General Electric’s flight department is expected to move by the end of next January into its new 100,000-sq-ft hangar/office complex on 12 acres at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., about 50 mi north of Manhattan.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Heliports
New developments at heliports including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, and acquisitions.
Readington Township in New Jersey is pursuing a novel method of claiming a local, privately owned airport. If the town fathers should succeed, thousands of privately owned airports throughout the U.S., including much needed relievers, could be in jeopardy.
A U.S. District judge has ruled in favor of a Los Angeles city ordinance restricting access by Stage 2 jets to Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport (VNY). The so-called “non-addition rule” prohibits most Stage 2 aircraft that were not based at Van Nuys during calendar year 1999 from being based, parked or hangared there for more than 30 days in any succeeding year.
Now that a U.S. District Court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) challenging a ban on Stage 2 jets at Florida’s Naples Municipal Airport, the airport is moving ahead to reinstate the ban as quickly as legally possible. To that end, the airport has notified the FAA that it intends to implement the ban effective next March 1, the earliest it can go into effect by law.
The U.S. Customs Service has revised the list of user-fee airports by adding Edinburgh Airport in Texas and removing Arkansas Aeroplex at Blytheville, Ark. These actions were taken at the request of the airports. The complete list contains 36 airports designated as user-fee facilities.
Shut down years ago for nearby construction, the Providence (R.I.) downtown helipad has reopened for dropoffs and pickups only (no parking). Prior permission is required to use the resurfaced and remarked (but unlit) helipad on the shore of the Providence River. To make reservations, pilots should call (401) 737-4000, extension 227 or 228.
Closed by a ban on operations within three nautical miles of the World Trade Center site since September 11, Manhattan’s three public-use heliports were partially reopened on October 12, but only to Part 135 operations. The announcement came as good news for air-taxi operators but disappointed the large local population of Part 91 corporate operators.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) was Signature’s busiest base until September 11. Even after all other major airports around the country have reopened to some forms of general aviation operations, DCA remains closed to non-airline traffic. At press time, the normally bustling ramp at Signature DCA, the company’s flagship facility, was barren. The usually chock-a-block hangar was empty.
For some FBOs, the cost of remaining closed for the days (in some cases weeks) after September 11 has been catastrophic. In a low-margin business such as an FBO, especially an independent facility, cash flow is the lifeblood of the business. Cut off the flow for too long, and the patient cannot survive, no matter what measures are taken after the fact.
Japan’s minister for administrative reform and deregulation has called for Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports to be privatized and merged and managed by a single operating company, arguing that the facilities would be run more efficiently in the private sector. The minister said he expects a privatization plan for the country’s main gateways to be approved by year-end.