The FAA had planned to deliver Operations Specifications C082 on calculating new landing-distance safety margins by June 30, but it is still in a draft version.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
More than 20 years ago, fractional jet ownership began with NetJets and then expanded rapidly in the late 1990s with the growth of Raytheon Travel Air and Flight Options (now just Flight Options, which is wholly owned by Raytheon), Bombardier’s Flexjet and the Cessna/ TAG Aviation CitationShares joint venture, among others.
NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) expressed concern about the FAA’s June notice requiring the addition of a 15-percent landing-distance safety margin. NBAA and NATA believe that the FAA is bypassing the normal regulatory process.
The FAA is expected to push back “a few weeks” the implementation dates for the 15-percent runway safety margin requirement. A four-week delay, for example, would require air carriers to submit compliance procedures to their POI by October 1, with implementation required by November 1.
As recently as four years ago, some observers openly questioned whether Bombardier’s Flexjet fractional ownership operation would still be around in 2006. Today, not only is Flexjet open for business, but it has turned the corner and achieved solid profitability–a milestone accomplishment in the fractional world.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options this morning launched Fractional First, which it describes as a “purchase and use program designed to deliver up to a 15-percent increase in value through access to more hours or savings on long-haul trips.” The new program is the company’s response to the perceived lack of transparency in the industry.
First it was NetJets’ pilots who picketed and finally got a new labor contract; now it’s the fractional’s mechanics and other support personnel who on Friday began “informational picketing” at the company’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Their contract became renewable in January last year.
Piaggio shipped only three Avantis in the first nine months of this year, hardly enough to keep up with demand, particularly from one of the OEM’s largest single customers, fractional provider Avantair. Lack of new Avantis is the primary reason that Avantair will record a loss of nearly $21 million this year, according to a recent SEC filing by the company’s new owner, Ardent Acquisition.
The union representing some 760 Flight Options pilots is charging that the Raytheon-owned fractional share company is engaging in a pattern of harassing and hostile behavior as both sides continue negotiations toward an initial contract. Under terms of the National Labor Relations Act those talks can continue through August 2007 before a strike could be called.
Global charter broker Air Partner International has acquired UK executive charter operator Gold Air for around $8.1 million. From its base at London Biggin Hill Airport, Gold Air now operates six new Bombardier Learjet 45s and a British Aerospace HS 125-800 under management contracts for their owners.