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 BlueSky Business Aviation News | 20th November 2014 | Issue #297

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United States

JSSI sees global business aviation reaching cruising altitude

Business travel in Europe and Middle East achieves double-digit percentage growth

Global business aviation activity saw modest gains in Q3 2014, with 2 percent growth quarter-over-quarter and 2.2 percent growth year-over-year, according to JSSI’s most recent Business Aviation Index.

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), the world’s leading provider of maintenance support and financial services to the business aviation industry, tracks the number of hours that business aircraft have flown by region, industry and aircraft type and releases all related data on a quarterly basis.

“The results we’re seeing are consistent with macro trends in the greater U.S. economy in that there continues to be steady growth, but at a lower rate than during the second quarter when the economy was bouncing back from a particularly harsh winter," said Neil Book, President and CEO, JSSI. "Fortunately for business jet operators, the cost of fuel has come down this year. With that said, the cost of maintenance continues to be quite volatile. JSSI has been at the forefront of allowing businesses to not only fix their maintenance budget, but to reduce their overall cost of maintenance as well.”

read more

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Third-quarter 2014 Avionics Market Report

The Aircraft Electronics Association has released its third-quarter 2014 Avionics Market Report which shows that total worldwide business and general aviation avionics sales during July, August and September 2014 amounted to more than $614m.

Despite representing a 5 percent decrease compared to Q3 2013 ($646m), overall sales in the first nine months of this year are up 2.7 percent at just over $1.9bn.

"While it is disappointing to see the third-quarter sales drop slightly compared to the first half of the year, the industry has experienced modest year-over-year growth in sales compared to the first nine months of 2013," said Paula Derks, AEA president. "The report is only in its second year of quarterly reporting, so it's difficult to draw any conclusions on seasonality of sales just yet; however, this will be worth watching in future years."

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Hawker Pacific eagerly awaits Bell 505 Jet Ranger X following announcement of first successful flight

Hawker Pacific, the leading aircraft sales and product support company in Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East has congratulated Bell Helicopter on the first successful flight of their Bell 505 Jet Ranger X and is eagerly anticipating the introduction of the aircraft to the region.

The maiden flight took place at Bell Helicopter’s Mirabel, Québec manufacturing facility, lasting approximately 30 minutes and achieved a top speed of 60 knots.

“We are thrilled to congratulate Bell Helicopter on the successful maiden flight of the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X,” said Nick Jones, Hawker Pacific’s Vice President, Aircraft Sales.

“The Australian market has been highly anticipating the latest evolution of the Bell 206 Jet Ranger. The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X, with its improved performance and modern technology, is set to be a leader in the short-light single class and aims to achieve the same successful operational reputation as its predecessor. The life-size mock-up of the Bell 505 received immense interest during its time in-country earlier this year; this first flight has been an eagerly awaited milestone. Hawker Pacific looks forward to the certification of the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X next year.” read more

United States

HondaJet makes its first visit to Banyan at FXE

Banyan Air Service, the newest dealer in the HondaJet sales and service network, recently welcomed the HondaJet to its facility at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) for demonstration flights of the world’s most advanced light jet.

The aircraft arrived on Friday, October 24 following the National Business Aviation Association’s Convention and Exhibition in Orlando and stayed throughout the weekend providing demonstration flights for customers.

“Seeing the HondaJet land at FXE was a very exciting time for both the Banyan team and our customers," said Don Campion, president of Banyan. "Hearing the comments about this very sleek, efficient light jet and participating in a flight during this demonstration tour is definitely a highlight of my career.”

The visit of the first production HondaJet to HondaJet Southeast is part of a North American demonstration tour that started in September and has included stops at locations in several cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. read more

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SmartStem Wireless Tire Pressure System receives EASA certification on multiple Cessna aircraft

Crane Aerospace & Electronics has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency for the SmartStem Wireless Tire Pressure System for Cessna Citation business jets.

The Citation models covered under the new STC include the 550, S550, 560, 560XL, 560XLS, 560XLS+, 650, and 750.

With this STC, EASA joins the Federal Aviation Administration in certifying Crane’s patented SmartStem technology on nearly all Cessna Citation models. Operators can take tire pressure readings in seconds without risking stem damage or gas loss, drastically simplifying the preflight checklist and saving money and time. Crane is in the process of certifying SmartStem on additional business, regional, and large commercial aircraft with multiple regulatory authorities to meet customer demand. read more

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Bangladesh CAA chooses JDA to help obtain FAA Cat 1 rating

The Bangladesh Civil Aviation Administration (CAAB) has selected Bethesda, MD-based JDA Aviation Technology Solutions to provide “International Consultancy Services to Assist and Develop all Fields of Regulatory Affairs” and help restore its aviation safety ranking that had been downgraded by the Federal Aviation Administration to Category 2.

“JDA, a firm with extensive International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) experience will help us assess and design regulatory documents, improve our safety oversight processes, and train our staff to help us upgrade the CAAB to Category 1,” said Group Captain S M Nazmul Anam, Director of Flight Safety and Regulation for the Bangladesh CAA. “Since 2012 the CAAB has worked diligently to improve its regulatory documents. It will be beneficial to have JDA assess where we are and help us make further improvements to ensure a Category 1 rating,” he said.

“We have a top team of former career FAA managers with extensive IASA and international experience that will support the CAAB. Based on what the CAAB has done so far to address the FAA-cited deficiencies, coupled with our support, I have no doubt that when this project is completed the CAAB will be restored to Category 1 after the next FAA IASA Audit,” said JDA, President & CEO, Joe Del Balzo.

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St Maarten

Signature signs agreement with Princess Juliana Intl. for new terminal

Signature Flight Support has signed an agreement with Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) to extend its concessions and will lease part of the premises of the new General Aviation Terminal and Signature Flight Support passenger terminal.

Construction of the General Aviation Terminal is expected to be completed in 2016.

The new terminal will be a contemporary design featuring streamlined passenger transit. Signature will offer full passenger handling, customs and immigration coordination, VIP and concierge services, aircraft to yacht transfers as well as aircraft fueling, weather and routing advisory services.

Maria Sastre, President and COO for Signature Flight Support commented, “Signature’s acquisition of Arrindell Aviation Services in 2011 was our first location in the Caribbean. Since then, we have added San Juan, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua and recently, Turks and Caicos, as a licensee, to our Caribbean network. We value our excellent working relationship with Princess Juliana International Airport and its management." read more

U.S. Aviation Fuel Prices

NASA's revolutionary shapeshifting wing flap design tested on modified Gulfstream

NASA's green aviation project is one step closer to developing technology that could make future aircraft quieter and more fuel-efficient with the successful flight test of a wing surface that can change shape in flight.

This past summer researchers replaced an airplane’s conventional aluminum flaps with advanced, shape-changing assemblies that form seamless bendable and twistable surfaces. read more


FlightSafety International


Steven Loranger

Steven Loranger has joined FlightSafety International as a Senior Advisor to CEO, Bruce Whitman.

Steve was most recently Chief Executive Officer and President of Xylem Inc. following his service as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of ITT Corporation for seven years. As Chief Operating Officer at Textron Inc., he was responsible for all Textron businesses, including Bell Helicopter and Cessna Aircraft Company.

Steve was also President and CEO of Honeywell's aerospace engines, systems and services business; President and CEO of AlliedSignal Engines; President of the Bendix Truck Brake Group; and Vice President of the Commercial Auxiliary Power Unit business.

He served in the United States Navy from 1975 to 1981 and obtained the rank of Lieutenant. Steve performed piloting duties including aircraft carrier operation with the A-4 Skyhawk and C-1 COD, as well as logistics and nuclear courier operations with Sabreliner, Gulfstream, and DC-9 aircraft. His Naval responsibilities included aircraft, power plants, avionics maintenance, legal, quality, and human resources. He is an airline transport rated pilot with over 4,000 hours of flight time. Steve has trained with FlightSafety for over 30 years, and currently flies a Cessna Citation CJ1.

Steve is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Colorado and holds Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees. He also completed Naval Reserve Officer Training and Naval Justice School as well as the Arizona State University Executive Business Program.

He is Chairman Emeritus and current Director of Xylem Inc. Steve was previously Director of FedEx and Exelis Inc. He is on the board of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and the Wings Club. Steve has also served on the board of the Business Roundtable, Aerospace Industries Association, New York Hall of Science, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

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Middle East

Middle Eastern private aviation still facing challenges

The Middle East has been a real success story in the aviation industry and its business aviation segment is no exception.

By 2020 the regional business jet fleet size is projected to grow from the present 500 to 1,375, according to the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), whilst the business aviation sector will be worth around $1.3bn. The sector has proved its potential as traffic and flying hours across the region are up over 12% from last year.

But even as the region continues to successfully recover from the economic crisis, there are still storm clouds on the horizon.

read more

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New hangar pops up at Budapest Airport

Lufthansa Technik engineers don't have to worry about freezing temperatures this winter, thanks to a huge inflatable hangar - capable of accommodating an A320 - which as been commissioned at their Budapest base.

This unusual technical solution was made necessary as a result of so many orders received for the winter period. Their existing hangar capacity - up to five mid-size aircraft simultaneously - proved insufficient, so Budapest Airport and Lufthansa Technik made a joint decision to erect a temporary inflatable hangar purely for the purpose of civil aviation - the first in Europe. read more

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United Arab Emirates

Shell Aviation receives IATA's Strategic Partnership award

Shell Aviation has received a 20-year Strategic Partner award from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for its significant contribution to the industry and strong cooperation with the member airlines of the Association since 1994.

Anne Anderson, Vice President of Shell Aviation and Adam Harrison, General Manager, Shell Aviation Global Accounts accepted the award at the IATA Fuel Forum in Dubai from Louise Denis, Director of IATA Strategic Partnerships and Hemant Mistry, Director Airports and Fuel and Michel Baljet, Head Fuel Services Operations. 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.

For the full list click here



















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Gulfstream offers free online Ramp Handling Training

Special report by Graham Stephenson, Senior Aviation Consultant specialising in FBOs and an IS-BAH Accredited Auditor.

IS-BAH - the International Standard of Business Aviation Handling - is now a main topic of conversation.

Many FBOs around the world are taking the decision to become IS-BAH registered in order to demonstrate their commitment to Safety and the quality of their service. Training is one of the key elements in Safety Management.

It is vital that, with so many different types of Business Aircraft now operating, ramp agents are given formal training with the correct information about the servicing of each type of aircraft.

Appreciating this, Gulfstream has taken the lead by developing an excellent on-line training course in conjunction with FlightSafety 

offering G450/G550/650 Ground Handling modules. At this time, the course is free to FBOs that handle Gulfstream Aircraft. read more

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United Kingdom

on private aviation caterer, Bon Soirée

Bon Soirée has been providing fine dining to the private aviation industry for over 17 years and has built an outstanding reputation amongst Operators and FBOs at airports across the London area and the south of England.

Owner and Director, Derek Freeman, is a qualified chef to Michelin star standard with a fascinating background. We talked to him about his growing business. read more

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United Arab Emirates

Royal Jet has retained its title as 'Business Aviation Operator of the Year' at the annual Aviation Business Awards. The Middle East's foremost private charter company, chaired by His Excellency Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, received the award for the company's consistent delivery of world-class services within the Middle East business aviation sector during the past 12 months.

In order to meet the growing demands of the industry, the company announced a fleet development programme at the end of 2013 which will be completed by the year 2020 at a cost of US $700m. Last year the Abu Dhabi-based company flew to over 350 destinations in 145 countries and operated over 2,500 flights and is on track to exceed this in 2014.

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United States

New size HOT-STOP Fire Containment Bag introduced for larger devices

Baker Aviation, a full service aircraft maintenance, management and charter company in North Texas, and the exclusive distributor for the HOT-STOP 'L' Fire Containment Bag product line, has introduced a new oversized bag to accommodate larger laptop computers.

Thomas Connolly, President of Industrial Energy Products, the manufacturer of the HOT-STOP bags said, “We have an increasing number of flight departments implementing our bags as part of their SMS program and we are always open to developing new solutions for our customers. As a result, we are adding the larger bag to the product line to serve the client demand.” read more

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South Africa

The third international Jets & Jewels celebration, hosted by ExecuJet Aviation Group in conjunction with Bombardier Business Aircraft, Bentley, Tsogo Sun Hotels, Pernod Ricard SA and Jenna Clifford, was held at Lanseria International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, on November 6 2014.

More than 200 VIP and aviation industry guests attended and had the opportunity to view two aircraft from ExecuJet’s fleet in South Africa - a Bombardier Challenger 300 and an Airbus AS350 B3e helicopter.

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United Kingdom

Clean Sky aviation research takes off in Cardiff

Research pioneered by Cardiff University’s School of Engineering and nanomaterials company Haydale could have significant future implications for lighter aircraft design and green aviation technology.

Engineers used Haydale’s graphene materials and technology to show graphene-reinforced carbon composites are significantly stronger, tougher, and more resistant to compression - a key factor for damage resistance.

The results, particularly the increased damage tolerance, could lead to the development of future composite structures, demonstrating the potential in future aircraft design for weight saving and environmental benefits such as reductions in CO2 emissions.

The research was undertaken by the School of Engineering with funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework programme under the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative.

read more

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Middle East

AMAC appointed exclusive distributor of new Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet in the Middle East

AMAC Aerospace, a leading provider of corporate aviation maintenance and completion services has been appointed by Pilatus as the exclusive Sales Distributor for the all-new PC-24 light jet in the Middle East.

The new appointment, formally signed on October 30th extends AMAC’s existing exclusive agreement with Pilatus as a fully Authorised Service Centre and Sales Distributor for the PC-12NG in the region which it has held since 2012.

AMAC also confirms that it will acquire two PC-24 aircraft, which are due for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2019. The new jet is scheduled to receive EASA Certification in 2017. The two ‘flagship’ aircraft will be delivered with an executive interior and will be used for demonstrator purposes to support its sales efforts in the region. read more

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

Happy Holidays

ctually, I prefer the politically incorrect salutations of Merry
Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year.

Now that we have that straight, does hearing a holiday salutation make you shiver - wondering how you’re going to get catering fulfilled for a flight that falls within the super- busy holiday schedule?

This time of year we are inundated with holiday celebrations - one right after the other – there’s no time to recover from the parties we attend or the flights we organize. Wow . . . no wonder we’re all exhausted!

As a catering source, my business faces several different issues to you as you place your catering order; whether you’re a pilot, a scheduler, a dispatcher, a flight attendant, a handler or a passenger’s assistant. As you can imagine, this is the time of the year that many caterers, restaurants and other food sources count on to show a profit for the year. I read a statistic recently from one of the food service groups that said as much as 28% of the yearly sales of some food sources occur from mid November to mid January.

Keeping that in mind, you might have some difficulty at this time of year getting in touch with catering sources that are not dedicated full-time aviation caterers.

read more

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United Kingdom

Gloucestershire Airport retains 'Top' title

Gloucestershire Airport has again been voted 'UK's Best General Aviation Airport' at a prestigious industry event, retaining the title it first scooped in 2013.

Operations Director, Darren Lewington collected the award during the Airport Operators Association annual conference held at London's Metropole hotel. The award is voted for by members of AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Operators Association. The airport fought off stiff competition from the London business airports such as Farnborough and Biggin Hill.

He said: "Winning this award for the second year running is a great achievement. We have an excellent small team here at Staverton, who work very hard to make these accolades possible. With our shareholders now fully committed to our long-term future, we can build on our continued success. General aviation is an important enabler for regional economic growth. This award again raises our profile in the industry and will help us attract new business."

The Airport first opened in 1936 and is still owned by Cheltenham Borough and Gloucester City Councils. It is consistently the UK's busiest general aviation airport, handling 75-80 000 flights per year. More than 40 businesses and 180 aircraft, ranging from microlights to corporate jets are based at the 400-acre site located at Junction 11 of the M5 motorway.

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MAS expands its bizav services across Morocco

Moroccan Aviation Services (MAS), based at Agadir El Massira Airport, have appointed media consultants, Global FBO Consult, to assist in the planned expansion of their ground and support services throughout Morocco.

MAS currently have stations at Agadir, Casablanca, Marrakech & Ouarzazate.

Joe McDermott, senior FBO advisor at Dublin, Ireland-based Global FBO Consult, says, "Morocco is seen as an attractive location for business aviation with increasing multi-national inward investment, oil and gas exploration, tourism and the film industry all adding to the North African nation's growth. The country is viewed as a well regulated, liberal economy and a safe environment for private and corporate aviation to do business in. Moroccan Aviation Services is well placed as a company to grow in this market." read more

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TAG Aviation to retrofit Falcon 2000EX with Pro Line 21 avionics suite

TAG Aviation's maintenance centre in Geneva has signed its first order to retrofit a Falcon 2000EX aircraft with a Pro Line 21 avionics suite for implementation in April 2015.

As a Dassault Authorised Service Centre (ASC), TAG Aviation is set to install a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 system on the Falcon 2000EX, making the aircraft compliant with current and new regulatory requirements. TAG Aviation was the first company in Europe to upgrade a Falcon 50EX with this EASA certified avionics modification.

Pro Line 21 is an integrated avionics system with four advanced, configurable 10 x 8 inch LCD displays that are capable of displaying high-resolution electronic charts, graphical weather and enhanced navigation maps. This ensures improved reliability, performance as well as situational awareness and confidence in low-visibility conditions. read more

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Piaggio inaugurates Centre of Excellence at Villanova d’Albenga

In the presence of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Piaggio Aerospace officially opened its new manufacturing plant at Villanova d’Albenga on November 7th.

The new manufacturing plant is at the forefront of aerospace technology with the capacity, systems and processes to make it one of the world’s most advanced industrial aerospace plants.

Strategically located for direct access to the airport of Villanova d’Albenga the 127,000 sqm site at hosts a state-of-the-art industrial plant covering 49.000 sqm where Piaggio Aerospace designs, develops and manufactures aircraft: the most efficient, high performance aircraft for business aviation and special missions like the Avanti EVO - the third generation of the world’s fastest and most efficient turboprop - and the innovative MPA - Multirole Patrol Aircraft (MPA).

Piaggio Aerospace is one of only a few companies worldwide that has the technology and ability to build unmanned aircraft systems for surveillance and reconnaissance such as the P.1HH HammerHead. Capable of automatic take-off and landing, the P.1HH is a top of the range of MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class remotely piloted aircraft. An innovative system dedicated to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), controlled from a ground station, which allows the remote control of the aircraft’s navigation and mission systems. read more


Magnum Aviation Handling expands services across Austria

Magnum Business Aviation Handling, an Austrian FBO company, operating from the Vienna International Airport GAC, is now offering supervisory handling services throughout Austria.

Magnum's FBO offers full facilities and is located on the first floor, accommodating its clientele with comfortable passenger and crew lounges, overviewing the apron. The handling services have quickly gained popular demand since the company was founded in 2012, serving a diverse range of aircrafts up to BBJ or ACJ. By the end of 2014 Magnum is continuing further by offering supervisory handling services.

The supervisory concept is designed to provide its clients with handling arrangements in major airports that have good infrastructure to welcome business aviation jets. In Innsbruck and Salzburg aircraft movements rise in winter, because of the popular ski resorts located in the Alps. The cities of Graz, Klagenfurt and Linz are less common destinations in this regard, but they are certainly not an abandoned destinations. read more


German and UK growth WINGX`s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor reports a total of 63,308 business aviation flights in October, a 1.9% YOY increase equivalent to 1,265 additional flights. read

Remote Towers - big potential but only if safe and secure read

NBAA vows to continue fighting for Santa Monica Airport read

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

More stories in our

Industry Supplements

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Virgin flies mountain chicken frogs 'home' to Montserrat to support conservation programme
Virgin Atlantic Cargo has given its support to a conservation project led by the governments of Montserrat and Dominica and zoological experts in the UK, Jersey and Sweden to save the critically-endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the largest frogs in the world.

Working closely with JCS Livestock, a division of James Cargo Services Ltd, the airline carried 57 frogs bred at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey and ZSL London Zoo as part of a conservation project on its scheduled flight to Antigua. For the final leg of their journey, the frogs boarded a charter flight to Montserrat.

All of the frogs arrived ‘home’ safely in Montserrat, where they were placed in a temporary holding facility to be rehydrated and rested for several days before being taken into the forest and released into the wild. At the release site special tents filled with leaf litter were used as release areas for the frogs, enabling them to leave when they were ready. All of the frogs are radio tagged and will be closely monitored for six weeks after their release by the programme’s field team.

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