U.S. business aircraft flight activity climbed 4.7 percent in March versus a year ago thanks to increased flying at Part 91 and fractional operators, according to TraqPak data from Argus. Part 91 flight activity surged by nearly double digits–up 9.5 percent–while fractionals saw a healthy 5.7-percent rise. The Part 135 market was the only sector that saw a decline in activity; it was down 3.2 percent year-over-year.
Aviation International News » May 2011
Malaysia-based Boustead Holdings, known for its naval shipyards, confirmed it is entering a conditional purchase agreement for 51 percent of MHS Aviation after completion of its due diligence. The deal is valued at MYR100 million ($33 million). Last year, MHS was awarded a MYR3.1 billion ($1 billion) contract by oil producer Petronas Carigali to provide transportation services from 2011 to 2021.
Avantair now offers leasing of fractional shares of Piaggio Avanti turboprops. The new Axis lease program allows buyers to lease a share of a fractional Avanti; this is a true lease, not a block-charter program.
The UK’s Bond Aviation Group, parent company of Bond Air Services and Bond Offshore Helicopters, has confirmed that it is in negotiations with investors, including Investindustrial and KKR, joint owners of Spain-based Inaer. Press reports had suggested Investindustrial and KKR were about to take over Bond but “these are still only negotiations,” Bond insisted.
The FAA released an Information for Operators (InFO) bulletin about safety management systems (SMS) for general aviation (Parts 91 and 125) operators.
Encouraged by preliminary ground and flight results on an MD530F, Van Horn plans to continue testing later this year for blades that are designed to increase the helicopter’s internal gross weight and blade life limit, while decreasing fuel consumption, noise emissions and the time required to track and balance the blades.
Embraer’s executive aviation division logged net sales of $1.1 billion in 2010, according to figures released in late March. Deliveries totaled 145 business jets, compared with 115 in 2009.
Aviation services provider Weston Aviation has finalized a deal with Humberside International Airport authorities to open the first dedicated FBO at the airport on the east coast of England at the beginning of June.
India’s civil aviation authority, the DGCA, is considering grounding all Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Dhruvs until the airframe is modified around the intermediate gearbox (IGB) in the tail fin. In some helicopters, “cracks were observed on the rib bottom of the IGB [and an associated area],” according to a proposed airworthiness directive issued in March.
The line between garden-variety criminals and international terrorists has become blurred worldwide, as the two groups become increasingly comfortable working together, although not necessarily toward the same ends.
Sam Harris, CEO of V1 Analytical Solutions, told participants in an NBAA security webinar last month that 12 of 28 groups classified by the U.S. government as terrorists are actively engaged in drug trafficking.