Offshore oil and gas operator Bristow is divesting its holdings in Nigeria’s Pan African Airways (PAAN) to Nigerian ownership to comply with the country’s new Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development Act. PAAN’s helicopters, mostly Bell 412s, 407s and 206s, will now operate under separate livery and out of company and customer bases in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri and Escravos.
A week after U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates praised Denmark and Norway for punching above their weight in the Libyan operations, both countries indicated they would scale back their contribution of F-16 fighters. They “have provided 12 percent of allied strike aircraft yet have struck about one-third of the targets” said Gates, praising them for the effective use of their limited resources.
Although rebel forces have gained hardly any ground in Libya, NATO officials are still optimistic that airpower alone will eventually force Col. Ghaddafi’s regime from power. To that end, air strikes have increasingly focused on Libya’s defense and security infrastructure, including vehicle, ammunition and missile depots; intelligence and secret police headquarters; the presidential complex in Tripoli; and other command and control sites.
Nexus Flight Operations Services has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with U.S.-based FAM International to provide its customers with tailored aviation security solutions. With its new operations centers in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Nexus provides a range of flight support capabilities, such as flight dispatch, planning and scheduling for aircraft and crew, trip planning and a global concierge service.
Leading business aircraft manufacturers are starting to take some encouragement from improving market conditions and more than ever are counting on emerging markets like the Middle East to give them the momentum the beleaguered industry needs to achieve a full-blown recovery.
UK-based ammunition specialist Chemring Group (Hall 4 A12) and Malaysia-based National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI) signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday that will allow NADI-owned SME Ordnance to offer Chemring’s full range of products. SME Ordnance will be able to offer military pyrotechnics and demolition materials, for example, to the Malaysian forces and those of other Southeast Asian countries.
The Moroccan government’s military transport wing has taken delivery of the first of four C-27J Spartans that it ordered from Alenia Aeronautica in October 2008. The aircraft, which arrived at Kenitra air base on July 7, is equipped with the self-protection suite but does not feature an in-flight refuelling probe.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency expanded the pre-clearance program that allows business aircraft passengers and crew to complete immigration and customs procedures in Shannon, Ireland, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It is now available to aircraft operated under Part 135, rather than just Part 91, and the facility’s hours have been expanded to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In response to the growing demand for business aircraft in Africa, charter operator VistaJet has launched a regional operation on the West African coast, based out of Lagos, Nigeria. The Switzerland-based company has partnered with Kola Aluko, a West Africa-based businessman and VistaJet client.
The Ocean Sky FBO at London Luton Airport offers customs and immigration clearance, thanks to a UK Border and Immigration Agency agreement to provide dedicated staff at the FBO. “We are delighted by our arrangement with the Border and Immigration Agency,” said Ocean Sky chief executive Stephen Grimes, “which is already working extremely well. This is great news for Ocean Sky and for our clients.