Raytheon Aircraft is proclaiming victory in its ongoing efforts to turn around its customer-support operations, and is now focusing on sustaining that claimed turnaround. Ultimately, the company wants to redefine the way the business aviation industry provides customer support.
If asked today for their views about automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), many pilots might respond that it was developed to meet the unique needs of single-engine commercial operators in remote areas such as Alaska, where only minimal ATC services were available. Alternatively, it was aimed at helping freighter pilots best position themselves in inbound traffic streams during “rush hour” operations around freight hubs.
Bombardier Flexjet has become the first nonscheduled operator to successfully transmit real-time flight-intent data to the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) near Washington Dulles International Airport. This data gives the agency more predictable information with which to make traffic-flow-management decisions each day. The fractional aircraft company operates a fleet of more than 100 aircraft.
A scheduled mediation session failed to settle a lawsuit in which former Raytheon Travel Air pilots allege they were fired because of their union-organizing activities when the company merged with Flight Options. The case is now set to go to trial on May 11. The pilots filed the lawsuit in late 2002. Court records show that the four pilots suing Flight Options are Thomas Bowden, William Brunet, Thomas Jeter and William Tumlin.
The Argentine government took emergency action last month, relieving the nation’s Air Force of responsibility for providing ATC services. The government announced the creation of the National Administration of Civil Aviation, a civilian entity that will take over ATC in the country. The decision came after pilots and air traffic controllers complained about poor aviation safety.
Nav Canada last month awarded its national ADS-B program to Syracuse, N.Y.-based Sensis, and installation of the first system ground stations is now under way. The FAA, on the other hand, faces some unexpected pre-contract issues as it moves toward its implementation plan.
Hans Doll was promoted to director of customer and product support for Grob Aerospace. He was previously head of sales for Grob training aircraft. Denzil White was named director of international sales for the Grob training fleet as well as director of special mission aircraft.
Executive Jet Management (EJM) announced changes to its management team with three personnel movements. Kaj Wren was hired for the new position of director of charter vendor standards. He was formerly chief pilot for three aviation companies. Ben Murray was promoted to national v-p of charter sales and John Nelson was promoted to v-p of business systems. Murray was previously EJM’s regional v-p of charter services.
A European mandate calling for mode-S transponder upgrades in transport-category airplanes is causing confusion for some U.S. business jet operators as they struggle to interpret the rule’s fine print and decide whether it applies to them.
Net sales for Flight Options increased in the fourth quarter of last year compared with the same period in 2005, but the fractional provider recorded an operating loss. Nevertheless, parent Raytheon stands by its fractional provider. “Flight Options essentially met or exceeded all the operational objectives that we had in place,” said Raytheon CFO Dave Wajsgras.