Top of the World Telegraph | Volume 6, Issue 42 – Feb. 22, 2011

24 02 2011

Top of the World Telegraph – News from the Arctic – Vol. 6, Issue 41: 16 February 2010

17 02 2011

Top of the World Telegraph – News from the Arctic – Vol. 6, Issue 40: 9 February 2010

10 02 2011

Top of the World Telegraph | Volume 6, Issue 31 – Nov. 24, 2010

25 11 2010

Top of the World Telegraph | Volume 6, Issue 30 – November 17 2010

18 11 2010

Top of the World Telegraph – Vol. 6, Issue 28: 3 November 2010

4 11 2010

News from around the Region
Alaska/United States
U.S. Coast Guard policy banning substandard ships (MarineLog, 11/03/10)
The U.S. Coast Guard has released policy letter 10-03, Banning of Foreign Vessels. It outlines Coast Guard procedures for denying entry of certain foreign flagged commercial vessels into any port or place in the United States as a result of the vessel’s history of operating in a continuous substandard condition in waters subject to United States jurisdiction. This policy aligns the U.S. Coast Guard with other SOLAS signatory flag States who currently have policies and procedures in place for processing vessels that repeatedly operate in a substandard condition. 
Alaska/United States
Alaska town rolls out remarkable support for new ‘Build A Plane’ project (Aero-News Network, 10/29/10)
With a population of less than 800 people, Talkeetna, Alaska residents came together in force to offer assistance to a proposed new Build A Plane program. “We have been so energized by the enthusiasm and excitement shown in Alaska for Build A Plane. This Talkeetna project and others like it will certainly help in the classroom with science, math, engineering and technology skill-building and hopefully inspire many kids in Alaska to consider aviation as a career,” said Lyn Freeman, founder of Build A Plane. Build A Plane supports three other programs in Alaska, two in the Native villages of Hooper Bay and Chevak, and another in Begich Middle School in Anchorage.
The Arctic is a long way from Canada’s search and rescue techs (NunatsiaqOnline, 11/01/10)
According to the Department of National Defence, “each Canadian Forces aircraft deployed on a search and rescue mission includes two search and rescue technicians [SAR techs]. These individuals are highly trained specialists who provide on-scene medical attention and rescue for aviators, mariners, and others in distress in remote or hard-to-reach areas.” But the problem is that these SAR techs are stationed at bases far away from most of these “remote or hard-to-reach areas.” And while the SAR techs may be trained in Arctic rescue, they aren’t based anywhere near the Arctic. This challenge will become even more pronounced in the future as the North becomes “busier,” with increased polar overflights, maritime shipping, and economic development, says the Conference Board of Canada. Includes map of SAR regions.
In air cargo business, it’s speed vs. screening, creating a weak link in security (The New York Times, 11/02/10)
Experts say air cargo poses unique dilemmas because of the vast volume of packages and the patchwork system of regulations governing inspections. In addition, air cargo moves both on airlines that carry only freight and on passenger planes. And the freight industry is by no means uniform. There are giant players like FedEx and U.P.S. and hundreds of small companies. For now, freight carried on all-cargo planes does not have as stringent screening requirements as freight on passenger planes. Also, foreign carriers that bring cargo into the United States operate by their own sets of rules, which vary significantly from country to country. Related article: World airlines call for better cargo-screening.
Four EU states face legal action over Russian bilateral (Flightglobal, 10/28/10)
Four European states – Germany, France, Austria and Finland – are facing legal action from the European Commission over their bilateral air service agreements with Russia, partly because they include controversial provisions for Siberian overflights. The Commission estimates that European Union carriers paid $420 million in charges, mostly to Aeroflot, in 2008. Bilateral agreements with non-EU countries must contain a designation clause explicitly stating that terms cover all EU carriers equally, not simply those of the EU state participating in the bilateral.
Russia’s air transport agency eases flight rules for small aircraft (RIA Novosti, 11/01/10)
Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, has eased the rules for flights by small private planes, a statement by the organization said. Under new federal rules, Russian air space is divided into three zones according to permitted altitudes for various classes of aviation. Small private planes are permitted to perform flights within the G zone at an altitude of 300 to 4,500 meters and pilots no longer have to ask for flight permission from air traffic controllers. They now have to notify aviation authorities of their flight data in order to receive information and emergency alarms, the statement said. Related article: 24-hour flight rule lifted for private pilots.
Lufthansa confirms interest in SAS purchase (The Local, 11/03/10)
German airline Lufthansa has declared its interest in buying Scandinavian competitor SAS, with a spokesperson describing the firms as a “perfect couple.” Lufthansa have been one of the driving forces of the consolidation of the European airline industry in recent years. Rumours of a interest in SAS have long been circulating and the firms already operate a significant number of code share services out of Scandinavian destinations. Meanwhile, SAS, in which Norway, Denmark and Sweden together hold half the stock, has been hard-hit by the rise of low-cost airline Norwegian and by plunging passenger traffic numbers in the wake of the global economic crisis.
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Top of the World Telegraph: Vol. 6, Issue 26: 20 October 2010

20 10 2010

Top of the World Telegraph
News from the Arctic
Vol. 6, Issue 26: 20 October 2010

News from around the Region 
Alaska/United States
Commentary: Hot stuff: Marine operations in the Arctic (Maritime Professional, 10/20/10)–Marine-Operations-in-the-Arctic.aspx
For the United States and Alaska, Russian shipping through the Arctic raises concern over environmental, military, safety and a raft of other similar issues. The U.S. Coast Guard, as early as 2007, helped bring light to the emerging situation. Now, it is up to Congress and the current administration to ensure that we are ready for what is to come. The esoteric new policies and GAO reports are simply not enough.
AP interview: CG admiral asks for Arctic resources (NPR, 10/18/10)
The ice-choked reaches of the northern Arctic Ocean aren’t widely perceived as an international shipping route. But global warming is bringing vast change, and Russia, for one, is making an aggressive push to establish top of the world sea lanes. All of which calls for more U.S. Coast Guard facilities and equipment in the far north to secure U.S. claims and prepare for increased human activity, according to Rear Admiral Christopher C. Colvin, who is in charge of all Coast Guard operations in Alaska and surrounding waters. Related story: Coast Guard Authorization bill signed into law.
Vancouver Shipyards short listed for shipbuilding program (MarineLink, 10/14/10)
Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. (VSY), part of the Washington Marine Group Shipyards Division, has cleared the first hurdle in the government selection process to be one of two shipyards to build the country’s future Naval and Coast Guard fleet. The Federal Government’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) program is worth approximately $35b to the Canadian shipbuilding industry and represents a solid investment in building replacement ships for the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard.
Federal service tracking gigantic ice island adrift in Arctic (The [Montreal] Gazette, 10/07/10)
The Canadian Ice Service, the federal agency that monitors the state of the Northwest Passage and other Arctic shipping lanes, has successfully deposited a satellite beacon on a mammoth ice island that broke away from Greenland in August and is now drifting in two pieces in waters off Nunavut’s Ellesmere Island. When the ice island broke away from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier on Aug. 4, the 250-square-kilometre monolith became the biggest free-floating iceberg in the Arctic Ocean in nearly 50 years. In early September, the ice island split in two after it collided with Joe Island in Nares Strait between Ellesmere Island and Danish-controlled Greenland.
Crisis in shipbuilding industry threatens to engulf Turku region (Helsingin Sanomat, 10/14/10)
Turku and the surrounding region will have to make preparations to meet a massive structural change when the giant luxury cruise liner Allure of the Seas is handed over later this year at the Turku shipyard. After the completion of this 1,181-foot and 225,000-tonne floating palace for Royal Caribbean International, the STX Europe yard in Turku has currently no further orders on its books. The structural upheaval that is on the cards in the shipbuilding and metals industry will also spread right down the long sub-contractor chain: something like 160 companies and approximately 600 sub-contractors operate in connection with the yard.
New buoy designed to gather information in changing Arctic (, 10/13/10)
The new Airborne eXpendable Ice Beacon, or AXIB, buoy was developed as a partnership between the Polar Science Center at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory, U.S. Coast Guard and National Ice Center. It measures such things as air pressure and temperature, winds, upper ocean temperature, ice and snow temperatures and movement of the ice. The buoys will be part of the International Arctic Buoy Program currently collecting and sharing data from more than 100 buoys deployed by 30 institutions from 10 individual countries and the European Union.
Larger cruise ships may be banned from Antarctic (MarineLink, 10/11/10)
According to a report from The Miami Herald, some large cruise ships may be banned from sailing in Antarctic waters starting next year. The IMO has adopted a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in those waters, starting Aug. 1, 2011. Many smaller ships will still operate Antarctic cruises. These ships can land passengers on the continent itself, 100 maximum at a time; larger ships are not permitted to offload any passengers.
Kolari-Pajala iron-ore to be shipped from Narvik (BarentsObserver, 10/20/10)
Iron ore from large mines in the Swedish-Finnish borderland will be transported to the Northern Norwegian harbor of Narvik. The mining company Northland says production is forecasted to start in 2012, first at the Kaunisvaara mines near Pajala in Sweden, then at Hannukainen near Kolari on the Finnish side of the border. Local harbor authorities in Narvik say a new iron-ore harbor can be built vis-à-vis the existing LKAB iron-ore harbor in the town, according to the local newspaper Fremover.
Crew circles North Pole in one summer (ABC News, 10/13/10)
A trimaran sailing boat has circled the North Pole in a single summer season, a feat made possible by global warming and the melting of the Arctic ice cap, the boat’s international crew said. Following in the wake of the Russian ship Peter I, which sailed a similar route at almost the same time, the Norwegian trimaran Northern Passage is the second vessel to ever complete the mythical voyage in the space of a single Arctic summer.
Arctic coastal states create sea-charting body (NunatsiaqOnline, 10/07/10)
Representatives from Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States set up a new Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission on Oct. 6 in Ottawa to develop better nautical charts and improve safety in Arctic waters. Regional hydrographic commissions are formed through the International Hydrographic Organization IHO, an intergovernmental consultative and technical organization with membership from 82 countries. The Arctic has been the only part of the world not covered by an IHO regional commission.
Preparing for next year’s Northern Sea Route season (BarentsObserver, 10/20/10)
While 2009 was a kind of test year for vessels sailing the entire route from Asia to Europe via the Arctic, this year has been the breakthrough for commercial shipping along the Northern Sea Route. At least six convoys with oil tankers will sail the Northern Sea Route from the Barents Sea to the Far East next year, according to the head of Rosatomflot, Russia’s nuclear ice-breaker fleet. In addition, cargo vessels and likely some bulk carriers will sail the route with assistance from nuclear powered icebreakers. The icebreaker fleet has received 15 orders for assistance in 2011 so far.
Norilsk-Nickel shipment arrived in Shanghai (BarentsObserver, 10/18/10)
The ice-classed vessel Monchegorsk is the first cargo vessel to sail the entire Northern Sea Route without icebreaker assistance. The Norilsk-Nickel owned vessel sailed from Murmansk on Sept. 15 and sailed via the port of Dudinka on the Taimyr Peninsula to Asia via the north. The diesel-electric cargo vessel Monchegorsk can sail in ice without icebreaker assistance. Norilsk-Nickel has five icebreaking cargo vessels and is now planning to build ice-classed tankers as well.
LNG terminal and supply base for Murmansk (BarentsObserver, 10/12/10)
Murmansk Governor Dmitri Dmitriyenko has signed agreements on the development of a ten billion RUB LNG terminal, as well as a new oil and gas supply base, in the Kola Bay. The agreements, most of them linked with the development of the Shtokman gas field and the development of local infrastructure, confirm the current major investment interest in Murmansk.
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