As the investigation into the cause of the fatal crash of a Gulfstream G650 during an April test flight continues, company officials acknowledge there will likely be some certification delays for the large cabin jet, but they have confidence that the inquiry will conclude soon enough to allow it to complete the FAA certification program this year.
Aviation International News » June 2011
Business aircraft sales firm Jetcraft is “seeing clear evidence” of a return to a more stable pricing environment for large-cabin, long-range business jets. “There has been a significant reduction in the gap between buyer and seller price expectations, due in part to the reduction of distressed assets that flooded the market in late 2008,” noted company co-owner Jahid Fazal-Karim.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has greenlighted an 890-acre expansion project at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, Ga., that would increase Gulfstream’s footprint at the field. The expansion affects the area’s wetlands, requiring U.S. government approval to construct a new taxiway and realign Gulfstream Road.
Hawker Beechcraft is proceeding with relocation of some of the company’s facilities, chairman and CEO Bill Boisture noted during the company’s first-quarter earnings call last month.
Advocacy efforts by NBAA members, the Connecticut Legislative Aviation Caucus and the Connecticut Business Aviation Group to fight a personal property tax on all aircraft based in the state were successful. Last month, the House and Senate in Connecticut passed a budget that does not contain “the potentially devastating tax increases for aviation that were proposed in earlier versions,” NBAA said.
Two events last month intensified the confrontation between LightSquared, a private U.S. communications company, and U.S. government and industry GPS interests.
Satellite communications provider Inmarsat and aviation standards organizations have been working on a solution to a lesser-publicized aspect of the planned LightSquared broadband wireless network–the potential for the system’s high-power transmitters to interfere with satcom as well as GPS navigation signals.
Satcom1 is now providing Aviator 200 services in Europe and claims to be the first to do so. Thrane & Thrane unveiled the Aviator at last year’s Ebace, touting it as the smallest, lightest equipment available for obtaining Inmarsat broadband services on aircraft.
Embraer delivered its 200th Phenom 100 on May 11, a milestone that it achieved in just one-and-a-half years. The light jet was received by Phoenix-based aircraft sales, charter and management firm Swift Aviation Group. Swift ordered this Phenom in May 2006. Swift was Embraer’s launch customer for the Legacy 600, placing an order for 25 of the super-midsize jets in 2000.
Independence Bio-Products of Dublin, Ohio, has produced algae oil, which has been converted to jet fuel and then successfully tested by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB. The algae was grown in open ponds in Ohio and harvested with IBP’s proprietary system. This milestone is part of a federally funded project to examine algae-to-fuel processing strategies.