Next month, as the Super Bowl and its pageantry take the New York City area by storm for the first time, local GA airports and service providers are hoping that metaphorical storm will be the only one on the radar.
Aviation International News » January 2014
The world’s economy, for the most part, is slowly and steadily improving, but that has not yet provided the general aviation industry with a shot in the arm. During the past year only two clean-sheet jet designs were formally unveiled–the Pilatus PC-24 and Dassault Falcon 5X–but these were known to be under way for many years before this year’s public program launches.
The free weight-and-balance program developed by FltPlan is available for more than 400 makes and model of aircraft and can be used either on the FltPlan website or on its iPad and Android apps. The company added 165 new makes and models to the program since March. Flight departments can share weight-and-balance profiles so all users are working with the same parameters. The iPad and Android app versions can be used offline, too. Users can also email the final results to maintain a record of the weight-and-balance calculations.
Bell Helicopter is going back to school, teaming with the Fort Worth (Texas) Independent School District (FWISD) and Tarrant County College (TCC) to provide advanced, “state-of-the-art” aviation and engineering training for students at Dunbar, a local high school.
Canada-based Flyht Aerospace Solutions has begun shipping its Dragon portable Iridium satcom device, which uses Apple’s iPad as an interface. Users can make voice and data calls over the Iridium network anywhere in the world. The Dragon device can also be used for flight following services. Because it is portable, no supplemental type certificate is required, and the Dragon does not need to be installed in the aircraft. Price of the Dragon is $10,000, plus annual service charges.
Operators flying Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000 jets can now take advantage of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) capabilities such as required navigation performance authorization required (RNP AR) 0.3. Rockwell Collins also added to Pro Line Fusion its vertical situation display so pilots can see a profile view of their aircraft relative to obstacles and terrain; FMS automated speed selection and takeoff and landing calculations; and an interactive feature that allows users to create their own electronic checklists.
The first Inmarsat-5 Ka-band Global Xpress satellite was launched successfully on December 8. The satellite was expected to reach its final position in a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit by the end of last month. This is the first of three satellites that will create the seamless GX Aviation high-speed satcom network, with performance up to 50 Mbps that can deliver streaming video. GX Aviation mobile broadband service is slated to begin next year, after two other satellites are sent aloft this year. Each satellite weighs more than six metric tons and can provide 89 Ka-band beams.
Bell Helicopter will build its new short light single (SLS) helicopter at Lafayette Regional Airport in Louisiana, the company announced last month.
Wilson Air Center has begun the second phase of expansion at its FBO at Houston Hobby Airport. Phase one consisted of a total renovation of its existing facility, including pilots’ lounges and snooze rooms, a presidential suite and more than 80,000 sq ft of hangar space. The next installment will include the construction of a G650-size 25,000-sq-ft hangar with office complex.
A new heliport is set to open this month in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, Texas. Construction on the $5 million, 19-acre facility began last March and will include 25,000 sq ft of heated hangar space to accommodate 50 helicopters and more than an acre of concrete ramp. The 12,000 sq ft of terminal and office space will house businesses such as flight training providers, emergency medical services, law enforcement, charter and ENG operations. Jet-A and avgas will be available 24 hours a day from self-serve fuel islands.
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