Savannah, Georgia-based Gulfstream has named Sumi Fonseka the new general manager of its Luton Service Center, located at the UK’s London-Luton Airport. Prior to his appointment, Fonseka was the senior hangar operations manager at the companies’ South Service Center in Savannah.
At the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) in late May, Signature Flight Support announced plans for a new $2 million FBO at Southern France’s Toulon-Hyeres Airport (on the Côte d’Azur) and generous $7.5 million expansion of its facility at London Luton Airport. In Toulon, the new facility is part of a joint effort with the city’s chamber of commerce to attract business aviation.
Both FBOs at London Luton Airport are making plans to expand their facilities. Business aviation traffic levels and the average size of aircraft handled are continuing to increase significantly at the gateway, which is 30 mi north of the UK capital.
Delays of airline flights out of UK airports during the first quarter increased to their highest level in a decade. According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the number of scheduled services that were more than 15 min late increased to 29 percent of total departures. At London Luton Airport, delays in excess of 15 min were experienced by as many as 42 percent of departures.
Signature Flight Support expects to open its new 74,000-sq-ft hangar at London Luton Airport this month. Alongside the new facility is a 10,000-sq-ft office unit, and about half of this space has been rented to based corporate operators to date.
A further 5,000 sq ft of accommodation is also being built for completion by the end of July, and this will be available for stores or more offices.
The European executive charter market is becoming more and more competitive, and the majority of operators and brokers expect demand to increase over the next 12 months. These are the main conclusions of a survey conducted by online charter network Avinode between April 1 and September 1.
Harrods Aviation (Booth No. 1939) is set to open its new, purpose-built FBO at London Luton Airport in December. The $12 million investment by the UK business aviation services group consists of a substantial two-floor building constructed around an existing hangar, with room for dedicated arrival and departure lounges and extra office space.
An extensive “restructuring” of Boeing’s Alteon Training subsidiary will see the company close four training centers, redistribute assets to other centers and open a new facility in Shanghai to house the first Boeing 787 simulator in China. The facilities marked for closure include Long Beach, Calif., Dallas, Texas, Kunming, China and Luton, UK. Boeing expects to close the two U.S. centers and the Chinese facility in December.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has opened an 8,000-sq-ft facility about 10 miles from London Luton Airport. It is dedicated to servicing, repairing and conducting hot-section inspections on PW300s, PW500s and JT15s. The facility will act as the base for a mobile team for field repairs.
“Today, 13 percent of all the world’s business jets are based in Europe,” said Larry Flynn, Gulfstream president for product support. “This is our largest market outside the United States. As such, we have ramped up our parts inventory to ensure our European operators as well as transient operators in Europe receive the parts they need, when they need them.”