National Air Traffic Controllers Association president John Carr said, “Fewer eyes watching busier skies is not a scenario any of us want. Unless funds for hiring [new controllers] are appropriated, staff shortages will inevitably lead to serious delays, congestion and, yes, safety concerns.” NATCA is calling for $14 million to be allocated for hiring and training new controllers as part of the FAA’s 2005 fiscal-year budget.
Beginning in January, PrivatAir will offer daily flights between Zurich and Newark Liberty International Airport, N.J., in partnership with Swiss International Airlines.
A pair of submissions to NBAA’s Air Mail Internet forum underscore the importance of preflight awareness. A Challenger crew taxiing for takeoff from an unattended airport received a radio call (from an unspecified hero) alerting them to a potentially dangerous situation. Unable to remove the small-airplane chock from behind one of the mainwheels, the crew had moved the front chock out of the way and started up.
There were no fatal accidents involving U.S.-registered business jets in the first half of this year, compared with three such accidents and seven fatalities in the same period last year, according to Robert E. Breiling Associates. Corporate/executive jet operators were not involved in any accident in the first half of this year or last year.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association is urging the European Union to unify rules for general aviation operations rather than leave regulation to individual member states of the EU.
Fractional-ownership provider NetJets has placed an order for 50 AirCell ST 3100 Iridium satellite communication systems for its growing fleet of Raytheon Hawker 400XP light business jets.
The satellite phone systems will be installed at Raytheon Aircraft Services in San Antonio before aircraft delivery. A spokeswoman for Woodbridge, N.J.-based NetJets said the fractional operator expects the first 400XP delivery this month.
As plans move ahead for certification of the Eclipse 500 in early 2006, Eclipse Aviation unveiled details of its six-phase pilot training program. The Eclipse Jet Basics Self-Paced Study Course is a five-part series of CD-based modules that provide an overview of jet aircraft and the operating environment to assist pilots in the transition from propeller-driven airplanes to jets.
Fractional ownership operator CitationShares has officially launched its Vector JetCard program, allowing individuals and companies to pre-pay for 25 hours of private flight time on CitationShares-operated aircraft.
The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global private equity firm with extensive aerospace and defense holdings, has “signed a definitive agreement to acquire Garrett Aviation Services from General Electric Company.” According to industry sources, the agreement calls for a cash acquisition valued at about $160 million.
The Teal Group released its annual 10-year forecast of the helicopter market on July 19. Despite its overall optimism, however, there was no good news for the civil segment. The Fairfax, Va.-based market analysis firm predicted the manufacture of 8,979 rotorcraft with a value of $80.1 billion from 2004 to 2013. The forecast represents strong growth over the previous decade, when production totaled 7,793 helicopters valued at $51.1 billion.