Driven by higher corporate profits and the growth of worldwide GDP, the demand for business jets is beginning to recover, according to the FAA Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2012-2032, released last week. The more expensive and sophisticated turbine-powered fleet (including rotorcraft) is projected to grow at an average of 2.9 percent a year over the forecast period, with the jet portion increasing at 4 percent a year.
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
When President Obama signed the four-year FAA reauthorization bill on February 14, he put an end to more than four years of foot-dragging and often contentious debate, along with a record 23 short-term extensions of the FAA’s operating authorization and ability to levy and collect aviation excise taxes, since the last four-year reauthorization expired in the fall of 2007.
GippsAero appointed Tallahassee, Fla.-based Flightline Group as its authorized dealer for the Southeast U.S. last Thursday. The Australian-based manufacturer, which is owned by Mahindra Aerospace of Mumbai, India, currently produces the GA8 Airvan utility aircraft and it is developing the 10-seat GA10 turboprop single. Flightline Group is also the authorized dealer for Piper in the Southeast and for Honda Aircraft in the Southeast and Northeast.
While general aviation aircraft billings rose marginally last year by 0.4 percent, to $19.1 billion, shipments declined by 3.5 percent to 1,865 aircraft, according to data released yesterday by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). This data omits fourth-quarter deliveries and billings for Hawker Beechcraft in both 2010 and 2011, since the Wichita aircraft manufacturer will not release fourth-quarter 2011 figures until late next month.
MAJ Aviation held a grand opening for its new general aviation center at Seletar Aerospace Park on February 10. The new hangar is designed to house MAJ’s aircraft storage and MRO operation, as well as FBO services and offices for flight training providers such as Discovery Flying Club.
A unique feature of the MAJ hangar is a two-story carousel-style aircraft parking system. The two levels of the carousel can hold up to 14 aircraft, which are loaded onto the top level by a hydraulic lift platform that sinks flush into the floor of the hangar when not in use.
The leaders of eight general aviation advocacy associations shared one stage yesterday morning here at Heli-Expo. They included: Ed Bolen, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA); Pete Bunce, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA); Peggy Chabrian, Women in Aviation International (WAI); Jim Coyne, National Air Transportation Association (NATA); Paula Derks, Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA); Craig Fuller, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); Rod Hightower, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA); and Matt Zuccaro, Helicopter Association International (HAI).
Piper Aircraft (Booth V63) head of global sales and business development Drew McEwen is leading the Vero Beach, Florida-based company’s delegation here at the Singapore Airshow. The Brunei government-owned aircraft manufacturer also comes to the Singapore show fresh under new management–until a few months ago Imprimis was directing the company; Brunei, which bought Piper in 2009, now holds the full reins.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has approved a five-year extension of its partnership authorizing National Air Transportation Association Compliance Services (Natacs) to continue as a trusted fingerprint facility to process biological and biometric information for general aviation and commercial aviation worldwide.
With the Obama Administration doggedly promoting its proposal for a $100-per-flight user fee for millions of flights by turbine-powered general aviation aircraft, GA interests are organizing continued opposition.
Ventura Airconnect has launched the first intrastate, non-scheduled airline in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It operates twice daily flights between different city pairs within the state. From its bases at Bhopal and Indore, the airline connects Jabalpur, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Agra, Satna, Rewa and tiger resort destinations of Kanha and Bhandavgarh.