Shortly after its purchase by finance house Allied Capital earlier this year, Mercury Air Centers dedicated a new hangar and tenant office facility at Charleston International Airport (CHS) S.C. The 45,000-sq-ft complex is adjacent to Mercury’s existing terminal and incorporates a 23,000-sq-ft hangar bay with 28-foot-high doors that can accommodate large business jets, such as the Gulfstream V.
In 1999, Motorola’s ill-starred Iridium satcom venture declared bankruptcy and was on the verge of maneuvering the service’s 66 satellites to burn up in the atmosphere. Today, officials at the re-established satcom operation are promoting the company’s rapidly growing customer base and line of service offerings.
New England EMS operator MedStar Transport is to equip its EC 135 and BK 117 fleet with Sky Connect satellite terminals, to provide automated tracking and voice com-munications with the aircraft through the Iridium satellite network.
An exterior paint job on a Gulfstream G550 will typically cost in the neighborhood of $150,000 and, with proper care and maintenance, will last about five years. CareJet Services president Matt Weisman says it doesn’t have to be that way, and his recently launched company offers as proof a new polymer coating that both extends the life of the paint and enhances its appearance.
Iridium satcom supplier Blue Sky Network last month announced that the Gulf of Mexico’s largest privately held helicopter operator has selected the company’s voice calling and two-way satellite messaging equipment for installation in its entire fleet. Rotorcraft Leasing of Lafayette, La., plans to add Blue Sky’s SkyRouter communications equipment to more than 100 helicopters, enabling voice calls, text messaging and aircraft tracking.
Mercury Air Centers in conjunction with GE Capital Financial and Aviation Logistics (Avlog) introduced last month a MasterCard purchasing program specifically for business aviation operators. The Atlanta-based FBO chain also announced affiliations with Starbucks Coffee and UltraJet air charter.
Mercury Air Group CEO Joe Czyzyk has directed the company’s Mercury Air Centers to provide free use of their facilities nationwide for any private or military aircraft on a humanitarian mission to New York, as long as there is a need and the flight is a verifiable relief operation. Mercury will provide fuel to these aircraft at cost and will not charge ramp fees.
International Water-Guard Industries of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, has signed a contract to install its circulating potable water system on a Gulfstream IV that is joining the Detroit Pistons basketball team fleet. Chief among the advantages of the system is that water is continually circulating and thus doesn’t stagnate. The company claims its system is lighter and has a smaller installation “footprint” than competing systems.
Iridium Satellite LLC, the company that has emerged from the bankruptcy of the Motorola-led satellite communications consortium, last month submitted a proposal to the FAA outlining its idea for continuous, real-time broadcast of cockpit voice and flight data through its constellation of 66 low-earth-orbit satellites.
The facilities of Flight International, one of two FBOs at Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News, Va., have become the 20th Mercury Air Centers operation. After processing a request for proposals, the airport authority awarded Mercury a 20-year FBO contract. Flight International, whose aircraft maintenance operation will continue as a Mercury tenant, did not respond to the RFP.