Israel, Poland, Australia and Malaysia, where about 40 percent of engineers are women. Events include panel discussions, fundraising events and networking opportunities around this year´s theme for International Women´s Day: #BeBoldForChange.

Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) creates innovative, mission-critical communication solutions and services that help public safety and commercial customers build safer cities and thriving communities. For ongoing news, visit or subscribe to a news feed.

Commonwealth Edison company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation´s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10m customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8m customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state´s population.

GE Aviation wins USD 4.1m US Army contract to develop silicon carbide power electronics

GE Aviation has been awarded a USD 4.1m contract from the US Army to develop and demonstrate silicon carbide-based power electronics supporting high-voltage next generation ground vehicle electrical power architecture, the company said.

The USD 4.1m contract will result in three hardware deliverables after a 24-month development program that will demonstrate the benefits of GE´s Silicon Carbide MOSFET technology in a 200kW starter generator controller. The integrated starter generator controller (ISGC) will provide sensored and sensorless control for multiple generator types in a single line replaceable unit weighing less than 50 pounds. It will operate at 125 degrees C ambient in bi-directional operation for engine start. The ISGC will utilize 105 degrees C coolant and will be CANbus programmable.

The contract is GE´s 5th in support of the US ARMY´s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) next generation vehicle electrical power architecture leap-ahead technology development. It will result in a prototype demonstration in 2018.

DCS Corporation is the contracting agent for US Army TARDEC. DCS develops advanced technology solutions and provides acquisition management expertise for US Army aviation, ground vehicle, soldier systems, and missile systems.

DCS provides management solutions to Government agencies in the national security sector to ensure the success of each client´s mission and to actively contribute to the well-being of the Nation.

GE´s Global Research Center is leading the development of silicon carbide MOSFET technology across multiple industries including Aviation, Healthcare and Energy in particular.

General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) operates as an infrastructure and technology company worldwide. The company´s Aviation segment provides designs and produces commercial and military aircraft engines, integrated digital components, and electric power and mechanical aircraft systems; and aftermarket services.

Comtech Telecommunications declares USD 0.10 cash dividend

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (NASDAQ: CMTL) board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD 0.10 per share, payable on May 19, 2017, to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 19, 2017.

The dividend is the company´s 27th consecutive quarterly dividend.

The board is currently targeting the fourth quarter fiscal 2017 dividend to be USD 0.10 per common share. Future dividends remain subject to compliance with financial covenants under the company´s Secured Credit Facility as well as Board approval.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. designs, develops, produces and markets innovative products, systems and services for advanced communications solutions. The company sells products to a diverse customer base in the global commercial and government communications markets.

Waypoint leases Airbus H145 to Acher Aviation for offshore operations in South Africa

Limerick, Ireland-based Waypoint Leasing Limited has signed an agreement to lease an Airbus H145 helicopter to Acher Aviation, supporting offshore oil and gas operations, the company said.

Since its inception in 2013, Waypoint has been active in supporting oil and gas, utility, firefighting and other industrial-focused helicopter operators. Waypoint´s portfolio includes more than 140 aircraft for 28 customers in 30 countries with total assets in excess of USD 1.6bn. Additionally, Waypoint has firm and option orders with aircraft manufacturers for more than 110 helicopters valued at more than USD 1.3bn, to be delivered over the next five years.

Waypoint is a global helicopter leasing company that provides operating lease and financing solutions to helicopter operators worldwide. In addition to Ireland, Waypoint has offices in London, the United States, Canada, Singapore, Brazil, South Africa, and Australia.

Acher has specialized in 24 hour offshore service activities by helicopter for the past sixteen years. Highly developed safety structures, administration, training, and carefully selected twin engine helicopters have allowed in excess of one hundred and forty thousand safe hoist operations to be conducted, complemented by many thousands of deck landings.