Paul Little, one of the wealthiest men in Australia and owner of aviation charter provider Little Aviation, has acquired the former John Holland Aviation Services aircraft maintenance facility at Tullamarine Airport in Australia and, according to reports, intends to establish a new private jet facility on the 50-acre site. The transaction, believed to be worth approximately $9.4 million (U.S.) is expected to close this month, pending airport approval, after which Little will spend a similar amount to refurbish the facility over the next year.
Shell Aviation has unveiled its Aviation Centre of Excellence (ACE) program to enhance its support of FBOs at small and midsize airports. The new program, which has already been implemented at several European airports, consists of a package of services that includes joint promotional and marketing materials, access to company experts in fuels and logistics, safety management through the Shell Airport operating manual, dedicated technical support and supply, management and maintenance of equipment required for business operations.
Oregon’s Tillamook Airport, located 75 miles from Portland and the state capital Salem, The new 3,200-sq-ft building, owned by the Port of Tillamook Bay, was paid for with state lottery and federal funding. It replaces a much smaller structure that also housed the airport office and radio equipment. The new building features a pilots’ lounge with flight-planning area, a kitchenette and an A/V-equipped 30-seat conference room. The airport-operated facility, which sees approximately 4,500 operations a year, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aviation services provider Avflight has acquired the former Eurojet FBO at Belfast’s George Best Belfast City Airport, making it the company’s first location outside the U.S. The location is separate from the main airport terminal and provides passenger and crew handling and services such as executive lounge, a crew lounge, direct access to aircraft, flight planning and weather equipment, technical assistance with aircraft, complimentary Wi-Fi, catering and ground arrangements such as limousine and hotel accommodations. The FBO offers Avfuel fuel and Avtrip points.
Construction is expected to begin by year-end on an FBO facility at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). According to the airport, private jet movements there last year were up 13 percent over 2012, and the increasing operational tempo and congested parking called for an upgrade. The new $5.5 million, 10,763-sq-ft terminal is expected to be completed 14 to 16 months after construction begins, and will include three retail outlets as well as customs, immigration and security services.
A diverse panel of four aviation stakeholders kicked off the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual aviation summit this spring in Washington, D.C., with a lively discussion of NextGen that seemed to indicate that all sides are moving closer to consensus on how the system should be built and funded.
April was a banner month for Landmark Aviation, beginning with the Carlyle Group subsidiary announcing it had entered the UK FBO market in a big way by buying the three former RSS Jet Centre locations at London Luton Airport, Manchester Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
As of the middle of May, the FAA had yet to determine if it will renew its mandatory VFR helicopter route along the north shore of New York’s Long Island. The controversial North Shore Route was established for voluntary compliance in 2008 as a response to residential noise complaints and political prodding from elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), who pressed then Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA to make it mandatory.
Many of us in aviation in the U.S. haven’t been paying much attention to our neighbor to the north. Canadians are known for being somewhat quiet and unassuming. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that quiet and unassuming doesn’t mean they’re not busily working on practical solutions to important issues. In fact, there’s a lot going on in Canada that we in the U.S. could learn from in the aviation arena.