A Part 16 complaint about Santa Monica Airport (SMO) was filed on July 2 with the FAA by AOPA, NBAA, airport businesses, local aircraft owners and a corporate operator that often flies into the Southern California airport. The complaint seeks to settle the issue of when the city, which owns and operates the 227-acre airport, is no longer subject to grant assurance obligations that require it to keep the airport open.
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.
Universal Weather & Aviation’s attempt to form a joint-venture company in India to conduct its own ground handling services has been stymied by the rejection of its license application by Indian authorities. The Houston-based company has operated in India, providing trip support for the past decade, with its agents acting in a supervisory role for the local ground handlers it uses.
The new Jetex FBO at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, is now fully operational, according to the international trip support provider. The luxury facility, open 24 hours a day, has on-site customs, immigration and quarantine service and can obtain traffic slots and overflight permits on short notice. The location can also arrange VIP handling at other major airports throughout the Philippines.
FBO chain Avflight opened its new facility this week at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Mich., a year-round tourism destination. Operating out of the airport’s general aviation terminal, the Avfuel-branded facility offers a range of fueling products and services. In addition to fuel and Avfuel programs, Avflight Traverse City features concierge services, a pilot lounge area, flight-planning facilities, courtesy vehicles, de/anti-icing services, cargo loading/unloading, charter handling and on-site rental cars.
One of the top priorities for the NBAA safety committee is to help pilots better understand the airport environment at unfamiliar landing locations. To assist cockpit crews, the safety committee recently rolled out a prototype of a new airport safety assessment tool to quantify airport risks around the world. The airport audit tool currently takes the form of a seven-page safety checklist for crews to use before their first arrival.
Miami, Fla.-based World Fuel Services (WFS) bolstered its general aviation offerings, having signed an agreement to purchase contract fuel and international trip planning provider Colt International. Colt, founded in 1999, serves 5,700 flight departments.
Hawthorne Global Aviation Services purchased Atlanta Executive Jet Center, the lone FBO at Cobb County Airport, as the fourth location in what the company plans eventually to be a nationwide network. Cobb County, one of Georgia’s busiest general aviation airports, will become an international gateway next year with the addition of onsite U.S. Customs service. At 6,305 feet, the airport offers the longest general aviation runway in the Atlanta area, Hawthorne said.
NBAA, AOPA, airport businesses, local aircraft owners and a corporate operator have filed a Part 16 complaint with the FAA about California’s Santa Monica Airport. The complaint seeks to settle the issue of when the city, which owns and operates the airport, is no longer subject to grant assurance obligations that require it to keep the airport open. While the city believes that its obligations expire on July 1 next year, the complainants claim that a 2003 request by the city to amend the last grant agreement extended the period of time that the airport must remain open to August 2023.
Airport noise can be an emotionally volatile issue in municipal politics. However, Robert Grotell thinks data, not emotion, should drive decisions about airport and air route noise abatement.
Universal Weather & Aviation has raised its presence in France, as airport-owned FBO Le Castellet Airport becomes a co-branded member of Universal’s FBO network. Under the terms of the deal, Universal will partner with the airport to operate the FBO to provide standards, training and procedures consistent with the company’s other locations.