Airplanes flying into Cobb County Airport-McCollum Field in Kennesaw, Ga., soon won’t have to clear customs at another airport, as officials last week broke ground on a dedicated, on-site U.S. Customs inspection facility at the airport. When the facility is complete, the general aviation airport will be the first in the Atlanta metro area to offer the service. Construction of the $800,000 facility is slated for completion by April next year, with customs services starting in July. A new $3 million, 80-foot control tower is also scheduled to open at the airport in April next year.
Pittsburgh International Airport
Landmark Aviation has opened its new FBO terminal at Paris Le Bourget Airport. Constructed over the past year on its leasehold adjacent to the company’s current hangar, the 8,500-sq-ft facility includes a lounge, bistro, pilot lounge, passenger lobby, prayer room, flight-planning center and two conference rooms. “Our new facility is much more spacious and offers additional amenities that will allow us to provide a better experience for our customers,” said Denis Bourgois, the location’s general manager. Landmark also plans to add a covered parking structure for customers.
Myanmar received its first FBO this week when Myanmar MJets Business Aviation Center (MMBAC) opened at Yangon International Airport. The new venture is a partnership between Bangkok-based business jet and FBO operator MJets and the WahWah Group, which provides aircraft handling and aircraft parts distribution in Myanmar, with support from Myanma Airways, the country’s national airline.
Construction is expected to begin by year-end on an FBO facility at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). According to the airport, private jet movements there last year were up 13 percent over 2012, and the increasing operational tempo and congested parking called for an upgrade. The new $5.5 million, 10,763-sq-ft terminal is expected to be completed 14 to 16 months after construction begins, and will include three retail outlets as well as customs, immigration and security services.
Trip support specialist UAS is continuing its ambitious plans to expand its global service network with the opening in March of a new regional headquarters for Africa located in Johannesburg, South Africa. Then at last month’s Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in Shanghai, China, UAS co-founder and executive president Mohammed Husary confirmed plans to open a regional headquarters in China next year.
Private charter operator Qatar Executive is set to open a new FBO at Doha’s Hamad International Airport shortly, having already moved its headquarters there. The company plans to strengthen its core Middle East, Far East and African markets next year, its new head, executive vice president David Edwards, told AIN.
After two years, Chicago-area DuPage Airport has finished a $4.2 million upgrade of its FBO, which is open 24/7. Among the improvements to the facility–the lone provider at the airport–are new passenger entrances leading to an updated lobby with newly renovated restrooms, crew lounges and upgraded U.S. Customs facilities. Additions include a crew kitchen and dining lounge, theater room, fitness center with cardio workout equipment and weights, and a quiet room with sleeping accommodations.
Adding to its locations in New York (Long Island MacArthur Airport) and New Orleans (Lakefront Airport), Hawthorne Global Aviation Services will officially open its first newly built FBO this month, at Chicago Executive Airport. Construction began a year ago on the Shell-branded facility, which will compete with Signature and Atlantic. The airport is home to 100 private jets and turboprops, and sees 90,000 operations a year.
Passenger satisfaction with U.S. airlines remains low, according to an annual benchmarking survey, which identified uncomfortable seats and poor inflight service as major contributing factors.
Sometimes it really is good to be the biggest airplane in the pattern. Just ask the JetBlue Airways crew who brought a company Airbus A-321 into Sun ’n’ Fun on April 2, as part of an airlift of teenagers and twenty-somethings, all students or up-and-coming pilots, dispatchers and mechanics (and more) participating in JetBlue’s high school outreach, Gateway and College Crew programs around the country.
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