Operators at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Conn., are stepping up efforts to keep their ATC tower open after withdrawal of federal funding. Kyle Slover, COO of local FBO Volo Aviation, told AIN that discussions about options for keeping the tower open on a privately funded basis were already under way before the FAA’s March 22 announcement that 149 towers are to close at U.S. airports beginning April 7.
This year’s Heli-Expo continued the show’s record run, exceeding the number of attendees at the Helicopter Association International’s annual convention for the sixth year in a row. The final numbers included 20,393 attendees, 60 helicopters and 736 exhibitors, according to HAI president Matt Zuccaro.
Major fighter manufacturers displayed their wares this week at the 2013 Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition in Malaysia in anticipation of that country’s pending requirement for new fighters. Five aircraft considered contenders for the program–the Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab JAS-39 Gripen, Dassault Rafale, Boeing F/A-18F and Sukhoi Su-30MKM–participated in the aerial display.
Late last week Saab received a second order from FMV, the Swedish defense material administration, for the development of the Gripen E fighter that is slated to form the combat equipment of the Swedish air force from 2018.
The Colombian Army formally inducted into its fleet five new Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters. Colombia is the first South American country to acquire the S-70i variant, which is assembled at Sikorsky’s PZL Mielec facility in Poland.
Sikorsky said the helicopters were custom-equipped in the U.S. for the special forces of the Colombian army’s air assault division. They join a national fleet of 96 UH-60L Black Hawks operated by the Colombian National Police, army and air force. Colombia operates the world’s fourth-largest Black Hawk fleet.
With this year’s Asian Business Association Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) now less than three weeks away, aircraft brokerage firm Asian Sky Group has released a comprehensive survey of the number and types of business jets operating in China. According to the Hong Kong-based company’s report, the fleet of private jets in the greater China area numbered 336 as of the end of last year, with 57 percent based in mainland China and 33 percent in Hong Kong (the remaining 10 percent presumably based in Macau and Taiwan).
US Airways CEO Doug Parker said he sees smooth skies for the proposed merger of his company with American Airlines following Wednesday’s clearance of the combination by a bankruptcy court judge overseeing American’s restructuring.
The FAA released guidance yesterday to the 149 airports whose contract towers are scheduled to close as a result of budget cuts that outlines the shutdown schedule and addresses what will happen to the tower structures and equipment.
Russian Helicopters experienced a 10.7-percent increase in helicopter deliveries last year, shipping 28 more than in 2011, the Moscow-based company announced today. “Last year, we delivered 290 helicopters of nine different types to our clients from 19 countries,” CEO Dmitry Petrov said.
Eclipse Aerospace received an amended production certificate (PC) today from the FAA, authorizing the Albuquerque, N.M.-based aircraft manufacturer to do final assembly, test and certification of new-production Eclipse 550s. The original PC granted to Eclipse last year allowed Eclipse to manufacture the EA550 and requisite parts in compliance with FAA-approved type design, but required direct FAA oversight of the flight-test and certification phases.