In response to an increase in passenger traffic at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport, Jet Aviation has added services at its FBO. Now available are 96-hour visa facilities, oxygen and nitrogen, airside storage, improved catering options from local suppliers, 24/7 limousine service using 7-series BMWs and airside transportation from a fleet of new buses. The FBO, Jet Aviation’s second in Dubai, opened a year ago and features two customer lounges in the VIP section of the passenger terminal.
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.
Last month, the San Jose City Council approved the 50-year ground lease agreement with Signature Flight Support for its proposed $82 million FBO at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. The 29-acre complex will eventually be home to the service provider’s West Coast headquarters. It will be developed in conjunction with Blue City Holdings, the company that operates the aircraft of nearby Google’s executives.
While the major New York City-area GA airports such as Teterboro and Westchester County are certain to receive the lion’s share of private aircraft during next month’s Super Bowl, there is another tower-controlled airport just 12 miles from kickoff, and its FBO is hoping for a big score on game day.
Abu Dhabi’s first airport–back in the 1930s–was at Al Bateen, now the site of Al Bateen Executive Airport. With a long, single runway the airport came into military use when the new Abu Dhabi International Airport opened in 1982 and only in recent years has this role started to give way to business aviation, which can benefit greatly from the airport’s close proximity to the city center. In fact, with Abu Dhabi continuing full-steam ahead with a $500 billion diversification effort as part of its 2030 Plan, the future looks bright for Al Bateen.
In response to high demand for exhibition space at the 25th anniversary edition of its annual Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference, to be held Jan. 14-17, 2014, in New Orleans, NBAA has contracted for additional hall space at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, enough to accommodate a record number of exhibiting companies. Last year’s show in San Antonio attracted 425 exhibitors, and so far nearly 500 have signed up for next month’s gathering, which highlights FBOs, fuel providers and airport services, according to NBAA.
FlightSafety International has partnered with Gulfstream to provide an online course for FBOs on the proper ground handling for the Savannah OEM’s large-cabin business jets. The course covers all facets of handling and servicing, such as towing, parking, fueling, aircraft safety walk-around, lavatory servicing, window cleaning and snow and ice removal. “This course, which has been updated to include the G650, is a thorough review of how to keep our business jets–and the people who service them–safe,” said Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream product support.
Privately owned Ross Aviation has added a 17th location to its chain of service providers with the purchase of Chester County Aviation, the lone FBO at Philadelphia-area Chester County G.O. Carlson Airport. In keeping with the company’s philosophy, the facility will retain its current name and management. “We view this FBO as a strong growth opportunity due to airport and highway congestion, ground and air delays and the higher costs associated with operating at Philadelphia International Airport,” said company president and CEO Jeff Ross.
Though it has been in operation since March last year out of temporary offices, the Alpha Jet Center at Missouri’s Joplin Regional Airport has finally set up shop in its new facility. The FBO now occupies 5,000 sq ft in the refurbished building that was once the airport’s commercial terminal. The Avfuel-branded dealer is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (with after-hours callout available) and says it specializes in quick turns.
Landmark Aviation has broken ground on its new FBO at San Diego International Airport. The 12.4-acre FBO campus will feature a 20,000-sq-ft terminal and five hangars, along with 250,000 sq ft of ramp space. The facility will be built to achieve Leed Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. “This groundbreaking officially kicks off the much anticipated FBO campus development that we have all been working so hard toward,” said Landmark president and CEO Dan Bucaro.
Houston-based Million Air has added the first Florida FBO to its network with the recent purchase of Avion Jet Center at Orlando Sanford International Airport. The service provider is set to embark on a $3.5 million renovation of the facility, with work starting on the 10,000-sq-ft hangar at the beginning of the year. The location also features a 7,000-sq-ft terminal, which will soon provide all the usual Million Air amenities, including a theater room and soda bar.