To support and develop business aviation traffic between New York and London, Teterboro Airport and London Biggin Hill Airport have signed a memorandum to become “sister airports.” According to the agreement, they will participate in mutual assistance and cooperation in areas such as customer service, communication, safety and security. Both airports are international general aviation gateways near large metropolitan cities with multiple FBOs and MROs.
Brazil’s business aviation community convened for its 10th annual LABACE show in São Paulo yesterday in the belief that their government is finally paying attention to their crying need for access to the right infrastructure. But in a keynote address here at Congonhas Airport, Eduardo Marson, chairman of industry group ABAG, warned that the sector is still under pressure from the threat of being squeezed by commercial airline activity.
While business aviation traffic in Brazil continues to grow, the infrastructure needed to serve that traffic is slowly evolving as well, in advance of the country’s hosting two of the world’s top sporting events: the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. But for those used to the North American model of an FBO, there are still some differences at many of Brazil’s airports.
While the name on the side of the refueling truck might say Air BP, BR Aviation or Shell, what’s inside it at any airport in Brazil all comes from the same source. All discussions of aviation fuel in the country must start with Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras), the national oil refiner of Brazil and the official supplier of Jet-A and avgas. Petrobras produces approximately 70 percent of the Jet-A used in the country and imports the remainder in its effort to supply the three major distributors.
Boston Executive Helicopters has broken ground on an FBO at Norwood (Mass.) Memorial Airport. The intended 15,000-sq-ft-hangar/terminal complex was originally scheduled to open this summer, but the company now expects services can begin by year-end. Construction was set back by delays in approvals for the company’s fuel farm installation plan, as well as other issues. Late last month, airport authorities issued a final approval for the continuation of hangar construction and installation of the fuel farm after Boston Executive Helicopters agreed to submit more documents.
The FAA’s newest runway safety enhancement tool, runway status lights (RWSLs), became operational on July 25 at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD). The new system uses a series of colored lights embedded in the runway and taxiway pavement to help prevent runway incursions by offering pilots and vehicle operators a simple visual system to determine whether it is safe to cross or enter a runway.
Vehicle movement area transmitters (Vmats) have been installed at both Denver (DEN) and St. Louis-Lambert (STL) international airports to help improve runway safety.
The prospect of an ATC facility without human air traffic controllers is progressing well, according to Dr. Dave Byers, a pioneer in the technology that would enable this development.
The FAA issued a recommendation on July 28 to the flight crew of non-U.S. airlines flying into San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to back up a visual arrival by using a GPS approach normally stored in the aircraft’s flight management system (FMS). The onboard approaches can generate a virtual glideslope during visual approaches regardless of the status of ground-based electronics.
London Gatwick Airport has proposed construction of a second parallel runway. If construction of the new runway is given a green light, it is expected to create additional air traffic flexibility and system safety for both business and commercial aircraft operations. The Gatwick plan offers three potential runway configurations, the most flexible allowing simultaneous instrument approaches and departures on both runways. Politically, prospects for building the runway are tied up in the wider debate about possible future expansion of London Heathrow Airport.