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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 25th September 2014 | Issue #289
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NetJets gets green light for China operations

First global private aviation brand to begin operating in China

NetJets Business Aviation Limited has obtained its CCAR-135 operation certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, allowing the company to begin offering private aircraft charter services in China.

The company initially will provide management services for the aircraft in its charter fleet - including maintenance, crewing, catering and storage - under the brand Executive Jet Management China, sharing in the “Executive Jet” brand legacy, with plans to expand into private aircraft management in the near future. Executive Jet Management is a brand that NetJets operates in the U.S. and EU. The addition of an operation in China further expands its global footprint.

“Our NetJets China partnership has been working closely with Chinese authorities to secure its operating certificate since 2012, and we are very pleased that the Chinese government has granted us this approval,” said NetJets Chairman and CEO Jordan Hansell. read more

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Preliminary NTSB stats show GA accident rate at 20-year low

The National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB's) preliminary aviation statistics for 2013 show a substantial improvement in FAR Part 91 general aviation safety, while the number of accidents in Part 135 on-demand operations increased in 2013, compared to 2012. In 2013, general aviation logged 20.9 million hours.

During that time the segment experienced 1,222 accidents, down 249 from the 2012 total of 1,471. This decreased the overall general aviation accident rate markedly, to 5.85 per 100,000 hours, compared to the 7.04 rate in 2012. The 2013 GA accident rate was the lowest for that segment in 20 years.

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Automated FODetect solution by Xsight Systems to help enhance Seattle-Tacoma runway safety

Safety at airport runways could be improved with an advanced automated Foreign Object Debris (FOD) detection system that quickly detects foreign objects and wildlife hazards between aircraft movements.

Leidos, a national security, health and engineering solutions company, was awarded a prime contract by the Port of Seattle to provide implementation services for a comprehensive FOD detection system to be installed as part of a runway improvement project at Seattle-Tacoma airport. The contract was awarded, after professional evaluation by the Port, under the Continuous Detection System contract.

Varec Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leidos, will serve as the prime contractor and Xsight Systems, Inc. will be the original equipment manufacturer provider of the FODetect Solution.

This implementation of an automated FOD detection system at Seattle-Tacoma airport will be only the second automated FOD detection system that has been installed in a U.S. airport and that is fully operational. read more

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FAA calls on the aviation industry to equip for NextGen and help increase safety and efficiency

Federal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker announced to a group of aviation leaders at the NextGen Institute this week that the FAA will hold a “Call to Action” summit to engage the aviation industry in meeting the January 1, 2020 deadline to equip aircraft with new avionics technology.

Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker.

The FAA and the aviation industry will discuss how they can work together to resolve barriers and address potential challenges to meeting the mandate to equip tens of thousands of aircraft with Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) Out avionics in the next five years. ADS-B is a core NextGen technology that will revolutionize the national airspace system. ADS-B will move aviation technology from a ground radar system to satellite-based GPS technology, increasing safety and efficiency by providing a more accurate view of aircraft location. read more

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Fleet growth continues at Delta Private Jets

Latest fleet additions complement increased demand from Jet Card customers

Delta Private Jets continues to see record growth for charter and Jet Card travel. As demand increases, the company’s ability to add popular aircraft models through its innovative Aircraft Management programs allows it to meet customers’ needs as well as spur additional growth.

DPJ saw a year-over-year increase in Jet Card sales of 76% for August. This follows record growth in both June and July, with September on track for similar activity. read more

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EagleMed receives coveted ARGUS Platinum Rating

EagleMed critical care air medical transport company has earned an ARGUS Platinum Rating, the highest and most prestigious ARGUS safety rating, demonstrating the company's passionate and ongoing commitment to safety. EagleMed is the largest air medical transport company to achieve the ARGUS Platinum Rating.

To award a Platinum Rating, aviation services company ARGUS International Inc. conducts comprehensive research on a company’s fleet operations. It compiles historical safety records, performs aircraft and pilot background checks, and administers an on-site safety audit to determine whether an operator meets or exceeds the ARGUS Platinum standard.

The Platinum Rating is awarded when an operator meets all rating requirements and within the preceding 24 months has passed an ARGUS audit to its rigorous standards. It is awarded only to those air charter operators who have demonstrated successful implementation of a viable Safety Management System and industry best safety practices relative to their operations and maintenance. read more

U.S. Aviation Fuel Prices


AJW Aviation

Cari Smith

Cari Smith joins AJW Aviation as Regional Sales Director USA. Heading up the organisation’s component sales and exchange service across North America, Cari will be responsible for developing relationships with new customers, as well as broadening the current scope of AJW’s aircraft component sales with leading airlines and MROs.

With over 23 years’ experience in aviation, Cari joins AJW Aviation Inc., from her previous role as National Account Manager at GECAS (GE Capital Aviation Service) where she played a key part in account management and planning - including responsibility for an award-winning Boeing Government contract for the past nine years. Cari also co-ordinated and implemented training programmes for sales support and purchasing staff which will undoubtedly benefit AJW as the Group constantly seeks to develop and sustain ever-improved standards of service and customer care.

Cari’s profile is well-known and she is a regular participant at aviation industry conferences and trade shows throughout the US.

Spirit Aeronautics


Michael Sullivan

Spirit Aeronautics, a trade name of Spirit Avionics, Ltd, based in Columbus, Ohio has announced that Michael Sullivan has joined the company as the Regional Sales Manager for the U.S. northeast region.

Sullivan brings more than two decades of sales experience and success in the aviation industry specifically in the northeast region of the United States.

He has a proven sales history with notable companies like Greenwich AeroGroup, Otto Instrument Service, Inc., Sky Connect, LLC, and Flightcell International, Ltd. in increasing roles of responsibility. Mr. Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management degree in the field of Accounting & Computer Science from Boston College as well as Masters work in Geographic Information Systems at Boston University and is the current Treasurer of the Westchester Aircraft Maintenance Association, Inc. (WAMA).

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United States

Airbus and Aerion collaborate to advance development of supersonic bizjet

Airbus Group and Aerion Corporation have agreed to collaborate on technologies associated with the future of high-performance flight. Both companies will exchange knowledge and capabilities in design, manufacturing and certification to advance the development and commercialization of the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet.

Under the agreement, Airbus Group, through its Defence and Space Division, will provide technical and certification support, which will include the assignment of senior engineering staff to Aerion’s expanding development organization. Aerion and Airbus Defence and Space professionals will work together at Aerion’s new and larger engineering offices in Reno, Nevada. read more

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What is the Most Popular Aircraft?

Oliver Stone, Managing Director of Colibri Aircraft, UK.

lients often ask us, ‘What is the most popular aircraft?’. There are many ways to try to quantify this although it may be difficult to define ‘popular’ as it means different things to 
different people.

However, it may be useful to go through the recent sales of all types of aircraft and see which models have recorded the most transactions thus far in 2014. We pulled the record of all retail sales from January 1 2014 - July 31 2014 from Amstat. There are some interesting conclusions to be made from this data.

Most surprising is that the most transacted pre-owned aircraft trading are no longer in production. Of the top 20 sellers, only three are aircraft currently in production (the Citation Mustang, the Citation Sovereign and the Citation CJ3). Secondly, the most commonly transacted aircraft are smaller aircraft. Of the top 11 aircraft, five are turboprops, three light jets, two mid size aircraft and one large cabin jet. read more

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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 fortnightly 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. When followed over longer stretches of time this chart will give you a sense of seasonal changes in-flight patterns and general flight patterns in Europe.

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Côte d'Azur 

Gulf of Saint-Tropez Airport: 50 years of service to business aviation

Over the last half-century, Gulf of Saint-Tropez Airport has successfully established itself as a leading contributor to the economy of the peninsula with which it shares its name, and has come a very long way from the small country airfield opened on 8 August 1964.

As an essential gateway to its surrounding region, it offers a uniquely fast and comfortable point of access and a strategic alternative to the congested road network for upscale clients visiting one the world's most beautiful peninsulas; a resort destination that attracts more than a million people from all over the world every year.

Located between two valleys 15 km from Saint-Tropez in the hills and forests that typify the rural community of La Mole, Gulf of Saint-Tropez Airport luxuriates in a pastoral landscape at the foot of the Massif des Maures mountain range. Its single 1,190-metre runway makes it one of the world's smallest international airports. But the volume of traffic it handles puts it proportionately on the scale of many world-class hubs! read more

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Global Jet now has world's largest Global fleet

Geneva-based operator Global Jet has announced the arrival of a Global Express - entirely refurbished in 2013 - within its fleet. The aircraft will be fully available for charter.

The aircraft is the fifteenth in the operator’s fleet which includes several Global 5000, Global Express XRS and Global 6000, making it now the largest fleet of Globals in the world.

“We have been waiting for this private jet for quite a long time now and we are thrilled that it finally enters our fleet”, says Léonard Bertholet, head of the Charter Sales Department of Global Jet.

With its twelve individual seats the aircraft is perfect for long-haul flights and boasts sleeping capacity for eight, in the utmost comfort. Wi-Fi connection is also available on board, making it the ideal aircraft for both personal and business trips.

“With its ETOPS-180 qualification, we will be able to fly to Saõ Paulo from Madrid or reach Vancouver from London. An entire range of destinations has come closer to our clients!"

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New Zealand

Nextant lands in New Zealand

Nextant Aerospace, maker of the Nextant 400XTi - the world’s only remanufactured business jet - and the forthcoming Nextant G90XT turboprop, has announced the sale of its first 400XTi quick-change Air Ambulance to New Zealand.

The aircraft has been purchased by Skyline Aviation Ltd and wholly owned associate company The New Zealand Air Ambulance Service Ltd, the region’s busiest aeromedical provider.

The Nextant 400XTi will complement Skyline’s aeromedical fleet of turboprops and helicopters. It will also be available for charter throughout New Zealand and internationally. read more

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Hawker Pacific receives CASA’s parts manufacturing approval

Hawker Pacific, the leading aircraft sales and product support company in Asia, Pacific and the Middle East has announced the Brisbane based Hawker Pacific Component Services has been granted a One-Off Production Certificate, accreditation from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority allowing the manufacture and release of Aircraft Parts accompanied by a CASA Form 1 release certification.

The Production Certificate process can be used for manufacturing spare parts for multiple aircraft types that are obsolete, or where the spares have long lead times or are uneconomic to purchase through traditional means. read more

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UAS places country managers to provide local flight and ground support in nine key African locations

As part of its continuing expansion in Africa, leading international trip support provider, UAS, has recruited a number of industry experts to provide flight and ground support in nine key countries across the continent: Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, and South Africa.

UAS country managers aim to add significant value to the experience of the clients, which include flight operators, VIPs, and government officials. They will be responsible for ensuring all flights operate on-time and deliver seamless operations into Africa. read more

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United Kingdom

BBGA to oppose further changes to Air Passenger Duty into 2015

The British Business General Association Association (BBGA) has pledged that it will oppose further increases to the current air passenger duty (APD).

Earlier this year the Association was notified of potential changes to the current APD charging process. Such proposals have simplified the charging process for scheduled airlines and indeed reduced APD charges in that sector, which are still the highest in Europe. In contrast, however, business aviation has been specifically targeted to pay more. The proposed increased charges next year are considerably higher, in terms of the specific amount and the additional cost, owing to banding changes.

For example, while the majority of outbound sectors are currently charged at a rate of £276 per passenger, from Apr 15th 2015 they will be charged £427 per passenger = a 54% increase. In contrast first class airline passengers will enjoy significant reductions on legs above 4,000 miles - a situation, states BBGA, which is unfair and inequitable.” read more Plus:

BBGA teams with two industry specialists - Emerald Media and WINGX Advance

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LEA achieves record performance

As the European business aviation charter market continues to recover, London Executive Aviation (LEA), the UK’s largest private jet charter operator, is celebrating its strongest ever financial and operational performance.

In the year to 31 March 2014, LEA increased turnover by 23% to £33.2m (2013: £27m), reflecting stronger charter demand and growth in the company’s aircraft management revenues. In the same period, the company’s flown hours increased by 16% and its number of sectors flown grew by 18%. To manage increased demand, LEA increased its headcount in the period by 13%.

Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive, says: “In the last financial year, we were very pleased to see the nascent recovery in the charter market gather momentum. Demand was noticeably stronger, with an 18% increase in the number of quotations given and a 12% rise in bookings. read more

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

Are you eating clean?

he newest rage hitting this generation of healthy eaters is something called 'clean eating'.

It's not eating food that has been washed and sanitized, but rather eating fresh, all natural food with focus on anything that grows on a tree, bush, shrub or plant.

Clean eating is eating meats that are mostly organic, humanely raised and slaughtered, and fish that is sustainable and that have no chemical treatment or genetically modified ingredients or antibiotics.

Clean eaters choose real food, foods which are minimally processed. Clean eating boosts a number of benefits including lifelong health. You've all heard the old saying that ' you are what you eat'? . . . well this is the premise that you must have healthy meals and a number of them per day. If you think about it the same way you think of your personal jet, I think it will make more sense.

Your aircraft requires fuel, pure, clean without unwanted water or other forms of contamination. If you add any unwanted ingredients, it will not perform as expected if at all. Your body is the same. If you feed the body a good source of nutrients, then your body is able to reproduce its cells that naturally die off each day with healthy strong cells. Clean eating includes an active exercise regimen, stress management in addition to a primarily plant based diet.

There are seven basic rules - if you want to call them rules - in order to understand what you should know as the person placing a catering request for your clean eating passengers and flight crews. 

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Falcon 7X to be approved for operation at world’s highest airport

Recent trials in China will permit Dassault trijet to operate at 15,000 ft.

The long range Falcon 7X will soon become the first business jet certified to operate at Daocheng Yading, the world’s highest commercial airport.

The certification campaign at Daocheng, situated in China’s Sichuan province at an altitude of 14,470 ft (4,411 m), was initiated at the request of Chinese customers and is intended to meet demand in Western China for business jets capable of operating at the many small high altitude airports in the region.

The campaign, which began on August 25 and concluded on September 7, enjoyed strong support from the European and Chinese civil aviation authorities EASA and CAAC.

Daocheng flight tests started after a series of preliminary flights at Jiuzhai Huang Long Airport near Chengdu (altitude 11,311 ft/3,448 m) with a CAAC pilot at the controls. After an initial landing at Daocheng - the highest ever by a business jet - the 7X performed engines/APU run up followed by a series of takeoffs and landings including some with simulated engine failure. Once finalized the approval will permit the Falcon 7X to operate at altitudes up to 15,000 ft. read more

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United Kingdom

BGAD to move to Biggin Hill in June 2015

The highly successful Business & General Aviation Day is on the move. The 11th BGAD is to be staged at London Biggin Hill Airport as a one-day event on Tuesday 23rd June 2015, the organisation to continue in the hands of European Business Aviation News (EBAN), the original founders.

Paying tribute to the increasing success of the event at Cambridge Airport over a 10-year period, Robert Walters, Business Development Director at Biggin Hill, said that EBAN and Cambridge had established an enviable reputation for delivering an effective exhibition and networking event for the industry.

“We warmly welcome the opportunity offered to us to host this key business aviation exhibition and seminar at Biggin Hill and will aim to build on the significant success and admirable reputation that it now holds within the business and general aviation community” he says.

“In particular, we shall provide a strong focus on building awareness and encouraging acceptance of the vital - but different - role that business aviation provides in delivering success for UK plc." read more

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Air Charter Service reports strong first half year results

Leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has reported a strong first half of the year for all three of its divisions in both revenue and charter numbers.

Chairman, Chris Leach, observes: “The figures across the board make pleasant reading. Every department - private jets, commercial airliners and cargo - has grown by more than 10% in terms of number of charters, and our overall revenue increased by 10% to £135m ($230m) for the six months ending July 31st.

“Commercial Jets is our ‘newest’ division and therefore, understandably, had the largest increase in terms of growth which justifies our strong investment in staffing and technology, with plans to expand this offering to some of our offices which currently do not have commercial jet specialists.

“Our Cargo department appears to have recovered well from 2013, which I think everyone in the industry would agree, was a bad year for the overall market and, after a slow start to the year, charter numbers are up by 22% year on year at this stage.

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Russians skip Riviera retreats as sanctions ground private jets read

How important is training? Paula Kraft, President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering is in no doubt: The 'What if' Syndrome read

European GNSS Agency and Eurocontrol announce cooperation agreement read

UAS places country managers to provide local flight and ground support in nine key African locations read

GAMA welcomes strong EU endorsement of new means to certify smaller aircraft read

More stories in our

Industry Supplements

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Recycled cooking oil powers Finnair flight to New York
Finnair operated an Airbus A330 flight from Helsinki to New York on Tuesday using environmentally sustainable biofuel, coinciding with the UN Climate Summit taking place in New York on the same day.

As a leader in the sustainable development of commercial aviation, the airline believes strongly in proactive measures to manage environmental performance.

Most of an airline’s environmental impact arises from aircraft emissions during flight, and switching to a more sustainable fuel source can reduce net CO2 emissions by between 50 and 80 per cent. The biofuel mixture powering the flight to New York, provided by SkyNRG Nordic - a joint venture between SkyNRG and Statoil Aviation - is partly manufactured from cooking oil recycled from restaurants, an example of a biofuel alternative to ordinary jet fuel that significantly reduces net greenhouse gas emissions while also being sustainable in its own right. Finnair and its partners insist on the cultivation of biofuel sources that neither compete with food production nor damage biodiversity.

Library Photo

Aviation biofuel is a proven and extensively tested technology - Finnair first flew with biofuel in 2011 - but at more than twice the price of conventionally produced jet fuel, it is not yet economically viable for any airline to operate with exclusively. This demonstration flight is made possible thanks in part to cooperation with Airbus and SkyNRG Nordic.

“The UN Climate Summit is an important gathering to fight climate change, and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the climate benefits of more widespread adoption of environmentally sustainable biofuels in aviation,” says Finnair’s Vice President of Sustainable Development Kati Ihamäki. “Finnair is committed to working further with industry partners and government bodies alike to help develop the biofuel supply chain and bring down the cost of sustainable biofuel for everyday use.” read more

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