TRANSPORT BRIEFS

TRANSPORT BRIEFS

ICAO LIFTS RESTRICTIONS

AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA

MONTREAL - The United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization has lifted all previous restrictions regarding the participation of South Africa in the body's activities.

The ICAO Assembly cited the elimination of apartheid and the establishment in South Africa of the first democratic, nonracist government in its decision to normalize relations with the nation.

The ICAO develops safety standards for commercial aviation worldwide.

Its 183 member countries are required to monitor and enforce those standards.

GROUNDED AIRLINES

TO SUE SRI LANKA

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka's domestic airlines, grounded because of a guerrilla threat to bomb Parliament from a hijacked civilian plane, are planning to sue the government's aviation department for damages.

The head of Sri Lanka's private airlines' association said at least one of its members was considering pulling out of the island, to rebase either in India or the Maldives, after the government grounded all domestic flights last week.

"We are considering moving against the civil aviation department," said

Rohan Nanayakkara, chairman of the Civil Aircraft Operators Association. "The government must compensate us for the heavy losses."

The 10 airlines that make up the group are collectively losing an estimated 1 million rupees ($19,000) a day.

The association accounts for 21 aircraft, including helicopters, some of them leased with crew; its partners include Americans, Canadians and Russians.

CHINESE FIRMS, SIKORSKY

TO DEVELOP HELICOPTER

BEIJING - Chinese officials say a contract has been signed for joint development of the Sikorsky S-92 "Helibus" helicopter between that unit of United Technologies Corp. of Hartford, Conn., China National Aviation Technology Import & Export Corp. and the Jingdezhen helicopter group.

Assembly will begin on five flying prototypes at Sikorsky's main plant in Connecticut. The first flight is scheduled for 1998 and certification is expected in 2000.

The S-92 will serve commercial and international utility needs, including passenger, cargo, aeromedical, search and rescue, and resource development applications.

Jingdezhen group consists of Changhe Aircraft Industries Corp. and the Chinese Helicopter Research and Development Institute in Jingdezhen in southern Jiangxi province.

FILIPINOS PROTEST

FUEL PRICE INCREASES

MANILA - Thousands of leftist workers and students marched in the Philippines last week in protest against impending fuel price rises, disrupting transport in parts of Manila and other cities.

About 7,000 protesters marched to the presidential palace in Manila and denounced government plans to increase petrol prices.

About 5,000 people protested in central Bacolod city while hundreds marched in Davao.