Next month is a good time to start. The company expects to release its 1,000-page, 2006/7 World Edition in early August, and for the first time it will have FBO addresses on airport diagrams. It will also include an accompanying CD-ROM. Other enhancements include passport, visa and health requirements to allow pilots, dispatchers and trip planners to build a complete picture of each destination.
Aviation International News » June 2006
The new software is intended to automate as much of the flight-planning process as possible, reducing workload during busy operations. AirData claims it will include a wide array of features, such as data and access control, integration with other operational systems, recurrent training, a consolidated message center, content management and electronic flight folder support.
The FAA’s Advisory Circular 90-102 on the subject addresses AFP basics as they relate to general or business aviation operations. An additional source comes from NBAA’s NBAA Navigator, released as a companion piece to the FAA’s AFP briefing materials. Advisory Circular 90-102 can be found on the FAA Web site, www.faa.gov.
According to the company, it provides a real-time connection to the FAA’s Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS). As an upgrade offered with Honeywell’s Flight Sentinel service, it enables business jet operators to take advantage of the technical benefits of the FAA’s Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) program, which includes priority departure slots, flight swapping and other features designed to trim costs and minimize delays.
“The TSA’s decision to expand the number of gateway airports for general aviation flights into DCA represents another positive step in restoring full access to the airport for our industry,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
Pilots flying almost every type of business jet and airliner and some turboprops face a risk of inadvertent seatbelt release, according to a bulletin the FAA has released. Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) NM-06-29 warns that unguarded rotary seatbelt buckles can be activated unintentionally, possibly releasing the seatbelt at an inopportune moment.
Ramp accidents and incidents continue to plague the aviation industry, but the good news is that FBOs, charter operators and flight departments are taking ramp safety more seriously. Tools such as the National Air Transportation Association’s (NATA’s) Safety 1st training program and Safety Management System (SMS) can help prevent ramp incidents, which has a beneficial effect on insurance cost and availability and employee morale.
Signature Flight Support has steadily stuck to its strategy since its founding
in 1992 and has grown to become the largest multiple-base FBO company in the world. The chain’s beginnings lay in the merger of Butler Aviation and Page Avjet, and it is owned by publicly traded BBA Group of the UK.
Orlando Executive Airport FBO and Phillips 66 dealer Showalter Flying Service is 60 years old this year and held a huge hangar party in April to celebrate the occasion. Founded by brothers Howard and Sandy Showalter and Buck Rogers, the FBO remains a family operation, now run by Bob, who is Howard’s son, with his wife Kim and children Jenny and Sandy.
Another aviation association is forming, this time to serve FBOs with three or fewer facilities. The Independent Fixed Base Operators Association (IFBOA) is the brainchild of John Wraga Jr., president and CEO of the Cambridge Group of Bedford, Mass. “I visit a lot of small FBOs,” said Wraga. “They all had the idea. They need an association that can support them.”