Randy Groom recently restarted his aerospace consulting firm, Groom Aviation, and signed Raisbeck Engineering as his first client. Groom was most recently an executive vice president at Piper Aircraft and previously president of Beechcraft. In his renewed role as a consultant, he rejoins Raisbeck to represent all of its dealers in the U.S., with emphasis on relations with Hawker Beechcraft and Hawker Beechcraft Services.
Robinson Helicopter significantly increased production in 2011 from the 162 helicopters it manufactured in 2010. Last year the company built 356 helicopters (212 R44s, 88 R66s and 56 R22s). By the end of last year, the company had booked orders for 360 turbine-powered R66s and began this year with a backlog of orders for 400 aircraft. Robinson recently announced it has expanded its manufacturing space and is hiring more employees.
London Oxford airport-based operator Capital Air Services has taken delivery of a second-hand Eurocopter EC135 “L’Hélicoptère par Hermès.” Managing director Michael Hampton said, “We are sure that the immaculate presentation and elegance of this particular aircraft will be popular with our clients.” Eurocopter designed this luxury version of the light twin jointly with the exclusive French brand and unveiled it in 2007, but sales have been slow.
GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) announced last month that it placed an order for another two ATR 72-600s, along with options for a further two, from the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer. The order follows Gecas’ first-ever ATR order placed in June at the Paris Air Show and brings the total number of ATRs ordered by the leasing company to 17, along with options on another 17. Gecas expects to begin taking delivery of the new airplanes late this year.
Boeing has begun inspecting 787 Dreamliners for “incorrect shimming” of the support structure of their aft fuselages, the company confirmed in a written statement to AIN this morning. “We have the issue well defined and are making progress on the repair plan,” a company spokesman told AIN. “There is no short-term safety concern.
Asserting that growth is limited by its being part of a governmental agency, the Tupelo Airport Authority has issued a request for proposals from private operators to manage Tupelo Aviation Unlimited, the airport-owned FBO at the Mississippi airport. Once the bid process closes on February 10, the airport authority will establish a selection committee to review proposals and ensure that Tupelo chooses the best candidate. The length of the management contract is five years, by the end of which the authority’s goal is to be completely out of the FBO business.
NATA has announced a new FBO Managers Workshop (to be held March 27 to 28 in Washington, D.C.) to address issues general managers of aviation service providers are facing. “Rising new managers in our industry represent a whole generation of young men and women who are going to be running this entire industry in just a few years,” said NATA president and CEO James Coyne.
Jet Edge International, a charter/management and maintenance firm based in Van Nuys, Calif., has formed a partnership with Asia Jet, a charter provider that was launched in 2008 in Hong Kong. Under the partnership, Jet Edge is the exclusive operator of Asia Jet N-registered charter flights.
This is The Jet Business’s new store in Mayfair, London’s fanciest neighborhood. It opened fully in January, complete with purpose-built 32-inch iPads that allow prospective clients to specify their private aviation preferences and view specifications and cabin layouts on life-size video walls. Sales discussions take place in a full-size mockup of an Airbus ACJ, featuring a living room, dining room and office. Company founder Steve Varsano tells AIN he is already busy fielding inquiries from visiting clients drawn from around the globe.