The 14th annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), to be staged once again at its established home at Switzerland’s Geneva International Airport (May 20 to 22), is on track for further growth. The event, which is second in stature only to NBAA’s annual convention in the U.S., is set to draw more than 320 exhibitors (up from 294 last year), and with only half of these companies hailing from Europe the show will once again have a distinctly global dimension, drawing participants from the newer markets of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as the Americas.
Illinois-based aircraft training device manufacturer Frasca International, Inc. (Booth H304) announced here at ABACE 2014 it has just completed factory acceptance by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) of a Citation CJ1+ Level D full flight simulator (FFS) purchased by Nanshan Flight Academy in Shandong.
“Factory acceptance per CAAC guidelines is like certifying an airplane,” said Niu Tao, Frasca’s Beijing-based Chief Representative in China. “The requirements for the simulator are very stringent.”
Business aviation continues to grow in China and the rest of the Asia region, and the demand for pilots and technicians is stronger than ever. With a generally accepted ratio of five qualified pilots required for each business jet in service, supplying training for those pilots–and the technicians who will service the aircraft–remains one of the industry’s more profound challenges.
Shreveport, La.-based Metro Aviation (Booth No. 415), owner of the Helicopter Flight Training Center in Shreveport, announced at Heli-Expo that Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH) is its launch customer for simulator training. AMGH and Metro signed a four-year training agreement using the EC135 level-D full-motion simulator as well as the AS350 and Bell 407 Level 7 flight training device.
A record-high 2,600 people are expected to attend the 2014 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, which opened this morning at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans and runs through Friday.
The business aviation community came together last night in support of the Corporate Angel Network (CAN), the industry charity that arranges for cancer patients to fly to treatment in empty seats on business aircraft. At this year’s annual NBAA-CAN Soirée, which was held during this week’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, the silent and live auctions raised nearly $440,000 for the organization, about $70,000 more than at last year’s event.
Aviation attorney James Cooling, a former NBAA director who still volunteers his time on behalf of NBAA and the Corporate Angel Network (CAN) as well as several other aviation causes, is the recipient of the John H. Winant Award.
The Pilatus PC-24 mockup will make its North American debut next week in Las Vegas at the NBAA Convention. Pilatus will exhibit the mockup of its new twinjet next to an actual PC-12NG turboprop single at its NBAA booth (No. C12216). After a private event, the PC-24 mockup will be open to the public beginning at noon next Tuesday. Pilatus will not begin taking PC-24 orders until EBACE next May, however. First flight of the new jet is scheduled for late next year, with EASA certification expected in 2017.
SimCom and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA) have qualified a second MU-2 simulator, which is located at SimCom’s Orlando, Fla., training center. The simulator is qualified to Flight Training Device (FTD) Level 5 standards and can be used for Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) pilot training, which is mandatory for all MU-2 pilots. Under SFAR 108, MU-2 pilots must receive specific initial, recurrent and requalification training. The new simulator replicates most MU-2 models except the MU-2F and earlier.
The European Corporate Flight Attendant’s Committee chair Paul Milverton of Gama Aviation, Stafford, Connecticut, and vice chair David Hulme managed and moderated this year’s NBAA Cabin-Crew Symposium held here in Geneva on Monday. The symposium, sponsored by the NBAA Flight Attendants Committee, the International Subcommittee and EBAA staff, featured a program on issues relevant to business aviation cabin-crew operations and addressed topics ranging from safety and security to service and training.