The City Council of Houston, Texas, heard final arguments today regarding the awarding of another FBO lease at Houston Hobby Airport, which is already home to five major service providers that pump a combined 1.2 million gallons of fuel a month.
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.
Granite Aviation opened its FBO at Sandpoint (Idaho) Airport. The company’s new $1.6 million facility features a 3,700-sq-ft private air terminal, 7,000-sq-ft hangar, four aircraft refueling trucks, de-icer truck and recently constructed 171,000-sq-ft ramp. The facility offers fueling, maintenance, storage and ground transportation. Other aerospace companies on the field include business jet winglet manufacturer Tamarack Aerospace, Quest Aircraft and Timberline Helicopters.
Teterboro (N.J.) Airport-based FBO/MRO and aircraft charter and management firm Meridian tapped Greg Johnson as director of business development. Johnson has 15 years of business aviation experience in strategic planning, operations, aircraft management, acquisition/sales and marketing. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing the development of a new Meridian FBO to be built at Hayward (Calif.) Executive Airport, as well as expanding the company’s aircraft management business on the West Coast. Johnson previously worked for TWC Aviation in San Jose, Calif.
An advance notice of proposed rulemaking from the Bureau of Safety and Environment (BSEE) seeks to improve safety for operations related to helicopters and helidecks on fixed offshore facilities. The BSEE invites comments on whether to incorporate in its regulations industry standards for design, construction and maintenance of helidecks, as well as standards for aviation fuel storage and handling.
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.
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.
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