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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 4th February 2016 | Issue #353
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United States

NBAA opposes House ATC-Privatization Bill

Following yesterday's (Wednesday 3rd) introduction in the U.S. House of Representatives of a bill to reauthorize funding and programs for the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Business Aviation Association reiterated its long-standing opposition to the creation of a privatized air traffic control (ATC) system, funded by user fees, which is called for in the reauthorization bill.

Chairman Bill Shuster (R-9-PA), who leads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, unveiled House Bill H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act of 2016, to reauthorize FAA funding and programs beyond the current expiration date of March 31, 2016. Introduction of the measure follows remarks by Shuster indicating his intent to create a new, privatized aviation system - separate from the FAA, and not subject to congressional oversight - funded by user fees.

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Global Jet Capital completes acquisition of GE's fixed-wing Corporate Aircraft financing portfolio

Global Jet Capital, a provider of financing solutions for large-cabin, long-range private jets, announces that it has now completed the final elements of its acquisition of GE’s fixed-wing Corporate Aircraft financing portfolio in the Americas.

The outstanding part of the portfolio covered around 30 aircraft based in Mexico and Brazil, with these accounts now transferred to Global Jet Capital. Although the majority of the aircraft financed by the company are based in the US and Canada, Global Jet Capital sees strong signs of growth potential in markets outside North America.

The Brazilian fleet of mid-size, large cabin and jetliner business aircraft is around 330 strong, accounting for more than half the South American total. The equivalent Mexican fleet is approximately 570 aircraft, 60 of which were delivered in the last five years.

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NBAA helps counter latest city effort to close Santa Monica Airport

The National Business Aviation Association has joined with nine additional aviation stakeholders in responding to the city of Santa Monica’s latest effort in its continuing campaign to close Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) - namely an appeal of a December determination by the FAA that requires the city to keep the historic airport open at least through 2023.

NBAA and other concerned parties filed a Part 16 complaint with the FAA in 2014, challenging the city of Santa Monica’s claim that its federal grant-based obligations to maintain and allow reasonable access to SMO expired on June 29, 2014, 20 years after a 1994 city request for funding from the agency.

However, the FAA agreed with NBAA that a 2003 modification of the grant terms, including Santa Monica’s receipt of $240,600 in federal Airport Improvement Program funds on Aug. 27 of that year, requires the city to continue operating SMO at least through 2023. Santa Monica now has requested that the FAA reevaluate and reverse that finding.

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Hartzell's investment in 5-blade swept props cuts wide swath through business aviation

Hartzell Propeller has strengthened its global leadership in turboprop propellers through a multiyear, multimillion-dollar investment in advanced aerodynamics and manufacturing techniques, featuring structural composite technology.

The result has been the roll-out of several new five blade structural composite propellers and an aggressive campaign to identify fleets of turboprops for five-blade propeller upgrades that enhance performance across the board.

All Hartzell structural composite blades are certified for unlimited life. This means that they can be overhauled at their normal TBO and continually returned to service, with no limit to the total number of flight hours accumulated.

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MAC Air Group (KPWM)

MAC Air Group of Maine Aviation Corporation joins the Avfuel network as it adds FBO services this spring to its 57 year resume in aviation with MAC Jets LLC.

“We look forward to further serving the aviation community as an FBO facility,” said Allyn Caruso, owner of Maine Aviation Corporation. “We’re a three-generation family business, passionate about aviation and providing service that’s second-to-none. We wanted to partner with a fuel supplier with those same values - family, passion, quality service - which is why we’ve decided to take this next step with Avfuel Corporation. It couldn’t be a better match.”

In order to further accommodate its guests, MAC Air Group is building a new 43,000 square foot facility for MAC Jets in addition to its existing 15,000 square foot maintenance facility at KPWM. As the only facility on the south side of the airport field, guests will enjoy a private flying location.

In addition to seclusion, the south-side location avoids airport congestion. With easy access to the major highway, guests can arrive in downtown Portland in just seven minutes.

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U.S. Aviation Fuel Prices

Associated Air Center redelivers first Boeing 787-8 VVIP aircraft for Head of State customer

Associated Air Center (AAC), StandardAero's Large Transport Category VIP Completions Center has redelivered the company's and the industry’s first Boeing 787-8 Head of State aircraft completion.

Shortly after a celebration ceremony, the aircraft departed from the company’s facility, located at Dallas Love Field, on February 2, 2016.

This project was AAC’s first Boeing 787-8 model aircraft completion and the company’s eighth wide-body completion project. The Head of State configuration features 2,404 square feet of cabin space. This interior configuration can comfortably accommodate 82 VIP passengers separated in three cabin zones, while the office, bedroom and lavatory suite comprises the additional fourth, presidential zone.

Every VIP passenger seat is equipped with a Portable Electronic Device (PED) outlet and a High Definition (HD) in-arm, 11” LCD touch screen monitor to supplement the seven 42” LCD bulkhead mounted monitors connected to a variety of In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) sources that include six global and local Blu-Ray players, Audio Video On-Demand (AVOD) servers, passenger flight information systems (moving maps) and landscape camera system.

The interior configuration features eight passenger lavatories, a forward cabin Overhead Flight Crew Rest (OFCR) accommodating two sleeping berths, an aft cabin Overhead Flight Attendant Rest (OFAR) accommodating six sleeping berths and fourteen high comfort flight attendant seats.

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Kevin Crowley

Jeppesen has announced that Kevin Crowley is succeeding Mark Van Tine as Jeppesen chief executive officer and vice-president, Digital Aviation, for Boeing. Van Tine will retire June 30, 2016 after more than 35 years with the company.

Crowley, who most recently served as vice-president, Technology Development, has previously served as vice-president of 787 Partnering for Success Integration in Boeing Commercial Airplanes supplier management organization. Crowley joined Boeing in 1989 in Huntsville, Alabama as a software engineer and has held numerous leadership positions in Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense and Space engineering; and program management organizations.

“I am pleased and honored to assume the leadership of Jeppesen,” said Crowley. “While Mark leaves big footsteps to follow, the challenge is lessened because of the great employees and customers of Jeppesen.”

Mark Van Tine retires after 35 years with Jeppesen.

In addition to being Jeppesen CEO, Van Tine also has served in several executive capacities with Boeing, Jeppesen’s corporate parent. Most recently, he has been instrumental in the formation and development of the Digital Aviation unit within Boeing Commercial Aviation Services.

“Thirty-five years at Jeppesen, fourteen of them as CEO, and sixteen as a Boeing executive have been tremendously rewarding and fulfilling,” said Van Tine. “I have been privileged to work for a company that serves the entire global aviation community, and I am immensely grateful to our customers, our employees, and our industry partners who have helped me in my career.”

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Embraer delivers first Legacy 500 to China’s launch customer Jackie Chan

Movie star Jackie Chan has become the first customer in China to take delivery of Embraer's new Legacy 500.

“The Legacy 500 features our best-to-date technologies and it incorporates designs that maximize passenger comfort and fuel efficiency,” said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. “This new aircraft, along with the Legacy 650 that we already delivered to Mr. Chan, will further facilitate his business development, as well as his humanitarian activities.”

Jackie Chan’s connection with Embraer Executive Jets dates to 2012, when he received an Embraer Legacy 650 as China’s launch customer and became Embraer’s brand ambassador. read more

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Comlux orders three Airbus ACJ320neo aircraft

Becomes largest customer for new corporate jet family

Comlux The Aviation Group has announced a firm order for three Airbus ACJ320neo aircraft, becoming the largest customer for Airbus’ new corporate jet family.

The order also consolidates Comlux’s leadership in Airbus corporate jet deals, with more to its credit than any other client.

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United States

Jet Aviation St. Louis completes comprehensive upgrades to Paint Shop

Jet Aviation St. Louis has completed the installation of a sophisticated system of controls for climate, air quality, and final finish in the Paint Shop that is already known throughout the industry for delivering a top-quality aircraft paint job.

“Our new computerized and automated climate-control system, painter decontamination chambers, and paint delivery and quality-control devices provide the best quality control in the art of aircraft painting,” said Britt Julius, manager, Paint Shop.

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Top 25 European Departure Airports

BlueSky's '25 Most Popular Business Aviation Departure Airports in Europe' in association with Avinode

This monthly popularity ranking is based on the number of unique flight requests with their first passenger leg departing out of IACO codes starting with E, L, and U, transmitted through the Avinode Marketplace over the last 30 days.

For the full list click here



















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Gama Aviation partners with CAE to expand training offer

New partnership will meet EASA Part-FCL requirements across up to 30 aircraft types

Gama Aviation has signed a partnership agreement with CAE, the world’s second largest business aviation training organisation.

The agreement will address the new interpretation of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part-FCL requirements regarding base training. read more

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CAA International (CAAi), on behalf of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, is set to open a brand new EASA Part-66 Aircraft Maintenance Licence (AML) electronic examination centre in Piarco, near Port of Spain.

The new e-Exam centre will open on April 7th 2016 and will provide candidates in the Caribbean, Central and South America with better access to EASA Part-66 AML examinations.

Working in partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA), the exam centre will allow aircraft maintenance engineers in the region to test their theoretical knowledge against EASA Part-66 AML requirements. Click here for more information.

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Swiss Aviation Consulting is expanding its reach into Asia by setting up an affiliate in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Swiss AeroConsultant (Asia) Sdn. Bhd. was officially incorporated in December 2015.

Malaysia has been chosen for its central location in the Southeast Asian market and for the availability of qualified staff who, in addition to English and the local Bahasa, speaks the languages of Swiss Aviation Consulting’s clients in China, India and Indonesia.

The company offers its proven and successful service package out of Malaysia, with typical activities being audits of Chinese bizav start-ups; MRO review and aircraft records inspections.

“To set up an office in Asia was an absolute imperative for Swiss Aviation Consulting,” explains Dr. Daniel Lütolf, Managing Director and Chairman. “Southeast Asia is a hot market. Both the airline and executive aviation sector have an increasing requirement of

aircraft, their financing and related services. With the added presence in Malaysia we pursue our strategy to follow our clients’ business needs geographically as well as with respect to high quality services.”

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United Kingdom

Pula Aviation acquires 100% share capital of Bristol Flying Centre Group

Pula Aviation Ltd has acquired 100% of the share capital of Bristol Flying Centre (BFC) Group and its subsidiary, Centreline Air Charter.

Bristol Airport based BFC offers a wide range of aviation related services including private jet charter, aircraft management and handling, maintenance and engineering as well as pilot training.

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ExecuJet acquires largest FBO at Munich International

ExecuJet Aviation Group will offer handling and ground support services from its FBO at Munich International Airport following acquisition of the former European Business Aviation Services’ (EBAS International GmbH) facility. read more

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United Kingdom

Phenom 100s selected to train armed forces aircrew

Embraer's Phenom 100 business jet has been selected to provide multi-engine pilot training to armed forces aircrew in the United Kingdom.

The contract with Affinity Flight Training Services will provide five aircraft to the U.K Ministry of Defence’s Military Flying Training System, (UKMFTS) program. The contract includes support services and an option for additional follow on aircraft.

The Fixed Wing programme is intended to replace the elementary, multi-engine and basic flying training that is currently delivered on aging platforms with a new fully integrated solution that provides state-of-the-art training aircraft, ground based training devices and courseware all derived from the training design developed by Ascent Flight Training, the training service provider of the MFTS programme in UK.

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Colibri review of 2015 business aircraft market

Colibri Aircraft has published a report on business aircraft sales activity during 2015. The year was characterized by large price decreases but a stable level of transactions in terms of the number of aircraft sold.

However there were some sectors that saw major changes. For example the large aircraft market went from being quite resilient to being the sector that saw some of the largest price discounts. Aircraft sales in the USA remained strong. Europe was a net seller of aircraft with the three largest markets, Germany, England and France, all seeing their private jet fleets shrink in 2015 as the trend towards sales to the USA continued.

Oliver Stone, Colibri Aircraft MD

Mid-size aircraft, such as the Citation Excel and the XLS held their values quite well and saw a large decline in available inventory as buyers realised the value these aircraft. Light Jets held up well in terms of the number of transactions with the Citation Mustang being the highest selling aircraft to European buyers.

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Serious drone near misses prompt warning from pilots

Pilots say a spate of serious near misses involving drones highlights the need for urgent action to integrate them in to airspace safely and prevent a collision with other aircraft.

In December the UK Proximity Board looked at 7 incidents involving drones: 4 of which were classed as the most serious category A, where a serious risk of collision existed. In one case a drone came very close to colliding with a Boeing 737 which was climbing out of Stanstead. Other category A incidents took place at Heathrow, London City and Manchester.

Pilots say they welcome the growth in drone technology and can see important applications for them commercially and recreationally, but a collision with a commercial airliner or helicopter could be catastrophic. They say action must be taken now to ensure this doesn’t happen.

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Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering.

Eat for Luck: The Chinese New Year

s many of us pack away our holiday decorations until next year, our memories
of New Year parties and incredible food is still fresh in our minds.

But wait! We may be jumping ahead of ourselves and missing an opportunity to celebrate New Year all over again! That’s right, another New Year party and one that will last for 15 days.

Chinese New Year (also referred to as the Spring Festival) is almost here. And with this celebration we plan menus to 'eat for luck'. Even if you aren’t Chinese, it’s fun to celebrate - but before you can create a menu of holiday delicacies, you must first learn a bit about the food traditions that are part of the celebration.

If I can eat AND gain an edge in creating health and good fortune for myself, I'd be foolish to pass it by. I must admit that I'm a tad superstitious. I won’t walk under a ladder, I throw salt over my shoulder, I fear seven years of bad luck for breaking a mirror, and I wish upon shooting stars. The festivities and foods surrounding this event are dynamic and electrifying.

What fun for your passengers and crews to enjoy something different for dinner whilst eating for extra good luck, wealth and good health in the coming year.

So here we go - loads of Lucky foods to serve on board during this New Year celebration . . . read more

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FAI’s Hangar 8 project on track to break ground in June

FAI Asset Management GmbH has confirmed that it will be breaking ground for its third hangar at Albrecht Dürer Airport in Nuremberg in June of this year.

The new hangar, which represents an investment of €6m, will increase FAI’s hangar floor space by another 4,500m², bringing the total size of the FAI facility to 13,500m².

Known as Hangar 8, the new building, accommodating a wingspan of 90m, will allow maintenance work to be performed on three aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800 at the same time. The new hangar comes with an attached 250m² departure building which will accommodate a VIP-Lounge with bar, conference room and office for FAI passengers and crew.

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£100k Helicopter Training Scholarship awards announced

Helicentre Aviation Academy has announced the award of a Commercial Helicopter Pilot/Flight Instructor Sponsorship as well as its annual Commercial Helicopter Pilot Scholarship, with a combined value in excess of £100,000.

Since the launch of its Scholarships programme in 2012 the Academy has already invested over £250,000 into the training of selected pilots.

The recent awards have been the largest single investment so far and have brought the total number of Scholarship winners to twelve, many of whom are already working as Professional Helicopter Pilots and Flight Instructors.

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NetJets debuts Cessna Citation Latitude demonstrator aircraft read

GlobeAir's resolution for 2016: 20 Mustangs by year end read

Are you a Team Player? Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering. read

People Make It Fly. Ashley Bowen Cook, vice president at Greteman Group. read

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Air BP strengthens its presence in the South of France with new location at Toulon Hyères Airport
International fuel products and services supplier, Air BP, has strengthened its fuelling network in the South of France with the addition of a new location at Toulon Hyères Airport (TLN\LFTH).

Following an agreement with airport operator, VINCI Airports, effective immediately Air BP will be the sole fuel provider of Jet A-1 at the airport until the end of 2020. Air BP will serve both its general and commercial aviation customers in the region. 

The new location will complement Air BP’s nearby operations at Marseille-Provence (MRS/LFML), Cannes-Mandelieu (CEQ/LFMD) and Nice Côte d’Azur (NCE/LFMN) airports. This agreement further underlines France as a key growth area for the company and brings the total number of Air BP supplied airports in the country to 129. The new location will also welcome Sterling Card customers, making it the 44th location in France to become part of the global Sterling Card network.

Toulon Hyères is also well suited for business aviation activity with Signature Flight Support FBO on site offering the full range of business aviation facilities including high speed internet access, refreshments, showers and a pilot lounge.

Toulon Hyères Airport is located halfway between Provence and the French Riviera. With its vast array of attractive sandy beaches, coves and beautiful countryside it is the most popular tourist destination in France after Paris.

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