The World Cup, the world’s largest sporting event, is set to kick off next month, and more than half a million fervent soccer fans are poised to descend on host country Brazil. Of that total, 11 percent are expected to arrive on business aircraft, and estimates call for approximately 3,000 business aircraft to be operating in the country during the month-long tournament, which begins on June 12. Such numbers will place a heavy strain on Brazil’s aviation services.
News and issues relating to business, corporate and private aviation, primarily regarding turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters. Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
With improved customer service finding new emphasis in many boardrooms–and aftermarket support becoming a growing revenue source–Safran subsidiaries Turbomeca and Sagem Avionics recently unveiled plans that highlight the roles technology can and will play in delivering support services.
Between 2010 and 2012 the number of active GA aircraft declined by 6.4 percent, to 209,034 from 223,370, according to the 2012 General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey). But the FAA said that the 2012 GA Survey recorded the partial effect of the 2010 Rule for Re-Registration and Renewal of Aircraft Registration. According to the agency, the complete effect of this rule, which requires all aircraft registered in the U.S. to re-register within the three-year period from 2011 to 2013, will be noted after the 2013 survey.
In response to rising business aviation traffic across Africa, trip support group UAS has opened a new regional headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new facility is being managed by Wynand Meyer, the Dubai-based group’s newly appointed director of business development for Africa, who has joined UAS from Boeing’s flight planning subsidiary Jeppesen, where he oversaw its ground handling network for Africa, the Middle East and India.
There is good news and bad news when it comes to financing for pre-owned business aircraft. The good news is that financing is available for aircraft buyers; the bad news is that banks are primarily lending only to those with exceptionally good credit who are buying an aircraft that is less than 20, and even in some cases less than 10, years old, according to a panel of aircraft financiers at the recent NBAA Aircraft Registration, Finance and Legal Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.
With its oil and gas industry Nigeria has a large offshore support industry, employing a number of established operators such as Bristow and Caverton. The oil and gas business has a growing need for deep-water support, which in turn requires larger and longer-legged aircraft. The increase in numbers of sorties is also driving a requirement for greater air traffic control. A Saab Sensis system is expected to provide low-level coverage for the Gulf of Guinea by year-end.
The business jet market has finally stabilized after five long years and is poised for growth this year, according to two outlooks presented at the NBAA Aircraft Finance, Registration and Legal Conference, held on February 6 and 7 in St. Petersburg, Fla. “Take a look around, because this is the recovery,” JetNet iQ director Rollie Vincent told attendees. Dean Roberts, director of market analysis at Rolls-Royce North America, concurred, saying that the industry is now “progressing well.”
With the recovery of business aviation in the mature Western markets of Europe and North America still sketchy, Africa has emerged as one of the bright spots of growth, and the jewel in the crown is Nigeria, where oil and gas production has been the principal driver behind a massive growth in business traffic. The rise of the sector in Nigeria has been phenomenal, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. That was the abiding message from the second Nigerian Business Aviation Conference, which was held in Lagos at the end of March.
Market activity in the first quarter saw inventory hold steady at multi-year lows, with an equal number of aircraft coming onto and leaving the market. Buying activity generally accelerates in the spring quarter, and this year’s set-up seems to be no exception, with brokers reporting brisk sales action. Despite the tightening there’s quite a bit of head scratching about why prices haven’t reacted more positively.
The 14th annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), to be staged once again at its established home at Switzerland’s Geneva International Airport (May 20 to 22), is on track for further growth. The event, which is second in stature only to NBAA’s annual convention in the U.S., is set to draw more than 320 exhibitors (up from 294 last year), and with only half of these companies hailing from Europe the show will once again have a distinctly global dimension, drawing participants from the newer markets of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as the Americas.