Riyadh International Airport’s private aviation terminal, which houses FBO facilities for several players under one roof, is a “disaster,” a senior Saudi aviation official told AIN today at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference in Riyadh.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs
New developments at airports and heliports, including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers of FBOs; AIN’s Annual FBO Survey Reports; and news, issues and concerns regarding fuel cards, fuel prices and alternative fuels.
After nearly 45 years of operation, Flower Aviation closed its doors at Colorado’s Pueblo Memorial Airport last week, just three months after its other location, which had served Salina (Kan.) Regional Airport for more than four decades, was taken over by Avflight. Known for its 10-minute quick-turn service, steak giveaways and in the past for its “Flower Girls,” the Pueblo location was the last to bear the Flower name.
The Dassault Falcon 2000S and 2000LXS received approval to operate at London City Airport, which requires steep approach (5.5 degree) approvals by aircraft model, as well as for crewmembers. With these latest approvals, Dassault claims to be the only business jet manufacturer to have its entire in-production fleet certified to operate at London City. “The ability to operate at London City gives our operators an added measure of flexibility and a distinct advantage in their day-to-day operations,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier.
Landmark Aviation made its entry into the UK business aviation market in a big way with yesterday’s announcement that it acquired RSS Jet Centre, which operated the former Ocean Sky FBOs at London Luton, Manchester and Glasgow Prestwick International Airports. The Houston-based company, which now operates 57 FBOs (including eight under license) mostly in North America, has had a presence in France since 2006, and currently has bases at 10 airports in Europe. This includes a facility at Paris Le Bourget, where a new $4.1 million terminal is set to open.
Never renowned for its ability to fast-track rulemaking, the FAA might be gunning for a new record.
It has been nearly a decade since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) introduced an amendment to its aviation rulemaking to require member states to have certified international airports establish a safety management system (SMS). The FAA has said it supports harmonization of international standards and has worked to make U.S. aviation safety regulations consistent with ICAO standards and recommended practices.
Amid the wave of new FBO construction, AirFlite at California’s Long Beach Airport is proof that a well maintained FBO can stand the test of time, with the 22-year-old facility receiving a 9.6 rating out of 10, for the highest score in AIN’s 2014 FBO Survey for the Americas. This year’s survey received nearly 12,000 evaluations for FBOs in 91 countries.
For the FBO business, 2013 may go down as the year the industry truly began its slow, tentative climb out of the trough. U.S. business jet activity, both domestic and international, rose over 2012, which in turn saw a modest gain over 2011. At almost 3.4 million operations, domestic activity last year increased by 2.4 percent, according to the FAA, an improvement of more than 79,000 operations but still 19 percent lower than the record high of 4,191,692 operations set in 2005.
On Tuesday the six members of the Santa Monica city council voted unanimously on a plan to prepare to close all or part of Santa Monica Airport. More than 100 attendees spoke during the late-night meeting, with opinions split about evenly between those supporting the field’s future as an airport and those seeking to use its 227 acres for parkland or property development.
An item titled “The Future of Santa Monica Airport” on the agenda for tonight’s Santa Monica (Calif.) City Council meeting is likely to result in a spillover crowd, with both airport proponents and anti-airport groups urging members to attend to express their opinions.
Million Air held an official opening on Friday for its $15 million flagship FBO at Houston Hobby Airport, which will also serve as the company’s headquarters. The 22,000-sq-ft facility more than doubles the size of the former building and features a three-story glass-clad lobby atrium spanned by a “sky bridge” that connects the building’s two wings.
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