Universal Weather & Aviation is to open a business aircraft handling operation at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon. The facility will be run as a joint venture with local company Cirrus Middle East and will eventually trade under the name Universal Aviation Beirut.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » FBOs
New developments at FBOs including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
Imperial Transport, flying a Citation 501, and US Smokeless Tobacco Brands, operating two Challenger 601s, received the “Spirit of Noise Abatement” awards for last year for achieving the lowest average sound level for a single jet and a fleet operation, respectively, at Westchester County Airport (HPN), White Plains, N.Y.
Flightcraft began operations in 1948, the year after the introduction of the Bonanza, and was one of the early stars in the Beechcraft dealer constellation. At one time there were as many as five Flightcraft locations, all with solid markets for the entire line of Beech products. In the 1980s, Flightcraft was owned by a partnership that included David Hinson, who would later go on to become FAA Administrator.
At the Dubai Air Show last month, Jet Aviation unveiled construction plans for a maintenance center and FBO at Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates. With sister operations in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Dubai location will be the third Jet Aviation facility in the Middle East.
Million Air Burbank, Calif. (BUR), recently held its grand-opening celebration. The new facility–owned by Harold Lee, who also owns Million Air Van Nuys–provides a second choice for visitors to the “beautiful downtown” city made famous by former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson. The heavily trafficked airport is one of the primary business aviation destinations, along with nearby Van Nuys, for the entertainment industry.
Bids are invited from “qualified persons or firms” to design, develop and operate a new FBO facility at Boston Logan International Airport, which is currently served by Signature Flight Support. As part of its request for proposals (RFP), the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) will host a pre-submission conference and site tour on February 10 where copies of the draft lease and operating agreements will be available.
Million Air Columbus at Port Columbus International Airport (CMH), Ohio, has acquired an additional 32,000 sq ft of heated hangar space. The expansion brings the FBO’s total hangar area to more than 121,000 sq ft equipped with doors measuring 120 feet wide by 30 feet high. Some revisions to the ramp layout have improved safety and ground-traffic flow.
EBITDA stands for “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.” In the acquisition world, businesses are valued by a multiple of their EBITDA. The buzz lately is that FBOs are popular among some aggressive private equity funds, and that has led to sales on the order of eight or nine times EBITDA–a rising trend that many say cannot continue.
Jet Aviation, the aviation services company founded in Switzerland in 1967, was recently singled out for a prestigious safety award by its insurer, AIG Aviation of Atlanta. The company’s European aircraft management and charter divisions received AIG’s Operational Excellence Award for 2003.
The FBO that Jet Aviation announced last August would open early this year at Kuwait International Airport has been delayed more than a year. Jet Aviation now says construction of the three-story, 13,000-sq-ft executive terminal will begin next month and be operational by the end of next year. “We were planning the construction of the FBO in two phases to allow aircraft handling services in early 2005,” said a spokesman.