While most of NASA is reaching for the stars, the segment of the agency that conducts aeronautics research here on earth has taken a budget cut for the second consecutive year following President Bush’s initiative to expand the exploration of space.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
A relaxed regulatory environment and increasing development in the fledgling space tourism industry may lead to opportunities for privately owned passenger-carrying space vehicles by the end of the decade, suggested government and industry officials at space-related hearings and conferences in February.
Even though noise wasn’t a factor in the accident, February’s Challenger overrun at Teterboro has inevitably resurrected local residents’ complaints about aircraft noise. It doesn’t take much, as we all know, to reinvigorate the anti-noise folks.
“What gets me through an airshow is trust,” Michael George Goulian, Air BP’s Castrol Aviator and champion aerobatics pilot, said in his keynote address at the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) Awards Breakfast.
The panel discussion on brokers addressed the concern that anyone with a laptop computer and a cellphone could “broker” travel on chartered business jets. Fred Gevalt, founder of The Air Charter Guide, said a good start would be to register charter brokers with the U.S. Department of Transportation, a safeguard that he asserted would eliminate 60 percent of the Internet dabblers.
Security concerns; new flight, duty and rest time recommendations; and growing attention from the private-equity financial camp topped the items of interest at
this year’s NATA Convention. Held in conjunction with Aviation Industry Week, NATA’s annual meeting also addressed the changing role of aircraft charter brokers, airport authorities assuming FBO roles and NATA’s own Safety First Management System program.
Reporting on last month’s firing of Harry Stonecipher as president and CEO of Boeing after it was revealed that he was having an extramarital intracompany affair with a female executive, The Wall Street Journal noted, “Fifteen months ago, Chicago-based Boeing brought back its retired president to bolster ethical practices after a string of scandals.” Such a relationship is not barred.
Major orders for airliners and their engines once again raised the profile of the biennial Dubai Air Show, held December 7 to 11. The bulk of the $6 billion sales announced during the event were accounted for by a $1.5 billion order by Emirates Airline for 101 Engine Alliance GP7200 turbofans to power 23 of its Airbus A380s.
While the business aviation industry continues to show signs of a steady recovery, U.S. companies are facing new market challenges, one in the form of a dollar that is weaker than the euro, and another in the tougher visa regulations implemented after 9/11.
As new and used business aircraft sales continue a steady climb, the completion and refurbishment industry follows suit.
Pats, the DeCrane completions center in Georgetown, Del., recently announced it will be expanding its operation, adding as many as 40 new jobs through this year and increasing the workforce to about 200.