AgustaWestland is giving serious consideration to building production models of the AW609 civil tiltrotor in the U.S., possibly in Texas, a senior executive told AIN last month. Robert LaBelle, managing director of the AgustaWestland TiltRotor Co., said that initially the aircraft will be built partially in Italy and the U.S. but that the ultimate decision on where to conduct final assembly will be “driven by the customer base.” Some 35 percent of that customer base, he noted, is predicted to be in the U.S.
Bristol Flying Center (BFC), the aviation services provider at the UK’s Bristol Airport, has completed an expansion after its parent company signed two handling contracts, one of them with a regional airline that handles Airbus corporate business. The FBO expects to see its annual passenger numbers increase 1,700 percent as a result of the agreements, which take effect this month. The company has completed two new passenger lounges and a separate crew lounge, along with new security screening facilities and redesigned reception areas in its 6,500-sq-ft terminal.
Embraer appears ever more bullish on the prospects for its products in China, judging by its most recent market forecast for the country. Released during November’s Airshow China international aerospace exhibition held in Shanghai, the forecast predicts that the number of aircraft holding between 30 and 120 passenger seats will grow more than eight-fold, from 125 today to 1,005 in 2031.
The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, is one of the most visible events of the year for business aviation as scores of aircraft carrying the world’s most powerful and influential politicians, financial experts and corporate chiefs descend upon the area for the four days of the summit. Last year’s event attracted approximately 460 business aircraft to Zurich International Airport.
A new high-tech voice communication control system recently approved by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has been installed in the ATC center at London Biggin Hill Airport. Created by Netherlands-based Micro Electronics Products, the quarter-million-dollar system known as TCP990 includes a central electronic processor in the control tower that integrates and processes all inputs from UHF and VHF channels, personnel and emergency radio units as well as a slate of pre-selected contacts at each controller position and on the ATC assistant desk.
Iacobucci HF Group has been selected to design and manufacture all seats and galley inserts for a new Boeing Business Jet to be completed by Comlux America in Indianapolis.
The Italian cabin components supplier, better known for galley products from coffee makers to ovens, is a relative newcomer to the business jet seating market. Nevertheless, said CEO Lucio Iacobucci, “We invest in research and development every year to maintain our product offering at the top end of the market.”
Engineers from Embraer Executive Jets flight operations support team will soon be offering a 2013 version of their two-day flight operations engineering course (FOEC). This is designed to teach pilots of all the company’s business jets the engineering fundamentals behind aircraft performance numbers such as V1, V2, Vr, Vref and so on, used in daily flight operations.
A flurry of commercial announcements in the regional- and small-narrowbody aircraft sectors came across the wires last week, led by a firm order on Thursday for 10 Bombardier CSeries CS300s from Latvian carrier airBaltic. The deal, potentially worth $1.57 billion at list prices, included so-called purchase rights on 10 more of the airplanes and represented a conversion of a letter of intent signed at this year’s Farnborough International airshow.
The number of airline crewmembers processed through the “Known Crewmember” (KCM) security screening program at U.S. airports doubled after it expanded to include flight attendants in October. Last summer, when only pilots could participate, the TSA screened 55,000 to 60,000 crewmembers at KCM checkpoints each week. Since flight attendants became eligible, the number jumped to 120,000 weekly, according to Douglas Hofsass, TSA assistant administrator in charge of “risk based” security initiatives.
Cessna Aircraft plans to expand its network of “factory-owned, authorized service centers (ASCs)” to 15, by acquiring Jet Aviation’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland. Both facilities, which will represent the fifth and sixth such facilities in Europe, are currently independent Citation service centers.