LABACE Convention News 2013
More Stories from LABACE 2013
Sheltair is at LABACE (Stand 4006) providing details on the recent completion of Phase I of its expansion at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport in Florida. The three-phase development project includes 134,806 sq ft (12,534 sq m) of premier hangar and office space on more than 11 acres (4.5 hectares) of land on the west side of the airfield.
This is the first general aviation facility to be constructed on the west side of the airport in more than a decade and has direct access to the new 8,000-foot runway currently under construction.
Marcia’s Catering of São Paulo isn’t exactly a “rags-to-riches” story, but it is true that in its first months of operation, the owner had to sell her personal automobile in order to purchase a vehicle to transport orders.
Prime Fraction Club, whose members buy shares in high-end boats and automobiles as well as aircraft, has added a new six-passenger AgustaWestland AW109 Grand to its fleet, which now features 10 helicopters. The pricing structure for the fractional ownership program offers one-quarter shares in an AW109S Grand at a buy-in cost of R$3.56 million ($1.55 million), in addition to a fixed monthly fee of R$34,724 ($15,074) for maintenance, hangar space and other costs.
Engine maker Pratt & Whitney Canada (Stand 2009) is here at LABACE to highlight its engine support capabilities, which are primarily handled through the local service center at Sorocaba in the São Paulo region. Established in 1999, the Sorocaba facility is part of the global PWC support network, reporting to the West Virginia overhaul and service center, but is particularly involved in supporting the more than 2,000 PWC engines that are operational in Brazil.
Timken (Stand 2017) is a global company providing a wide range of products, from precision bearings to engine overhaul, but at LABACE the U.S. firm is focused on supporting operators in the Brazilian marketplace. The company produces complex parts such as turbine blades, compressor wheels, combustors and bearings that are the cost-drivers behind engine overhauls.
In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the launch of the UVair FBO network, a partnership between Universal Weather & Aviation (Stand 1003) and Epic Aviation, members of the group’s Bravo Rewards program will be entered into a drawing for one million Bravo points each time they make a fuel purchase at one of the network’s 20 premiere FBO locations in North America.
Brazilian air taxi operators association ABTAer is to hold its fifth annual convention at São Paulo’s Campo de Marte Airport on August 30 and 31. The event is expected to draw more than 60 companies, as well as government officials and members of Brazil’s congress. Among the issues of concern to ABTAer’s members are ongoing airport access problems and the threats posed by illegal charter activity.
Orlando, Florida-based SimCom (Stand 3014) now has approval from Brazil’s ANAC aviation authority for simulator pilot training in eight business aircraft types popular in the country. This covers the Cessna Citation II/SII/Bravo/Ultra, CitationJet 525/CJ1/CJ2/CJ3, Hawker 400/700/800/800XP, Learjet 20-series/30-series/55, Beechjet 400/400XP (and Beechjet predecessor MU-2), Westwind I/II and Eclipse 500. It also has ANAC approval for its Beechcraft King Air 90/100/200 training course at its Dallas-Fort Worth location.
Brazilian operator TAM Executiva has awarded a contract to Vector Aerospace and its Seca subsidiary to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul covering engines in its fleet. The agreement includes repair, hot-section inspections, testing, modification, overhaul and parts distribution on PT6A and JT15D series turbine engines, and engine repair, major periodic inspection, testing, modification and core zone inspection on the TFE731 series.
At the entrance to the 2013 Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition at Congonhas Airport, ABAG–the Brazilian Association for General Aviation and the organizer of the annual event–reminded visitors that the 2014 LABACE is planned for August 13-15, also in Sao Paulo.
Pilatus said here at LABACE yesterday that it will deliver three more of these PC-6 Turbo Porters to Brazil this year, having delivered only one since certification in the country in 2011. The Swiss manufacturer is emphasizing the single turboprop’s short takeoff and landing performance, pointing out that it can operate more economically than helicopters and with superior payload. Maximum payload is 1.2 metric tons, maximum range is 870 nm and this can be achieved operating out of an airstrip shorter than 1,500 feet (440 meters).
AgustaWestland is preparing the way to possible final assembly of its helicopters in Brazil with plans to expand the São Paulo facilities of its local subsidiary. Construction is due to be completed by the end of 2014 and the enlarged facility will also be used to accommodate a training center, bonded warehouse, workshop space and a heliport.
As the global economy in general, and business aviation in particular, begins to stabilize, so the squeeze on aircraft financing is beginning to relax, albeit with an element of conservatism. That was the message from speakers at the 5th Business Aviation in Latin America summit held here at LABACE yesterday. A range of financial issues was covered during the summit, as well as other key issues such as managing flight clearance risk in developing nations and pilot shortages in Latin America.
Dallas Aeronautical Services will produce composite materials and components for business aircraft in a new facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil, starting in the first half of 2014. The U.S. company announced the new venture here at the LABACE show yesterday. According to DAS director for Brazil Paul Dominonni, the operation will be launched with an initial investment of $500,000, occupying a 70,000 sq ft site in the Univap Technological Park. The projects is being supported by both state and city authorities.
Latin America is the target of an effort by MD Helicopters to strengthen its dealer network, which consists of one independent representative per country, with the exception of Mexico where there are two. The MD fleet in Latin America currently totals approximately 100 aircraft, with 15 of those in service in Brazil.
“Our focus is to strengthen the dealer network and our goal is to be delivering 12 MD Explorers a year in Latin America by the end of 2015,” said MD director of sales and marketing Philip Marsteller. “And that’s a conservative goal,” he added.
Helibras has announced the opening of a new customer support center (CSC) at Atibaia, near the three main airfields of São Paulo. The facility forms part of Eurocopter’s global network and mirrors those established by the company in Hong Kong, Dallas and Marignane (France). Some 75 percent of the Brazilian Eurocopter/Helibras fleet is based in the southeast of Brazil.
Appearing for the first time in Latin America at Cessna’s LABACE display is the single-engine turboprop Grand Caravan EX. The new version of the turboprop single offers increased power through its Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 867-shp engine to better serve hard-to-access areas. It delivers 25 percent more horsepower than the original Grand Caravan, which translates into a 38-percent increase in rate of climb, a 340-foot (106-meter) reduction in takeoff distance and a 12-knot faster cruise speed.
The facts of business aviation’s growth in Brazil speak for themselves and these facts are amply laid out in the new Brazilian Yearbook of General Aviation published here at LABACE this week.
Overseas visitors may be puzzled by the number of so-called “trading” firms prominently placed in the LABACE exhibition areas. Why at an event that lets potential purchasers meet directly with manufacturers do Brazilian middlemen occupy so much space?
Arguably the most eye-catching aircraft on display at LABACE is the ultra-sleek Epic LT six-seater turboprop on show at Somma Aviation’s outside stand (5116). The aircraft is a revolutionary kit-built, carbon-fiber, high-performance transport that has caused quite a stir in its home country of the U.S. Now Somma is looking to bring in a certified version tailored specifically to the Brazilian market.