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.

October 2, 2014 - 2:15pm

The UK’s Blackpool Airport is facing permanent closure on October 16, as “the airport operations have been making a loss for a number of years” and no buyer for the field could be found, according to airport operator MAR Properties. Bond Helicopters, which has used Blackpool as a base for offshore oil-and-gas flights, said it is “currently in discussions with a number of alternative airfields.” Opened as Squires Gate Airport in 1909, Blackpool Airport has the distinction of being one of the first aviation sites in the UK.

October 1, 2014 - 11:01am

Regulators have decided not to allow China’s domestic airlines and regional/low-cost carriers from Japan and Korea to operate at Beijing Daxing International Airport (BDIA) when it opens in late 2018 or early 2019. Those airlines will continue to operate at Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), located in the Chaoyang district, some 12 miles outside the city.

September 30, 2014 - 3:33pm

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.

September 30, 2014 - 3:10pm

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.

September 25, 2014 - 3:05pm

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.

September 25, 2014 - 2:55pm

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.

September 18, 2014 - 2:45pm

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.

September 18, 2014 - 2:40pm

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.

September 18, 2014 - 2:35pm

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.

September 18, 2014 - 2:15pm

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.”

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