The new Pulkovo-3 FBO in St. Petersburg, Russia, officially opened for business on March 6, initially handling only domestic flights. According to operator JetPort, the purpose-built facility will be ready to handle international flights this month once customs and immigration facilities are fully in place.
Aviation International News » April 2013
Confronted with years of stubborn and static accident statistics for general aviation operations, the NTSB is taking more aggressive actions in an attempt to reduce the number of crashes. Last month, the independent safety agency issued five GA Safety Alerts, to be followed later this spring by a series of videos.
Bell Helicopter is moving rapidly to expand its U.S. and international product support, modifications and sales capabilities. That’s the message from company executives Danny Maldonado, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, and Eric Cardinali, senior vice president of customer support and services.
Tony Cestnik, president of Anchorage, Alaska-based Aero Twin, carved a niche for himself and his business by making the Cessna Caravan more rugged to operate in the bush, and the experience he built in that untamed territory shaped his approach to the process.
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) began its annual safety symposium with an attention-grabbing slide. It shows the accident rates for U.S. Part 121 airlines and all Part 135 operations for the years 2007-2011. The accident rate for all Part 135 operations is 0.60 per 100,000 flight hours, approximately four times worse than the airlines’ 0.159 per 100,000 flight hours.
Hawaii’s Island Air closed the sale of the airline in late February to a newly formed holding company owned by the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison. Island Air said it plans no staff changes and will continue its operations as usual while it maps out routes, airplane acquisitions and services.
Bizjet operations are on the rise, FBOs are ‘cautiously’ optimistic. For the FBO industry, business last year looked a lot like it did in 2011 as hopes for a significant resurgence in business aviation were pushed back again.
Controller operational errors are on the rise, according to a February 27 audit report from the DOT’s Office of the Inspector General (IG), prompted by requests from the Senate subcommittee on aviation operations, safety and security and, separately, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. According to FAA data, controller operational errors at the Southern California (SoCal) Tracon, jumped from 33 in FY09 to 189 in FY10, an increase of 473 percent.
The FAA lowered the boom on airports serving mainly GA, business and regional airline traffic, announcing on March 22 that it will close 149 ATC contract towers as part of its effort to slash spending by more than $600 million in the current fiscal year under the federal government’s “sequester” mandate. The action could spell the end of the agency’s 30-year-old contract tower program.
Operators at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Conn., are stepping up efforts to keep their ATC tower open after withdrawal of federal funding. Kyle Slover, COO of local FBO Volo Aviation, told AIN that discussions about options for keeping the tower open on a privately funded basis were already under way before the FAA’s March 22 announcement that 149 towers are to close at U.S. airports beginning April 7.