Russia’s second largest city, St. Petersburg, has a new FBO and by year-end it should have a second. The Pulkovo-3 FBO at Pulkovo International Airport officially opened for business on March 6, initially handling only domestic flights. According to the purpose-built facility’s operator, JetPort SPb, it should be ready to handle international flights as soon as customs and immigration facilities are fully in place.
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.
Embraer Executive Jets (Booth 7041) continues to expand at its headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. The business jet division of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer has been assembling and delivering Phenoms since 2011 at the southeast U.S. complex and its customer center there has been open for about a year and a half. In addition, it is building a new engineering center, and there is ample room for further growth.
Cirrus Aircraft is here exhibiting its SR22 piston single on the static display in a bid to persuade business aircraft owners that “there is always a good reason to have another plane,” as Jan-Peter Fisher, a Cirrus representative in Germany, put it. For example, the SR22 can land at small airfields that cannot accommodate a business jet. The five-seater is “about the fun of flying,” Fisher went on, not forgetting to mention the high cruise speed for the category: 200 knots.
Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN, Booth 2135) announced here at EBACE that it has signed a representation agreement with Gulfstream Aerospace. This announcement comes just a week and a half after the closing of a successful Nigerian business aviation conference, the country’s first, hosted by EAN. The company is the first fully integrated FBO, maintenance and hangar facility for business jets to open at Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos.
Marking a year of rapid growth since its launch at EBACE 2012, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA; Booth 2135) announced here at EBACE 2013 that it would stage a business aviation expo of its own next April in conjunction with the Marrakech Air Show. The expo and air show will be held on April 23 to 26 at Marrakech’s FRA Airport. AfBAA’s expo will cover 50,000 sq m (540,000 sq ft), providing room for booths, static displays and chalets.
That Bombardier’s new Challenger 350 has the seal of approval from its celebrity brand ambassador John Travolta is hardly surprising. What did grab people’s attention at EBACE yesterday was that the movie star has been working as a flight test pilot supporting the airframer’s efforts to get the new super-midsized jet certified. “I felt like an astronaut,” he told a packed Bombardier booth here in Geneva yesterday. “We did full performance takeoffs and climbed straight to 41,000 feet. This aircraft is definitely going to break records. It’s like a homesick angel.”
With more than 180 Gulfstream operators, Europe is a major region for the Gulfstream Aerospace, and the company has recently expanded its support infrastructure in the continent. At Luton Airport, the company’s support center has added more employees, while the mobile repair team unit, part of the field and airborne support team (Fast) network has also grown in size. Fast engineers are based in Athens, Paris and Switzerland, and one more is to begin operations from Kiev.
The global fleet of nearly 1,200 Pilatus PC-12s reached a major milestone this month by accumulating four million flight hours since the first copy of the turboprop single was delivered in October 1994. According to Stans, Switzerland-based Pilatus, the highest time PC-12 has logged more than 24,000 hours in operation as an air ambulance with Air Bravo in Ontario, Canada.
Cessna Aircraft (Booth 7091) has introduced a treatment to protect Citation jets based in Europe from the corrosive effects of potassium formate (CHKO2), the environmentally friendly but aluminum-hostile runway de-icer increasingly used across the region.
“The potassium formate de-icing situation affects all aluminum aircraft,” Joe Hepburn, the Wichita airframer’s senior v-p for customer service, told AIN. “Our customers have been very uncertain how that will affect them. As an OEM, we want to leave them with certainty about the future.”
Indian business aviation specialist Aviators announced here at EBACE yesterday that it had ordered three Nextant 400XTis, while also revealing that it has been appointed Nextant Aerospace’s exclusive sales agent for India. The first “I” version of the remodeled Beechjet 400 is due to be delivered to Aviators in the first quarter of next year.
Nextant (here on the static display) has hopes for more sales in the country, as 33 entry-level aircraft were delivered there between 2007 and 2011, the manufacturer said.