Somalia might conjure images of pirates and Blackhawk Down, but the northern autonomous region and former British protectorate of Somaliland remains a peaceful, although economically depressed, place. Last month the international airport at the capital, Hargeisa, “re-opened” following renovations and modernization, funded to the tune of $10 million by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Airports
New developments at airports including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
In celebration of its third anniversary as a service provider at North Carolina’s Davidson County Airport, Fly High Lexington is rewarding pilots with six Shell AeroClass points per gallon of fuel purchased through the end of the year. The FBO recently launched a “no fees with fuel” program under which it waives ramp, handling and tie-down fees with any fuel purchase. It also offers transient customers free overnight hangar storage if it is available.
Signature Flight Support broke ground late last week on the first FBO at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport. The new 7,000-sq-ft facility, which is expected to open late next year, will include a customer lobby, pilot’s lounge, in-house customs and immigration facilities and dedicated customer parking. However, a Signature spokesman said the location will not include any hangars.
On Sunday, Kinston Jet Center took over FBO operations at Kinston (N.C.) Regional Jetport after the departure of Delta Private Jets. The FBO is being managed by ABS Aviation and offers hangar space, pilot lounge, wireless Internet and a crew car, among other amenities. Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with after-hours access available by callout. Kinston’s airport has an 11,500- by 150-foot grooved asphalt runway with an ILS.
Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA) has purchased the majority of shares of Aéroport du Golfe de Saint-Tropez (AGST), which operates Gulf of Saint-Tropez Airport. With more than 42,500 aircraft movements last year, Cote d’Azur ranks as the second busiest business airport in France behind only Paris Le Bourget, and the new acquisition will add another 7,000 movements to that total. The French Riviera gateway features recently renovated facilities and contributes to the economic development of the region. A study last year recognized the airport’s economic impact at approximately €170 million.
The airport-owned FBO at DuPage Airport is expected to complete its extensive upgrade this month. The 20-month project at the DuPage Flight Center cost approximately $4.2 million and will substantially improve the functionality and aesthetics of the structure as well as improve its safety and convenience, according to the airport authority. Among the improvements at the 63,000-sq-ft West Chicago facility are new customer entrances, crew lounges, on-site car rental, new U.S. Customs facilities, a new meeting room and upgrades to the reception area.
California’s Van Nuys Airport celebrated the completion of a seven-month, $20.5 million renovation on its main runway late last week. Aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker sliced the ceremonial ribbon with the speeding wing of his Challenger biplane, officially opening the revamped runway to traffic.
Jet Aviation has extended its facilities at Berlin Tegel International Airport to include a new customer lounge and crew briefing offices at Tegel’s general aviation center. The expansion is in response to customer demand for full ground-handling services at Tegel, it said. The company opened its Berlin FBO in February to provide FBO services at Schönefeld and Tegel International Airports. The new customer lounge and crew briefing offices at Tegel are in addition to Jet Aviation’s existing crew and passenger lounge and operations office at Schönefeld.
Plans to expand the main runway at Chicago’s third commercial airport have hit another delay. The latest estimate now places completion in September next year.
A new online marketplace is aiming to become the source for all things aviation real estate. Hangar Network, which made its official debut earlier this year, is positioning itself to become the go-to source for available hangar space and developable airport real estate. “We really set out to create a website and service that is comprehensive for aviation real estate listings,” said Iver Retrum, manager of the Colorado-based company.