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.
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.
In an effort to make its airport more attractive to business jet users, authorities at the Avoyelles Parish Airport Authority in central Louisiana have approved a five-year improvement plan for Marksville Municipal Airport, the cornerstone of which is a $2 million extension to the runway. Currently at 3,800 feet, the runway at the propeller-only airport is unusable by all but the smallest private jets, even if jet fuel were available; the proposed 1,200-foot addition would provide midsize jets a comfortable length for takeoffs and landings.
Avfuel has added three new branded FBOs to its international portfolio: Rizon Jet, Air Service Basel and Million Air Calgary. Rizon Jet is located at London Biggin Hill Airport. The terminal features lounges and business suites equipped with the latest technology, as well as aircrew facilities and aircraft handling, maintenance and catering. “Rizon Jet’s extremely desirable location combined with an acute attention to detail results in an unparalleled experience for guests,” said Marci Ammerman, vice president of marketing for the Michigan-based fuel provider.
The Jet Assist-Business Jet Centre made its debut last month as a new service provider at Belfast International Airport. The spacious facility, located next to the GA ramp, has its own security screening, lounge seating for up to 25 passengers and a crew lounge, among other amenities. The Ascent-branded FBO is a member of the World Fuel Services network.
Private charter operator Qatar Executive–a subsidiary of Qatar Airways–is set to open a new FBO at Doha’s Hamad International Airport shortly, having already moved its headquarters there. The airport, which opened earlier this year after a series of delays, is scheduled to replace Doha International Airport as the Gulf nation’s primary international gateway. The company plans to strengthen its core Middle East, Far East and African markets next year, according to executive vice president David Edwards.
Connecticut-based Volo Aviation has been chosen to manage the FBO at Tampa Executive Airport (VDF) in Florida and brand it as the latest facility in the growing chain. Formerly Leading Edge Aviation Services, the FBO services at the location (Leading Edge still operates an aircraft dealership and maintenance shop at the site) were purchased by Skyport Holdings, an investment company affiliated with Volo. “We see a strong local demand for services in the Tampa area,” said Brian Ciambra, Skyport president and CEO and Volo senior vice president for FBO operations.
Kubick Aviation has purchased its larger competitor, Superior Aviation, at Ford Airport in Northern Michigan, to become the sole aviation services provider on the field, which sees approximately 20 operations a day. Kubick moved from its 4,700-sq-ft facility (which was since sold to an aeromedical provider) to the former Superior location, which has a 3,000-sq-ft terminal and 22,000 sq ft of hangar space capable of sheltering aircraft up to the size of a Citation Sovereign.
Emissions from turbine aircraft are one of the main objections held by those who want southern California’s busy Santa Monica Airport closed, yet in a recently released study, emissions from nearly Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) suggest an unexpectedly severe impact on residents downwind of major airports.
At most FBOs, as the snow falls, so does traffic. But not at Vail Valley Jet Center in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains: the falling powder is the siren’s song for legions of skiers and snowboarders.
In the ongoing battle to keep Santa Monica Airport from closing, on June 10 a group delivered more than 15,000 signatures to city hall to place a vote about the airport on the ballot later this year.