When business aviation is booming, as it is now, nowhere is it more evident than at FBOs, the place at airports where everybody ends up hanging out, working, planning, preparing, departing and arriving. FBOs are also the place where most people are introduced to non-airline aviation.
A cooling deficiency in Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW306B turbofan has forced the company to correct and recertify the design after turbine blades showed premature wear on several Fairchild Dornier 328JETs. A company spokeswoman told AIN that PW&C would perform the “upgrade” as operators turn in their airplanes for regular maintenance.
Can an airline ever realistically hope to match the level of service and intimate environment a private jet offers? Silverjet Aviation thinks it can, and in January it launched what it calls Silver Service between London and New York with a dramatically modified Boeing 767-200. It might not be a private jet, but in terms of cabin comfort and amenities, it isn’t far from it, and on price it’s more than competitive.
As Congress began hearings last month on the Bush Administration’s plan to fund the FAA, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey attempted to do what one lawmaker called “defending the indefensible.”
Early indications from Capitol Hill signaled that the White House proposal for increased taxes and user fees to provide the necessary money to run the FAA and modernize the ATC system would have rough sledding in Congress.
The McKechnie Aerospace Aftermarket Group of Reno, Nev., has formed a joint venture with Hong Kong-based distributor Topcast Aviation Supplies to provide airlines and general aviation operators in the Asia Pacific Region with McKechnie’s products and services.
It is good news that the joint program and development office (JPDO), formed recently at the direction of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, is crafting a national policy on air transportation. Many voices, among them mine when I served as president of NBAA, called for a vision and mission statement by the U.S.
Independence Air’s designs on developing a Midwestern outpost for new discount-fare flights could suffer a serious blow if regulators follow through with proposed new slot restrictions at Chicago O’Hare Airport.
Bombardier has agreed to extend the delivery schedule of US Airways’ regional jets by a year and convert an order for twenty-three 50-seat CRJ200s to positions on 70-seat CRJ700s, now scheduled to enter service with wholly owned subsidiary PSA Airlines through March 2006.
A discount program for products and services for business aviation operators got off the ground quietly late last year. Called Jet Fleet International (JFI), the program was founded by two well known aviators–airshow and test pilot Bob Hoover and Gene Cernan, commander of the Apollo 17 mission and the last man to walk on the moon.
While 2003 general aviation shipping and billing numbers are hardly cause for celebration, the CEOs of GA manufacturers are generally upbeat and optimistic that a turnaround has been reached. And even though 2003 was a “challenging year,” it still ranks as the fifth best year for billings in GA’s history.