Between 1991 and 2003 the number of U.S. companies operating business aircraft (of all types) increased to 10,061 from 6,584, and the number of aircraft to 15,879 from 9,504, according to NBAA statistics. Honeywell’s crystal ball sees delivery of 7,724 business jets between 2003 and 2013–not including bizliners and the industry wild card, very light jets (VLJs).
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.
There’s nothing like a spike in jet-A prices to cause aircraft operators to investigate new money-saving strategies. Last year’s surge in prices to more than $5 per gallon after Hurricane Katrina raised discussion of the usual economy measures, including private fuel farms. What could be better than topping off at home base at wholesale rates and tankering through all those FBOs that are charging two or three dollars more per gallon?
Business aviation is being further scrutinized for its environmental performance and must actively consider what it could do to reduce its impact on climate change.
Signature Flight Support has announced the purchase of Le Terminal building at Le Bourget, giving the world’s largest FBO chain and distribution network for business aviation services three facilities at the Paris business airport. Le Terminal, a six-story office building, was formerly a private aviation facility. The building comes with about three acres of aircraft parking ramp and two adjoining hangars.
Business Aviation Services has added a 28,000-sq-ft heated hangar to its FBO at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, Idaho. The new hangar, available for tenant and transient aircraft, can accommodate aircraft up to the size of a Gulfstream V.
European business aviation service companies Flying Group and Euralair are squaring off for a legal battle over a proposed takeover that appears to have gone sour.
The FAA is reviewing a proposed noise-compatibility program for Harrisburg International Airport (MDT) in Pennsylvania. The program, being developed under Part 150, is scheduled to be approved or rejected July 12. Comments are due March 14. For more information, contact the FAA in Harrisburg, Pa., at (717) 730-2832.
The Bush Administration rolled out its FY2007 budget plan early last month, calling for $13.75 billion for the FAA–down from the $14.31 billion for this fiscal year–and doling out a big hit on general aviation airports. Although the proposal does not yet call for user fees, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta warned that the agency will have to “relate revenue sources to the services being provided,” such as ATC.
Signature Flight Support added another FBO to its U.S. properties with the purchase of the former Million Air facility at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport near Palm Springs, Calif., in mid-February. Signature now has 46 FBOs in the U.S.
The deadline has been extended to October 31 next year for FBOs and others who operate fueling facilities and fueling trucks to meet new spill prevention, control and containment (SPCC) rules. The former deadline was next month.