Somalia might conjure images of pirates and Blackhawk Down, but the northern autonomous region and former British protectorate of Somaliland remains a peaceful, although economically depressed, place. Last month the international airport at the capital, Hargeisa, “re-opened” following renovations and modernization, funded to the tune of $10 million by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
Indonesia signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. government to buy eight new Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters during U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent trip to Southeast Asia. The Pentagon valued the transaction at $500 million; it represents the first sale of Apaches to Indonesia.
Business aviation services group Comlux will complete the relocation of its main holding company from Switzerland to Malta with the formal opening on Thursday of its new headquarters on the Mediterranean island.
Gulfstream Aerospace has appointed Luiz Sandler as its new regional vice president of sales for South America. He is replacing Bill Arrazola, who recently retired. His sales territory spans Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay.
Since 2007, Sandler served as sales director with International Jet Traders, which is Gulfstream’s sales representative for Brazil. Before that he was Embraer’s regional sales manager for Latin America.
With many eyes focused on Egypt since the downfall of President Morsi, business aircraft operators are wondering about their next trip to the region. Thomas Winn, interim director of the Master of Security Management for Executives program at the University of Houston Downtown, told AIN, “If a trip to Egypt isn’t business essential right now, it should wait until all of Egypt gets re-examined. There’s obvious instability in the region, and I’m concerned about the potential for violence and retaliation.”
AOPA told the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that “general aviation pilots and their aircraft continue to be subjected to what appear to be random searches, while federal officials have failed to respond to a four-month-old AOPA public records request for information about the searches.”
VistaJet, a global aircraft charter operator that flies only Bombardier business jets, opened its new Malta operations center late last week. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and other top-ranking Maltese officials joined VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr to mark the occasion.
International business travelers seeking simplified entry into the U.S. via the “Global Entry” program will have the opportunity to meet in person with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at this year’s NBAA Convention, which will be held October 22 to 24 in Las Vegas. Global Entry allows expedited clearance processing into the U.S. for pre-approved, low-risk travelers using automated kiosks available at 34 U.S. airports, eight pre-clearance airports in Canada and two pre-clearance sites in Ireland.
Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN, Booth 2135) announced here at EBACE that it has signed a representation agreement with Gulfstream Aerospace. This announcement comes just a week and a half after the closing of a successful Nigerian business aviation conference, the country’s first, hosted by EAN. The company is the first fully integrated FBO, maintenance and hangar facility for business jets to open at Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos.
Just prior to EBACE, Hangar8 received the documents that secured a landmark dispensation from the Cayman Islands aircraft registry, allowing Hangar8 to operate Cayman-registered aircraft under its UK AOC, as long as the aircraft type itself is already covered by the AOC. This allows Caymans aircraft to be chartered out, and also to be operated under public transport regulations, which are exempt from VAT and minerals tax.