UK airports group BAA has reluctantly abandoned any further legal challenges to the compulsory sale of London Stansted Airport mandated by anti-trust authorities. It is now open to offers for what is the UK’s fourth busiest airport, and low-cost carrier Ryanair has emerged as a leading figure among potential bidders. Ryanair confirmed on August 21 that it has been asked to join a consortium that would buy Stansted jointly, with its own stake not exceeding 25 percent.
BAE Systems, not Lockheed Martin, will upgrade the avionics of some 130 Korean air force F-16C/Ds. A spokesman for Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in Seoul that his agency will request the BAE package as a U.S. foreign military sale (FMS).
Airbus Military will supply a Thales full-flight simulator (FFS) for the A400M Atlas airlifter to the UK Royal Air Force in spring 2014, ahead of the aircraft’s entry into RAF service in late 2014. A joint venture between Airbus Military and Thales will maintain the FFS, which will be located at RAF Brize Norton, where all 22 UK Atlas aircraft will be based.
Representatives from the Australian state of Victoria, which will host the Avalon Airshow in Melbourne next year (February 26 to March 3), are busy here at the Farnborough International Airshow trying to find new connections for companies “Down Under.” In particular, they are also trying to persuade UK firms that they could benefit from opening branches in Australia, despite the distance, current high cost of living and adverse effect of the exchange rate on exports.
London’s Stansted Airport is set to get a fourth FBO, with The Diamond Hangar scheduled to open in time for the start of the 2012 Olympic Games on July 27. The new venture is trading on the Aero Toy Store brand, and its main shareholder is Ben Shirazi, son of the U.S. aircraft sales and completions group’s founder, Morris Shirazi.
BAE Systems is competing against Lockheed Martin to be the prime contractor for Korea’s forthcoming upgrade of some 130 F-16s. Attention has focused largely on the competition between Northrop Grumman and Raytheon to supply the AESA radar. But the Korean request for proposals also invited non-OEMs to bid as system integrator. Taiwan and the U.S. are also planning a similar upgrade to some 140 and 300 aircraft, respectively. Other F-16 operators may follow, making this a multibillion-dollar market.
British competition authorities have dismissed complaints that they did not investigate the British Airways (BA) bid to buy BMI (the former British Midland International) from Germany’s Lufthansa—a deal approved by the European Commission (EC) on March 30.
Eurofighter signed a new, five-year support contract with NETMA, the NATO management agency that represents the four European partner nations in the combat aircraft program. As before, the Eurofighter industrial partners will deliver support to the individual air forces. Alenia values its part of the deal, to support the Italian air force, at more than $660 million. BAE Systems says its contract to support the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is worth $708.5 million. EADS values its future support to the German and Spanish air forces at more than $1.1 billion.
Commercial aviation is the biggest impediment to business aviation’s growth in Asia, according to Tay Tiang Guan, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). Speaking at the ABACE show conference session yesterday, Tay admitted that the rapid growth of the commercial aviation sector is taking the lion’s share of regulators’ attention and dominating airspace.
Today Gulfstream Aerospace named 25-year business aviation veteran Trevor Esling as regional senior vice president of international sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Esling, who most recently was Cessna Aircraft’s senior vice president of international sales for the EMEA region, is responsible for leading Gulfstream’s EMEA sales team from a base in London. Before working at Cessna, Esling was employed by BAe Commercial Aircraft, BAe Corporate Jets and Raytheon Aircraft.