Fledgling FBO chain Hawthorne Global Aviation Services will be adding another location to its roster as it obtained development rights for a new FBO at Chicago Executive Airport (PWK). Hawthorne acquired the rights from Sovereign Development Group and will begin construction immediately on the facility, which will be the third FBO at the airport along with Signature and Atlantic.
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.
The head of the former Million Air franchise at California’s San Bernardino International Airport was arrested at the end of March on charges of conspiracy and perjury that claim he and a co-conspirator siphoned money from the airport.
Richmor Aviation is preparing to build a $1.2 million hangar at its facility at Schenectady County Airport in New York’s capital region. According to company president Mahlon Richards, the 20,000-sq-ft hangar will be divided into four bays (the inner two to accommodate aircraft up to Challenger 600-series size, while the outer pair can shelter aircraft up to Learjet 60 size) and is intended to attract more business jet tenants to join the six turbine aircraft already based there. Richmor expects to break ground on the new structure this summer and complete it before year-end.
In response to the closure of Madrid Torrejon Airport to general aviation traffic, and the relocation of private aviation operations to Madrid-Barajas Airport, 20 minutes from the city center, Spain-based ground handler Gestair won the tender from the Spanish airport authority to establish a 24-hour FBO at the airport in the executive terminal it will share along with ground services provider Multiservicios Aeroportuarios. The new terminal will feature passenger lounges, meeting rooms and dedicated parking.
Eastern Europe ground handler Euro Jet is setting up a crew lounge to serve growing volumes of traffic at Tivat in Montenegro. The Adriatic Sea resort is fast becoming a favorite with wealthy Russians, and its airport currently has no dedicated facilities for private jet operators. Parking space is limited at Tivat Airport, so operators commonly have to drop off passengers.
While it may still be known officially as Lewis University Airport (LOT), the Chicago-area airport that has been owned by the Joliet Regional Port District since 1989 is continuing to shed its sleepy former image: the FBO on the field will be doubling hangar space to 42,000 sq ft and adding 11,000 sq ft of office space. The airport, which sees approximately 120,000 operations a year, is home to 15 jets and 10 turboprops. It has a 6,500-foot main runway with 130,000-pound capacity, as well as a 5,700-foot secondary runway.
Angola’s booming economy, which saw 10-percent growth in gross domestic product last year driven largely by new oil discoveries and reconstruction after the southwest African country’s long civil war, is driving a rapid expansion in business aviation activity. In response, local handling and aircraft management group Bestfly has opened the country’s first real FBO at Luanda International Airport. It is building a 21,500-sq-ft hangar that it expects will be ready in July.
Florida-based FBO chain Galaxy Aviation expects to break ground this month on a new hangar complex at its Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) facility. Known as Hangar 1, the 75,000-sq-ft concrete tilt-wall structure will have 28-foot-high doors capable of accommodating aircraft up to the size of a G650, and will be divided into two bays of approximately 33,000 sq ft each. Designed to provide shelter against the worst Florida weather, its construction will exceed hurricane wind code requirements, and the 16 private office suites will have hurricane impact glass storefront entries.
Business aviation traffic at Lagos International Airport has increased almost three-fold over the past couple of years, according to Evergreen Apple Nigeria, which opened the west African country’s first purpose-built FBO in 2011. According to managing director and CEO Segun Demuren, average monthly movements numbered 82 in 2011, but that number this year stands at 220. Now the company competes with ExecuJet Aviation, which opened its own facility at the airport last year.
Bacacheri Airport in the city of Curitiba, approximately 150 miles south of São Paulo, has been named the third largest general aviation airport in Brazil. A survey conducted by ABAG (Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral, Brazilian Association of General Aviation) showed the airport handled 52,786 movements in 2011, trailing only Campo de Marte Airport in São Paulo and Jacarepauá Airport in Rio de Janeiro.