After years of looking to enter the Chinese private aviation market, NetJets finally confirmed plans for a new joint venture in the People’s Republic of China today at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Abace) in Shanghai. Though NetJets is known as the company that pioneered the sale of aircraft fractional shares in the U.S. and Europe, its services in China “will begin only with managing and chartering aircraft that are wholly owned by customers” rather than fractional ownership.
Pittsburgh International Airport
The venue for the G8 Summit scheduled for mid-May has been moved from Chicago to Camp David near Frederick, Md. It will now be held at Camp David on May 18 and 19, which will affect aircraft flying into Hagerstown and Frederick Airports in Maryland, as well as Franklin County Airport in Chambersburg, Pa. The Martinsburg (W.Va.) Airport, which is the closest airport outside the restricted area, has an 8,800-foot ILS-equipped runway and a control tower.
Construction began at the end of January on a runway expansion project at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport with a price tag of nearly $800 million. The work will shift and lengthen Runway 9R/27L from its current 5,276 feet to 8,000 feet, giving the rapidly growing airport two parallel runways that can accommodate airline flights. The expansion is expected to increase the airport’s capacity from 84 flights per hour to more than 100.
As the Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASD) enters its 10th year, two communities hope their share of $14.9 million in grants awarded in 2011 will help them land new flights.
SCASD came into being in April 2000 as part of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21) as a way to offer grants to help smaller communities improve air service.
Jet Aviation Zurich said it handled the majority of aircraft and passengers attending the 42nd annual World Economic Forum meeting, which was held late last week in Davos, Switzerland. From Wednesday through Sunday, the FBO handled 726 aircraft movements and 1,600 passengers, the same number as it did last year’s economic forum. “We welcomed and assisted most heads of state attending the World Economic Forum,” said Jet Aviation Zurich director Robert Whitehead.
Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) opened its third offsite Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic school campus earlier this month in Myrtle Beach, S.C., following receipt of FAA certification on January 4. Classes began at the Myrtle Beach facility on Monday. Five years ago, PIA opened a campus in Youngstown, Ohio, and added another facility in Hagerstown, Md., last April. “It’s an exciting time for us,” said Gary Hoyle, director of campus operations. “I’ve been at Pittsburgh Institute for 38 years, and this is the first time we’ve ever done something like this.
Signature Flight Support has purchased the assets of Azalea Aviation’s Mobile Air Center at Mobile Regional Airport and Downtown Air Center at Mobile Downtown Airport. The Mobile Air Center offers line maintenance services for turbine- and piston-powered aircraft; fuel; 60,000 sq ft of hangars; and a 16,000-sq-ft executive terminal with customer offices. Downtown Air Center has more than 45,000 sq ft of hangar space, including a newly constructed 16,800-sq-ft hangar. The facility includes tenant offices and an executive terminal supporting fueling operations for FedEx and Mobile Aerospace.
Atlantic Aviation recently completed the renovations at its McCarran International Airport FBO in Las Vegas, one of the chain’s busiest locations.
The improved facility’s features include six separate designated seating areas, an Internet café in the pilots’ lounge, private data rooms for passengers, conference rooms with audiovisual capabilities, customer coffee bar, on-site bistro and Wi-Fi access throughout the facility.
Signature Flight Support acquired two FBOs in Mobile, Ala., from Azalea Aviation yesterday–Mobile Air Center at Mobile Regional Airport and Downtown Air Center at Mobile Downtown Airport. With the two facility additions, Signature now has 111 FBOs in its worldwide network. Mobile Air Center features 60,000 sq ft of hangars and a 16,000-sq-ft executive terminal and customer offices, while Downtown Air Center has 45,000 sq ft of hangar space and a 5,000-sq-ft terminal.
Signature Flight Support at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) logged 33 business aviation operations on November 16, its largest tally since the days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.