Business aircraft activity in the U.S. fell for the third consecutive month, with flying hours down slightly–by 0.4 percent–year-over-year last month, according to TraqPak data released on Friday by aviation services company Argus. As has been the trend for much of this year, Part 135 was the only operational category to experience a gain in flying activity, increasing 10.5 percent from a year ago and marking its seventh consecutive monthly increase. Part 91 activity was down 3.2 percent year-over-year, while fractional flying dropped by 10.6 percent, the Argus data shows.
AINalerts » May 14, 2013
The FAA–and its parent organization, the Department of Transportation–announced on Friday that it will keep open the 149 contract towers that the agency slated for closure on June 15. These cuts were to be made to comply with sequestration, but on April 26 Congress gave the FAA the authority to shift funds to stop controller furloughs and tower closures.
Online jet charter broker PrivateFly estimates that approximately half of the estimated £9.3 million in potential revenue from the recent extension of the UK’s air passenger duty (APD) tax to business jets will be lost to nonpayment in the first year. The extended tax, which became effective on April 1, applies to all flights departing from the UK.
Atlantic Aviation has filed suit against the city of San Jose, Calif., in its efforts to block development of a new Signature Flight Support facility at Norman I. Mineta International Airport. Last month, Signature, in partnership with a group representing the business aircraft of Google’s executives, was awarded a 50-year lease by the San Jose City Council and intends to begin construction on the $82 million FBO this year.
The lone flying prototype KC518 helicopter made a controlled ditching into Auckland harbor last week following an apparent engine malfunction. The Composite Helicopter Adventourer ditched during a photo mission after the pilot, company CEO Peter Maloney, autorotated into the water following the annunciation of several engine warnings from the helicopter’s Rolls-Royce 250-C18 turboshaft.
The first Nigerian Business Aviation Conference, hosted last week by Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) in Lagos, was deemed a “resounding success” by the organizers, delegates and speakers. More than 100 delegates attended the event, which was intended to raise awareness of the growing business aviation industry in Nigeria.
The first production iteration of the Bombardier Learjet 75 will make its debut next week at EBACE, one year after the company announced the Learjet 70 and 75–upgraded versions of the Learjet 40 and 45, respectively–at EBACE 2012. “This debut of the Learjet 75 marks another exciting year of innovation and we look forward to delivering the first one in the fourth quarter,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft president Steve Ridolfi. The Canadian aircraft manufacturer will also have a Challenger 300, Challenger 605 and Global 6000 on display alongside the new Learjet.
Sikorsky Aircraft’s new S-76D helicopter received certification from Mexico’s civil aviation authority, the Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC), this week. The FAA gave its blessing for the S-76D in October, and the helicopter continues its envelope expansion as the first models move through final modifications for customer deliveries this year.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association is hosting the inaugural Middle East Business Aviation Conference in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on June 4. The conference, to be held under the patronage of Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation president H.H. Prince Fahd bin Abdulla bin Muhammad, will gather prominent leaders of the region’s aviation sector to discuss the issues affecting the Kingdom’s business aviation market. Business aviation in Saudi Arabia is quickly growing and is one the segment’s biggest markets among the six states in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Chapman Freeborn is launching a new initiative designed to help business jet flight schedulers tap into Chapman’s local knowledge and expertise when flying into unfamiliar or challenging territory. Under a program it calls Global Broker, the company is offering its expertise in business jet support services, overflight permitting, ground handling, fueling and passport and immigration services to fellow charter brokers, operators and others.