While the business aviation industry continues to show signs of a steady recovery, U.S. companies are facing new market challenges, one in the form of a dollar that is weaker than the euro, and another in the tougher visa regulations implemented after 9/11.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
As new and used business aircraft sales continue a steady climb, the completion and refurbishment industry follows suit.
Pats, the DeCrane completions center in Georgetown, Del., recently announced it will be expanding its operation, adding as many as 40 new jobs through this year and increasing the workforce to about 200.
Gen. Jack Dailey hefted the comically oversized scissors to approach the ribbon. Hundreds waited to pass metal detectors for the December 15 opening of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. After a mock slice for the cameras, Dailey reached for real scissors to snip a new era at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM).
The average price of a gallon of jet-A at U.S. FBOs in mid-December was $2.48 to $2.51, according to two independent surveys of hundreds of FBOs. This average nearly matches the average reported over the last several months. AirNav (www.airnav.com/fuel/report/html) reported finding the least costly fuel ($1.50 a gallon) at one or more FBOs in the Central and Great Lakes areas.
President Bush participated in the events at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on December 17 to mark the 100th anniversary of manned, powered flight, and although the weather exercised its right to rain on the great parade, the spirits of the 35,000+ people in attendance remained high.
Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO John Douglass said the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy released late last year includes the tools necessary to revive federal aeronautics programs, but it must be backed up with money.
The momentum that began to build in the used jet market late last summer is rolling into this year. Overall inventory is about where it was a year ago, but after a significant month-over-month build-up through July, sales activity heightened and just as quickly reversed direction. Between August and the middle of last month, roughly 100 more aircraft departed the market than arrived.
The airlines that own Arinc are interested in selling the 77-year-old aviation communications company. Based in Annapolis, Md., Arinc posted revenues of $890 million last year, but its owners, including financially troubled carriers Delta and American, are said to be reluctant to make necessary investments in the company.
Commercial pilots and air traffic controllers who have English as a second language, as well as native speakers of English, are needed to participate in a test designed to measure spoken-English ability common in ATC/pilot radio communications internationally.
Eclipse Aviation has further refined the Model 500 very light jet’s design to reach performance goals, according to a customer technical communication sent to buyers on December 4.
These refinements are part of a year-long performance improvement program designed to help the Model 500 reach the promised speed of 370 knots and 1,125 nm range (NBAA IFR, 100-nm alternate).