AINalerts » January 3, 2013

January 3, 2013 - 3:10pm

Following the withdrawal of a “hold” by Sen. Jim DeMint last month, the Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Michael Huerta to a five-year term as FAA Administrator. Huerta has been serving as acting FAA Administrator since Randy Babbitt resigned from the post after a drunken-driving arrest in December 2011 in Fairfax, Va.

The aviation industry unanimously applauded the confirmation.

January 3, 2013 - 3:05pm

Online booking portal Victor is aiming to dramatically increase available charter capacity almost ten-fold. As of the end of 2012, its site showed approximately 1,300 available private jet seats at any given time, and it wants to boost this number to approximately 10,000 seats by the end of this year’s first quarter. Victor allows members to book aircraft directly for what it guarantees are fixed, all-inclusive rates and then offers individual seats for sale to other members.

January 3, 2013 - 2:57pm

European aircraft operators should brace for a harsh winter, according to de-icing specialist Kilfrost. The supplier said it anticipates strong demand for its products this year based on long-range forecasts that call for a winter as severe as the one seen two years ago. Based on its predicted demand and the delivery lag, the company has already ramped up production at its manufacturing plant in northern England to ensure a steady supply of de-icing fluid at dozens of airports across the region.

January 3, 2013 - 2:55pm

Seattle-based performance modification specialist Raisbeck Engineering and Hartzell Propeller have unveiled a new swept-blade propeller for the Hawker Beechcraft King Air series. The newly certified propeller is the result of three years of development, according to the companies, which describe it as the first business aviation turbine propeller using practical swept-wing theory as an integral part of its design. The propellers have aluminum blades and hubs.

January 3, 2013 - 2:50pm

Air Methods, the nation’s largest air ambulance provider, ended last year by placing orders for 42 new helicopters, including 20 Bell 407GX singles and 22 Eurocopters (10 EC130T2 and six AS350B3e light singles, and six EC135P2e light twins). All of the helicopters ordered are recently upgraded and improved editions of legacy models and feature new avionics and/or enhanced performance. The Eurocopter order is valued at more than $80 million. Deliveries are scheduled for 2014 and 2015.

January 3, 2013 - 2:45pm

The supersonic business jet development program continues at Gulfstream Aerospace, but until the FAA decides to define “quiet” as it relates to the so-called sonic boom, “We just don’t see a business case,” said a spokesman.

In a series of patent filings last summer, Gulfstream emphasized mitigating the noise produced by the sonic boom, pointing out that regulations currently prohibit supersonic flight over populated areas.

January 3, 2013 - 2:37pm

In a filing in bankruptcy court just before Christmas, Hawker Beechcraft asked for court approval to shed two underfunded pension plans covering some 9,500 non-union workers and retirees. The request is part of an agreement with the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) and the OEM’s machinists’ union. Terms of the agreement require PBGC to assume responsibility for the two terminated pensions, while Hawker Beechcraft will keep the pension plan covering its 8,200 current and former union employees. A hearing to consider the plan is scheduled for January 17.

January 3, 2013 - 2:33pm

A U.S.-registered Dassault Falcon 900 that was forced to make an emergency landing at an airport in southern Iran approximately three weeks ago was allowed to take off this past Sunday after repairs were completed. The trijet was reportedly en route from Abu Dhabi to Rotterdam when it landed at Ahvaz after what was described as a technical failure. The passenger and crew of the bizjet soon left Iran, while a French support team from Abu Dhabi arrived to perform repairs. As a member of ICAO, Iran is obligated to come to the aid of civilian aircraft in distress.

January 3, 2013 - 2:25pm

Embraer Executive Jets’ flagship Lineage 1000 has received type certification from Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee, thus paving the way for customers to register and operate the bizliner in Russia. The twinjet, which is based on Embraer’s E190 airliner, can fly nonstop from Moscow to New York and accommodate up to 19 passengers in five distinct cabin zones. Embraer says more than 40 of its large-cabin Legacy 600 and 650s are currently operating in Russia.

January 3, 2013 - 2:20pm

A new FBO is in the approval stages for Norwood Memorial Airport, Mass. Charter operator Boston Executive Helicopters expects to break ground next month on a 15,000-sq-ft complex to include hangar space, crew offices and a dedicated passenger lounge for tenant based customers, as well as a terminal and hangar space for transient aircraft. The facility also expects to offer a 24-hour jet-fuel self-service pump. A summer opening is scheduled. Currently the airport is served by one FBO, FlightLevel Aviation.

 

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