The European Regions Airline Association is preparing for a winter of intense lobbying as politicians in Brussels return to their desks this month. The ERA’s new director general, Simon McNamara, has identified new passenger rights rules, airport capacity shortages and constraints on state aid for airlines and airports as the main battleground issues the association hopes to resolve before the European Parliament elections in May next year and the subsequent appointment of new leadership at the European Commission (EC).
The airport-owned FBO at DuPage Airport is expected to complete its extensive upgrade this month. The 20-month project at the DuPage Flight Center cost approximately $4.2 million and will substantially improve the functionality and aesthetics of the structure as well as improve its safety and convenience, according to the airport authority. Among the improvements at the 63,000-sq-ft West Chicago facility are new customer entrances, crew lounges, on-site car rental, new U.S. Customs facilities, a new meeting room and upgrades to the reception area.
Air BP has added fueling services for general and business aviation aircraft at two Spanish airports. At Palma de Mallorca’s airport, Air BP’s joint venture with Spanish fuel supplier SCLA will serve the island’s largest FBO, Mallorcair, 24 hours a day with dedicated Air BP staff and expanded refueling equipment. The company’s new installation at Don Quijote Airport near Toledo is GEN500 approved and JIG certified and is staffed by Air BP-trained employees. Both locations will accept the Air BP Jet Sterling Card.
Bristol Flying Centre (BFC), the recently expanded FBO at Bristol Airport, has received authorization from the UK Department for Transport to handle all charter flights from its new facility. Previously, the location could not handle charter aircraft of more than 22,000 pounds unless they were privately owned. The company’s management worked with airport officials to earn the authorizations to ensure the appropriate level of security for all private aircraft movements.
California’s Van Nuys Airport celebrated the completion of a seven-month, $20.5 million renovation on its main runway late last week. Aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker sliced the ceremonial ribbon with the speeding wing of his Challenger biplane, officially opening the revamped runway to traffic.
Business aircraft operators and pilots weary of the high cost of flying into Los Angeles International (LAX), noise restrictions and curfews at Van Nuys and Burbank, or the un-welcome mat represented by Santa Monica’s higher landing fees can find respite in a hidden gem in the Los Angeles metroplex, Jack Northrop Field/Hawthorne Municipal Airport and its FBO, Jet Center Los Angeles. The airport is located about two miles east of LAX.
Plans to expand the main runway at Chicago’s third commercial airport have hit another delay. The latest estimate now places completion in September next year.
A new online marketplace is aiming to become the source for all things aviation real estate. Hangar Network, which made its official debut earlier this year, is positioning itself to become the go-to source for available hangar space and developable airport real estate. “We really set out to create a website and service that is comprehensive for aviation real estate listings,” said Iver Retrum, manager of the Colorado-based company.
PlaneSense took delivery of the 1,200th PC-12 at its Portsmouth, N.H. headquarters last month during a ceremony hosted by company founder and CEO George Antoniadis. The aircraft is the 49th PC-12 acquired by PlaneSense since its founding in 1995 and launch in 1996. With retirements (typically after 6,500 hours of service) and replacements over the years, PlaneSense’s current fleet counts 30 of the turboprop singles, with an average age of five years (including the four core aircraft).
As part of continued cost cutting by the U.S. federal government, the FAA has announced plans to begin decommissioning some instrument approach procedures (IAP) to save on maintenance costs of ground-based navaids. The agency said the plan also stems from a near doubling of new IAPs in the past decade thanks to advances in satellite-based approach systems.