Although the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry was created by Congress long before September 11, a Bush Administration official said the terrorist attacks served to highlight previously existing deficiencies in the U.S. aerospace industry.
When Boeing rolled out its new ATC management system last summer, a satellite-based arrangement that takes a significantly different direction from the FAA’s solution, the aerospace giant offered few concrete details on how its plan would work.
Staff members at Jeppesen’s International Trip Planning Services centers in the U.S. and UK are adding security to the list of capabilities FBOs should demonstrate to be listed as a preferred ground handler.
Defined as FBOs that are capable of “repeatedly delivering world-class handling services,” preferred ground handlers are now judged not only on their ability to offer unparalleled service but also on security practices.
Boeing’s planned Connexion airborne broadband data service was dealt a damaging blow last month when its three largest customers–American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines–abruptly withdrew from the project in the face of their own fiscal difficulties. As a result, Boeing is left with no equity partners in the venture and only one customer, Lufthansa, for the fledgling in-flight Internet and e-mail service.
The uncertainty of the near future has reached the big airframers, too. Boeing quietly shelved its plans for the proposed 7,000-nm BBJ3 bizliner based on the 757-200 fuselage and 757-300 wing. When Borge Boeskov, soon-to-retire BBJ president, discussed the BBJ3 last March, he said the big airplane, with a projected price tag of $95 million (complete), could serve customers looking to replace aging VIP 707s, 727s, 747s and DC-8s.
Wall Street Journal aerospace editor Jeff Cole traveled to Colorado last January to interview one of the industry’s highest achievers, Michael Chowdry, founder and chairman of the world’s third largest air cargo operator, Atlas Air. Tragically, both men lost their lives when they crashed in Chowdry’s high-performance Aero Vodochody L-39 jet trainer.
When Lee Monson joined Boeing Business Jets in fall 1996, expectations for the joint venture of Boeing and engine-builder General Electric, announced that July, were optimistic, but not very high. “We were expecting to sell one BBJ a month,” recalled Borge Boeskov, then president of the fledgling unit.
That sound you hear is the subdued tightening of belts as business aviation faces a recession after a half-decade of unprecedented growth.
Airbus announced at last month’s NBAA show the World Ranger, a corporate version of the four-engine A340-200. “It is important to note this is not an ACJ2 but rather an entirely different aircraft based on the A340 with a range in excess of 8,000 nautical miles,” said Richard Gaona, Airbus’ v-p corporate jetliner.
Aviation safety officials probing the British Airways (BA) Boeing 777 accident at London Heathrow in January are continuing to focus on the fuel system. They want to know why the airplane lost power on final approach to LHR. The 777, on a long-range flight from Beijing to London, touched down 1,000 feet short of the paved surface of LHR’s Runway 27L before coming to rest astride a taxiway junction near the threshold.