Prime Fraction Club, whose members buy shares in high-end boats and automobiles as well as aircraft, has added a new six-passenger AgustaWestland AW109 Grand to its fleet, which now features 10 helicopters. The pricing structure for the fractional ownership program offers one-quarter shares in an AW109S Grand at a buy-in cost of R$3.56 million ($1.55 million), in addition to a fixed monthly fee of R$34,724 ($15,074) for maintenance, hangar space and other costs.
Brazilian air taxi operators association ABTAer is to hold its fifth annual convention at São Paulo’s Campo de Marte Airport on August 30 and 31. The event is expected to draw more than 60 companies, as well as government officials and members of Brazil’s congress. Among the issues of concern to ABTAer’s members are ongoing airport access problems and the threats posed by illegal charter activity.
Helibras has announced the opening of a new customer support center (CSC) at Atibaia, near the three main airfields of São Paulo. The facility forms part of Eurocopter’s global network and mirrors those established by the company in Hong Kong, Dallas and Marignane (France). Some 75 percent of the Brazilian Eurocopter/Helibras fleet is based in the southeast of Brazil.
Plans to develop São Paulo’s first privately owned business aviation airport appear to have hit a roadblock, with local authorities recently refusing a construction permit for Aerodromo Privado Rodoanel (Beltway Private Airport), despite the airport’s obtaining Brazil federal government approval on July 25. The local authorities have rejected the airport on the grounds that the project is not part of the city’s master development plan and because of concerns about a nearby reservoir.
The fifth annual Business Aviation in Latin America summit will open tomorrow morning in São Paulo at LABACE. The seminar will explore the latest developments in the business aviation industry and new challenges and opportunities for the future. The BALA summit has grown in size and scope every year, and more than 80 attendees are expected at this year’s event.
Fuel logistics company World Fuel Services recently opened an office in São Paulo, with native Paulistano Celso Azuma appointed as business aviation sales executive for the region. The new office provides local “boots on the ground” expertise that will enable the company to serve the needs of FBOs and flight departments more effectively. The office handles the supply of Ascent brand aviation fuel, as well as the Alliance-World Fuel Services contract fuel program and other WFS business aviation-related products and services.
Fuel supplier Air BP is establishing an Operators University at Campo de San Marte Airport in São Paulo. At the new facility, Air BP instructors will train personnel using a range of pneumatic and hydraulic training simulators, cutting tools and a representative aircraft wing to practice both regular refueling operations and safety procedures. Trainees are assessed during and after the course.
The tenth Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) opens here at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo today. Brazil’s civil aviation minister Moreira Franco and the commandant of the Brazilian air force, Air Brigadier Saito, are expected to be the guests of honor at the opening ceremony and “ribbon cutting,” to be held at midday. Brazil’s business aviation community certainly needs friends in high places as it continues to insist that its operational needs are not overlooked as the country develops its air transport infrastructure.
Late yesterday, Brazil’s civil aviation minister was expected to finally sign an authorization for the development of the Catarina Executive Airport in São Roque (see page 12). Meanwhile, also in the São Paulo area, plans to develop the city’s first privately owned business aviation airport appear to have hit a roadblock with local authorities recently refusing a construction permit for Aerodromo Privado Rodoanel (Beltway Private Airport) on the grounds that the project is not part of the city’s master development plan and because of concerns about a nearby reservoir.
The wave of protests that has rocked Brazil since June has included opposition to government spending on airports, the blocking of airport access as a way to get attention, and also complaints by the aviation community about government failure to address its needs. In preparation for the 2014 soccer World Cup, stadiums have been built or renovated all over the country, and investments have been made in transportation infrastructure, including airports.