Aspen Executive Air (AEXJet), an ARG/US Platinum-rated charter operator, voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware. The petition lists up to $100 million in liabilities, with more than 200 creditors.
The Reason Foundation has assembled a group of nine “leading aviation experts”–including former DOT Secretary Jim Burnley, former FAA Administrator Langhorne Bond and former NBAA president Jonathan Howe–that is calling for “significant changes” to the U.S. ATC system.
A soon-to-be-released very light jet forecast from PMI Media estimates that 7,650 VLJs, worth some $18.36 billion, will be delivered between 2007 and 2016. “We are predicting 2007 deliveries of VLJs to be around the 200 mark, up from our 2006 forecast of 175.
Forecast International yesterday released a prediction that 14,978 business jets, worth some $192 billion, will be manufactured between 2007 and 2016. The Connecticut-based market research firm estimates that very light jets will account for 39 percent, or 5,783, of business jet deliveries during the time frame.
The House of Representatives this afternoon approved an FAA reauthorization bill that raises the tax on jet-A from 21.8 to 35.9 cents a gallon and the tax on avgas from 19.3 to 24.1 cents a gallon. To the relief of general aviation, it contains no user fees and no concessions to the airlines. The airline taxes–including 7.5 percent on tickets and 4.3 cents a gallon on jet fuel–will remain at existing levels.
The Danish government is preparing to impose a 25-percent VAT sales tax on imported aircraft to close a loophole that has allowed owners to bypass taxes due in other European Union countries. Aircraft imported for “personal transportation” are currently zero-rated for VAT purposes in Denmark, and this has exempted just about all aircraft applications apart from gliders and other forms of recreational flying.
Snecma plans to unveil a mock-up of its 9,500- to 12,000-pound-thrust Silvercrest engine, as well as divulge more details about the project, at the NBAA Convention in Atlanta next week. The French engine manufacturer also confirmed that it will run a Silvercrest core engine in the fourth quarter.
On Thursday afternoon, Pogo Jet filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public stock offering to raise money to launch Pogo’s very light jet air charter service. In the filing, Pogo Jet said that it is negotiating the purchase of 25 Eclipse 500s and plans to begin operations in the first quarter of 2009 from a base at Westover Metropolitan Airport in Chicopee, Mass.
In a study released today entitled “The Market for General Aviation/Utility Aircraft 2007-2016,” Forecast International said it anticipates a decline in corporate demand for twin turboprops in favor of the fractional ownership of turbofan-powered aircraft. Further, it expects this trend to accelerate as more sub-$4 million very light jets are delivered.
The House Ways and Means Committee today passed H.R.3539, a tax code modification companion bill to H.R.2881, the House FAA reauthorization legislation. In a victory for general aviation groups, the committee voted to keep airline taxes, including the airline fuel tax, at existing levels. Under the legislation, avgas taxes would increase from 19.3 to 24.1 cents per gallon and the jet-A tax would rise from 21.8 to 35.9 cents per gallon.