Larry Glazer–CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based commercial/industrial real-estate developer Buckingham Properties and president of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association–was handed the keys to TBM 900 S/N 1003, registered as N900KN, during the U.S. debut of the upgraded turboprop single late last week in Polk City, Fla.
AINalerts » March 27, 2014
On Tuesday the six members of the Santa Monica city council voted unanimously on a plan to prepare to close all or part of Santa Monica Airport. More than 100 attendees spoke during the late-night meeting, with opinions split about evenly between those supporting the field’s future as an airport and those seeking to use its 227 acres for parkland or property development.
The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 284 executive boards launched the NetJets Unions Coalition last week, citing “minimal progress and unjustifiable demands” during ongoing contract talks. NJASAP represents the more than 3,000 NetJets pilots, while Local 284 represents some 500 NetJets dispatchers, flight attendants, maintenance controllers, mechanics and stock clerks.
Business aviation flying in Europe eked out a 0.4-percent year-over-year increase last month, logging the fourth consecutive month of activity growth in the continent, according to Hamburg, Germany-based business aviation data firm WingX Advance. There were 43,524 business aircraft flights last month, 0.6 percent more than in February 2013.
Airbus Helicopters and Avicopter, partners on the EC175/AC352 medium-twin helicopter program, signed a joint production agreement yesterday for 1,000 rotorcraft. The signing took place at the Elysée Palace in Paris, witnessed by Chinese president Xi Jinping and French president François Hollande.
Embraer Executive Jets inaugurated its new service center today at Bertram Luiz Leupolz Airport in Sorocaba, Brazil. The 215,300-sq-ft facility has two hangars, one of which is dedicated to maintenance, repair and overhaul of Embraer business jets. Universal Aviation, the ground support division of Universal Weather & Aviation, was selected by Embraer to run an FBO at the facility and will use the other hangar for based and itinerant business aircraft. Amenities include passenger lounge, Internet access, conference rooms and crew rest area.
A “systems issue” that cropped up late last week has put the Bombardier Learjet 85’s first flight on an indefinite hold, a company spokeswoman told AIN. This latest hurdle came just hours after the company said weather had prompted it to scrub the all-composite midsize jet’s scheduled maiden flight last Thursday. The spokeswoman said that engineers are working on a software update to fix the undisclosed issue, but they cannot give an estimate of how long this will take.
Aircell received STC approvals from the EASA for installation of in-flight connectivity and entertainment systems on Bombardier Challenger 300s. Specifically, the certifications cover the Aviator 300 datacom system and UCS 5000 “smart” router and media server. The company said the Aviator 300 STC data package is being offered to Challenger 300 operators for a “nominal fee” when they install the system at an authorized Aircell dealer and activate a new SwiftBroadband service plan. Aircell entered the European market in 2002 and the region is now its second-largest market.
On average, Middle Eastern business aircraft passengers fly twice as many hours as those in Europe, according to a benchmarking study from Dubai-based Private Jet Charter. The average UAE private jet passenger flies 100 to 150 hours annually, a figure that rises to between 150 and 200 hours for business aircraft fliers in Saudi Arabia. This compares to the average of 50 to 100 hours flown yearly by European business aircraft passengers. Private Jet Charter attributes the difference to “the limited availability of commercial options on domestic routes” in the Middle East.
Bell Helicopter officially opened its composite manufacturing facility in Broussard, La., yesterday. The new 28,000-sq-ft facility was designed specifically for manufacturing and repairing composites for most of the helicopter manufacturer’s in-production and legacy fleet. Bell said it implemented lean manufacturing processes throughout the facility to improve efficiencies and reduce lead times.