Operators of some posh FBOs sometimes complain that pilots are “looking for Wal-Mart prices.” At Beaver Lake Aviation at Rogers (Ark.) Airport (ROG), that’s exactly what they’ll find. The FBO is a division of the massive retailer and grew out of its corporate flight department. Wal-Mart has a lengthy aviation heritage, with founder (and avid pilot) Sam Walton having traveled the country by air, seeking new store locations.
Aviation International News » October 2002
Pilots visiting the site of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kill Devil Hills, N.C., near Kitty Hawk will soon have more than a minimalist line shack in which to prepare for their outbound flight.
Deciding that it wanted to return to the meat and potatoes of its core business, hamburger restaurant chain Krystal has divested its FBO at Chattanooga (Tenn.) Airport (CHA). The buyer was TAC Air, the Texarkana, Texas-based division of Truman Arnold Companies. Assets include Krystal North and South facilities, located at opposite ends of the ramp area, which is east of the intersection of Runways 2-20 (7,401 ft) and 15-33 (5,000 ft).
With its 5,000-ft runway, Weslaco (Texas) Mid Valley Airport (T65) may not be a beehive of jet activity, but the local authority recently spent $2.1 million in improvements to attract business to the field. Located about 30 mi west of Brownsville, near the Mexican border, Weslaco expanded its parking apron to 280,000 sq ft, added two new taxiways and installed pilot-controlled lighting.
Avion Jet Center at Orlando Sanford (Fla.) Airport (SBF) has signed on as an Avfuel-branded dealer. Avion general manager Jerry Proenza said, “The whole package is pretty impressive. We get excellent marketing and sales support. The Avtrip program was a major deciding factor as well.
Ken Weber, an Astra pilot based at Teterboro (N.J.) Airport (TEB), won Atlantic Aviation’s “Top-off=$10,000” drawing at last month’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. Pilots who topped off their aircraft (with at least 200 gal) at an Atlantic Aviation FBO in the months preceding the convention were eligible for the drawing. The prize was a prepaid $10,000 American Express card, which Weber can use for whatever purchases he wants.
A fixture at Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport (VNY) for decades, Clay Lacy Aviation now has a second location. Together with Joe Clark, CEO of Seattle-based winglet pioneer Aviation Partners (though that company is not involved in the deal), Lacy has acquired the former Flight Center at Seattle Boeing Field (BFI) and renamed it the Clay Lacy Flight Center. Terms were not disclosed.
In the two years since it began a $15 million rebuilding program at Dallas Love Field (DAL), Business Jet Center has more than doubled its market share on the field, which hosts seven FBOs. Now with a 24-percent share of the market at busy DAL, Business Jet pumps nearly 3.8 million gallons of Phillips 66 jet-A and avgas annually, averaging better than 315,000 gal per month, according to general manager Stephanie Jordan.
The FAA’s decision to withdraw proposed regulations to require fire detectors and suppression systems in cargo compartments in certain on-demand Part 135 airplanes has been praised by the National Air Transportation Association, even though it took the agency more than four years to complete safety and economic reviews.
Although a new VHF digital datalink communication system could quadruple channel capacity while retaining 25-kHz spacing, the FAA needs to ascertain if the technology is sound, if it can be certified for use in the National Airspace System and whether it is cost effective for users and the agency.