Piaggio Aero Industries’ new industrial plant in Villanova d’Albenga, Italy, a future production facility for the Avanti II twin turboprop, is expected to be completed soon and fully functional by the first quarter of next year, the aircraft manufacturer told AIN. Originally set to be up and running last year after its 2011 groundbreaking, the factory is the linchpin of Piaggio’s single-production-site strategy intended to improve the efficiency of its aircraft manufacturing and MRO activities.
A no-reserve auction held on Friday in a warehouse just a mile from Avantair’s former Clearwater (Fla.) Airport headquarters raised a “couple of million” dollars for the estate of the bankrupt fractional aircraft company, according to auctioneer Starman Bros. Auctions. Citing rules under bankruptcy laws, auctioneer president Steve Starman told AIN that he couldn’t provide a more detailed account of the funds raised.
Quest Aircraft recently delivered three Kodiak turboprop singles to TAME EP Airlines in Ecuador, the Sandpoint, Idaho company announced yesterday. The aircraft will be used for passenger transport and eco-tourism, in conjunction with the Ecuadorian Amazon Connectivity Project, an initiative of the Ecuadorian government to offer reliable transportation to and from remote areas of the country. With these latest deliveries, the Kodiak is now approved in 14 countries, said Quest, which expects more new certifications this year.
The U.S. lags other countries in allowing commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), delaying a substantial economic opportunity, witnesses told a Senate hearing on January 15. Some senators questioned the reasons behind the delay; others expressed concern over privacy rights at the hearing, which was held to consider both safety and privacy issues.
The Chinese airline industry is attracting scores of South American pilots who see far better opportunity for career advancement with fast growing and startup airlines in the People’s Republic than in their home countries.
Greenpoint Technologies has signed a second completion customer for a private Boeing 787. The customer’s name is confidential. Greenpoint signed its first 787 completion contract in December last year, and these contracts follow years of preparation for 787 completion programs.
A record-high 2,600 people are expected to attend the 2014 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, which opened this morning at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans and runs through Friday.
With its new name now in place, Airbus Helicopters (née Eurocopter) is embarking on a transformation, according to CEO Guillaume Faury. He wants production processes to improve, has reshuffled priorities in research and development (R&D) and envisions a new market for the company’s product line.
The new name is expected to provide better integration with the rest of the Airbus group, according to Faury. Moreover, the Airbus name has a stronger, more global impact, “especially in countries that are important to us,” such as Brazil, the U.S., China and Russia, he added.
Bell Helicopter announced today that Air Medical Group Holdings, the parent of helicopter EMS company Air Evac EMS, placed a firm order for 20 new Bell 206L-4 singles to be delivered between this year and 2017. The helicopters will be used to refresh and expand the fleet, according to Air Evac president Seth Myers. Air Evac’s Lifeteam currently operates more than 130 Bell 206 LongRangers and is the second-largest helicopter EMS provider in the U.S., behind Air Methods, with 115 bases in 15 states.
The Vietnamese air transport market appears poised for rapid growth this year as it continues to channel new domestic and international routes through its secondary airports, Vinh and Nha Trang. Vietnam Airlines launched service from Vinh to Vientiane, Laos, on January 12, making Vinh the fifth Vietnamese airport operating international services. Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Da Nang and Nha Trang Cam Ranh currently offer international routes.