MILLION AIR OPENS FACILITY IN SAN BERNARDINO
The newest facility in the Million Air FBO franchise chain has opened at San Bernardino International Airport in Southern California. The FBO features a 10,000-sq-ft ramp and the traditional Million Air refreshment bar, Hertz rental cars on-site, theater room, flight-planning room and business center, conference room, BMW crew cars, catering and concierge services. Two hangars are available: Hangar 1 with 29,000 sq ft and 6,747 sq ft of office space and Hangar 2 with 30,000 sq ft and 7,000 sq ft of office space. Million Air San Bernardino also provides aircraft maintenance, including oxygen and nitrogen servicing.
ATLANTIC AVIATION BUILDING NEW OKLAHOMA CITY FBO
Atlantic Aviation broke ground in early June on the company’s newest FBO at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. The facility is being constructed on a 15-acre property on the east side of the airport adjacent to Runway 17L/35R and will include a 28,000-sq-ft hangar and 12,000-sq-ft terminal building. The FBO should be finished in February 2011 and feature first-class passenger amenities, a large pilot lounge and multiple conference rooms (link to FBO Profile: AAR Aircraft Services article for more details).
WORCESTER SET FOR MASSPORT OWNERSHIP
Business aviation operators and tenants at Worcester Regional Airport in Massachusetts should begin to see long-awaited improvements after the Massachusetts Port Authority assumed ownership of the facility from the city of Worcester on July 1. Massport had been managing the airport, but as a non-owner
it could not make enhancements or repairs. “Once we are owners of the airport we
can start putting capital into it,” airport manager Andrew Davis told AIN. “We see the most immediate opportunities will be to make improvements to attract more business aviation.”
Repaving runways, modernizing hangars and other changes will be necessary if the airport is going to attract more traffic and boost revenue, according to Davis. Last year, the airport logged fewer than 50,000 operations, most of them general aviation, as only one airline currently uses the airport. Currently, one business jet and about 10 turboprops are based at the airport. Doug Robinson, manager of Swissport, the sole FBO at Worcester, told AIN that the acquisition will be a “positive” for business aviation.
CABA HELPS SAVE AVIATION
The Colorado Aviation Business Association (CABA) held an “Aviation Saves” open house April 28 at the Centennial InterPort, XJet and Signature Flight Support facilities at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colo. Dozens of volunteers and 49 corporate sponsors helped put on the event, which saw more than 1,000 attendees and 350 participants at an industry luncheon, including local politicians who learned about the benefits of business aviation. “Our goal was to educate the community about the many ways in which business and general aviation save lives, save jobs, promote business growth, generate economic stimulus, support local communities and serve as a lifeline to many of the rural areas throughout our state,” said CABA chairman David Purvis. The open house displayed airplanes and helicopters used for a variety of missions such as aeromedical operations, firefighting, business aviation, law enforcement, relief operations and border protection.
MORE FBO SERVICES OFFERED AT AIR SERVICE BASEL
Swiss FBO Air Service Basel opened new facilities at Euro Airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg last year, with a new VIP passenger lounge and pilot briefing room. Air Service Basel was founded in 1967 and recently received approval as an FAA repair station and added an avionics mobile service team. At the FBO, Air Service Basel also offers ground transport for customers and flight crews, customs clearance and hangar storage for aircraft as large as the G550 and Global Express. Air Service Basel also specializes in aircraft sales and acquisitions.
JOHNSON SWITCHES TO AVFUEL
Johnson Aviation in Tyler, Texas, is now an Avfuel branded dealer offering Avtrip points and contract fueling. Johnson Aviation is a family business serving general aviation for more than 45 years. The FBO offers line services, catering, rental and crew cars, maintenance, parts and flight instruction.
ISO DEVELOPS STANDARD FOR AIRPORT NOISE MONITORING
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a new standard for unattended monitoring of aircraft sound near airports, ISO 20906:2009. The standard “will help regulators, professionals and researchers in their efforts to reduce noise in the vicinity of airports,” according to the ISO. “The environmental concerns of people living near airports are increasingly taken into account by governments, airport authorities and aviation companies,” said Berthold Vogelsang, project leader and convenor of the ISO working group that developed the new standard. “Manufacturers are developing quieter aircraft, governments are committing themselves to reduce noise around airports and plans to fight against noise pollution are being adopted. To achieve the objectives of such initiatives, regulators and aviation professionals need internationally agreed measuring tools and reference documents, ISO 20906 is a practical answer to this need.” The new standard covers sound-monitoring installations and requirements, performance specifications, data reporting requirements and procedure for determining the expanded uncertainty of the reported data.
NEW AIRPORT AT PUERTO PENASCO
Mexico’s first privately owned airport has opened at Puerto Penasco (also known as Rocky Point) on the Sea of Cortez. An eight-hour drive from Los Angeles, Puerto Penasco is now easily accessible by air. The new Mar de Cortes International Airport features an 8,200-foot concrete runway located on the Mayan Palace resort. Visitors to Puerto Penasco enjoy the area’s beaches and fishing charters.
AEROTRACK ONLINE SYSTEM MONITORS CREW DUTY TIMES
Canada-based Aero Tec Software Solutions has released an online flight crew system that tracks flight, duty and rest times. AeroTrack Online allows users to set up maximum time and other limits based on the particular flight operation and regulations. Pilots can enter flight times from any Web browser, including mobile devices. AeroTrack will notify users immediately of any violation of flight, duty or rest times. AeroTrack Online costs $900 per year or $89 per month.
CHARLOTTE OPENS NEW RUNWAY
Travelers flying into North Carolina’s Charlotte Douglas International Airport are now benefiting from the airport’s new 9,000- foot third parallel runway. The new runway allows triple the instrument approaches into the airport. At Charlotte, Wilson Air Center earlier this year completed a 10,000-sq-ft renovation of the FBO, which includes “a more spacious and comfortable floor plan with a clean and modern look,” according to general manager Vince Papke. “It is more operationally convenient for pilots and crews as well as aesthetically pleasing to customers.” Wilson Air Center has added another 3.5 acres of ramp space that it manages, as well as more than 100,000 sq ft of additional office and hangar space.
NOISE TEST ENDS AT SANTA MONICA
Since December, Santa Monica Airport (SMO) in Southern California has been testing a new departure procedure for IFR piston traffic, where departing airplanes fly a heading of 250 degrees after taking off from Runway 21. The 250-degree heading alleviates delays by routing Santa Monica traffic away from traffic departing to the west from nearby Los Angeles International Airport. Under normal operations, controllers have to coordinate the two airports’ IFR departures, which results in delays at both airports.
The new procedures, however, have added a huge number of noise complaints to the already considerable tally from residents near Santa Monica Airport, which has no buffer zone of non-residential development. “We’re looking at about 1,000 complaints for April alone and expect that May complaint numbers will be similar,” said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. The FAA is planning to analyze the complaints and delay data to see which complaints actually match an IFR departure on the 250-degree heading and whether delays were reduced.
“Preliminary results show that the test significantly reduced delays at SMO and reduced taxiing times for departures at LAX,” Gregor said. “We’re comparing current delay data to delay numbers from the five-month period before the test began.” The FAA’s final report is due next month, and authorities will decide whether to make the heading change permanent, which would entail a detailed environmental analysis that would take another year.
SIGNATURE SAN FRANCISCO GETS LEED GOLD SEAL
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded to Signature Flight Support’s
San Francisco FBO Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) gold certification. The award recognizes the FBO’s recent renovation for environmentally friendly features that reduced lighting power consumption by 47 percent compared with industry standards and improved efficiency with installation of new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
Signature added 2,800 sq ft to the FBO terminal with an expanded lobby, seating areas, restrooms, security screening facilities, new flight dispatch and operations area and a galley kitchen. To further lower the FBO’s carbon footprint, Signature is using alternative-fuel ground-handling equipment and encouraging employees to commute by bicycle with new bike racks, showers and changing rooms.
Signature also implemented the HotelTrak Web-based hotel reservations tool from Global Crew Logistics. HotelTrak allows Signature customer service representatives to make hotel reservations quickly at pre-negotiated discount rates. HotelTrak connects to the Sabre reservations system, and discount rates are already pre-negotiated by Global Crew Logistics. Signature can use HotelTrak to view and sort transaction history and future reservations by passenger, fleet, aircraft type, cost center, customer, location or other unique data fields, saving time for FBOs because customer service representatives no longer have to make hotel reservations manually or negotiate rates with each hotel.
SHELTAIR OPENING AT NORTHWEST FLORIDA AIRPORT
When the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport opened
on May 23, Sheltair Aviation Services opened its FBO in temporary facilities. The new airport replaces Panama City-Bay County International Airport. In the fourth quarter, Sheltair will open a 5,000-sq-ft FBO at the new airport featuring a three-plus-acre ramp, 9,100 sq ft of hangar space and more land available for future expansion. The 4,000-acre airport, designed to guarantee that no residential development will be built near the airfield itself or within the flight paths, opened with 10,000-foot Runway 16/34; an 8,400-foot parallel runway and 5,000-foot crosswind runway are in the near-term plans.
FARGO JET NAMED BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce announced that Fargo Jet Center received its ChamberChoice Award for business of the year at an awards luncheon held in Fargo, N.D. on May 14. “It’s an honor just to be nominated for Business of the Year,” said Fargo Jet Center president Jim Sweeney. “Winning the award is a tremendous feeling. This is a real tribute to our team, who consistently serve our customers and community at the highest level.”
SENTIENT JET INTRODUCES 25-HOUR JET CARD
Charter brokerage Sentient Jet is now offering a 25-hour jet card with access to light and midsize jets. The impetus for the 25-hour card came from Sentient’s salespeople, who reported that customers were asking for a lower-cost card product. After 45 days of testing, Sentient officially launched the new 25-hour card in early May. Cost of the 25-hour card is $88,875 to $138,375, depending on whether the customer prefers a light or midsize jet. When using the cards, customers pay for one-way travel plus a small amount for taxi time. There is a one-hour daily minimum, plus fuel surcharges (which are fixed for one year) and federal taxes.
PHILLIPS 66 ADDS UNIVERSITY AIR CENTER
Gainesville, Fla.-based University Air Center has joined the Phillips 66 dealer network and now accepts the Phillips 66 WingPoints reward card. University Air Center FBO has five Citations in its charter fleet and a maintenance facility with experience servicing the Eclipse 500 very light jet and avionics repair and installation.
SAFENAV AIDS AIRPORT AWARENESS
Garmin International and I.D. Systems have signed a distribution agreement for the SafeNav on-vehicle GPS navigation and alert system, which shows vehicle position on the airport surface on a 4.3-inch touchscreen display. SafeNav uses Garmin’s SafeTaxi charts, now available for more than 950 airports in the U.S., and audible alerts automatically warn vehicle operators of potential runway incursions. SafeNav works in any weather conditions and will be available in the second half of the year.
DEER VALLEY OFFERS SCOTTSDALE ALTERNATE
Arizona’s Scottsdale Municipal Airport is closing from July 6 through 18 for runway improvements, and during the closure Atlantic Aviation’s FBO at nearby Deer Valley Municipal Airport is offering to help displaced Scottsdale tenants and customers. As an incentive, Atlantic Deer Valley, which was recently remodeled,
will give qualifying aircraft that buy 300 gallons of fuel a bonus of 10 Atlantic Award certificates.
HOUSTON EXEC ADDS ANOTHER HANGAR
Privately owned Houston Executive Airport has completed a new 12,000-sq-ft hangar. Total leased space at the airport is now more than 83,000 sq ft. The airport’s 6,610-foot runway will be extended to 7,604 feet to accommodate larger business jets.
“This expansion is a testament to the real need in the business aviation community for an alternative to the city’s crowded airports,” said Ron Henriksen, the Houston businessman and pilot who built the airport. “We are delighted to meet that demand while positively impacting the local economy as well.” Henriksen is also developing Austin Executive Airport, and that facility will open later this year.