New York and Las Vegas are two of the most rarefied helicopter markets in the country. While the winds of fortune can be lucrative for operators and service providers in both places, the environments also feature cut-throat competition, congested airspace, an aggressive amount of multi-level government oversight and regulation and robust anti-noise litigation from an affluent citizenry and their environmentalist allies.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Heliports
New developments at heliports including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, and acquisitions.
Manufacturer AgustaWestland and Italian operator Alitalica recently signed an agreement to install a “helicopter hub” at Rome’s Urbe airport. Under the agreement, AgustaWestland will establish a maintenance center for its helicopters. Alitalica will offer “passenger hospitality services, passenger transport and corporate helicopter management services.” The helicopter hub is expected to start operating next year.
Von Essen Hotels is investing approximately $15 million over the next 12 months to revamp the London Heliport, which it acquired earlier this year. The improvements include a re-worked ramp space, new fuel installations, upgraded control tower, new firefighting facilities, VIP departure lounges, access to adjoining hotel facilities and enlarged customer car parking.
AgustaWestland and Italian-based helicopter operator Alitalica have signed an agreement to establish “the first helicopter hub in Italy” at Rome Urbe downtown airport. AgustaWestland will be in charge of the maintenance center and will therefore build new hangars. Meanwhile, Alitalica will set up a FBO, offer passenger transport and market corporate helicopter management services.
The Spanish airports and air navigation authority (AENA) has granted Executive Airlines a license as one of two companies to manage Barcelona El Prat Airport’s new FBO 2 business aviation terminal. The license term extends from March 1, 2008, to the end of 2009, with the possibility of a one-year extension.
For the last 15 years, a northern New Jersey bank has been quietly landing its
Million Air Cleveland has installed a new security system at its Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) facility that it hopes will become the prototype for other FBOs.
Sovereign Air recently opened at Henson Field in Hagerstown, Md., occupying the facilities of the former Aero-Smith FBO. The new operation offers fueling (Phillips 66), maintenance, catering, aircraft detailing, de-icing and quickturns. The 1,920 sq ft of terminal space contains a reception area, weather briefing room, crew lounge and conference area. A 5,500-sq-ft hangar is also part of the operation.
For Dan Naor, a helicopter owner and pilot and partner in the busy Baltimore Marine Center in the Maryland city’s downtown harbor, landing at the nearest airport was an inconvenience. “You can land at BWI or Martin,” he said, “but then it takes half an hour to get downtown.”