Fresh on the heels of news earlier this month that it had purchased the three UK locations of RSS Jet Centre, Landmark Aviation made an even bigger splash with an announcement yesterday that it has agreed to purchase Colorado-based Ross Aviation. Ross, whose 20 FBOs operated under their own individual names, quietly rose to become the fifth-largest chain of aviation service providers in the U.S. since its launch a decade ago.
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.
Deer Jet, which owns four of the six FBOs currently in operation on the Chinese mainland, expects to at least double that number by year-end, company vice president Peng Zhang announced this week at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai.
“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. This includes Beijing Capital Airport, where the company is awaiting permission to begin operations from a facility that was last used for the 2008 Olympics and would be the second FBO on the airport.
Jetex Flight Support set up a new handling facility at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines. The Dubai-based group will provide support services for private jet operators in Manila, and will be able to supervise ground handling at other Filipino airports. The new facility features a lounge, and Jetex staff can assist crews with any local arrangements. The company provides credit terms and facilitates applications for overflight and landing permits, as well as all aspects of ground handling.
Riyadh International Airport’s private aviation terminal, which houses FBO facilities for several players under one roof, is a “disaster,” a senior Saudi aviation official told AIN today at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference in Riyadh.
After nearly 45 years of operation, Flower Aviation closed its doors at Colorado’s Pueblo Memorial Airport last week, just three months after its other location, which had served Salina (Kan.) Regional Airport for more than four decades, was taken over by Avflight. Known for its 10-minute quick-turn service, steak giveaways and in the past for its “Flower Girls,” the Pueblo location was the last to bear the Flower name.
The Dassault Falcon 2000S and 2000LXS received approval to operate at London City Airport, which requires steep approach (5.5 degree) approvals by aircraft model, as well as for crewmembers. With these latest approvals, Dassault claims to be the only business jet manufacturer to have its entire in-production fleet certified to operate at London City. “The ability to operate at London City gives our operators an added measure of flexibility and a distinct advantage in their day-to-day operations,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier.
Landmark Aviation made its entry into the UK business aviation market in a big way with yesterday’s announcement that it acquired RSS Jet Centre, which operated the former Ocean Sky FBOs at London Luton, Manchester and Glasgow Prestwick International Airports. The Houston-based company, which now operates 57 FBOs (including eight under license) mostly in North America, has had a presence in France since 2006, and currently has bases at 10 airports in Europe. This includes a facility at Paris Le Bourget, where a new $4.1 million terminal is set to open.
Never renowned for its ability to fast-track rulemaking, the FAA might be gunning for a new record.
It has been nearly a decade since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) introduced an amendment to its aviation rulemaking to require member states to have certified international airports establish a safety management system (SMS). The FAA has said it supports harmonization of international standards and has worked to make U.S. aviation safety regulations consistent with ICAO standards and recommended practices.
Amid the wave of new FBO construction, AirFlite at California’s Long Beach Airport is proof that a well maintained FBO can stand the test of time, with the 22-year-old facility receiving a 9.6 rating out of 10, for the highest score in AIN’s 2014 FBO Survey for the Americas. This year’s survey received nearly 12,000 evaluations for FBOs in 91 countries.
For the FBO business, 2013 may go down as the year the industry truly began its slow, tentative climb out of the trough. U.S. business jet activity, both domestic and international, rose over 2012, which in turn saw a modest gain over 2011. At almost 3.4 million operations, domestic activity last year increased by 2.4 percent, according to the FAA, an improvement of more than 79,000 operations but still 19 percent lower than the record high of 4,191,692 operations set in 2005.