While many European airports saw traffic decline last year, Lyon Bron airport bucked the trend, experiencing 7.7-percent growth (to 5,818 aircraft movements) in business aviation traffic over the first 11 months of 2012, according to local statistics. Numbers at the Europe-wide level indicate a 4.69-percent drop in business aviation traffic over the same period.
In a decision opening the way for Hawker Beechcraft to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court today approved the Wichita OEM’s joint plan of reorganization. “Today’s ruling marks the final significant step in the restructuring process,” said Hawker Beechcraft CEO Steve Miller. The company said that, as part of the reorganization, it will be rebranded Beechcraft Corp.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) published its equipment spending plan for the next 10 years for the first time. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond–known in political circles as “spreadsheet Phil”–has made a virtue of cutting unrealistic ambition in UK defense spending plans, following a painful review in 2010 that made substantial force cuts that are still being implemented.
When the financial crisis that exploded in late 2008 began to ravage Western economies in 2009 and 2010, the business aviation industry took well founded comfort from the fact that escalating demand from emerging markets farther east seemed to be shoring up otherwise sagging demand in traditional markets.
UTC Aerospace Systems has become the first U.S. company to manufacture aerospace products in India under the terms of a bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) signed in 2011 by the U.S. FAA and India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The agreement gives blanket approval for manufacturing U.S. aerospace products in India (or vice versa).
At press time Hawker Beechcraft was expected on January 31 to seek confirmation of its plan of reorganization from bankruptcy court, allowing the company to emerge [from bankruptcy] some time in February, which is when the name change to Beechcraft Corp. will also become effective.
AgustaWestland is making a new push into South America. The Italian helicopter maker, part of the defense and industrial conglomerate Finmeccanica, signed a memorandum of understanding on January 21 to establish a joint venture with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to build AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil for both the domestic and regional military and civilian markets.
As the cost of jet-A creeps ever upwards, the price last month at several Washington, D.C.-area airport FBOs hovered near $9 per gallon. Signature Flight Support, the lone provider at Reagan National Airport, posted a pump price of $9.18 a gallon, which was still less than the $9.24 per gallon it listed in early March 2011.
While the U.S. Congress has averted mandatory budget sequestration until March, including anticipated defense spending cuts, Pentagon watchers have been predicting a new austerity one way or the other for months.
With Hawker Beechcraft attempting to clear the final hurdle in Chapter 11 proceedings and emerge from bankruptcy, Judge Stuart Bernstein said earlier today that he would approve the joint plan of reorganization for all but one of the subsidiaries currently under Chapter 11 protection. Bernstein reserved judgment regarding the Hawker Beechcraft Corp.