AgustaWestland has opened an office in the Seoul to capitalize on recent sales success in South Korea. The subsidiary of Italian group Finmeccanica has about 50 helicopters of various types in service or on order there in military, parapublic or commercial roles. These include eight AW159 Wildcat maritime helicopters for the Republic of Korea Navy–the first export sale of this type. The manufacturer hopes that this order may be expanded. The AW139 is selling well for commercial applications.
In an unexpected move, the Republic of Korea Navy is pursuing a U.S. offer to supply 20 Lockheed Martin S-3A Viking twinjets for maritime surveillance. The service told legislators in Seoul that this is a lower-cost option for expanding this capability compared to acquiring refurbished P-3C Orions from the same manufacturer to add to the current fleet of 16, or new aircraft such as the Airbus Military C295, Boeing P-8 Poseidon, or Lockheed Martin SC-130J Hercules.
Volo Aviation has been awarded the contract to manage the FBO at MidCoast Regional Airport at Wright Army Airfield, a joint public- and military-use airport located within Fort Stewart, 35 miles from Savannah. In 2007, several local agencies partnered to build a 13,825-sq-ft terminal to house both the military and civilian operations at the airport.
In its continued attempt to close Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport, the city of Santa Monica is now claiming that the statute of limitations on the FAA’s interests in the airfield should be applied with an earlier date.
While the worldwide deepwater offshore energy boom fuels an increase in civil helicopter sales, that will translate into only modest sales gains within the U.S. market, research consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (F&S) predicts. In a recently released study, F&S predicts U.S. civil helicopter purchases will rise to $1.07 billion by 2020 from $890 million in 2012, accounting for approximately one-third of worldwide demand.
Prime Minister David Cameron and French President François Hollande, together with their respective defense ministers Philip Hammond and Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced a series of new defense deals, building on the greater co-operation between the countries outlined in the 2010 Lancaster House agreement.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program rating of India from a Category 1 to a Category 2 based on a recent reassessment of the country’s civil aviation authority. Under Category 2, India’s airlines can continue to fly existing service to the U.S., but they cannot establish any new service until the FAA reinstates the country’s Category 1 status.
There is a lot of “positive momentum” for the business aviation industry going into 2014, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said this morning at the NBAA regional forum in Boca Raton, Fla. “U.S. Congress passed an omnibus budget agreement in December, and the Republican leadership, which just returned from their annual retreat, indicated that they will indeed raise the debt ceiling,” he noted.
Embraer Executive Jets appointed Peter Griffith vice president of sales and marketing for Europe and Africa and Peter Walker vice president of sales and marketing for the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. José Eduardo Costas, who has overseen Middle East and Asia-Pacific sales since 2008, will return to the company’s headquarters in Brazil to take on a broader role as vice president of market intelligence for Embraer Executive Jets. All will report to Marco Túlio Pellegrini, who became president and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets on January 1.
A U.S. Congressional panel has agreed to the Pentagon’s plan to quickly deliver six Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq. They will be delivered in the summer, and will be leased from the U.S. Army to allow training to begin with Iraqi army aviation. The helicopters are AH-64Ds upgraded to a partial AH-64E configuration. The notification to Congress was lodged on January 23, and was followed by another four days later covering the $4.8 billion purchase of 24 new-build AH-64E Apache Guardians to be delivered over a three-year period.