By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter
Apex Flight Academy yesterday announced that it is branching out into the general aviation service market, adding that its airline is scheduled to begin operations next year after completing the required certification review.
The nation’s first and only flight training school in March secured the Civil Aeronautics Administration’s (CAA) approval to establish an office in preparation for the launch of Apex Aviation, a new airline offering domestic flights.
Since March, the company has been undergoing a five-stage certification review as per the Regulations of Civil Air Transport Enterprise (民用航空運輸業管理規則), it said.
Photo courtesy of Hualien County Government
The company’s first aircraft, a Tecnam P2012 Traveller, also landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday.
“With the arrival of our first aircraft, we are about to enter stage four of the review. We expect to complete the review by the beginning of next year and start the business afterward,” Apex said.
The twin-engine utility aircraft, which is designed and manufactured by Italian firm Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam, passed safety certifications by the US Federal Aviation Administration and the EU Aviation Safety Agency, the company said.
The cost of building a Tecnam P2012 Traveller is more than NT$110 million (US$3.96 million), it said, adding that Apex Aviation is the first Asian buyer of the aircraft.
The aircraft would initially be used to offer air tours of the East-Rift Valley spanning Hualien to Taitung counties, the coastline along the East Coast, and Green Island and Orchid Island, the company said.
“We hope that the air tours we provide will not only help boost the growth of the local tourism industry, but help market the scenic attractions to the world and draw more tourists from overseas,” Apex Flight Academy chairman Wilson Kao (高健祐) said.
In other news, the CAA recorded 13 breaches of civil aviation regulations committed by drone operators and eight by paramotor users from January to last month.
Of the 13 cases involving drones, four did not file applications in advance and were fined NT$1.64 million in total, CAA Deputy Director-General Clark Lin (林俊良) said.
Drone operators in the other nine cases were granted permission to fly their craft, but were fined for various reasons, from failing to follow the preapproved flight plans to flying drones without notifying air traffic controllers and airport terminals ahead of time, Lin said.
Of the eight cases involving paramotors, one is being handled by the Ministry of National Defense for trespassing in a military zone in September and breaching the National Security Act (國家安全法), he said.
In the middle of last month, a policeman was found to have illegally paraglided around a high-voltage tower in Taichung, Lin added.
People contravening the drone regulations can be fined between NT$10,000 and NT$1.5 million, while illegal paragliders can be fined between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000, Lin said.
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