Oxford Airport in the UK is being upgraded with a Category I instrument landing system and the widening of its main runway. Construction work to widen the 5,095-foot Runway 01/19 is scheduled to start in April. Runway construction and the ILS installation (with associated approach lights) should be complete by the end of June.
Aviation International News » February 2007
An upcoming standoff for parts could spell serious problems for Lockheed JetStar owners. Some operators report Lockheed Martin will soon revise the maintenance manual, setting life limits for wing attachment bolts, tail pivot fittings, flaps and nosewheel steering. While not yet mandated by an AD, repairs could cost each operator $250,000 to $300,000, or about one-third of the aircraft’s current hull value.
Brazilian airframer Embraer reported that it delivered 27 executive and corporate shuttle versions of its Legacy 600 last year, more than double the 13 aircraft shipped in 2004 and seven more than delivered in 2005. Legacy 600 deliveries have grown steadily since Embraer handed over the first three aircraft to customers in 2000.
Last year the FAA said it would delay until this January its plan to limit “priority service” for aircraft registration in connection with international flights to allow only one request per aircraft (by N-number) in any three-month period due to agency staffing limitations, but now it has decided to back off.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has released a revised Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP), effective March 12. According to the National Air Transportation Association, the agency accepted “very few” of the recommendations made by the industry and said it is “disappointed with the TSA’s failure to correct serious concerns with the TFSSP.”
If business aviation observers are on the right track, the industry is again facing a shortage of the skilled craftsmen it needs to keep up with burgeoning demand for business aircraft.
This latest labor shortage has its origins in the recession that began in 2001, when business aircraft sales dropped precipitously and thousands of skilled workers–people who had been so badly needed during the boom of the late 1990s–were laid off.
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is rapidly finding favor in an executive configuration. Deliveries are expected to begin in the middle of next year and, according to Boeing, the order book is approaching 500. Of those, seven are for executive versions (one of the first going to Swiss-based charter and aircraft management specialist PrivatAir). Two are for customers who purchased their aircraft from leasing firms that had earlier delivery slots.
NetJets has doubled its order for new Hawkers. The fractional operator, which announced at last year’s NBAA Convention an order for 30 Hawker 750s and 18 Hawker 900XPs, disclosed last month that it ordered another 30 Hawker 750s and 18 Hawker 900XPs. Both aircraft are derivatives of the Hawker 850XP and will replace that model on the production line.
The FAA extended by 24 months–to Sept. 2, 2009–the date for affected regional and major airline operators to comply with new Part 25 fire safety requirements for thermal/acoustic insulation used in transport-category airplanes manufactured after September 2 this year.
Asia and the Middle East are widely regarded as the world’s next big markets for business aircraft. After years of unfulfilled expectations, both regions are achieving impressive growth in terms of locally based fleets and overall flying activity.