As China’s business aviation infrastructure continues to grow, Deer Jet, which owns four of the six FBOs operating on the Chinese mainland, expects to at least double that number by year-end, according to Peng Zhang, company vice president. “We are talking with several different airport authorities [that] want to cooperate with Deer Jet to have an FBO facility on their field,” Zhang told AIN.
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.
Ground support services provider Euro Jet Intercontinental has unveiled a new complimentary crew lounge at Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport near the Romanian seaside town of Constanta, a top summer destination in Eastern Europe. The new lounge features couches, flat-screen cable television, computer workstations with printer/fax/scanner and Wi-Fi. Additionally, refreshments, assorted snacks and a full-time concierge service are available.
Pilots heading to this year’s EAA AirVenture Fly-In next month will find there is now only one FBO at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. Basler Flight Services acquired Orion Flight Service from Shell aviation fuels distributor Eastern Aviation Fuels in a deal worth approximately $1 million, according to Tom Weigt, president of parent company and DC-3 turboprop conversion pioneer Basler Turbo Conversions.
Construction is expected to begin by year-end on an FBO facility at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). According to the airport, private jet movements there last year were up 13 percent over 2012, and the increasing operational tempo and congested parking called for an upgrade. The new $5.5 million, 10,763-sq-ft terminal is expected to be completed 14 to 16 months after construction begins, and will include three retail outlets as well as customs, immigration and security services.
Jet Aviation is currently rebranding its FBOs in Jeddah and in Dubai at Dubai International Airport as part of its refurbishment and corporate rebranding program. Jet Aviation is currently rebranding its FBO facility in Jeddah to integrate the new corporate look and feel launched in Geneva and Zurich last year. With runway construction under way at Dubai International Airport, the company is overhauling this facility while all FBO, line maintenance and AOG services are being supported out of its Dubai World Central facility.
April was a banner month for Landmark Aviation, beginning with the Carlyle Group subsidiary announcing it had entered the UK FBO market in a big way by buying the three former RSS Jet Centre locations at London Luton Airport, Manchester Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Hawthorne Global Aviation Services recently opened its newest FBO at Chicago Executive Airport. The FBO–the company’s third following new facilities at MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y., and Lakefront Airport in New Orleans–is part of an aggressive business plan to open executive FBOs throughout the U.S. in major and medium markets. “We have the next four sites in mind, and they will probably be online this year,” Bill Koch, chairman of the board, told AIN.
Embraer and Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create a joint biofuels research center at a technological park near Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Under the partnership, the companies will be “developing and maturing the knowledge and technologies that make it possible to establish a sustainable biofuels chain for aviation.”
Avfuel and Rizon Jet UK at London Biggin Hill Airport announced a partnership that allows the FBO to offer Avfuel contract fuel and Avtrip rewards points. “We are delighted to join the Avfuel network of international FBOs. The range of products Avfuel can provide will only strengthen our services,” said Rizon Jet UK CEO Allan McGreal. “Avfuel’s global presence adds a depth and quality of service few can match.”
Volo Aviation was awarded the contract late last week to manage the FBO at Tampa (Fla.) Executive Airport, which is 10 miles northeast of downtown Tampa. Investment group Skyport Holdings recently purchased the FBO, formerly Leading Edge Aviation Services, and retained Volo Aviation as business manager for its new acquisition.