UK-based private aviation services provider Ocean Sky (Booth No. E312) has signaled its expansion into the Middle East with the opening of an office in Dubai. According to the company, while its initial focus in the region will be to offer air charter and aircraft management services, it expects eventually to expand into other segments such as aircraft acquisition and sales and FBO operations.
BAE Systems and Design Q have unveiled the latest cabin concept for the Avro Business Jet, an executive version of BAE’s Avro RJ and BAE 146 regional jets. The concept is known as ABJ Fusion, and the cabin on display at the NBAA Convention in October was the third of five designs created by Design Q on behalf of BAE Systems. The first two were introduced at Ebace in Geneva this past spring.
Bristow Helicopters inked a multimillion-dollar, five-year contract with a consortium of oil companies in the North Sea. The renewed deal was signed with the Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC), which includes BP, CNR International, Fairfield Energy, Petrofac, Shell and TAQA. Bristow will thus provide helicopter services from Scatsta Airport in the Shetland Islands to the East and West Shetland Basins.
Ocean Sky has its three new Spanish FBOs up and running in Ibiza, Menorca and Valencia and is planning to add more facilities in Spain. Meanwhile, the Italian element of the expansion plans it unveiled at the Ebace show in May has been delayed, but the company still hopes to open an FBO at an undisclosed airport in Italy next year.
Redhill Aerodrome, a grass strip close to London Gatwick Airport, is seeking permission to build a 3,671-foot concrete runway in a bid to attract very light jets. The privately owned airfield is about 24 miles south of the center of the UK capital. Public consultation on Redhill’s new master plan will end on October 31, after which the airfield’s owners will officially apply for permission to proceed with the development.
BAE (Booth No. 8237) is moving heavier into aircraft remarketing, according to Stewart Cordner, vice president of the company’s Avro Business Jet (ABJ) unit.
Mike Delk has announced his retirement following 40 years leading Air BP Aviation Services (Booth No. 7903). In a release issued by Air BP, he said he intends to remain involved in the industry, but that he would like to spend more time with his family. Delk’s father bought what was the Valley Oil Company of Salem, Ore., in 1944, and later switched from producing home heating oil to avgas.
The first Airbus A330 future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA) for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) made its first flight after conversion on September 13. Three days later, the British legislature published a report that heavily criticized the $16 billion-plus procurement of the RAF’s new tankers via a private finance initiative (PFI).
India signed a contract for 57 more BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs), all to be manufactured under license at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) factory in Bangalore. A previous contract provided 24 Hawk AJTs from the BAE Systems production line in the UK, six more in kit form for assembly by HAL, and 36 to be license-built.
Last week, Vince Cable, the business secretary in the new British government, heavily criticized the supply of 14 A330MRTTs to the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a private finance initiative (PFI). He told The Sunday Times that the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) is “a massively expensive and unnecessary commitment.”