Fractional operator Flight Options has expanded into the realm of aircraft management.
Aviation International News » August 2007
London-based flight planning group Flight-Operations. com has been rebranded under the name Air Planner. The company has also benefited from fresh funding that has allowed it to invest in more specialist staff and achieve compliance with Europe’s JAR-OPS 1 operating standards for commercially operated aircraft.
Six air charter brokers have formed the Air Charter Association of North America (Acana) to improve standards within the broker industry. Members can work only with Part 121 and Part 135 operators and must meet a set of 12 requirements before they qualify for membership. “It’s a non-regulated industry, and this organization was needed to address brokers’ ethics,” Acana president Jonathan Tasler told AIN.
An EC 130 operated by New York City’s Liberty Helicopters made a forced landing into the Hudson River last month during an otherwise routine sightseeing flight. According to the NTSB’s preliminary report, the pilot, who was flying at between 300 and 400 feet, reported hearing a loud bang, saw debris fly by her windshield and then lost all yaw control.
Spain has a new executive charter company in the shape of CorporateJets XXI. The Barcelona-based operation was launched with a E30 million ($39 million) investment and will initially operate an eight-passenger Cessna Citation XLS and a 14-passenger Dassault Falcon 900. The new operator is part of the Grup XXI consortium, which is also active in real-estate development, hotels, restaurants and medical centers.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) said in a letter to the FAA last month that its Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) should not be mandatory. According to the association, language contained within the SAFOs might allow some FAA inspectors to think they are.
General Dynamics’ aerospace division, which includes Gulfstream and its support cousin, General Dynamics Aviation Services, had $1.2 billion in sales in the second quarter, up more than 13 percent from the same time a year ago. Earnings increased 20 percent, to $200 million. The backlog stood at more than $10 billion at the end of the quarter, a more than 40-percent increase from the second quarter of last year.
As this issue went to press, Cessna was single-handedly attempting to prove that economies of scale are alive and well in aviation. Only a few weeks after the manufacturer announced it would become the first major U.S. manufacturer to produce and sell a light sport aircraft (LSA) for the flight-training market, the company unveiled the two-seat, 100-hp SkyCatcher at EAA’s
Signature Flight Support parent BBA Aviation sold Oxford Airport in the UK to private investment group OA Acquisitions for £40 million ($80 million) late last month. The new owner is part of the Aldersgate Investments group, controlled by multi-millionaire British real estate developers David and Simon Reuben. The brothers declined to comment on their intentions for the airport, which has been trying to attract more business aviation traffic.
Pratt & Whitney Canada said last month its PW600 engine has been selected to power the new Epic Victory single-engine VLJ. Up to that point, Epic had used the Williams FJ33-4A for the Victory. P&WC’s PT6A-67 had previously been selected to power Epic’s Dynasty turboprop.