Although the shadow of the September 11 atrocity in the U.S. was evident at Helitech, the major American companies participated fully, and some praised both the exhibition and its new venue. Previously held at Redhill Aerodrome, conveniently close to London Gatwick Airport but all too often waterlogged, Helitech moved this year to Duxford Airfield’s hard runway and concrete apron–a switch that was widely welcomed.
While many cities, counties and other agencies from coast to coast pursue policies of scaling back operations at airports they control–or in some cases even eliminating them entirely–Clark County, Nev., is flying a reciprocal course. Comprising the state’s southern tip, Clark includes the state’s two largest cities, Las Vegas and Henderson. The area’s economy is perhaps the most tourism- and convention-dependent in the nation.
Well known Brussels-based FBO and air taxi company Abelag Aviation is celebrating its 40th anniversary, making it one of the oldest business aviation companies in Europe. “We are also the oldest Belgian air transport operator still in the hands of private Belgian investors,” said Hervé Laitat, the company’s deputy general director.
At the end of this month, Brian Humphries will take over as chief executive of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), succeeding Fernand Francois, who is retiring after 12 years in the post. Humphries, who has been EBAA chairman since 1996, will retire from his day job as managing director of Shell Aircraft, the international flight department of the Royal Dutch Shell energy group.
A 35-acre site for a new FBO at London’s Southend Airport is to be offered to private developers. Regional Airports Ltd, which also owns the UK capital’s Biggin Hill Airport and operates an FBO at the Royal Air Force’s Northolt base, is positioning Southend to serve business aircraft operators wanting to get close to the government-backed Thames Gateway plan to expand London eastwards.
Bombardier’s Learjet 40 and 45XR were set to receive UK Civil Aviation Authority approval to operate into London City Airport (LCY) before the end of last month. Europe sales director Trevor Lambath told the EBAA Forum that a Learjet 45 completed validation flights at the downtown gateway during the second week of last month.
The task force established by the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) to deal with the issue of regulating fractional ownership expects to issue new proposals by next month. The task force has indicated that it is working toward “an accommodation” with the FAA, but has warned that European rules will not necessarily “mirror” the FAA’s Part 91 Subpart K regime.
Police officers’ passion for doughnuts is one of American culture’s sturdiest stereotypes. But using a helicopter to make a midnight doughnut run has drawn public fire in Albuquerque, N.M., where two as yet unidentified members of the Albuquerque police department (APD) did just that last month, landing near a local Krispy Kreme store in one of the department’s Bell OH-58 Kiowas.
Bowing to some inevitable delays after September 11, Bell/Agusta Aerospace reports assembly of the first two BA609 tiltrotors is nearing completion, with engine runups slated to begin this month. First flight is still scheduled to take place at Bell’s Arlington, Texas flight research center before the end of the year, although industry observers have expressed skepticism that this deadline can be met.
Citing a need to realign its executive lineup in the face of an economy that was already softening before it was rocked by the events of September 11, Textron has dismissed Bell Helicopter chairman and CEO Terry Stinson, filling his former position with John Murphey, Bell president and COO.