Bell Helicopter’s commercial division knows as well as anyone about the challenge of making a living in a stagnant industry that appears unlikely to grow beyond generally accepted delivery projections of 400 to 500 helicopters a year. For years the only real avenue to sales growth lay in scratching for more market share–a circumstance unlikely to change in the near future.
When officials at Los Angeles World Airports awarded a contract for a leasehold at Van Nuys Airport (VNY), some of the seven losing bidders cried foul. The winner, Castle & Cooke, is backed by billionaire David Murdock, and the protesters claim it was his support of Los Angeles mayor James Hahn that secured the deal.
Honeywell TFE731 maintenance shops at Harrods Aviation in Farnborough, UK, and Sweden’s Volvo Aero have signed a service agreement combining their offerings. The result is a one-stop, heavy maintenance and overhaul team fully supporting the popular turbofan. Honeywell has designated Harrods’ engine shop a major service center, while Volvo Aero has offered heavy maintenance on the TFE731 Classic, -20, -40 and -60 variants.
Aviation One, now based at Plymouth (Mass.) Municipal Airport (PYM), offers fractional leases on a CitationJet and a Piper Seneca V piston twin. Founded in 1997, Aviation One plans to provide low-cost regional transportation for clients whose needs include both jet travel and relatively short-range trips that are more economically feasible in the Seneca.
National Air Traffic Controllers Association president John Carr said, “Fewer eyes watching busier skies is not a scenario any of us want. Unless funds for hiring [new controllers] are appropriated, staff shortages will inevitably lead to serious delays, congestion and, yes, safety concerns.” NATCA is calling for $14 million to be allocated for hiring and training new controllers as part of the FAA’s 2005 fiscal-year budget.
Beginning in January, PrivatAir will offer daily flights between Zurich and Newark Liberty International Airport, N.J., in partnership with Swiss International Airlines.
A pair of submissions to NBAA’s Air Mail Internet forum underscore the importance of preflight awareness. A Challenger crew taxiing for takeoff from an unattended airport received a radio call (from an unspecified hero) alerting them to a potentially dangerous situation. Unable to remove the small-airplane chock from behind one of the mainwheels, the crew had moved the front chock out of the way and started up.
There were no fatal accidents involving U.S.-registered business jets in the first half of this year, compared with three such accidents and seven fatalities in the same period last year, according to Robert E. Breiling Associates. Corporate/executive jet operators were not involved in any accident in the first half of this year or last year.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association is urging the European Union to unify rules for general aviation operations rather than leave regulation to individual member states of the EU.
Fractional-ownership provider NetJets has placed an order for 50 AirCell ST 3100 Iridium satellite communication systems for its growing fleet of Raytheon Hawker 400XP light business jets.
The satellite phone systems will be installed at Raytheon Aircraft Services in San Antonio before aircraft delivery. A spokeswoman for Woodbridge, N.J.-based NetJets said the fractional operator expects the first 400XP delivery this month.