Wilbur Wright was the first pilot to record a bird strike (in 1905), and the first fatal crash attributable to a bird strike came seven years later. But to most members of the non-flying public, the first time aircraft bird strikes became newsworthy was probably in 2009, when a flock of Canada geese sent Chesley Sullenberger’s A320 into the Hudson River.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Airports
New developments at airports including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
Several airports billing themselves as “London-area” are hoping to secure more business aviation traffic to the British capital, putting them in competition with those normally associated with the segment such as Farnborough, Luton and Biggin Hill. While Oxford has carved a niche and Cambridge has upped the ante with respect to business aviation, airports such as Lydd and Southend have also entered the fray as their wider development activities have made them more appealing–and they have started to attract business aircraft.
Basel Aero, a division of Russian industrial group Basic Element, has opened a VIP terminal at Sochi International Airport in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, which is situated on the coast of the Black Sea near the Georgia-Russia border. The new 43,000-sq-ft (4,000-sq-m) terminal can handle 80 passengers per hour and will serve its first large groups of guests during the upcoming XII International Investment Forum Sochi-2013. According to Basel Aero, the terminal’s VIP lounge has five conference rooms and a workroom equipped with Internet-connected computers.
Congestion at China’s three major international airports–Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong and Guangzhou Baiyun–has quashed Xiamen Airlines’ plans to offer long-haul nonstop flights from the People’s Republic using Boeing 787s starting next August. Increasing demand for slots from foreign airlines and China’s four big carriers to operate point-to-point services from the three big airports leaves smaller carriers such as Xiamen no choice but to look at other Chinese cities as ports of entry into China.
Flight planning and support group Hadid International Services has expanded its network in Africa with the appointment of supervisors in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Congo. In addition to providing handling supervision and arranging payment for airport fees, the Dubai-based company’s local staff can arrange ground transportation and hotels.
Jet Aviation relocated its FBO at Zurich International Airport to a new building adjacent to the existing General Aviation Center. It has been rebranded with the new corporate look and feel unveiled earlier this year at Jet Aviation’s FBO in Geneva. The new Zurich FBO now has a separate entrance with a reception area and customer lounge, as well as a “spacious” customs and immigration area. An expanded crew lounge with a snooze room at the Zurich facility will be completed in November, Jet Aviation said.
Somalia might conjure images of pirates and Blackhawk Down, but the northern autonomous region and former British protectorate of Somaliland remains a peaceful, although economically depressed, place. Last month the international airport at the capital, Hargeisa, “re-opened” following renovations and modernization, funded to the tune of $10 million by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
In celebration of its third anniversary as a service provider at North Carolina’s Davidson County Airport, Fly High Lexington is rewarding pilots with six Shell AeroClass points per gallon of fuel purchased through the end of the year. The FBO recently launched a “no fees with fuel” program under which it waives ramp, handling and tie-down fees with any fuel purchase. It also offers transient customers free overnight hangar storage if it is available.
Signature Flight Support broke ground late last week on the first FBO at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport. The new 7,000-sq-ft facility, which is expected to open late next year, will include a customer lobby, pilot’s lounge, in-house customs and immigration facilities and dedicated customer parking. However, a Signature spokesman said the location will not include any hangars.
On Sunday, Kinston Jet Center took over FBO operations at Kinston (N.C.) Regional Jetport after the departure of Delta Private Jets. The FBO is being managed by ABS Aviation and offers hangar space, pilot lounge, wireless Internet and a crew car, among other amenities. Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with after-hours access available by callout. Kinston’s airport has an 11,500- by 150-foot grooved asphalt runway with an ILS.