How will 2012 turn out? Will it be good for aviation or not so good? The answers to these simple questions are complex, and maybe even impossible to find. But we feel they are worth asking.
Annual special reports and features from AIN Publications, including the reports from the annual FBO and Product Support Surveys. Other topics include Completions and Refurbishment, Cabin Electronics, New Business Jets, New Regional Jets, New Rotorcraft, pilot reports of aircraft and others, as well as one-of-a-kind special reports on numerous other aviation topics.
This stunning image of the world’s tallest building–Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper–is the result of a new business alliance between Space Imaging Middle East (SIME) and Google under which SIME has become the first authorized reseller for Google Enterprise GEO in the Middle East.
Ever since automaker CEOs went private jet-in-hand to Washington seeking bail-out bucks in 2008, business aircraft have become the political pinata of choice for certain members of the elected, who mistakenly see attacking executive contrails as surefire re-election rhetoric.
Even as other aviation segments struggled in the throes of a recession deeper and more enduring than anyone expected, the rotorcraft industry remained at least healthy. But is that going to last? If Heli-Expo 2011 in March was an indicator, the answer is “yes.”
Like most of the general aviation industry, the charter and fractional sectors have reported stable activity during the past year, with pockets of growth and decline although the number of charter hours flown so far this year is higher than the number of fractional hours.
Early interest in the Airbus A320neo appears to have spread beyond the ranks of two potential launch operators, as aircraft leasing powerhouse ILFC today signaled its endorsement of the re-engined narrowbodies with a memorandum of understanding covering 75 A320neos and 25 A321neos. However, ILFC also cancelled its purchase agreement for 10 A380s in an effort to “rebalance” its order book, undoubtedly tempering Airbus’s satisfaction.
Revenues at NetJets, Berkshire Hathaway’s fractional jet share company, dropped $471 million (41 percent) in the third quarter of 2009 and $1.495 billion (42 percent) for the first nine months of 2009, compared with 2008 results, according to the parent company’s November 6 quarterly report. The decline in revenues stems from a 79-percent drop in aircraft sales, according to the report, and a 24-percent reduction in flight revenue hours.
The charter segment has been hit particularly hard during this downturn, as the number of flights dropped drastically from year-ago levels. Flight activity has recently begun to show minor increases, but in many cases the downturn has shone a light on other challenges with which the industry must contend.
This year’s show benefits from recent improvements to infrastructure and facilities as organizer Farnborough International continues a 60-year evolution of development begun by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC). One of the first examples was a re-landscaping of the exhibition site in 1980 to accommodate continuing growth.
The first airplane to make a powered, controlled and sustained flight in Britain took place at Farnborough on October 16, 1908, continuing a tradition that had already made the airfield a center of aviation excellence. To celebrate that event, a full-size replica of Samuel Franklin Cody’s British army airplane Number 1A is making its first public appearance here.