The lingering economic downturn has impacted all areas of the aviation industry and has presented challenges for component manufacturers and suppliers. As operators and manufacturers seek to lower costs without compromising component quality, greater emphasis has been placed on the need to diversify operations to offset short-term revenue declines in certain segments. Global supplier Aviall is meeting those challenges with a multi-pronged approach covering various segments of the industry.
Economy of the United States
Boeing has flown a “risk reduction prototype” for the U.S. Army’s enhanced medium altitude reconnaissance and surveillance system (Emarss). The modified Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350ER took off from Summit Aviation’s Middletown, Del. facility, on October 6. It will explore the effects of the added fairings for sensors on the aircraft’s aerodynamics; Boeing said it is seeking an FAA supplemental type certificate for the modifications.
Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport-based Banyan Air Service’s avionics department recently completed a high-speed-data/WiFi installation on an executive Boeing 757. The Banyan Avionics travel team performed the installation at the customer’s MRO of choice during a maintenance inspection. The travel team has now performed high-speed-data/WiFi installations on the Boeing 727/737/747SP/757. In addition, Banyan recently secured a contract to outfit three Boeing 737s with Aircell ATG-5000 high-speed Internet.
A year after industry groups such as the Aerospace Industries Association started warning about the threatened U.S. government budget reductions known as “sequestration,” the White House has offered specifics about what the impact would be for the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies.
NetJets is adding in-flight Aircell Internet service to another 100 or so aircraft in its fleet. In 2010 the fractional operator initially opted for Aircell Internet service aboard more than 250 of its jets, and the additional 100 systems will expand NetJets’ connected fleet by about 40 percent. The installation process is already under way at Duncan Aviation, and NetJets expects the entire retrofit program to be completed by mid-2014.
Five years after its founding in 2007, Amac Aerospace has significantly strengthened its credentials as a business aviation services group with the opening of its third hangar in Basel, Switzerland, and a new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Istanbul, Turkey.
An FAA suspected unapproved parts (SUP) investigation has found that National Precision Bearing, a division of Mechatronics and a distributor for Schatz Bearing Corporation products, publicly sold Boeing-designed bearings made by Schatz as suitable for installation on a type-certified aircraft.
The Society for Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) expected to finish counting ballots cast by Boeing engineers and technicians on a new four-year contract proposal on Monday evening. Boeing’s offer, which SPEEA leadership urged its 23,000 Boeing members to reject, calls for an average 3.5-percent raise for engineers for each year of the agreement and average pay hikes for technicians of 3 percent for the first year, followed by 2.5 percent in each subsequent year.
For several years, you’ve been able to book charter flights on the Internet and now, as we’ve reported in Business Jet Traveler, there’s a retail store in London–The Jet Business–where you can actually walk in off the street and buy an airplane.
I think I can see where this trend is headed.