With the exception of Bombardier Flexjet, 13 major and minor players in the fractional industry continued their growth cycle last year, according to Wichita-based AvData. Total net shares last year surged past 6,200, up 6.7 percent from 2002. During the same period, the fractional turbine fleet grew 6.1 percent–to more than 800 aircraft.
Aviation International News » February 2004
Bombardier’s fractional aircraft ownership division, Flexjet, is now operating the first Challenger 300s to enter service. Flexjet is scheduled to receive 25 of the super-midsize business jets. At press time, Flexjet had logged 64 hours in 43 flights using the new aircraft, with “no issues,” according to a Bombardier spokesman.
A May 11 trial date has been set for the start of a lawsuit in which four former Flight Options pilots allege they were fired because of their union-organizing activities before the company merged with Raytheon Travel Air. However, a settlement could come sooner. The case is scheduled to go before a mediator early this month. The pilots filed the lawsuit in late 2002.
The FAA proposes replacing the current designee program with a new one that expands the functions that designees may perform, permits non-FAA-certified individuals and organizations to become designees and does away with existing designee categories.
Cessna anticipates that its Model 680 Citation Sovereign super-midsize business jet will receive full type certification before the end of next month. On Christmas Eve the new aircraft received provisional certification, with flight into known icing the only major outstanding approval still pending. Cessna reports orders for about 100 aircraft.
Gulfstream is reportedly preparing a new model to succeed the G300, reliable industry sources have informed AIN. Expected to be introduced during the first quarter of this year (possibly late this month at the Singapore show), the new model would apparently take the place of the current G300 in Gulfstream’s production lineup.
Business jet operators knew three years ago that they would have to be equipped with approved ELTs by January 1 this year or be grounded until the installation was made. Many operators apparently didn’t take this notice seriously (maybe counting on the FAA to delay compliance, as it has a history of doing) and waited until the last minute to make arrangements for the installation. Or they simply forgot about it.
In a landmark decision, the FAA has adopted a final rule allowing the use of HUD-based enhanced vision systems (EVS) for descent below published instrument approach minimums.
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