Air travel to Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas region remains problematic, in the wake of Hurricane Odile’s passage on Monday. The category-three storm was the largest ever to make landfall on the country’s Baja California peninsula, lashing the tourist region with heavy rain and high wind. As a result, affected airports in the area are closed to non-humanitarian general aviation traffic at least through the weekend, according to Universal Weather & Aviation.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs
New developments at airports and heliports, including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers of FBOs; AIN’s Annual FBO Survey Reports; and news, issues and concerns regarding fuel cards, fuel prices and alternative fuels.
The FAA has received more than 2,000 comments about its proposed policy regarding the non-aeronautical use of airport hangars. In response to the flood of comments and extension requests from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and others, the FAA extended until October 6 the comment period for the proposal, which states that hangars are to be used only for storage or maintenance of aircraft.
The East Hampton, N.Y. town board is expected to pass a resolution tonight rejecting future federal airport funding, clearing the path for it to limit and/or ban certain types of aircraft operations–including helicopters, jets and seaplanes–at East Hampton Airport beginning with the 2015 summer tourism season. The town could impose an Aspen-style slot system on all traffic in combination with curfews and significantly increased landing fees, fuel prices and hangar rents.
Todd Baumgartner has joined Seattle-based FBO consulting firm FBO Partners as senior partner. Previously he was the senior vice president of acquisitions for the Ross Aviation FBO network, recently purchased by Landmark Aviation. Baumgartner “brings a wealth of knowledge to the firm that is simply without equal,” noted FBO Partners president Doug Wilson. “His expertise in FBO operations, procurement and mergers and acquisitions is truly remarkable and will be a valuable resource to clients of FBO Partners.”
Jet Aviation expanded its global MRO and FBO network with the addition of a new facility at Vienna International Airport. The company recently signed agreements with Gate V and Fame Executive Aviation, the previous MRO and FBO service providers at the field, to establish Jet Aviation Vienna. Its business aviation terminal features an operations office, crew lounge and access to a VIP passenger lounge, along with services such as lavatory drainage and aircraft refueling.
Epic and U.S. Bank introduced an enhanced Epic Card as the first card issued by a fuel supplier to provide global acceptance via U.S. Bank’s aviation-specific network. The Epic Card is now accepted at thousands of FBOs globally that process through the U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation Network, the companies said. For Epic cardholders, all card transactions will appear on one statement each month for streamlined reconciliation. In addition, a mobile app and a dedicated website provide online settlement, tracking and account-specific pricing.
The FAA extended until October 6 the comment period for its proposal to clarify the agency’s policy that hangars are to be used only for storage or maintenance of aircraft. Compliance inspections have found that some hangars are “routinely used” to store vehicles and large household items. “In some cases, this storage interferes with, or entirely displaces, aeronautical use of the hangar,” the FAA said.
The FAA selected four unleaded aviation fuels yesterday for the first phase of testing at the agency’s William J. Hughes Technical Center. The goal is for government and industry to work together to have a new unleaded fuel ready for general aviation use by 2018. Shell and Total, with one fuel each, and Swift Fuels, with two fuels, will now work with the FAA on phase-one testing, which will begin this fall and conclude later next year.
Air BP is acquiring aviation fuel business Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation (SFR Aviation) from Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, the company announced yesterday. The deal will add some 73 new airports in the Nordic countries and Northern Europe to Air BP’s global fuel network of more than 600 locations. Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close by year-end. On completion, around 59 SFR Aviation employees, currently based in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, are also expected to join Air BP.
Fuelerlinx has partnered with Denmark-based flight-planning engine Aviation Cloud to enhance the multi-leg fuel-tankering calculator function in its subscription fuel-pricing service. The company previously had a rudimentary system in place that based its calculations solely on Great Circle routing and took no account of winds aloft. Since fuel represents the majority–as much as 70 percent–of a business aircraft’s operating costs, carefully planned fuel tankering can help lower these costs.
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