Italy’s Sky Services is finally making some progress toward establishing its planned network of franchised FBOs. In July it began a full-service handling operation at Rome Ciampino Airport, adding to its existing bases at Naples Capodichino and Milan Linate.
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.
TAG Aviation, in a joint venture with European company SOKO, has opened a new business aviation handling facility at Torrejon Airport in Madrid. According to a company official in Europe, the new facility will focus on aircraft sales and management, charter, line-level maintenance, fueling, passenger handling and other line services.
Le Castellet International Airport in the south of France was set to activate distance- measuring equipment on October 27. The new landing aid will make it much easier for pilots to shoot IFR approaches to the airfield’s 5,741-foot runway without first having to perform a daytime checkride.
Apparently, it’s just a time-honored myth that the Inuit language of native Alaskans has as many as 400 different words covering all forms of frozen precipitation. In fact, there are about a dozen, just like in English.
A decade ago, any discussion of the private aircraft market in the Middle East was generally limited to members of the royal families as customers, and the airplanes were for the most part executive/VIP versions of widebody airliners.
Independent FBO groups are at last challenging cozy ground handling monopolies in Italy. But the new market entrants have encountered resistance at every turn as authorities try to dodge European Union competition rules.
Swissport Executive Aviation (SEA) is opening a new FBO at Spain’s Malaga Airport this month. The move is the next step in the company’s ambitious plan to double its current number of European FBOs to 20 between now and the end of 2007.
Brussels International Airport records more than 13,000 general aviation movements most years. For the time being, Abelag Aviation remains the sole FBO at the Belgian airport, enjoying an informal monopoly despite several attempts by competitors to enter this key market.
The ExecuJet Aviation FBO at Zurich Kloten Airport has installed a WLAN high-speed communications connection for passenger and crew use. Also new is a vending machine selling snacks and drinks, giving visitors choices beyond the complimentary coffee and mineral water.
FBOs at Paris Le Bourget Airport, which makes a strong claim to be Europe’s biggest dedicated business aviation gateway, are experiencing growth with a steady increase in business aviation movements. At the same time competition is heating up, with the arrival of a new operator, a merger between two existing bases and the prospect of a completely new executive terminal.