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.
French corporation Zodiac has purchased Scott Aviation from Tyco International, and renamed the Lancaster, Pa.-based oxygen system components supplier Avox Systems. The sale was followed by a contract from Cessna to supply Avox oxygen mask deployment containers for the new Citation Mustang very light jet.
Iridium has named suppliers to help it build and deploy the Iridium Next satellite constellation over the next several years. Partners will include Boeing, General Dynamics, Avaliant, KinetX, MicroSat Systems and Trident Sensors. The Next network is predicted to cost around $2.2 billion and will consist of 66 low-earth-orbit satellites plus a dozen or so spares.
Iridium hardware maker International Communications Group (ICG) reports launching a study to determine the potential requirements for an aeronautical satcom antenna capable of linking to a proposed high-speed-data transceiver under development by Iridium.
L-3 Avionics Systems has received STC approval and parts manufacturer approval aboard the King Air C90 for the Iris infrared imaging system. The C90 is the first application for Iris, which a spokeswoman said is generating “tremendous interest. We have installation and certification programs under way for many different platforms.”