The Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center (SHPBASC), which is hosting ABACE this week here at Hongqiao International Airport, has made a lot of progress since the 2012 show. According to general manager Carey Matthews, the amount of traffic it has received since 2009 has grown by as much as 12 percent each year. This trend has continued so far in 2013 and by year-end the facility expects to have exceeded 4,000 movements for the first time in its history.
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 a vote before the San Jose city council on Tuesday, Signature Flight Support’s proposal for the development of an $82 million FBO in conjunction with Blue City Holdings (representing the private aircraft of the principals of Google) at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport received overwhelming approval. A final verdict is expected next week at the close of a brief public comment period.
Signature Flight Support (Booth No. N-030/031), the FBO chain that is well known in the turbine aircraft world, is exhibiting this week at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla., to build awareness of its support for grassroots general aviation (GA). “We’re doing a big GA push,” a company spokesman told AIN, “and we’ve recently partnered with the Experimental Aircraft Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and Recreational Aircraft Foundation in an effort to help enhance the pilot ranks.”
The FAA said on Friday that it will delay the planned closure of 149 contract ATC towers by 10 weeks to June 15.
Geneva Airpark, an FBO at Geneva International Airport, has expanded its offerings to include oxygen service, oil level and tire pressure checks and fuel sump drainage. Aircraft cleaning is also now available at the facility, which recently installed video surveillance systems in all its structures. The improvements are in addition to other amenities such as in-house laundry service and Wi-Fi on the ramp and in the 108,000-sq-ft hangar, which can simultaneously accommodate a pair of Boeing 747s.
Epic Aviation has partnered with the National Air Transportation Association’s Safety 1st program to provide discounted training for its branded FBO network. Epic and UVair FBOs will receive access to NATA Safety 1st training products, including the Professional Line Service Training program and the recently launched Supervisor Online Training program, at special network pricing. “Our customers asked for help in reducing the cost of training line service personnel while maintaining the Epic FBO Network’s focus on operating safety. The choice was simple.
Fuel Bidder, a new Delaware-based software provider, has launched Fuelbidder.com, a jet fuel marketplace application it says will help aircraft operators find the lowest jet fuel price at airports around the world. According to the company, the free app allows users to request pricing from hundreds of suppliers. Registered users input their uplift date, airport, preferred FBO, estimated fuel volume and a deadline by which they would like to receive all final price offers. The app will then send the request to each registered fuel supplier at the destination airport.
Landon Petty, COO of Louisiana Aircraft in Baton Rouge, has been named chairman of the Air Elite Network board and will serve that role through the end of next year. He succeeds former chairman Steve Lasseter, who left the industry to pursue other projects. Larry Wade, owner of Golden Isles Aviation, Saint Simons Island, Ga., replaces Petty as vice chairman. Air Elite, a network of independent FBOs, was created last year by World Fuel Services from the remnants of the disbanded Avitat network.
The FAA is continuing to refine its categorization of the nearly 3,000 GA airports around the country, picking up where it left off in last spring’s General Aviation Airports: A National Asset. That study identified the many functions airports provide, among them medical transport, search-and-rescue, disaster relief, aerial firefighting, law enforcement, remote community access, flight training and air cargo. Considered a tool to assist the agency and state aviation authorities in planning decisions, the study reflected current aviation activity at the airports.
Following a dispute with Fayetteville, Ark. airport authority, Million Air quit operating the FBO at Fayetteville Executive/Drake Field Airport last month after eight years at the airport. “We’ve had to take a hard look at all of our locations and maybe rethink some of the markets that we’re in,” Million Air president and CEO Roger Woolsey told AIN, referring to the industry downturn of the past several years. “Fayetteville unfortunately happens to be one of them.”