Million Air Cleveland has installed a new security system at its Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) facility that it hopes will become the prototype for other FBOs.
Aviation International News » October 2002
Aircraft maintenance does not exactly move forward technologically at the speed of light. Instead, it appears the industry is in a constant state of making things incrementally better. A small innovation here, some modification to an existing procedure there, a reemphasis on the importance of service, and the result is that operators get better, faster, more cost-effective maintenance.
PlaneSense, the Manchester, N.H.-based fractional ownership provider launched in 1996 by parent company Alpha Flying, continues to expand. According to Alpha Flying president George Antoniadis, PlaneSense added two more Pilatus PC-12s to its fleet in the past year and a third is scheduled to arrive this month, bringing the fleet total to 11.
PC-12 flight planning seems to work out best at 260 kt, which means a 1,200-nm trip with IFR reserves will keep you in the cabin for 4.5 hr. But passengers who have flown the airlines will find that spending a long trip time in the Pilatus is a treat because of all the extra space and the working toilet. Since the potty is up front, the crew can use the facility without disturbing passengers.
A big mission for a big company usually means a big airplane with a cavernous interior and enough fuel to carry a large load over thousands of miles. But to accomplish that there is always a cost-benefit compromise. When a big mission appears for a small company, the economics often translate into a small airplane, which means even more mission compromises.
Just one year ago there were none. Now, four companies have suddenly announced their intention to develop an RVSM STC package for the Learjet 20 series to be available next year. All four companies propose to achieve the approval using the airplane’s original JET autopilot and estimate the price to be around $150,000.
By almost any measure NBAA’s annual convention, held September 10 to 12 in Orlando, Fla., can be considered a rousing success.
In the past month the nation and the aviation industry have successfully navigated the first-year anniversary of September 11, the first Code Orange alert (one tier below the highest level) and additional TFRs (around the three crash sites) that actually proved to be “temporary.”
The final day of the NBAA convention in Orlando, Fla., last month opened to gray clouds and gathering rain. But for the Piaggio Aero team, there was nothing but sunshine and broad smiles.
For the Italian aviation company, the three-day show was highlighted by a record-setting flight, orders for 11 new airplanes, entry into the fractional-ownership market and a 600-hr engine TBO extension.
After serving less than a year as chairman of the NTSB, Marion Blakey last month became the 15th Administrator of the FAA. She succeeds Jane Garvey, who was the first woman to head the agency and the first to be appointed to a congressionally mandated five-year term.