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.
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.
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.
Air BP recently added 16 airports to its Chinese fuel network for general aviation customers, extending the fuel supplier’s reach from Beijing in the North along the central corridor, to Shenzhen in the South with new airports being served in the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Hubei and Henan. With these additions, Air BP provides fuel for international GA clients at 20 Chinese airports. The new airport locations are being operated in conjunction with Air BP’s local joint-venture partner, South China Bluesky Aviation Oil Company.
During a session yesterday at EBACE, IBAC formally unveiled its new International Standard for Business Aviation Handling (IS-BAH), which outlines a formal safety standard for FBOs and ground-handling businesses. IS-BAH mirrors IS-BAO, the safety standard for business aircraft operators, according to International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) IS-BAO director James Cannon. “It represents FBO and handling agency industry best practices, and integrates the principles of a safety management system [SMS].”
World Fuel Services (WFS) is promoting the AvPOS point-of-sale system as its payment software of choice for non-U.S. markets. AvPOS, from KHI, is specifically designed for FBOs and aviation merchants and supports World Fuel’s Avcard, the Multi Service Aero Card and KHI’s U.S. government Air Card. AvPOS enables FBOs and ground handlers to transact sales anywhere, including the ramp.
Massachusetts recently announced plans to build or renovate general aviation airport administrative facilities in 15 communities over the next five years. The first four projects currently in design are for the airports in Beverly, Fitchburg, Mansfield and Southbridge. Each project is funded by the state and a required 5-percent local match. Construction is expected to take approximately nine months. Another 11 airports are scheduled for construction or renovation from 2016 through 2019.
Air BP announced several service initiatives to support business aviation operators heading to Brazil for the World Cup tournament that begins next month. At all 16 airports where it operates in the host country, Air BP will institute a “fast-track” fuel service, which will guarantee the arrival of a refueler within 20 minutes of an aircraft’s landing, given three hours’ advance notification, or alternatively, will allow operators to book predetermined fueling time according to their schedules.
BBA Aviation’s flight support division, which includes Signature Flight Support and airline refueler Asig, saw an 8-percent increase in revenue. “The signs of recovery in business and general aviation in North America continued, with movements up 4 percent in the first quarter,” the company noted. “Weakness continued in our other major markets, with European business and general aviation movements flat and commercial movements down 2 percent in North America and Europe.”