Although the downturn in the economy has dampened the near-term prospects for the general aviation industry, demand for business aviation will expand over the long term, according to the most recent forecast from the FAA, which anticipates a growing U.S. and world economy.
Testifying before Congress yesterday during a hearing on FAA reauthorization, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen directly challenged those who have recently questioned the value of business aviation or mischaracterized the use of business aircraft.
Macquarie Infrastructure, which owns the 64-base Atlantic Aviation FBO chain, reported that its airport services business achieved “year-over-year growth in gross profit…driven by acquisitions concluded in 2007 and 2008.” Although industry reports showed that general aviation movements have dropped by 9 percent or more through the first nine months of this year, airports where Atlantic operates have seen movements decline by less than 6 percen
The European helicopter safety team (Ehest) released the preliminary results of the first European-wide helicopter accident study on October 13, during a conference in Cascais, Portugal. The Ehest is now transitioning from analysis to the development of an action plan. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016, consistent with the goals of the international helicopter safety team (IHST).
Since the Transportation Security Administration released its plans for a Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP), business aviation providers and pilots have reacted swiftly and vociferously. Reaction to the proposed regulation runs the gamut from strident opposition to resigned acceptance for what operators view as unwarranted governmental meddling in the functioning of the industry.
There is an old joke in Brazil that this largest of Latin American nations “is a country of the future, and always will be.” But things have a way of changing.
At the NBAA media breakfast, held last month at the NBAA Convention, Alan Klapmeier, GAMA chairman (and president and CEO of Cirrus), noted that the credit crunch is a problem for the general economy and for some aircraft sales, but said that productivity is the key to turning the economy around. Adding productivity is what business aviation does best, he said.
Ten days after the Dow dropped 787 points in a week, one month from the presidential election, five months before extension of the FAA’s funding expires again and 14 months until a scheduled game-changing UN meeting on the environment, the 61st NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention opened yesterday with the business aviation industry booming, but with attendees looking over their shoulders as they wait apprehensively for the boom to fall.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so optimistic about the Asian business aviation market, especially in North Asia and China,” Jason Liao, Hawker Beechcraft’s regional vice president for China and Southeast Asia, told AIN.
The European General Aviation Safety Team (EGAST) published in April its Terms of Reference, which describe the organization’s objectives and structure. EGAST, the third element of the European Strategic Safety Initiative (ESSI), is a voluntary partnership among the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), other European intergovernmental bodies and the GA industry.