At least 4,000 flights in northern European airspace were cancelled today after a large cloud of ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland drifted to the south and east. UK airspace was completely closed from noon local time and, at press time, was not due to reopen until at least 7 a.m. tomorrow.
Ocean Sky Aviation plans to build a network of FBOs across Europe in the next 12 months. Ocean Sky currently has FBOs at London Luton Airport, Manchester and Prestwick in Scotland. Earlier this year, Ocean Sky received $48 million in fresh investment when it was acquired by German charter operator Triple Alpha of Dusseldorf, Germany.
Ocean Sky is seeking to capitalize on significant investments it has made to ensure that its FBO at Scotland’s Glasgow Prestwick International Airport meets stringent new European security requirements.
UK-based executive charter operator Ocean Sky (Stand No. 632) has acquired Dean Aircraft Interiors for an undisclosed sum. It marks a continuation in the rapid expansion of Ocean Sky, which also has offices in Salzburg, Zurich and Moscow, as well as an FBO at Prestwick International Airport
UK-based executive charter and aircraft management group Ocean Sky (Stand No. 632) is here promoting its newly upgraded FBO at Scotland’s Glasgow Prestwick International Airport as a convenient technical stop for transatlantic flights. What the company is promising is an efficient refueling operation and comfortable, convenient amenities for passengers and crew. The airport is open around the clock and has no slot requirements.
Britain’s partly privatized National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has asked the government to allow it to raise en route charges to make up an estimated £230 million ($327 million) revenue shortfall over the next three years. It has also had to request approximately £60 million ($85 million) in loans from the government and the consortium of banks that last year backed seven leading UK airlines when they acquired a 46-percent stake in NATS.
The growing success of UK FBO Ocean Sky is another sign of the improving picture for business aviation in Europe. The FBO offers inbound Atlantic-crossing fliers and inter-Europe travelers a full-service alternative at Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, helping them avoid the crowded big-city skies and ramps.
Roger Engel, a ferry pilot with Broomfield, Colo.-based Pilatus Aircraft, recently completed his 100th transatlantic crossing in a PC-12. Starting in Bern, Switzerland, Engel made stops in Prestwick, Scotland; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Iqualuit and Thunder Bay, Canada, before completing the journey in Denver. Total flight time was 21 hours and 18 minutes.
The two companies that run ATC in Britain and Spain have launched a joint-venture company to develop a new air traffic management system for both countries. The new company, Sacta, will be owned jointly by the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and Spanish counterpart Aena. Sacta ATC areas will be phased in starting with Canary Islands Center in 2007.
Greer Aviation has opened security screening facilities at its FBOs in Edinburgh and Prestwick, Scotland. Equipped with metal detectors and baggage scanners, the facilities are designed to meet expected securityrequirements for commercial flights, including executive charter and fractional operations, in aircraft with mtow between 6,000 and 22,000 pounds.