At a White House press conference this morning, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood laid out the likely consequences of possible automatic federal budget cuts, also called sequestration, scheduled to start on March 1, to his department and the U.S. FAA.
The U.S. Army cancelled development of the Northrop Grumman long-endurance, multi-intelligence vehicle (LEMV), a huge, optionally manned hybrid airship that the service planned to deploy to Afghanistan as an urgent requirement for persistent surveillance. The airship was overweight and behind schedule; it made its first and only announced flight last August, about 10 months late.
Bombardier Business Aircraft saw a “remarkable level” of order intake last year, logging net orders for 343 aircraft versus 191 in 2011, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer reported today.
When the U.S. Congress returns from recess on Monday, there will be just five working days to avoid across-the-board sequestration cuts, and prospects appear dim for a compromise that would avert these federal budget cuts. The general aviation community is sizing up the possible effects of sequestration on everything from the FAA’s NextGen modernization program to the contract tower program, as well as the day-to-day operation of current air traffic control services and facilities.
Fractional share provider Flight Options’ business is growing at a healthy clip, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company announced yesterday. “We’re definitely seeing a significant increase in hours flown and customer utilization,” said Matt Doyle, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re seeing folks are much more comfortable using their hours. On the business side, they’re using their airplanes to meet customers and clients and expand their business. On the personal side more folks are flying.”
On the heels of the announcement that Signature Flight Support’s bid for an $82 million FBO development project at San Jose (Calif.) Norman Y. Mineta International Airport was endorsed by the airport’s evaluation committee, Atlantic Aviation, the incumbent services provider on the field, has filed an appeal of the decision, asking that its proposal to last summer’s request for proposal process be reconsidered.
Gulfstream Aerospace said the two fleet-leading G150s, which are both owned and operated by a U.S.-based multinational energy company, recently combined to surpass 10,000 flight hours. This achievement was accomplished without incident and took only five years, Gulfstream noted. The midsize business jet entered service in August 2006, and some 100 G150s are flying with operators in the U.S., Canada, Central America, South America, Europe and Asia. The entire fleet has accumulated more than 130,000 flight hours and more than 90,000 landings.
DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval for its GDC62 radio altimeter interface unit and the GDC66 fuel quantity adapter unit. These converters, developed specifically for the Piper Meridian, permit the continued use of the existing radio altimeter and fuel quantity computer and are required for the G950 cockpit retrofit STC owned by Cutter Aviation. DAC International’s engineering and certification division achieved the approvals in partnership with Cutter Aviation.
Atlantic Aero has received FAA approval to add the Cessna Citation X to its repair station license. The MRO has invested more than $150,000 in new tooling, training and other related expenses to support Citation X certification. The company has a long history working with the type by providing interior updates for Citation X operators, and the addition of the product to Atlantic Aero’s repair license enables the facility to provide maintenance.
Mid-Canada Mod Center has signed a dealer agreement with Satcom Direct. A provider of global satellite communications, Satcom Direct is best known for its success in pioneering 10-digit dialing service to aircraft in flight. Branded Global One Number, the technology allows callers on the ground to reach any handset on board an aircraft in flight by dialing a single telephone number regardless of where the aircraft is located. Satcom Direct also offers FlightDeck Freedom, a datalink service that is compatible with all avionics and airframe manufacturers.