Air accident investigators say the plane carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala was not licensed for commercial use by authorities.The initial report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch says investigators have yet to determine if it could be classified as a private flight if costs were being shared, so commercial flight regulations were not applicable.The United States-registered single-engine aircraft crashed into the English Channel while flying last month from the French city of Nantes to Wales, where Sala was preparing to start a new career with Premier League club Cardiff.Sala’s body was recovered from the seabed wreckage two weeks after the crash but the other person on board – the pilot – is still missing.The AAIB says “it is thought that the pilot’s license and logbook were lost with the aircraft and so the ratings on his licenses and their validity, and the extent of his recent flying have not yet been determined.”Also Watch:
zoom Driven by a drop in dry bulk demolition and a surge in deliveries, the dry bulk fleet grew by 2.6% year-on-year in January 2017 exceeding 800 million dwt, according to shipping association BIMCO.Dry bulk demolition was halved in the first month of 2017 when compared to the same period a year earlier, while total dry bulk deliveries reached the highest level since January 2013.As the fleet continued growing at 2.8% in February 2017, BIMCO informed that if the fleet growth remains above 2%, the dry bulk shipping industry “cannot rely on global demand to cure the oversupply caused by this fundamental imbalance in the market.”The shipping association said that industry actions, such as demolition, need to get back to the activity levels seen in the first half of 2016, where demolition figures balanced out close to 80% of the inflow of new dry bulk ships to the market.Despite an uneasy start to 2017, fleet growth will start to stagnate and BIMCO expects to see a supply growth of 1.6% for the whole of 2017.“We expect to see an increase in the fleet across the board for dry bulk shipping in the first quarter of 2017, in part because this is always the quarter with the most deliveries of newbuilt ships,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, said.Some 19 million dwt could be sent to the shipbreaking yards in 2017, less than the previous two years of demolition activity when the industry scrapped around 30 million dwt annually.Segmented demolition and delivery activityThe capesize segment breached the 2% fleet growth barrier in January 2017, after a constant increasing growth rate during 2016, since a 0% fleet growth rate in January and February 2016.This increasing capesize fleet growth is a result of capesize deliveries exceeding demolition activity. The first half of 2016 saw net capesize fleet growth of 0.3 million dwt and 5.6 million dwt in the second half of the year. In the first two months of 2017, the capesize fleet has grown by 2.2 million dwt.The panamax segment experienced a stall in fleet growth in the first three quarters of 2016, which led to a decrease in the growth rate. As the second half of 2016 delivered the lowest number of panamax bulkers in seven years, the demolition activity also stalled and the year on year fleet growth went from – 0.3% in October 2016 to 1.7% in February 2017.The handymax achieved the largest drop in fleet growth rates of all four segments, as it decreased from 7.2% in January 2016 to 4.9% in October 2016. However, it is still the highest fleet growth rate across all dry bulk segments, but shows an increasing willingness towards scrapping, as 4.3 million dwt of demolished handymax tonnage in 2016 was the second highest ever.The handysize segment saw the lowest amount of dwt entering the market in eight years, while demolition activity also dropped to the lowest amount of dwt in six years. Thereby, the dry bulk shipping industry did not reap the full benefit of the reduced handysize deliveries, although handysize fleet growth decreased from 1.7% to 1.5% during 2016.
On February 2, icebreaker Polaris refueled for the first time at the Nordic countries’ largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Tornio in the icy Röyttä Harbour. The world’s most environmentally friendly diesel–electric icebreaker joined the fleet of Finland’s icebreaker operator Arctia in September 2016.From the outset, Polaris was designed as an icebreaker that combines efficiency with environmental friendliness.“This is the third winter in the demanding, icy conditions of the northern Baltic Sea for the world’s first LNG-powered icebreaker. Polaris has met our expectations with flying colours proving that it is truly a next generation icebreaker,” Markus Karjalainen, Head of the Winter Navigation Unit of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA), commented.FTIA is responsible for Finland’s icebreaking services and for making sure that Finland’s harbors can be accessed throughout the year.All sectors of transport strive to reduce emissions. As explained by Karjalainen, Tornio’s new LNG terminal enables increased use of LNG when operating in the Bay of Bothnia. “Until now, the northernmost suitable terminal was located in Pori, which is way too far from Polaris’ operating area in the far end of the Bothnian Bay. Some LNG has been delivered by truck, but Polaris has had to rely mainly on diesel.”Constructed at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, Polaris features a length of 110 meters and a width of 24 meters and can reach a speed of up to 17 knots. The icebreaking capacity of IB Polaris is 1.2 meters at a speed of 6 knots.Arctia, being one of the world’s first shipping companies to start using LNG, promotes the transition towards cleaner future fuels like LNG and biofuels in shipping.“In addition to using LNG, all of Polaris’ operations aim at environmental friendliness. For example, the lubricant used in the ship’s propulsion system is biodegradable. The ship’s grey water, which basically consists of showering water, is collected to a container which is emptied during port calls. In other words, nothing is released to the sea, even if it the water has been purified,” according to Pasi Järvelin, Master of IB Polaris.Photo: Studio Timo Heikkala Ltd. Rights: Arctia Ltd, Business Finland, Gasum Ltd, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.