Managers of foreign aerospace companies with joint-venture operations in China uniformly worry about the theft of their intellectual property, according to a Rand study issued on April 4. They believe that staying ahead of emerging Chinese competitors requires constant technological innovation, it added.
The FAA’s recent rule prohibiting the personal use of electronic devices in the cockpit applies only to Part 121 carriers, although the NTSB would like to see the rule extended to cover Part 135 and Part 91K operators. AIN recently surveyed readers for their insights about the distractions that challenge them–and the answers were surprising. We received 112 responses to our four questions. While the informal survey yielded a relatively small number of responses, the answers pilots gave about their experiences with distractions are illuminating.
Corporate Jet Solutions (CJS) is a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility that operates in conjunction with the company’s FBO, Dyenamic Aviation Services (DAS), named after founder and president Tony Dye. Located on Brooksville-Tampa Bay Airport (BKV), the 11.6-acre complex has its own fuel farm with jet-A and avgas fuel trucks and operates the airport’s only self-serve 24-hour avgas and 100LL station. It also has access to the airport’s closed runway adjacent to the facility, providing a significant amount of outdoor space for aircraft staging and parking.
Accidents in the first quarter involving U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 22 in the same period last year, even though the corporate jet segment did not reduce its number of fatal and nonfatal accidents. According to data assembled by AIN, five people were killed in two crashes involving N-numbered business jets in the first quarter versus seven in two accidents in the year-ago period–all under Part 91 operations.
A meeting between company officials and the Flight Options pilot union planned for today and tomorrow is intended to address issues arising from the consolidation of fractional-share operations Flexjet and Flight Options. Flight Options parent Directional Aviation Capital purchased Flexjet from Bombardier last December for about $195 million.
Landmark Aviation made its entry into the UK business aviation market in a big way with yesterday’s announcement that it acquired RSS Jet Centre, which operated the former Ocean Sky FBOs at London Luton, Manchester and Glasgow Prestwick International Airports. The Houston-based company, which now operates 57 FBOs (including eight under license) mostly in North America, has had a presence in France since 2006, and currently has bases at 10 airports in Europe. This includes a facility at Paris Le Bourget, where a new $4.1 million terminal is set to open.
Impatient with delays in inducting the HJT-36 Sitara intermediate jet trainer from government-owned defense manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), the Indian air force has issued a request for information (RFI) for Stage II intermediate jet trainers. The Indian Air Force (IAF) requires 85 IJTs, and the cutoff date for RFI response is April 4.
Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines plans to take advantage of more aggressive Chinese aviation reforms with the formation of a new low-cost carrier called Jiuyuan Airlines. Plans call for the new joint venture between Juneyao and three private investors to start operations in August. Privately held Juneyao holds a 69-percent stake in the new carrier, whose registered capital base totals $96 million. Based in Guangzhou, Jiuyuan translates in English to “Nine Yuan,” reflecting starting fares of $1.46.
While the Regional Airline Association and regional airline management point to new rules governing flight time experience for first officers as the primary reason for a pilot shortage that has resulted in a loss of service to several U.S. communities, pilots contend the airlines have made their own mess by creating a business model predicated on breadline wages for cockpit crew. The Air Line Pilots Association, for one, argues that there’s no shortage of pilots, only a shortage of pilots willing to fly for substandard wages and inadequate benefits.
Middle Eastern charter and scheduled service operator Rotana Jet plans to more than double its fleet by 2016. At the Air Expo show at Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport, where Rotana Jet is based, the company said that over the next two years it will add at least seven aircraft to the five it currently operates. However, most of the expansion for now is focused on the scheduled part of its operation.