Few punches were pulled as speakers took on the challenges facing business aviation in Europe at the opening session of EBACE 2013 yesterday morning, with government policies, outdated infrastructure and the slack economy the primary targets.
Few punches were pulled as speakers took on the challenges facing business aviation in Europe at today’s EBACE opening session, with government policies and outdated infrastructure the primary targets.
EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba criticized the European airspace system. “We have reached the limits of the air transport system, conceived 70 years ago, when they couldn’t see the diversity and volume of traffic,” he said. “We’re seeing cracks in the system.”
Istanbul-based Turkish Technic and 328 (Booth 388) of Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, part of the 328 Group, has announced the completion of their first joint conversion project, an extensive interior refurbishment of a Gulfstream GIV for the Turkish government. This was the first project under a wider agreement signed in 2012 between 328 and Turkish Technic under which they will collaborate on design and certification projects.
Ground-handling specialist Euro Jet Intercontinental is here at the EBACE show marking its fifth anniversary in business. At face value, the young Czech Republic-based company did not pick an optimum year to kick off operations, but in practice its decision to focus on the challenges faced by operators in the growing, but underserved, regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia have paid off.
Chasing the Polish requirement for up to 70 new multirole helicopters to replace aging Mil Mi-8/17s, Eurocopter announced that it will create an assembly line for the EC725 Caracel in that country. Turbomeca simultaneously announced that it will produce the helicopter’s Makila 2 turboshaft engines in Poland.
In early March, AviaGroup Nord announced plans for a major redevelopment of the Pulkovo-2 terminal in St. Petersburg. The project will transform a 1950s-era airline terminal into a modern business aviation complex and is scheduled for completion by November.
Since the building has protected historical status, AviaGroup Nord is able to make only limited changes to its façade, but internally everything is changing, except for the retention of some striking Soviet-era aviation-themed artwork.
The European Commission is taking to task the vast majority of its 27 nation states for their lack of progress in forging the Single European Sky through a program to unify regional airspace.
Inefficiencies caused by Europe’s fragmented airspace generate extra costs of close to €5 billion each year, adding 42 kilometers (27 miles) to the distance of an average flight, and forcing aircraft to burn more fuel, generate more emissions, pay more in user charges and incur delays. The U.S. controls the same amount of airspace, with more traffic, at almost half the cost.
Patrick Ky, who has led the Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) program through its development phase, has been named executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), effective September 1. Ky will succeed Patrick Goudou, who has headed the European safety authority based in Cologne, Germany, since it was created in September 2003.
Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services firm Vector Aerospace (Booth No. C4332) renewed its engine services agreement with Air Greenland, based in Nuuk, Greenland. Under this two-year extension, Vector provides Air Greenland with fixed- and rotary-wing engine repair and overhaul support from its two facilities in Canada–Vector Aerospace Engine Services Atlantic in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America in Richmond, British Columbia.
European Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas admitted to excessively slow progress on the Single European Sky (SES) last week and characterized Russia’s continued charges for Siberian overflights as unacceptable. He has threatening European Union member states with legal action over their failure to carry out their respective SES responsibilities. Separately, he is planning a March 21 meeting in Moscow to pressure Russian authorities to address what he views as “unfair” overflight fees.