Aiming to attract business travelers who are working for companies in the $5 million to $90 million sales-per-year range, Mooney Airplane, now a subsidiary of Mooney Aerospace Group (MAG) of Long Beach, Calif., has reduced the price of its piston singles by an average of $90,000, or about 20 percent. The first new production airplane will be delivered at Oshkosh later this month, according to MAG Chairman and CEO Roy Norris.
Aviation International News » July 2002
The number of pilots hired from January through May by the six major fractional operators (559 pilots) is outpacing hiring by the major airlines (302) and regional jet operators (402), according to statistics compiled by AIR Inc. of Atlanta. Only hiring by national airlines (649) surpassed fractionals (total hired in all categories was 2,509). AIR also reported that 7,257 of 94,571 active airline pilots are on furlough in the U.S.
The General Accounting Office warned the FAA that unless it makes better plans to replace the 5,000 air traffic controllers expected to retire over the next five years, there might be a shortfall that could affect the safety of the ATC system and increase air traffic delays.
Air traffic controller work stoppages last month in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Hungary will likely continue from time to time in these and other European countries, although they are not expected to thwart European Union plans to create a standardized “single sky” ATC system.
Nearly 88 percent of fractional aircraft owners rated their satisfaction of their respective programs at the two highest score levels and 22 percent said they intended to increase the number of their shares, according to a survey by Cincinnati-based Aviation Research Group/US (ARG/US). The company surveyed customers of NetJets, Bombardier Flexjet, Flight Options and the former Raytheon Travel Air (now rolled into Flight Options).
After a ballot initiative stripped the former El Toro Marine Corps air station in Orange County, Calif., of airport zoning, backers are seeking a heart transplant for the airport through a lawsuit to have the initiative ruled unconstitutional. Meanwhile, proponents of a modified El Toro Airport plan are collecting signatures in hopes of putting an authorizing initiative on the November general election ballot.
New York radio personality and NetJets customer Don Imus has become the first fractional aircraft owner to become a participant in the Corporate Angel Network, the White Plains, N.Y.-based organization that arranges free transportation for cancer patients to treatment centers using empty seats on corporate aircraft flying on routine business.
A union organizing campaign is under way at fractional-aircraft provider Flight Options, according to Don Treichler of the International Brother of Teamsters (IBT) airline division, with an initial distribution of “representation” cards sent to pilots on along with an explanatory newsletter dated May 23. IBT followed up with a second newsletter dated June 12.
FlightSafety International and Bombardier Aerospace have received JAA approval for certain training programs. The Joint Aviation Authorities approved FSI’s pilot training for the Falcon 50, 900 and 2000 series, as well as the Challenger 600, 601 and 604. Meanwhile, Bombardier said it became the first North American company to receive JAA approval of maintenance training for the Challenger 604 and Global Express.
Toyota confirmed that the fuselage of its experimental four-seat piston aircraft is a one-piece co-cured (single-molded) unit of a carbon fiber and resin composite material. The aircraft flew for the first time at Mojave (Calif.) Airport on May 31.