Demand for new business aircraft in Europe is riding high on a wave of economic growth that is particularly strong in the former communist eastern states. The market is being fanned by the bolstered buying power of customers paying in euros and British pounds as the U.S. dollar continues to languish on international currency exchanges.
Russian charter firm Jet2000 reached an agreement with Kaskol, Sokol and Myasischev, which jointly developed the M-101T Sokol (formerly Gzhel), to conduct trials of the new turboprop single on air-taxi services from Moscow Vnukovo Airport.
This makes Jet2000 the first commercial user of the business turboprop, which received Russian certification more than a year ago but has so far failed to win any firm orders.
As deliveries of very light jets (VLJs) begin, concerns that they might be difficult to insure have almost evaporated. Manufacturers have had the chance to brief underwriters in depth about their models’ designs, performance characteristics and systems.
Those who operate N-registered business aircraft in Europe know how well off we are in the U.S. Aside from a multitude of flight information regions under the jurisdiction of different countries, Eurocontrol charges and airport restrictions, there is simply a different attitude toward business aviation in Europe compared with the U.S.
Effective April 1, the commercial passenger tax on international operations increases from $5 to $5.50 per passenger. Commercial operators, including Part 135
air-taxi operators conducting international passenger operations, are required to collect and remit a commercial passenger user fee to U.S. Customs.
The business and corporate side of general aviation should continue to benefit from a growing market for new microjets over the next 14 fiscal years, and the FAA expects business use of GA aircraft to expand at a more rapid pace than that for personal and sport use.
When the ICAO Assembly meets in Montreal late this month, the International Business Aircraft Council (IBAC) will propose standardization of international regulations governing fractional ownership operations. At present, the U.S.
Under the Transportation Security Administration’s new regulations permitting the resumption of general aviation operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), air-taxi aircraft with mtows of 12,500 pounds or less cannot qualify. However, Part 91 aircraft of this size can qualify. As an example, in comments sent to the TSA, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) cited a King Air 90 with an mtow of 9,650 pounds.
Few, if any, Citation Mustang orders are for air-limo operations, and Cessna appears neither surprised nor alarmed.
The FAA has finally released its study of Part 135 air-taxi operators, mandated by Congress more than four years ago in the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21). Because it took the agency four years to publish the report–in part because of 9/11–the charter industry is questioning the value of the data.