AgustaWestland is preparing the way to possible final assembly of its helicopters in Brazil with plans to expand the São Paulo facilities of its local subsidiary, the Italian company said yesterday at LABACE. Construction is due to be completed by the end of next year and the enlarged facility will also be used to accommodate a training center, bonded warehouse, workshop space and a heliport.
AINalerts » August 16, 2013
Implementation of a new Brazilian requirement mandating the use of level-D simulators for renewing business aircraft type ratings has been postponed until next year due to a shortage of suitable training equipment in the country. The country’s ANAC aviation authority had intended for the requirement to take effect two months ago, and the agency has been criticized by operators and pilots for being too rigid in its requirement for full-motion simulators.
One of the most eye-catching aircraft on display this week at LABACE is the ultra-sleek Epic LT six-seat turboprop single at Somma Aviation’s stand. While the all-composite aircraft is kit-built, Somma is looking to sell a certified version–the Epic 1000, slated for FAA approval in 2015–tailored specifically to the Brazilian market.
As the global economy in general, and business aviation in particular, begins to stabilize, so the squeeze on aircraft financing is beginning to relax, albeit with an element of conservatism. That was the message from speakers at the fifth Business Aviation in Latin America summit held yesterday at LABACE. A range of financial issues was covered during the summit.
Latin America is the target of an effort by MD Helicopters to strengthen its dealer network, which consists of one independent representative per country, with the exception of Mexico, where there are two. The MD fleet in Latin America currently totals approximately 100 aircraft, 15 of them in Brazil.
“Our focus is to strengthen the dealer network and our goal is to be delivering 12 MD Explorers a year in Latin America by the end of 2015,” said MD director of sales and marketing Philip Marsteller. “And that’s a conservative goal,” he added.
Helibras opened a new customer support center at Atibaia, Brazil, near the three main airfields of São Paulo. The facility forms part of Eurocopter’s global network and mirrors those established by the company in Hong Kong, Dallas and Marignane, France. Some 75 percent of the Brazilian Eurocopter/Helibras fleet is based in southeast Brazil. The center offers a 365-day on-call service between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The specialist staff take the initial customer calls and see them through to the completion of service delivery. There is also an AOG desk.
Ground-handling group Swissport has been selected to manage an FBO/hangar project currently under construction at Brazil’s Sorocaba Airport. When completed at year-end, the new World-Way Aviation facility will cover 150,000 sq ft, including a pair of hangars with enough room for large-cabin business jets and some 100,000 sq ft of ramp space. The terminal will feature a VIP lounge, conference room, pilots’ lounge, flight-planning room and fitness center.
Dallas Aeronautical Services (DAS) will produce composite materials and components for business aircraft in a new facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil, starting in the first half of next year, the U.S. company announced yesterday at LABACE. According to DAS director for Brazil Paul Dominonni, the operation will be launched with an initial investment of $500,000, occupying a 70,000-sq-ft site in the Univap Technological Park. The project is being supported by both state and city authorities.
This week at LABACE, Execjet Mobile announced the release of the latest version (4.0) of its Bizjet Mobile service, which allows passengers aboard any telecom-equipped aircraft with an onboard Wi-Fi network to send and receive text messages and emails. Bizjet Mobile 4.0 requires that one Apple iPad mini be set up to run the app, which creates its own Bluetooth/Wi-Fi network that other Apple devices can then access. Anyone on board can tap into that network to send text messages of up to 600 characters and emails of up to 1,500 characters (without attachments).
- Page 1