Paul Little, one of the wealthiest men in Australia and owner of aviation charter provider Little Aviation, has acquired the former John Holland Aviation Services aircraft maintenance facility at Tullamarine Airport in Australia and, according to reports, intends to establish a new private jet facility on the 50-acre site. The transaction, believed to be worth approximately $9.4 million (U.S.) is expected to close this month, pending airport approval, after which Little will spend a similar amount to refurbish the facility over the next year.
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.
Shell Aviation has unveiled its Aviation Centre of Excellence (ACE) program to enhance its support of FBOs at small and midsize airports. The new program, which has already been implemented at several European airports, consists of a package of services that includes joint promotional and marketing materials, access to company experts in fuels and logistics, safety management through the Shell Airport operating manual, dedicated technical support and supply, management and maintenance of equipment required for business operations.
Oregon’s Tillamook Airport, located 75 miles from Portland and the state capital Salem, The new 3,200-sq-ft building, owned by the Port of Tillamook Bay, was paid for with state lottery and federal funding. It replaces a much smaller structure that also housed the airport office and radio equipment. The new building features a pilots’ lounge with flight-planning area, a kitchenette and an A/V-equipped 30-seat conference room. The airport-operated facility, which sees approximately 4,500 operations a year, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kubick Aviation has purchased Superior Aviation, its larger competitor at Ford Airport in Northern Michigan, making it the sole aviation services provider on the field, which sees approximately 20 operations a day. Kubick moved from its 4,700-sq-ft facility (which was since sold to an aeromedical provider) to the former Superior location. The facility offers an FAA certified repair station with an avionics shop, aircraft charter and management services, aircraft rental, 24-hour pilot lounge with refreshments, a conference room, private work spaces, crew car and free Wi-Fi.
Leeward Flight Service has opened a private jet terminal at Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in Basseterre, St. Kitts. The new facility, which says it specializes in quick turns, offers onsite customs, immigration and health clearance, as well as landing permit and airport slot assistance.
Aviation services provider Avflight has acquired the former Eurojet FBO at Belfast’s George Best Belfast City Airport, making it the company’s first location outside the U.S. The location is separate from the main airport terminal and provides passenger and crew handling and services such as executive lounge, a crew lounge, direct access to aircraft, flight planning and weather equipment, technical assistance with aircraft, complimentary Wi-Fi, catering and ground arrangements such as limousine and hotel accommodations. The FBO offers Avfuel fuel and Avtrip points.
As China’s business aviation infrastructure continues to grow, Deer Jet, which owns four of the six FBOs operating on the Chinese mainland, expects to at least double that number by year-end, according to Peng Zhang, company vice president. “We are talking with several different airport authorities [that] want to cooperate with Deer Jet to have an FBO facility on their field,” Zhang told AIN.
Ground support services provider Euro Jet Intercontinental has unveiled a new complimentary crew lounge at Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport near the Romanian seaside town of Constanta, a top summer destination in Eastern Europe. The new lounge features couches, flat-screen cable television, computer workstations with printer/fax/scanner and Wi-Fi. Additionally, refreshments, assorted snacks and a full-time concierge service are available.
Pilots heading to this year’s EAA AirVenture Fly-In next month will find there is now only one FBO at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. Basler Flight Services acquired Orion Flight Service from Shell aviation fuels distributor Eastern Aviation Fuels in a deal worth approximately $1 million, according to Tom Weigt, president of parent company and DC-3 turboprop conversion pioneer Basler Turbo Conversions.
Construction is expected to begin by year-end on an FBO facility at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). According to the airport, private jet movements there last year were up 13 percent over 2012, and the increasing operational tempo and congested parking called for an upgrade. The new $5.5 million, 10,763-sq-ft terminal is expected to be completed 14 to 16 months after construction begins, and will include three retail outlets as well as customs, immigration and security services.