Sometimes your best business asset is your location. And sometimes the advantages of that location might not be so obvious to customers looking at a map. That’s why Mike Dolphin, co-owner of New York-area FBO Avitat White Plains (Booth No. 635), has been exhibiting here at EBACE since the show first opened in 2001.
Dolphin has a message for European business jet operators who have been using close-in Teterboro to get to the center of New York City. “Teterboro looks great when you see how close to Manhattan it is, and it is a terrific facility. But what a lot of European operators don’t realize is that White Plains, even though it’s farther out, can actually save you 30 minutes–and a lot of frustration–on your journey to midtown,” he told EBACE Convention News. “That’s because heavy air traffic into the New York City beehive can add extra miles and stressful minutes to your flight. And time spent loitering aloft is far costlier than time spent on surface travel.”
Dolphin explained that most air traffic arriving in the New York area from across the Atlantic funnels through the Albany, New York sector well north of the Big Apple. “But if you’re going to the La Guardia/Newark/JFK area–and Teterboro is part of that traffic mix–ATC will send you over Huguenot VOR.” That puts you in the conga line with all the airline traffic.
By contrast, to get to White Plains after Albany, the route diverts to the less-traveled Kingston VOR and direct to the final approach fix for the ILS to Runway 16. “That saves up to an hour of flying time, which easily offsets the extra 20 minutes it takes to drive to Manhattan from where we are,” claimed the Avitat manager.
On getaway to Europe from New York, White Plains can represent an even better deal. Friday night departure traffic out of Teterboro–which lies virtually in the shadow cast by the New York’s bright lights–can rival the gridlock found in Times Square. Dolphin said, “It’s not uncommon to find yourself number 45 for takeoff–and the wait could be well over an hour. For us here at White Plains, it’s a seven-minute taxi on our worst day. And departures to the northeast are never a problem.
“So that’s why we’re here at EBACE,” Dolphin said. “The show works for us.” He said traffic from Europe is split about 50-50 between visitors to the New York area, and pass-through traffic headed elsewhere. (Dolphin admits that southbound traffic from White Plains is subject to the same bottlenecks faced by users of other area airports.)
Reflecting on his FBO’s participation in EBACE, Dolphin reflected that: “We’ve seen our business in European-registered aircraft quadruple in the past five years.” Part of the reason, he said, is the weakness of the dollar that makes shopping visits to the U.S. that much more attractive.
And Avitat White Plains ranks near the top of the heap as a world-class FBO. With customs and immigration service collocated at the facility, access for international flights is greatly simplified. Recent expansion and refurbishment have made Avitat White Plains a first-class introduction to America–with a piano-equipped passenger lounge, gourmet coffee shop and all the pilot amenities one would expect from a true executive-level FBO.
Ramp service is fast and efficient–a New York necessity. Avitat’s own tower cab position overlooks the expansive parking area for maximum coordination and safety–for aircraft and passengers. Ramp personnel are highly experienced, with 12 of the employees boasting more than 10 years’ service and six with 30-plus years in the business of caring for business jets.